Six Sigma in recession

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Six Sigma in recession

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #51195


    I’d like to ask your opinion about the chances of Lean/Six Sigma in economically troubled times.I can see two scenarios:1. Less money on the market leading to fewer investments thus leading to less interest for Six Sigma and Lean from companies.2. Less money on the market leading to a stronger need to become efficient thus a stronger interest in Lean and maybe also Six Sigma.Which is it going to be ? Or maybe some other scenario?Regards



    I have little faith in the self serving leadership rampant in Corporate
    America – it’s scenario #1.


    Robert S

    The decisions made in this regard will define leadership….or not.



    will the implementation of six sigma by new companies at this hour lead to an addition of costs for them??? i mean will we need a cost benefit analysis before we start it in new orgs.



    As always :).Regards


    Ed Caldeira

    If you see construction as leading the economy in the recession experience, keep in mind that here it started as #2, then migrated to #1. 
    Even when companies were still going after improvement initiatives, all the projects were short-term with a 100% focus on cost reduction.  It centered on supplier and speciaty contractor cost reduction.
    After a certian point staff reductions are so severe that nobody is left to carry out any initiative, regardless of merit.
    A sad state of afairs indeed.


    Gary Cone

    Think of people and processes – both are important.These are interesting times we live in.An economic crisis bigger than any in my lifetime.Job losses in the US at catastrophic levels and it’s even worse in
    areas dependent on the US Big 3 automakers. Reports of GM
    buying all or part of Chrysler and the cascading effect on
    employment. Optimistic views talk in terms of 30,000 displaced in
    the metro Detroit area. Some reports say it will be 124,000. I think
    it is like what we have seen with the bank and credit crisis, it will
    be worse than current projections. GM announced just in the last
    few minutes that they will lay off 30% of their work force and stop
    funding 401K’s.How are companies responding to this? They have stopped
    spending money. They are looking for cost savings in 2009. This
    will mean more job loss and it will mean many okay processes will
    be broken.It is a time of hope and opportunity.At a macro level in the US, it is the presidency of Barrack Obama.
    Many, many are willing to take the risk that he is real and that he
    can move us out of these troubled waters.On a smaller level, many companies can use this time to redefine
    and reinvent themselves. Some companies get the opportunity of
    high risk investment by the government, some get the opportunity
    to take advantage of grants for business development in areas like
    alternative energy.On a personal level, if you have been displaced in banking or the
    auto industry, it is a reasonable assumption you will not be going
    back to your old job. The opportunity is to learn new skills, to go
    into new industries, or maybe to start your own business.What is the role of people who have dedicated their life to
    teaching, mentoring, and making companies processes better?I think there are three distinct areas in which we should play –1) For those displaced and looking for new skills, we should help
    find the grants and teach them new skills. This is not confined to
    training as Lean Masters or Six Sigma “belts”, but how about things
    like taking the person who has been working in Quality and has
    been taught the “real world” approach and getting them certified
    as a Quality and/or Reliability Engineer?2) For companies that are in survival mode, we should go in and
    help them make quick gains by leading the improvement projects.
    Many companies will not be worried about training their internal
    resources in 2009, it is hard to think that way if you don’t know if
    you will be in business in 2010. I will offer a company gains on a
    focused project in one month or they do not owe me any money.
    They just have to commit the time and team on their end.3) On the companies in the emerging sectors, they will be making
    the transition from startup to fulfillment. Many companies struggle
    with that. They also will not see clearly how to go to the outside for
    help since they have limited resources. Again grant money will
    need to be found, but we can go in and teach them to set up an
    efficient business system that can comply with things like ISO 9000
    or 14001. We can go in and help set up their processes to flow and
    we can teach them best in class methods to run their processes
    with efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness.How does this impact the traditional Lean Six Sigma consulting
    model?In short, I think the model is dead.Few companies will go for the idea of adding infrastructure and
    diverting 1% – 5% of their resources. Of those that have been doing
    it, many will pull back. For what it is worth, the original model had
    process improvement being everyone’s job where everyone got
    trained.Does the focused full time model have merits? Of course, especially
    where is an apprenticeship every professional serves as they
    transition into a company or as we transition from professional to
    manager. But the idea of setting aside a significant portion of a
    scant resource in 2009/10 – companies will be running away from
    this idea in mass.What is the new role?The new role is the ability to give companies very focused help on
    people and processes.People – two factors here, knowledge and behavior. Both can be
    assessed fairly succinctly. Companies will need to know if the
    remaining people in their enterprise are right people in the right
    jobs.Processes – Are they efficient and effective at least with respect to
    their competition? If they are not, how do we offer to make
    significant gains in a very short amount of time.This means we need new skills with respect to people and we need
    to be people who know how to really do what we have been
    teaching.My opinion. GaryA special thanks to my friend and mentor, Elmano Nigri, of
    Arquitetura Humana in Sao Paulo, Brasil for helping me talk
    through this.



    Stan, where’s the forum watchdog when we need you? Are you going to just sit there and let Gary turn this forum into his personal blog? This is the 2nd time he’s done so. Sic ’em dog!



    It’s so dead that I get pinged by head hunters every day looking for expertise and offering 6-figs + bonuses.


    Ken Feldman

    Phil, I think Stan has met his match. This guy Cone actually makes some sense so I guess Stan has nothing to attack him on. I agree Cone is getting a bit long winded and might just provide us a link to his blog if he has one. Of course, time will tell if he is right or not. So far, I have only seen a slight pull back and slowing down. The visionary leaders…both of them probably…are using this time get things in order so that when things do turn around, they will be positioned very strongly and will make it all back and more.



    For a second there, I thought it was Elton John.
    Anyway Heebee, you look great.  I’d hire you in an instant.



    Are you the real watchdog of this forum?Please give others the opportunity to talk…..



    Pretty weird that you never see both of them at the same place at the same time, huh?


    Quality Rules

    Sandor:From the point of view of the USA, our quality is now so bad and our economy is so weak, there only appears to be one option … to compete on the basis of quality.This means we’ll have to consider what we import much more carefully because the cost-of-stewardship of those imports might be less if we manufacture at an initial higher cost within the USA.(By cost of stewardship, I’m inferring to social and green costs.)If you agree, then there is still plenty of scope for quality improvement!Just my opinion –



    In my experience at the moment the focus has been on very short projects with great focus on cutting heads as quick as possible… quite frustrating when there are so many other issues that make process improvement benefitial.  Less labour cost is always welcome, but to render everything else useless and “airy fairy” is a quite dangerous approach in the mid term… or even shorter than one may think.



    I felt compelled to write about how Six Sigma re-engineering is so much more important now then ever before. See if you agree…

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

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