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Six Sigma: the careeer negative

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  • #28606

    alsoanon
    Participant

    My company started this absurdity 2 years ago, I was drafted into the program. The tools are cool. I have totally screwed myself doing this. Almost everyone I previously worked with has gotten promotions. I got certified, and recieved a whopping 1.5% increase. This program sucks. I’ve lost a job I enjoyed forever, and I’ll probably get the axe when my 2 years is up because low sales eliminated the position I was slated to move into. I will never recommend this to anyone. What a scam the Six Sigma academy has perpitrated upon us. Management still doesn’t get the value of statistical analysis. Our so-called leaders are only interested in booking cost reductions to further their own careers and offer us nothing in the way of support. Most of the leaders are incompetent in the math and tools, but are talented political hacks.

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    #71483

    SSBB
    Member

    I agree with you completely. Six Sigma ruined my life and it has nothing to do with anything else (it is the only x).Enron Employee

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    #71488

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    I’m sorry for you… You’re obviously on the wrong career path ! I still have a question : Why did you let go your dream job ???

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    #71507

    alsoanon
    Participant

    I was told I could return after my certification, the position was then filled by a diversity appointment. I was doing my part for the team accepting this Black Belt position. I naievely assumed management really would support a search for the truth. Do Not Buy American Cars.

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    #71509

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    Conclusion : Do not blame Six Sigma !
     
    Regards ,
    Ovi

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    #71557

    walden
    Participant

    Let me see if I understand:
    1.  You were drafted (in well thought-out programs, they interview to find the best people – they don’t just “pick” people.  This is not a knock on you or your skills.  It implies that your company did not think when the rolled Six Sigma out.)
    2.  Your company is stingy (as shown by your small raise.  May I also imply that they don’t believe that these would be valuable tools for future managers – good companies do).
    3.  Your company is going to remove your “slated” position.  Would they not have done this whether or not you were in the job or not?  Seems to me you would still be out of a job either way.
    4.  Your leaders did not provide you with the proper support (your company has poor leadership skills and did not have a plan for implementing process improvement.  Their plan was to “train” people in tools like it was SPC or some other light toolset.)
    5.  They don’t understand the tools (again, bad management that they did not do Champion, Process Owner or even GB training themselves).
    6.  They are political (monotonous, isn’t it?)
     
    Yet somehow, you see this as the fault of Six Sigma in general and the Six Sigma Academy in particular.  You might ask yourself.  If your dream job that you gave up was with this highly dysfunctional company, was it really that great a job.  How motivated are you to improve a company.  If you have the motivation, get out now with your certification intact and look for a functional company which wants to make itself better.  If you did a great job on some projects, this will look good on your resume.  If not, it might explain your low raise.  Stop being a victim and start shaping the legacy you want to leave when you retire. 

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    #71619

    Annonymous
    Participant

    Gee, Alsoannon, I bet we work for the same company.  Although I was a volunteer into the 6 Sigma program here (and already had many of the skills and attributes that they claimed they were looking for in a “Change Agent”) I have expereinced an almost complete lack of support, dirtier and more ugly politics than ever before at this organization regarding grabbing credit for 6 Sigma projects / progress, and a complete lack of planning regarding covering old responsibilities and re-deployment of Black Belts back to the organization.
    My involvement with 6 Sigma has been a major career negative for me.  This isn’t a problem with 6 Sigma per se, though.  It’s a problem with the personel systems, quality systems (I’m being very kind) and policies in this organization.  I’m looking to take my training and get out, finding somewhere I can do my job and do it well without having to fight the system quite so hard.    
    If they’ve eliminated the position they promised you when yuou went into 6 Sigma, you may well find yourself forced to do the same. Sorry.  Disrutions of that sort are always hard, even when you chose/wanted them in the first place.

