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Value of six sigma/black belt myth (?)

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  • #51558

    Ward
    Participant

    Maybe someone can help me with this, since I have no idea where I might be able to look this information up, nor  how I would be able to defend my position…
    I recently submitted a request for Black Belt training at my company, and the request was denied. The reason for denying the request was that, ‘Companies that implement Six Sigma practices tend to lose money, or fail…’
    Now, I do not have certification, but have green belt training from Honeywell, and I found that almost everything I worked on that was tied to my Six Sigma (DMAIC) training produced positive results with regard to the bottom line of my company, especially yield improvement.
    Is there somewhere I might be able to read on the performance of companies that subscribe to Six Sigma practices? My main thought on the ‘failure’ opinion is that companies that fail in Six Sigma efforts tend to not have management backing/buy-in…
    Anyway, advice/opinion is appreciated.
     
    Thanks.

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    #178999

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    Boy…that request denial response would lead me to wonder whether you are working for the right company.
    I can just as easily say that companies that DO NOT implement Six Sigma practices tend to lose money, or fail.  Or…companies that employee people require oxygen to breathe tend to lose money, or fial.
    I would be interested to see a credible survey of Six Sigma companies vs. non-Six Sigma companies, but I’m not aware of one.  That would be hard to do…considering all the variables.  You’re right, though, Six Sigma isn’t a reason for failure…but poor Six Sigma deployment can be a contributor to failure.
    If I were you, and I didn’t have the option to up and quit my current job, I would attempt to justify (or pay for) my blackbelt training with greenbelt project results.  If you can do that, and your company still denies you…use those results to beef up your resume and I bet you won’t have a lot of trouble finding a job with a “successful” Six Sigma company.
    Just my opinion.

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    #179005

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Pete,
    Companies that do Six Sigma also tend to do accounting, companies that do Six Sigma tend to employ people, etc. There is a big difference between cause and effect. There no single piece of evidence that shows where Six Sigma has caused a company to lose money. Somebody doesn’t want to change.
    I am with Hornjm. You are probably working in a place that has more problems than just turning down your request. You might consider listening to the comedian Ron White before you discuss this with them particularly his CD “You Can’t Fix Stupid.” it probably won’t help your case but it will be more fun.
    Just my opinion.

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    #179008

    Nolan
    Participant

    Pete, this may be an interesting string even though you’ve mixed apples and oranges throughout your post.
    Companies succeed or fail based on their ability to offer products or services to markets that want them AND their cost basis for doing so is less than their revenues. Period.
    Can SS improve margins – yes. Can SS create markets that don’t exist – no. Can SS help bring into focus the demands of a market – yes. Can SS help poorly aligned products/services sell – no.
    Guess I’m trying to say SS cannot make a company succeed or fail; it’s a contributory skill set just as any other skill set is. And they are all needed.

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    #179018

    Kluttz
    Member

    The myth of Six Sigma inadequacy has been mostly promulgated by Charles Holland.  He did a study of 58 “large” companies and found that the stock performance of 50+ of them lagged the S&P after six sigma implementation. 
    A few points on his study;
    1. Charles Holland is the CEO of QualPro, a consulting company that pimps MVT, a competing methodology of Six Sigma (which is not entirely accurate since I’ve done many Six Sigma projects where Ive used MVT).  He clearly has ulterior motives to disparage Six Sigma
    2. He doesn’t say how he selected the 58 companies to review.  However, cherry-picking is a possibility since about 2/3rds of the Fortune 500 have some sort of Six Sigma program at some level.  If you’re going to do a valid study, at least show your work and talk about how you sampled from your population. 
    3.  Companies that decide to implement Six Sigma tend to do so because they’re business is underperforming.  Therefore, I’d guess that a large majority of companies that start a program are already underperforming the S&P.  So a company’s stock price could be -20% the year before they implemented Six Sigma, +5% the year after implementation and still trail the S&P.  That doesn’t mean the program didn’t work.  I can play ‘Fun with Numbers’ too.
    Look, I’m not an apologist for Six Sigma.  I’ve seen as many bad deployments as I’ve seen good ones.  And as many bad Black Belts as I’ve seen good ones.  But blaming Six Sigma for a lack of process improvement is like blaming a hammer when your house collapses – it’s the carpenter, not the tool. 
     

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    #179043

    Ward
    Participant

    Thank you all for your responses to my question.
    I realize that it was vague, and (maybe) mixing apples and oranges, but I was so dumbfounded by the explanation I was given that I needed to get it out of my system.
    I also realize that going to a Six Sigma page, and asking if Six Sigma is good is like going to Vegas and asking if gambling is a healthy habit…
    Regardless, I appreciate your time in expressing your opinions.

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    #179047

    Raghunandan Reddy
    Participant

    Pete,
    As a start, read the book “Quality Conspiracy”.
     
     

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