What is the role of Six Sigma in Managed services model?

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    Our company had undergone major M&A and it has entered into managed services model with the vendors. The leaders of the organisation feel that Six Sigma team do not add any value as the managed services provider will take care of the Six Sigma initiatives and deliver year over year savings. Leaders also feel that we don’t need to worry about how they are implementing the CI initiatives. Just because they have implemeneted managed services contract with vendors, don’t we need Six Sigma professionals in the organisation? Can someone let me know how Six Sigma professionals help/augment the managed services contract and add value to their organisation?




    Nat –
    You have a problem with your management that is typical of outsourced IT managed services. I’ve seen this for 10 years at various companies, it’s the black box syndrome. They think that once they have a “managed service” there’s nothing more that need be done. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that managed services need to be actively managed by the company receiving the service. That includes on-going continual improvement initiatives. Managed services are no panacea and can be a disaster if the service provider is left on their own with no oversight.

    You need to convince your management that SS work and CI initiatives will continue to deliver an ROI. I don’t know what your company culture is like – this could be a tough row to hoe.


    Nat I agree with RJ! Listen to him!



    When I was a CMM/CMMI lead appraiser I often found that companies who used service providers missed a critical point that appears in several key process areas. For instance, we expect quality assurance to coordinate activities with the service provider’s QA department. A service provider is not merely a supplier. The problem I often saw was that coordination provisions were omitted from the contract. In short, we measure how well they are meeting the service level agreement but we don’t care how they do it. That’s a recipe for failure.



    Look at it this way – if you don’t apply CI, your managed services firm is going to continue to charge you the same year after year. You will not eliminate waste, nor streamline processes so that their services being provided are more effective/efficient. While you will be contracting for a service, you will be contracting for more effort (and believe me, they will bill you appropriately) than is necessary.

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