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    #73235

    AnthonyShelley
    Participant

    Six Sigma’s Mission Impossible. (Part I)Excessive focus on Quality has diverted US Companies from Capitalism.
    It is not an accident that Xerox, Kodak, Polaroid and Motorola have lost their decades long market dominance and that the need for their core products has been superceded by revolutionary innovations. And it is not a coincidence that these companies lost their capability to innovate and adapt. Six Sigma is the Quality control methodology that they have been practicing.Deep pockets will not save GE and GE Capital from a similar fate. In fact, their own blind commitment to Six Sigma has led them to believe that lending a Billion dollars in capital to another Six Sigma practicing company (Xerox) is the right thing to do. And they are scheduled to add more to this recent capital funding in February 2002.GE and Xerox, and the other companies that practice Six Sigma, have seriously compromised themselves because they have failed to integrate the principles of laissez faire capitalism. Let me briefly explain what those principles are, and how GE ignored them and what that means.
    Uniformity-of-Profit Principle.
    One of the principles of laissez faire capitalism is the Uniformity-of-Profit Principle. This principle maintains that the tendency of the rate of profits —in a free, laissez faire market— is to become uniform throughout an industry. And it maintains that high profits are made by continuously introducing productive innovations in advance of competitors.
    In accordance with the Uniformity-of-Profit Principle, new and improved products and reduced costs of production, are two essential goals of the process of continuously increasing production in order for a company to survive.
    Focusing on Quality destroys the power of the innovators and the division of labor.
    Six Sigma opposes and stifles anything that cannot be foreseen, or measured, anything that is not a defect and anything that cannot be cost justified. This means that such long-term considerations as automobiles, electric light and power, television sets, and personal computers would have been under estimated and over ruled –as frivolous and fanciful– by Six Sigma’s own accounting…Building a quality slide rule and a quality horse buggy should have led, according to the Six Sigma advocates, to increased profits. And it did in the short term – until the emergence of the electronic calculator and the automobile respectively. Alas, very few of the businesses saw it coming, and the majority of slide rule and horse and buggy companies went out of business.Restricting, misallocating, and squandering the thinking, talent, time and productivity of innovative workers —the very source of productivity and profit— can hardly be justified as a reduction in cost of production or an improvement to the business. It is a loss, a waste not a profit. Thus, Six Sigma can only pretend to reduce costs of production and improve and create new products.
    Without continuously introducing productive innovations in advance of competitors a company cannot survive.
    Any apparent reduction in costs or improvement to the business by Six Sigma’s hampered innovators is superficial, insignificant and counter productive relative to the exponential improvements necessary to stay in business.
    Six Sigma’s Focus on Quality starts out by promising to reduce costs and improve profits but ends up opposing productivity and stifling all innovation and innovators.
    In accordance with the Uniformity-of-Profit Principle, the correct anticipation of changes in consumer demand, and especially the creation of new demand by innovators, is another integral goal of the process of increasing production and the survival of a company. To the extent that capital was not shifted rapidly enough out of copier and film manufacturing, the benefits from digital imaging, computers and printers were held back, because capital was wasted on copier and film manufacturing. Any Six Sigma quality enhancements on these obsolete products were a complete and utter waste of Billions of dollars. The goal, therefore, is to identify and embrace good innovations and abandon the obsolete.
    Six Sigma’s shortsighted methodology does not integrate this goal or the Uniformity-of-Profit Principle on which it stands. It contradicts it and destroys any chance of achieving it.
    Six Sigma’s consumer surveys and polls did not ask questions about the value of and need for digital imaging and computers. How could they? Such questions were about things that did not exist at that time –except perhaps in the mind of an innovator who was leaving the company looking for a more receptive employer.
    Innovative people all the way down to the lowest paid worker —unhampered by Six Sigma— continuously create these kinds of revolutionary innovations, and the demand by customers follows.
    When management accepts and commits to Six Sigma’s claims, it will fund those claims with prodigious amounts of Capital.
    In reality, one cannot claim that something (such as revolutionary innovations) can exist while denying and destroying the foundation upon which it rests. That would be committing the error identified by Ayn Rand as the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept.
    The fact remains that Six Sigma’s Quality enhanced copiers, film and phones cannot overcome the revolutionary breakthroughs that are putting Xerox, Kodak, Polaroid and Motorola out of business. Their “statistically enhanced” core-products are being superceded by such revolutionary innovations as computer scanners, email, electronic photography, digital imaging, color printers, computer networking and revolutionary phone designs.Continued…

