Six Sigma From Pilot to Full Deployment

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Six Sigma From Pilot to Full Deployment

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #29701

    Marv Meissner

    We have had a successful Six Sigma pilot at one location of our Corporation. We are now ready to more fully deploy. Two options have been identified :
    1. A Corporate BB team that services multiple sites
    2. BB residing at each site
    Any recommendations or other optiions ?


    James A

    Good question Mary,
    A few thoughts if I may . . . .
    For the first part, I have worked in companies where there is a centralised ‘Corporate’ function.  The advantages of this are that the ‘consultants’ called in can operate outside the petty vested interest bickering often found internally – and can just get on with the job.  They are not clouded by the smaller issues (we think it’s caused by ‘x’, it’s a ‘supplier issue’ etc.), and they are also not influenced by the inherent process knowledge of the internal team.
    BUT they can also come unstuck and propose apparently excellent solutions based on data only, which do not work in the real world.  For example, one team I know of used floor space reduction, manpower utilisation, and machine utilisation as key measures.  Net result, they removed an extensive automated, robotised transfer line, and put people in instead on the basis that floor area was reduced by 40%, machine utilisation was better, and manpower was also better utilised.
    Crazy, but the numbers worked in their advantage.  It didn’t do the product, the margin, or the customer any good though.
    The second group (locally based BBs) have the advantage that they are on site and can swing into action at the drop of a hat – but they need to be careful to remain unbiased and influenced only by the facts – not the fictions so often perpetrated in the manufacturing environment.
    No doubt others will have differing views – but this has been my experience.  Hope it helps.
    James A.


    Marc Richardson

    Why does it have to be either/or? How about both/and? Why not have BB’s deployed from corporate to run teams that are composed of the local, plant personnel?
    Alternatively, why not trying to pilot both implementation models to see which one is most effective? Use the the six sigma tools to improve the deployment process. Identify your metrics, develop parallel methods (local vs. corporate BB’s), conduct the test (run the projects), evaluate the results.
    Marc Richardson
    Sr. Quality Assurance Eng.



    In my view a centralized program approach for BBs and GBs is unnecessary and less effective than a de-centralized approach.
    The de-centralized approach provides these advantages:
    1) Existing knowledge of the process–no steep learning curves to get up to speed on what is going on/what has gone on
    2) Buy-in from the people in the area- a decentralized approach provides for a “we did it ourselves” kind of a approach rather than “somebody from corporate came in and changed things”
    3) Knowledge transfer- by training BBs or GBs from a business you provide the business units with the knowledge that they can retain forever. When promotions are given and BBs step into management positions, they will have Six Sigma knowledge to take with them. It’s the old you can fish for them or teach them to fish situtation.
    4) Consultation- the business unit area’s not involved with a project may want to enhance their measurement system, map a process, etc. The BB or GB from that business unit can be on hand to do these samll consulting services.
    The most quoted reason to centralize is for “objectivity.” I posit that the Six Sigma reporting structure with MBBs and Six Sigma tollgates along with the DMAIC methodology, builds in objectivity controls. The MBBs job is to provide the overarching viewpoint and direction to the BB. The MBB can correct them when they make assumptions. In addition, a cross-function tollgate with leaders who review projects will also catch any accidental bias.
    I would propose an organizational structure whereby BBs and GBs from the individual business units report to MBBs from a centralized corporate office. You get the benefits of having a BB from that area with the objectivity of a MBB.


    Mike Carnell

    I am not a big fan of pilot programs because of the situation you are in. A pilot can very quickly become “their program” meaning the pilot group. The group not selected can immediately begin developing resisitance because they were not choosen. Piloting can create a bigger problem than the one it is trying to avoid just by doing the pilot (same situation when you advertise that BB will be “the best of the best” what do you tell the people you select for Wave II, III, etc. – “thats OK you were second best” – not a great change enabler)
    Regardless you are already in the situation. Your company culture will have more to do with the right choice. It has worked well and it has worked poorly both ways. It typically is a mismatch between the culture and the rollout methodology that causes the failure.
    If you typically receive central support then centralize the BB’s. If you don’t then don’t centralize them. You need to remember that for manufacturing type operations the BB are really not the solution. Design (DFSS) is the long term solution. BB projects are really rework of something that was screwed up during design & NPI (not just design people). If it is transaction stuff then the problem is typically that there is no design process, the processes usually evolve. Probably a different solution than DFSS.
    You might want to draw up a deployment plan that details where you are (post pilot) through the deployment that will eventually effect the origin of the issue (design/npi type operations). The fact that you are sitting with a completed pilot and don’t know where step 2 is might give you a clue about the culture/planning problems your company has.
    Good luck.



    I would reccomend both!!  We have BB’s on site at all our manufacturing entities.  However, we are finding that projects done on one site are not being exported to other sites that have processes which are the same or very similar.  Call it a breakdown of communication if you want.
    I would suggest a global team of BB’s and Gb’s that can visit sites and conduct quick projects that have already been implemented in other sites.


    Andrew M. Brody

    MB at corporate site who can function at the executive level and site (middle management) levels comfortably.  BB at each site with the appropriate infrastructure.  The interface between the MB and various BBs would assure that the corporate mission and goals would drive the projects and assure that they remain properly focused through completion.
    Andy Brody, Sen. Memb. ASQ
    Quality Systems Mgr./Mgt. Rep.
    Marcus Paint Co.
    Louisvile, KY

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.