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Why do we need Six Sigma?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Why do we need Six Sigma?

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  • #38724

    Marshall
    Participant

    I am puting together some high-level training for a new division of my company that isn’t familar with Six Sigma.  One of the topics I need to cover is why we need Six Sigma (the discipline, not the measurement).
    Since I have been in a company and always worked with business partners who knew this answer I never had to vocalize it so I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around what to convey.  Any thoughts?

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    #116355

    Solo
    Member

    M,
    Perhaps you should post your answer to this question first, and then maybe forum members could help you expand on it…
    -Solo

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    #116356

    Marshall
    Participant

    Solo,
    You really are expecting me to think?  I was hoping others would do it for me.
    Here are three things I have thought of:
    1.  It ensures that you are producing and delivering what your customer wants.
    2.  It is a management discipline that gives tools for success.
    3.  It eliminates the hidden factory.
    Any help here would be appreciated.

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    #116360

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Hi Mashall,
    You might be wasting your time convincing them to want it – if you identify the elements of the methodology can you not, as a working session, get them to vocally discuss element by element why they don’t want it – they’ll typically convince themselves that they do need it !
    Regards,
    Adam

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    #116364

    Solo
    Member

    M,
    That sounds like a good start…
    Perhaps you could present specific examples of these three points as they relate to this new division.  How process improvements, through variation reduction and moving the mean will impact the customers of this division (internal/external).  Which tools this division is most likely to use (SPC, DOE, Gage R&R, Lean Tools, Etc.).  Also, don’t forget COPQ and the financial impact of Six Sigma! 
    The most important thing is to remember your audience, and explain how Six Sigma can help in their business function whether it is production, research and development, a customer service center or whatever…
    -Solo

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    #116366

    FTSBB
    Participant

    Regardless of level, I’ve found dollars are always a good topic for introducing any methodology.  Can you give them specific examples of past six sigma projects that has a dramatic improvement on the bottom line?  If so, that should at least give you a fighting chance.

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    #116367

    Wolf
    Member

    Simply stated:
    We don’t need six sigma

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    #116435

    Ritz
    Member

    Marshall,
    I would recommend taking a look at the new division’s cost structure and P&L.  The Academy used to state that, in an average company, ~20% of ROS is spent on rework.  While I never saw any numbers justifying that statement, personal experience has shown me they probably had it close to accurate.
    In most industries, margin compression and the need to seek new sources of competitive advantage can emphasize the strategic importance of disciplines like 6-Sigma.  Among other things, it delivers bottom line value, and a better customer experience if used correctly.  Once demonstrated, you need to translate that strategic importance into practical knowledge and experience.  That will make it real for your audience.
    With companies new to 6-Sigma, it is often very important to demonstrate how 6-Sigma complements current company initiatives rather than replacing them.  It helps ease the transition to change when you get people bought into the fact that you are not bringing the “latest and greatest ways of doing business” but instead are offering a nicely packaged and disciplined approach to solving business problems. Often, people are following some semblance of DMAIC but lack certain components (such as the statistical analysis or control components).  When they see DMAIC, resistors are commonly heard stating “it’s nothing new.”  This helps them rationalize their natural resistance to change, while covering their lack of discipline in process.  If you can, pull clear examples from their business that demonstrate the waste that occurs in daily operations.  The simpler the examples, the better the impact….just be careful not to get too simplistic or they’ll not see the value.  It’s the modern art debate:  “Anyone could have slapped some paint on paper and called it art”.  Fact is, they didn’t and the artist is cashing-in.
    Anyway, I’m rambling now.  Find the strategic importance of process discipline, translate it into real examples, and you have the answer to your question.
    Good Luck.
    Ritz

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    #116437

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Marshall,
    This seems like a backwards situation. That may be why you are having trouble wrapping your brain around it. You have the answer to a question no ones asked yet. There is the distinct possibility that when tell them why they need it you will be doing what we call “Telling them they have an ugly baby” and that never plays well.
    Why would you sell the idea of Six Sigma to a group that doesn’t know there is an issue? Why would you know there is an issue that your management isn’t aware of? That can be an entirely different issue.
    In most of our deployments it begins with management articulating a “Burning Platform.” Six Sigma is typically one of several possible solutions. The viability of Six Sigma is generally a function of the level of maturity of the organization i.e. if it is currently a 1 sigma company then the Six Sigma process will end up with a lot of projects being resolved in the Measure Phase with a process map or someone turning on the lights in the room. You will frustrate your belts and the organization will believe you wasted the training money.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.
     

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