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    #73236

    AnthonyShelley
    Participant

    Six Sigma’s Mission Impossible. (Part II)
    Excessive focus on Quality has diverted US Companies from Capitalism.
    After reading my posting on the Motley Fool MOT board, Immortaltrader summed it up very nicely:
     “…Rapidly evolving industries require forward thinking. . . innovation. . . creativity. Six Sigma leaves one dwelling on the past, trying to improve the manufacturing process on a product that is halfway to obsolete. Six Sigma is the fanatical religion of the number cruncher because it deals in that which is immediately quantifiable. There is no accounting practice for quantifying missed opportunities. One could almost perfect the manufacturing process on the ancient Commodore 64, but where is the market for it?” .
    Focusing on Quality is the problem, not the solution.
    GE’s management accepted –without challenge– that Six Sigma as the “most advanced and most profitable” quality process system in the world. They blindly accepted the claims because, like most businessmen, they do not understand the principles of laissez faire capitalism and are unable to refute the recommendations, practices and claims of Six Sigma.
    They accepted –without challenge– the claim that “Without Quality, your business cannot survive”.
    They accepted –without challenge– the claim that Six Sigma needs control and compliance and acceptance by their host. Any resistance encountered was (and still is) answered by Six Sigma advocates using tactics of intimidation and accusations. These can be paraphrased by the following: “You guys don’t like change and innovation, and your management and the way the company is run is the problem that we are here to fix”.
    And they accepted –without challenge– the claim of Six Sigma’s founders that defect and cost containment goals would increase profits.
    Conclusion.
    “So what?” you may be thinking. Why not just return to the previous practice of addressing these problems, without using Six Sigma?
    This compromise assumes that the innovative workers still have the capability to adapt, a capability that they had prior to accepting and practicing Six Sigma.
    But they don’t!
    Just as good money is driven out by bad, (Gresham’s Law) so good principles, good practices and good people (including good management) and the capabilities that come with them are driven out of the business by Six Sigma’s shortsighted methodology.
    These issues, and more, are precisely what Six Sigma’s methodology masks and obfuscates.
    Without proper goals, Xerox, Kodak, Polaroid, Motorola and GE cannot stay in business. Good intentions and Six Sigma methodology are not the solution, they are the problem.
    GE’s management lacks the certainty, the conviction and the proper understanding needed to decisively act and to reject its mistaken focus on quality. They lack the knowledge and insights presented in this article. And, they lack the integrated principles of laissez faire Capitalism, upon which that knowledge was based and grounded.
    Compromises were accepted and are perpetuated by bad management, and the compromises contradict everything that made these companies great in the first place.
    If these companies are to stand a chance of survival, Six Sigma must be rejected. GE’s management is unlikely to do that, in which case the responsibility for the decision rests on GE’s Board of Directors.
    Because of the recent Billion dollar loan just given to Xerox, and continued commitment to Six Sigma it is painfully apparent (at least to me) that action by the Board of Directors is needed. All the good people, including the management, have been driven out or had their thinking corrupted by Six Sigma.
    The study of Capitalism is the study of the production of wealth in a division of labor society.
    If you cannot refute a wrong idea, you can claim that you do not need to understand it. But without the proper understanding, your energies and resources will be constantly drained into futile lost causes and movements.
    An essential foundation to providing a proper understanding in Capitalism is the book Capitalism: A Treatise in Economics by George Reisman.
    Without a primary focus on Innovation and its causes, GE –the world’s bluest blue chip company– and GE Capital  are doomed to follow Motorola (and its ill-fated –and now bankrupt– Iridium project), Xerox, Kodak and Polaroid into bankruptcy.
    The article “Defect Methodologies Hamper Industries” addresses in more detail how and why Motorola’s Six Sigma and Andersen’s Method/1 are destroying both innovation and the division of labor at GE, Allied Signal, Texas Instruments and American Express respectively. The article provides the critical principles of laissez faire Capitalism necessary for businessmen to correct that problem and in doing so increase the productivity and profits necessary for their very survival.
    Sincerely,Anthony Shelley

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    #73238

    Sambuddha
    Member

    Six-Sigma is neither a panacea for every problem on the face of the planet, nor a substitute for sensible and sound management practice.
    In your case, I feel you were a victim of bad management. Off course the turn of events coincided with the introduction of Six Sigma programmes.
    But you might want to consider the fact that apparent correlation doesn’t necessarily prove causality.
    Best,
    Sambuddha

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    #73239

    AnthonyShelley
    Participant

    Innovative people leaving a company is the cause of a company’s decline. So what could possibly be the cause of innovative people leaving? Red tape and bureaucracy are real good reasons for a brain drain.
    And Six Sigma supplies both in copious quantities.

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    #73240

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    Anthony Shelley,
    I think I can speak for a majority of readers at this forum when I say that your presence is no longer needed.
    Anyone can be a naysayer…you have nothing to lose that you haven’t lost already. It takes a leader to change the beurocracy that you so vigilantly despise.
    Do you have what it takes? Try positive reinforcement…it goes a lot further.
    -Carol

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    #73241

    Sambuddha
    Member

    AnthonyShelley,
    You are right in your analysis. But again, a brain drain is better than a brain in the drain.
    In other words, wrong way of Six Sigma deployment must have caused a drain-like environment in the company. Don’t blame Six Sigma for it. Blame the way it was deployed.
    I would agree if you were talking about a case in particular (the state of SS deployment, as you find it in your company, or any case you have seen) and not necessarily a sweeping generalization about methodologies, that have been and can be used to achieve breakthroughs.
    My $0.02 worth.
     

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    #73243

    Anthony Shelley
    Participant

    Hopeless. You people cannot think in principles. You refuse to distinquish between focus on quality and the need for innovation.
    You will continue to build high quality, obsolete products and wonder why your company cannot compete and then you will whine for an import tax on competing products, just like the steel companies.

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    #73244

    AnthonyShelley
    Participant

     
    As for Carol, she eloquently demonstrates the lack of tolerance for competing ideas that is so typical of the Six Sigma mentality. While saying that my presence is no longer needed (a negative and attempted intimidation), she then has the audacity to imply that my views for returning a company to profitability amount to naysaying.

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    #73245

    Sambuddha
    Member

    Now that you have moved from discrediting Six Sigma, let’s look at your point : Innovation.
    Excessive focus on any one thing hurts. Not just quality. Let’s assume you turned your excessive focus tap on innovation.
    And you start making great products making the “aliens” jealous, only to find that it doesn’t work properly in the consumer’s home (without much focus on quality, i assume that might happen). What do you do? That is when you realise you are so ready for a good quality delivery process and a sound business model like what Six Sigma provides.
    By the way, one can very well innovate using the Voice of the Customer using a tool called QFD, and other ideation tools like Pugh Concept selection process, TRIZ etc. This is taught in Design for Six Sigma curriculum. Please get the training if you could… your ideas, i believe would change.
    I think a lot of your apprehensions will be cleared if you would study Six Sigma a little bit more – you are already helping yourself by participating in this discussion group. Keep your learning going!!!
     
