SME's in services - not that essential broadly speaking, although some aspects of it can be relevant however those components of it can be gotten from other simpler and more straight forward efficiency driving models. For larger manufacturing or service organizations then in my opinion much benefit to be gained and better ROI. Having said that if I was a LSS specialist I'd see ways of applying parts of it in any business.
Six sigma does not work for call centers! Just an updated version of system selling with a few more whistle and buzzers.
It all depends. It can be used to create a strong culture of continuos service improvement which can help drive the company to new heights.
It can be used to make significant improvements on a particular service or project.
However, it can also be a complete diversion if its not done well, and cause more inefficiencies that it solves
Its all down to implementation
Hope this helps
Its dependent on creating a culture of six sigma. Being able to measure everything across the board. Having one person is good, but having everyone at the office knowing what it is and living it is the difference maker.
Six Sigma is a nice buzz word, it can be used in part or as a complete entity and it’s all at your discretion. The principle is life changing and in most cases it only applies to manufacturing were in my opinion it’s essential because of the impact on your reputation and on the bottom line implicitly for the cost of Non-Quality. The Quality of your product is in the eye of your client, Halloween costume is an only time deal but most other products are not. What happens with your image if a kid chokes on your product and no action to prevent this was put in place? How much can you save in labor and materials if you improve the quality of you final product and you client accepts 2 times more units? Cost of non-quality also include, warranties, returns, lost clients, lawsuits, time spend fixing all this issues etc.
For business's outside the fortune 1000 group it is not needed. Having all your business processes documented and reviewed is very important regardless of the size of the business.
I have to respectfully disagree with most of the responses to your question. My firm's core service is Six Sigma consulting and while it's true some consulting firms make the application rigid for an experienced Six Sigma consultant it really shouldn't be. What Six Sigma needs is metrics and if you don't have that, Six Sigma can help create a process to obtain them. While it will necessitate some upfront investment it is not cost prohibitive. It also is not a methodology reserved solely for Fortune 500 companies. Six Sigma is a methodology and as such certain aspects can be applied for every situation. The key is that like all solutions one size does not fit all. Before you ask how essential it is, I would ask what do you want to achieve?
I think as all the people who answered many people do not give much weight to Six Sigma. This is a fine attitude for your question is it worth it to you to employ individuals who are certified (adept does not fly), most of us will say no we dont want to pay extra for such a certification. However, as you will soon be a job seeker there may well be companies who will not consider you if you do not have it. For that reason if you can get the training paid for as part of your military service, I would do it in a heart beat (nobody will hold it against you).
Maybe you cant get it paid for but currently have the time; that is a bit tougher to answer. As you transition and need to get people to grasp that you were responsible for pieces of equipment worth millions and millions of dollars and they dont know what that means in civilian terms, designations like Six Sigma can help them because they know what it means (it fits a check box). I work with many people in transition and though I would like to say your experience matters, designations can really help.
Whether it is 6 Sigma or another approach to quality management, yes, it is worth it to hav someone who knows how to get your peoople involved. I don't know how large your group is, but there are many adaptations that truly get results.
Six-Sigma isn't "essential" at all. Period. In fact, while companies can benefit from improvements in quality of both processes and products, trying to improve everything simply because it CAN be improved is costly in terms of time, energy and money. In fact, it can be damaging to morale to work on improvement time after time and see little or no improvement to the company's bottom-line.
Six Sigma, if applied, should be applied in conjunction with an approach such as ToC (Theory of Constraints), which can help you and your management team discover WHAT needs to improve and set priorities based on the amount of improvement in THROUGHPUT (i.e., revenues less truly variable costs) compared to changes in OPERATING EXPENSES and INVESTMENT (if any) required to effect the proposed changes.
The last thing any company should want to do is spend time, energy and money on "Improvements" that do not have a relatively immediate impact on improved cash-flow and profitability.
First, Mr. Shepherd, Thanks and salutations to you for what you are or have done for our nation. You must be transitioning through a difficult time trying to get back into the mainstream of the US economy. Wishing you the best.
When everything works, one is likely to assume that they don't need anything else. When nothing works, one feels that they would need anything to make it work.
A Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioner is likely to say LSS is oxygen, while a non-practitioner would tend to state, it is a hobby or non-essential.
With all humility, both of them are biased in their conclusions. One only raises risk by basing decisions that are biased. Get your facts and then make a decision.
There are several people who have done extremely well leveraging the principles of LSS and equally and probably several more who have shined in their fields without it.
So, I would focus on asking of the principles of success, rather than whether ISO, LSS, CMMI, SEO, etc etc are essentials?
Hope to make a difference in your life as you transition from your veteran experience. If you wish to discuss it further, please contact me offline.
Have a safe day!
If you have a high volume production line, Six Sigma statistical tools may help you identify problem areas.
Six Sigma is usually less effective in analyzing administrative/ transactional environment.
I think it's too rigid for the fluidity of today's business. For the time, it was lauded and rightly so, but I don't believe it has much sway in today's market other than in very highly regulated industries.
Six Sigma is typically a Fortune 100 discipline. It is a fabulous process that requires serious and significant training to master as a 6 Sigma Black Belt.These individuals are usually well compensated for their talents. If you can afford them and are willing to adopt the 6 Sigma methodology it will certainly benefit the company. However, for smaller growing firms, I am not sure it is worth the investment.
Six Sigma can be very helpful when working to drive efficiencies for your business. I think the real value comes, however, when it's not done as an isolated exercise but becomes a regular way of thinking in the approach of day to day work.
For my coaching and sales and marketing business, not applicable.