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Six Sigma Small Companies

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  • #45674

    Jackie
    Participant

    Why are small companies (less than 100 employees) not very open to practicing six sigma, especially when they are in growth mode right now? What are the major differences between six sigma projects within a large corporation and a smaller company (less than 100 employees)? Any difference in techniques? I’ve been looking for good books to read on this subject if anyone knows of any!
     
    Thanks,
    Jackie

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    #149811

    clb1
    Participant

    What evidence do you have that they aren’t? 

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    #149813

    Jackie
    Participant

    I went from working at a large financial institution to a smaller company in hopes that I would be able to use my six sigma skill set in this environment. The CEO was very much open to it, but it’s almost like any decisions that need to be made are Just-Do-It mini-projects because the results and answers are needed ASAP. In many cases, it has been the wrong decision because full analysis wasn’t done. There’s almost like a big selling aspect to it
    Also, from working with many MBBs who have been on both sides, smaller and larger company, and almost all of them agreed that smaller companies aren’t very suceptible to it.
    So maybe hearing a success story on how implementing six sigma into a smaller company where it never existed would be great. Do you have such advice?
    Thx, J

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    #149818

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Jackie,
    Is this Jackie O from a couple years back?

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    #149820

    Jackie
    Participant

    Nope, not Jackie O!

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    #149821

    Howard Miller
    Participant

    Slack, Redundancy, and Variation.
    As a company gets smaller, the range of jobs that any one person takes on increases, and the above three decrease giving the perception of no time for none of that continuous improvement stuff…. but I find that these are the companies that move the quickest, and turn on a penny.
    As a company gets larger, the range of jobs a person has decreases, until you find yourself being the manager of executive toilet roll. Therefore there are lots of people up for the taking to run projects, there is more of the above three in abundance. However these companies tend to move slower, in the search to reduce the ‘above three’.
    In summary, it comes down to paradox of slack, redundancy, variation and perception. Keeps you on your toes.
    H.

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    #149824

    Jackie
    Participant

    Thanks Howard! That’s great, any advice on how to break through it? I just see that especially when there’s a company that’s going through an increasing growth rate, it’s the perfect time for a project on role clarity (to decrease range of jobs one person has as you mentioned) and furthermore, to streamline the internal processes based on those new roles, and all the fun stuff that comes along with that!

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    #149828

    Howard Miller
    Participant

    Hi Jackie,
    I am thinking that there are two main scenario’s, the first being a small company as a division of a larger one, the second being the small company on its own with no big daddy in the background. These are two different situations.
    The company that I work for is currently rolling out a Lean Six Sigma program, it has a relatively large site 1200 ppl, down to the smaller sites at 35 or so. There are 7 sites in total. The model being put in place is based on the smaller sites being deemed satellite sites to the LSS program with the Black Belt’s from the larger site working on secondment to the smaller ones. An example of this is where we will be running a Kaizen Event facilitated by a BB from the larger site with the personnel from the smaller site in February. The training model is slightly different too, the initial deployment will train the smaller sites to GB level rather than having independent BB’s. You find that loosing 5 extra weeks of the year is rather damaging for a small company on the BB training….
    On a small stand alone site, the issues are a little different, you need a champion for the program, you also would like to have a stand alone deployment preferably, and where is the time going to come from to train that all too valuable BB? Crack this nut and you will have your very own official deployment. Time and money are all the more critical in the small company than that of the large (very generally speaking). In this case I would recommend that you start small, and build up the snowball until it gains enough momentum to knock the CEO’s door down. As is the case toward the end of the last paragraph.
    As for a project to decrease the job roles a person has, well this is not always the best solution, you may want to go the other way. The perfect solution is the large company that can move like a small company, this means excellent communication, and low red tape, what better than processes and procedures that all deal with the same person? You would be mad to have an argument with yourself about the last sign off signature that you signed….
    Its all about foxes, lions and wolves and when to be which really….
    H.

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    #149831

    Jackie
    Participant

    Great conversation Howard … thanks so much!

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