     

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    #73248

    annonymous 2
    Participant

    I am about to enter the world of black belt and six sigma. This is discuss really help me to realize that I have to use the six sigma the way it was intented.
    1. Get senior management support before you start on your project. Anything else you are a green belt.
    2. Improvement are implemented and promoted only if your top management can deliver the support by taking away the roadblock. 
    As for your own career, it’s like entering any company. Does the envirnoment promote the success of your own career or of management level only. Six sigma is a tool. A tool you will learn how to use.
    Sounds like your company or management don’t need or want the tool. Well find a company that uses that tool correctly or pick up another tool to promote your career within that company. Maybe a golf lesson or art of kissing you know what. All I can say is that. Companies that don’t use the right tool in their company’s need will not last for long.
    Sorry that you were fooled by your managers. I do understand that feeling but don’t forget they probably didn’t know that this will happen just like yourself.

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    #73259

    Hal
    Participant

    Carol,
    I amy be a minority but you do not speak for me.
    I do not agree with Mr Shelly, but all of us experience anti six sigma views in our work.  To hear these arguments here, and especially the counterarguments is useful.
    I do agree that some more positive postings would be desirable
    Hal
     

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    #73272

    Marc Richardson
    Participant

    Anthony,
    Interesting post. There is a simple concept, taught to me in my Six Sigma Black Belt training course:
     
    Efficiency, doing things right
    Effectiveness, do the right things
     
    There is a trade-off. If you choose to focus exclusively on innovation, as you appear to be advocating, you will never learn how to produce the item at a cost the customer is willing to pay. If you focus exclusively on efficiency, of which you seem to be accusing the six sigma community, you will loose your distinctiveness in the marketplace as your product tends to become a commodity. Personally, I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. It should be a both/and proposition.
     
    As for the sharks, they are circulating in the murky depths of any business. In my estimation this is more a function of the nature of some humans, not a particular side effect of six sigma.
     
    I for one value the spirited discussion, as long as people don’t start taking and delivering it personally.
     
    Marc Richardson
    Sr. Q.A. Engineer

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    #73274

    Quint Rahaman
    Participant

    Often it is necessary to come up for a breath of fresh air when mired in the day-to-day mechanations of one’s job.  Most of the time it is beneficial since it depicts a different perspective that either introduces new information that re-affirms what one already believes or that challenges it, and perhaps even changes one’s beliefs.  Not that I agree with everything that Anthony Shelley has written in the two postings, “Six Sigma’s Mission Impossible, Parts I & II”, but he absolutely has the right to, as they say, “throw down the challenge” to defend the methodology.  In the Six Sigma Handbook, by Thomas Pyzdek, on page 19, he writes, “If care isn’t taken, the end result of Six Sigma can be an organization which is unable to grow and adapt to a changing environment.”–the spirit of which is captured in Anthony Shelley’s posts as well as Marc Richardson’s.
    This is my first post at this forum.  Why am I here?  Well, I am trying to decide, given the present environment within the company that I work for, whether I should try to fully engage the Finance function with the Six Sigma methodology, pilot it, or put it aside.  I hesitate, although and because I have only started my homework on this tool, since there exists pre-requisites for which most cannot be met at my company at this time.
    Being critical is essential to progress and unfortunately I have not spent enough time investigating Six Sigma nor Reisman’s economics “encyclopedia” to be critical.  And in keeping with the spirit of investigation, Anthony can you forward the “Defect Methodologies Hamper Industries” article to me?
    This thread has great potential.  I hope folks continue to engage.
    Quint Rahaman
     
     

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    #73275

    Sambuddha
    Member

    ” Personally, I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. It should be a both/and proposition.” – Marc Richardson
    Marc, that was rightly pointed out by you. You did the job of a moderator. Thank you.
    It is true that sometimes when we debate (without moderation) we get defensive about the positions we support. That brings out partial and unbalanced truths, which (some what in a circular manner) if not restated correctly could mislead many participants of this forum, who might just be stepping into the world of Six Sigma and best practices. They should not form adverse/wrong opinions because of the imperfect knowledge/notion/picture that we deliver to them. In other words those of us who want to share ideas and knowledge should also bear the responsibility of sharing objective opinions and not necessarily paradigmatic opinions. Hence the debate is necessary and justified (as long as we do not start a fight, to your point)
    I enjoyed this thread thoroughly, because, I also felt in similar lines of Anthony, years ago, when I thought Six Sigma was only statistical tolerancing that Reigle Stewart was teaching me.How could it serve as a breakthrough strategy?  After that I went through the whole gamut of DFSS and SS. With time and effort and understanding, that ” perception” changed for me….. lending me a wider philosophical approach to this topic.
    Cheers,
    Sambuddha

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    #73279

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Alsoanon,
    I think Chris did a great point by point analysis. another side to this is if you feel the management is behaving so dishonorably why would you choose to continue to work with them?
    A second point. Sales and the economy have been in a down turn (not news to anyone I hope). The RFQ rate has quadrupled in the last month. The momentun is shifting. The good part is the company has invested in you and made you very marketable if you can stop focusing on the blame and waiting for the sky to fall. I would have been looking a long time ago just to get away from the management you evidently do not trust.
    It is the job of the consultants to work with your management to get them on board. If they don’t move then somebody should be kicking them in the butt – management, champions and the consultants. If your consultants are not engaged then you are experiencing what a lot of people are seeing when they decide to get certified and the company has not bought into the process.
    Do not feel bad about banging on the consulting company. There was that Ali like quote back in the 90’s “we charge a million per billion.” You figure out whatthey got paid – it buys you some rights to push back.
     

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    #73290

    Ted
    Member

    While I echo some of the other responses regarding management fault, I can’t help but reflect on a couple of failed Black Belt candidates I have known. They failed because they were unenthused, and it showed in their level of commitment, and their results.
    I would not recommend Six Sigma or Lean to anyone either). (If they were not devoted to the concepts) 
    I may be just a rooky black belt, and without some of the years and years of long experience of the some of the other folks who post here, but for me, I have never found anything in my life as rewarding as working Kaizens, Lean Initiatives, and 6 Sigma projects.  What could be more rewarding than effective real change?
    Ted

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    #73298

    Anthony Shelley
    Participant

     
    As to the request for posting of my article “Defect Methodologies Hamper Industry”, use Google and key in the search words Six Sigma Problems. I hesitate to post a link, even though it is requested by some, because that post was deleted by this site. It was no different from this post, other than the link.Anthony Shelley

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    #73345

    J. W.
    Participant

    Anthony,
    let me see if I have you pegged correctly.
    your a student.
    you wish you understood Six Sigma.
    I  have worked with very innovative folks in a Six Sigma company.  Innovativeness without discipline is chaos.  Six Sigma allows my design engineers to introduce new products at a high quality and lower cost.  And because Six Sigma stresses understanding manufacturing capability it makes design engineers out of stagnent process engineers! They all understand how poor process capabililty hurts my company and worked to increase it.  true six sigma is more (and separate) than management spring boards to success.  it is understanding process capability and being innovative in designing to it or improving it!!!!
    your rants and articles are well thought out…but are meaningless and lacking data for me and my successful Six Sigma company.
    Jack
     
     

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    #73349

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Anthony,
    You chose to single out Carol for lack of tolerance. You might want to review your own comments for lack of tolerance.
    As far as staying or going Personally I really could care less. You have made an extreme effort to come across as the epitome of intellectualism. Not even close. You come across as naive, pretentious and condescending. It costs you any semblance of credibility.
    You write as if you know the decision makes at GE. I doubt that. You write as if you understand economics better than the GE staff. I doubt that. Let’s try the acid test. For the price of one share of stock you can attend the shareholders meeting and you are allowed to stand up and warn them of the folly of their ways and if they will follow you, you will show them the path to financial and economic enlightenment? You have attended which shareholders meeting?
    You equate SS to the problems at Motorola. SS didn’t have any part in the decision to stick with analog phones or launching 60+ satalites.
    Xerox. I bid Xerox in 97. The management team on that bid was so arrogant about being offered the opportunity to deliver SixSigma to them it would not have made any difference who delivered it or what they delivered. These guys were completely capable of screwing up anything.
    You obviously have no experience with Six Sigma and you article proves it. By the way there is no such thing as Six Sigma accounting. It is interesting that you put so much effort into convincing people how intellectually enlightened you are and you actually confirmed your ignorance. You can continue to defend this dribble with your arogance but in fact you will only confirm your stupidity.
    Where is Stan when you need him?

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    #73428

    RR Kunes
    Member

    You are looking very narrowly (understanably) at your situation. You are now more promotable than you were 1.5 years ago. It sounds as if the company you are with is experiencing problems. It also sounds like they did not properly grasp what six sigma can do for them.
    This is not the fault of you but ofthose consultants that led you there. You can frequently read message from people claiming to be consultants on this page. Obviously since they have nothing better to do than respond to messages here they are not very good consultants.
    If you look at the job ads, six sigma will get you a better job abd more income. If it is not happening with you were you are move on!
     

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    #73429

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    C’mon RR,
    You can’t be serious when you say “Obviously since they have nothing better to do than respond to messages here they are not very good consultants.”
    Let’s look at some reasons why a consultant might post replies to this discussion board:

    Love Quality; just can’t get enough of it
    On off-week; not deploying or instructing anywhere (see 1. above)
    Visit often to read latest questions, industry information
    Interested in helping others; a true altruistic nature (regardless of whether it makes them money or not)
    Interested in expanding their knowledge, thought process, etc.
    I’m sure I could think of a few more if I spent more time. I appreciate your comments…that doesn’t mean that you’re not valued at your business — you make the time to post your thoughts here also.
    –Carol

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    #73432

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Carol,
    Thanks for the defense. I really don’t worry much about the comments.
    I do this site a lot because I have been writing a lot over the last year and it keeps me in touch. I don’t mind helping either.

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    #73438

    alsoanon
    Participant

    Six Sigma was instituted here because the CEO decreed it, and it has not been embraced by the Managers. Most of them refused to attend the classes for their training, too busy. This a well respected Automotive supplier and HVAC controls Company with a rising stock price. The first group of BB’s was trained bt the Six Sigma Academey. They were tossed out to “save money” and the training is now internal. We have no Green Belts to save money. I’ve never had more than 20 minutes face time with a process owner on any project. Since the inception of this program, our accountability has change from completed projects, to 3 projects per year, to 4 projects per year, to 4 projects per year with $600,000 savings. The entire thrust of our management structure is to keep a data base of dates corecct and up to date.
    If I report data in the simplest terms I’m criticized about speaking “above” my audience. See the management dedication to training in paragraph 1.
    Yes, I should leave and probably will, but I would have never been faced with such a dillema if the program had not been bastardized. If these skills were “marketable” locally I’d be gone today. This situation is a direct result of accepting ths BB assignment.
    If you are considering becoming a Black Belt, do it with a ccompany that uses former BBs for leadership, with Mangers who understand the value of statistical based decision making rather than “do it now’, and can show you how a two year stint can enhance your career rather with examples rather than concepts. Mangement should also understand the impact of rolled throughput yield and process capability as an integral part of productivity, rather than short term focus on “optimistic” savings by the end of the month. The latter challenges my integrity daily, because we have no financial indicators that track the “big picture”. Also, please make sure there is “unit cohesion ” among your potential peers.
    If you can’t insure the above you may end up living a lie like I do daily.
    Happy Spring
     
     
     

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    #73439

    John Beemster
    Participant

    Hold on a second…
    You are working in a very difficult situation right now, and many of this site’s frequent members and readers will most definately feel your pain, because they have all been in similar situations.  I, myself have had to deal with the same issues as you are dealing with right now.  And, everyone will state that, in order for Six Sigma, or any other change management methodology that requires a company to embark on a path that stretches beyond “business as usual”, to be deployed successfully, top-down management commitment must be in place. 
    For change to occur, management must essentially make it “uncomfortable” for leaders throughout their organization to continue to embrace the old ways of doing business.  GE, for instance, claims to have had 40% of their stock option awards linked to Six Sigma, and all promotions linked to Black Belt training.  Now that’s management committment!
    Your situation seems to fall victim to this obstacle.  Your company is successful without Six Sigma, so there is no true reason to change from the norm.  Your stock price is climbing, so leaders only see the deployment of Six Sigma as merely a program that will drain resources.
    As a change manager, your responsibility is to guide senior leaders towards the light.  Part time Six Sigma professionals dealing with low-hanging fruit won’t cut it–that is only a means of placading those who are truly inspired by the power of the methodology.  If you are in a position of influence at the executive level, I suggest your first step is to address the committment (or lack thereof) and build a plan for properly shifting everyone towards adopting the methodology.  If this is an impossible task, then I’d suggest peddling your resume. 

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    #73440

    Opey
    Participant

    I too am “coaching up” SS in my organization.  I am a lowly engineer with no official influence or authority, and though I understand driving change is a responsibility, I can’t help but think that I am doing our GM’s job…at a fraction of his salary.
    My thoughts are; this is really hard work.  I fear that if I succeed, it won’t be worth the effort.  A Pyrrhic victory.  Should I stay or should I go?

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    #73442

    Beemster
    Participant

    It sound to me, Opey, that you recognize both the opportunity and the danger associated with being the torchbearer.  However, I suggest you view your situation at a more strategic level.  While your “official” degree of control is limited by your job title and relative position within your organization, your degree of influence is not.  Make an assessment of your degree of influence with your senior staff (i.e. level of professional credibility, number of successful interventions, etc) and use that influence to your advantage.  You can’t push this rock on your own, and handing out Six Sigma balloons in your company parking lot, for instance, will not forge the change you desire.
    Your executive leadership team consists of human beings who can still think logically about change when given the right information.  They are the only ones whose level of control can drive the organization from one way of doing business to another.  Try not to look at it as you doing their job–look at it as you setting them up to pave the road so you can be more successful.  Let them get the credit for creating an atmosphere for Six Sigma to thrive.  As one of their first foot soldiers, you will be rewarded in kind.

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    #73445

    Chris Young
    Participant

    This is an interesting stream of thought from all participants.  As an objective observer of industry, I have seen Six Sigma in action…crossing businesses and business functions with great success, and with shameful failure.
    Each organization makes the decision up front as to whether or not Six Sigma will work for their company by deciding their level of commitment.  Six Sigma is a toolbox that can provide the quality measurements AND the innovative necessities for a successful business…it matters not which school of economic thought you follow.  If you decide to be a world-class athlete, but can only devote 10% of your time, effort, and funding toward that goal, chances are that you will end up as a half-baked weekend warrior in the sport.  The same applies to Six Sigma…and anything else in life for that matter.
    By the by…I am an Executive Recruiter (for those of you who know me and are chuckling at this reply!).  I assisted in putting together the Six Sigma rollout teams for some of the most successful organizations in the world.  If you are really that unhappy with your present position, then you need to get in touch with me…immediately. 
    Balance is the key to happiness…
     
    Thanks to all,
    Chris

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    #73446

    Opey
    Participant

    Chris,
    Whether I chose to stay or go in the end, I’d like to expand my options.  Let’s see what you have.  E-mail?  How are contacts made on this board, while keeping contact info somewhat secure?
    Opey

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    #73449

    alsoanon
    Participant

    After spending 60-80 hours a week on my first years projects, and having ZERO support from my process owner, I had to go listen to our VP congradulate all of the Process Owners and also mention the need to substantially reward THEM! They didn’t do squat. The projects were very successful, ending 8 years of processing nightmares, and I was rewarded with a Low performing rating because I only had 3 projects completed intead of 4. The 4th projects report sat on the MBB’s desk for the last7 weeks before year end. The reality is management feathers each other’s nest at the BB’s expense. If you wait for good things to happen to you in industry today, you are deluded. My point is, don’t enter this program unless you have PROOF management, especially process owners, are engaged and talented. The road to (career) hell is paved with good intentions.
    The Black Belt position isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.
     

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    #73450

    ShaftedBB
    Member

    AMEN!!!  I get so sick of the same canned posts on here about everyone’s own little sermon on  how great Six Sigma is.  The reality is that the vast majority (yes, well over 50%) of companies that go SS, have no idea what they are doing and little commitment.  At my last employer (last because I was a BB), they realized that in order to meet the $1M savings./ yr that the CEO sold the stockholders, they needed to eliminate a BB.  Minus 1 BB = minus $1M off the quota.  My “promotion” lasted a total of 8 months, including a training project due to return a hard $200k/yr over 5 years, with capital expense of $180k.  Since I was new with the company it was a case of LIFO when it came time to trim the BB ranks.  The BB that trained with me had just completed his training project when I was RIF’ed.  What was his training project??  Justifying a capital expense upgrade of a plating line that was completed 3 months before his training started.  The bitterness that is often seen on this site is from the BB’s who got a real dose of SS reality

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    #73451

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    Reposted to the end of the thread for everyone’s enjoyment
     
    I know what you mean.  We put 6S in our plant 5 months ago with the goal of certifying 3 BBs by April of this year.  Two part time ones, and one full time one.  There are no saving realized but some soft savings on their inital certifications.  When you ask them what the goal is they tell its Ceritfication so they can train green belts.  Its a joke here to us who understand lean and waste.  Yes I wan’t selected to become a BB and it hurt a little.  But after reading many threads I say “Thanks God I wasn’t choosen”  We wonder why Enrons happen, was there 6S involved?  Why does management try to fool the people who see through the game, that nothing has been saved? 
    So I’m taking the high road, I am supporting the BB candidates and their foolish lying games and enjoying know they know I see through it all. And if I  complaine I’ll get fired because the champion (the plant manager) is the head comedian in this show.
    But like Enron, our bottom line will show a not a true story.   If he can’t lie about it by number malnipulation he’ll steal saved dollars from the rest of us and report it as a 6S achievement on end of the years reports we don’t see…what else can he do if 6S isn’t going to give him any $s? 
    So as I live in a state that has little manufacturing don’t any of you experts tell me its time to quit and move unless you’re putting up the front money for me until i relocate.  We are saving dollars here, the business is successful and sound, lean and 5S work well.  Its just how savings are going to be reported.  LIES..6S is all lies as far as this man can see, our bottom line will be nagatively effected by the cost of 6S training not the opposite.

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    #73452

    O’Connell
    Participant

    Give us an example, Jack.
    What kind of lies is six sigma generating? What is being done differently that you didn’t see with Lean and 5S? It all sounds like rhetoric…let’s get some specificity (and data) around it.
    Brian

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    #73454

    Jack Welch
    Participant

    The lies I see are in my management.  No real savings are seen, its all soft.  If its soft it doesn’t exist.  I sure don’t want my paycheck in soft dollars or based on soft saving profits maybe you big time BB do, but then again I work for a living.  
    And like I said, were doing ok in our business..being saved by lean and 5S opportrunties taken, but 6S is becoming an face-saving problem…we got a nice soft return on our investments to show the stakeholders..whoopie.

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    #73455

    Chris Young
    Participant

    To Opey and all others…
    I can always be reached on my private e-mail address at:
    @aol.com">DMAICsixsigma@aol.com
    I can contact you directly, or send you my contact info so that we can speak at your leisure.  Feel free to reach me as I am always interested in speaking with Six Sigma professionals.
    Normally, however, I would not appraoch anyone on this site about such opportunities, as I prefer to see this kept as an open forum for the exchange of ideas and quality issues.  Those of you who know me, please forgive this intrusion.
    Regards,
    Chris

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    #73461

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Three previous comments,
    You seem to have bad management and SS mixed. Judging from your description thse people have probably done this type of thing with every type of program they have ever done. The issue is bad management not SS. If it were inherently bad it would not have worked anywhere.
    Regardless of how you feel about SS you have seen the way your management behaves. Why would you want to stay? If your ethics are for sale for the price of relocation, well …
    Chris made a straight up offer. I’d take it. A decent offer should cover relo. Remember it is taxable so get it plussed up.
    Good luck.

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    #73462

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Chris,
    I don’t think it is an intrusion. I think you offered a solution. No different than answering any other question. Thanks.
     

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    #73473

    Chris Young
    Participant

    Mike,
    Thank you for the validating comments.  They are much appreciated.
    I must advise everyone though, that I am only interested in working with those people who wish to rise to the top via extreme commitment and dedication.  If there is no fit for you within your current culture because they do not embrace Six Sigma, that is one thing…but if you cannot overcome the obstacles that stand in your way with them…how will you fare elsewhere?
    Just some thoughts…
    Chris

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    #73475

    alsoanaon
    Participant

    Hey dude, I can overcome obstacles, but Vice Presidents are a tall-order for a lowly BB. He won’t catch any heat because of the “dreamy” cost savings figures he is generating.

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    #73482

    Tim Johnson
    Member

    Look at reality…Six Sigma did not cause you to lose your job you did.  You are a low performer that makes up tons of excuses.  You don’t even possess the personal attributes of a Six Sigma BB or a leader.

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    #73485

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Your post is one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever read. Many people experience lack of management support and even “push back”. To say that a low success rate is entirely the fault of any black belt without having any additional information silly.I have been involved in Six Sigma for several years now. Some projects have been successful and some have been complete failures. Typically, the failures are the result of either not identifying the significant issues or of not effectively executing the changes.Most blackbelts do not have the position power to force the issue and make people change when they are against the improvements (in spite of the data).It would appear that you have had more support from management than some and as such you should consider yourself lucky. Beyond that, you may want to try walking in someones shoes who has had more of a challenge before you arbitrarily assign blame.

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    #73486

    Tim Johnson
    Member

    First of all, I have walked in his/her (alsoanaon) shoes.  I am a lowly BB that has worked in an environment which did not support Six Sigma and one that does.   I have faced challenges from management and production associates on the integrity of Six Sigma, but I have not been swayed in my convictions.  The reason…when done right it produces results.  I reluctantly got involved with SS when I was forced into training and assigned a project to lead.  The project was a complete success and I learned to let the data drive the project.  Since then, I have experienced successes and failures but I am not crying “to hell with SS”.  Black Belts should truly be leaders/change-agents that have a passion for solving problems.  Leaders have vision…they do not cower at adversity, they make away.  If your company does not support it so what!!!  Multiple job posting appear on this site each day.  If you have the skill, passion, and knowledge…why cry, move on.

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    #73502

    Greg M.
    Participant

    Hello Ron!  If in fact this is the same Ron Kunes that I went thru training with in Chicago?  Hope all is going well for you as a MBB!  I have had many opportunities since then and have moved on.  How are you?
     

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    #73520

    W.E. Demming
    Member

    Guys, you’re not going to let this thread die are you?
    W.

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    #73523

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Tim,
    It is fairly easy to see the difference between you and some of the people who are becoming professional victims. When we stsarted doing the stats stuff in the early 80’s at Motorola we still had a bunch of the old crew that had survived the first Deming onslaught. We had to listen to the crap but kept at it because it was the right thing to do. As the stats thing gained momentum the old guard had to step aside. We won because we didn’t play victim. We produced results. When push comes to shove it is business and results is what makes the difference. If you are toe to toe with someone, you have data and they do not, you win. It is very rare that someone will knowingly make a wrong decision when they know someone has data and somewhere down the road it can come back to haunt them.
    (For other than Chris)
    The other issue is lack of support. First we didn’t have Champions. The SS thing has been set up with Champions to keep BB focused on the project and use the Champion as a Road Block Buster. If they aren’t doing the job get them removed. If you can’t get them removed you are working in the wrong place. See Chris from the previous post. You might want to read his other post about lack of success here why would you think it will change in another spot.
    The other side is with or without a champion if you have data stop waiting for permission. Fix it, change it, or whatever needs to be done. If you tip toe around asking permission to do your job you have created your own environment for failure.
    Just try taking responsibility for your own lives.

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    #73524

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Tim,
    The second part read (other than Chris) it should have been (other than Tim). Sorry.

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