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Making Six Sigma everyone’s cup of tea

Posted: Monday, November 11th, 2013

I was reading a very interesting take on why Six Sigma just isn’t sticky enough by Jay Arthur http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/why-six-sigma-isn-t-sticky.html, where he starts by describing how books related to Six Sigma are stored on the bottom racks of book stores. I find this very interesting since this is also the case in most Sri Lankan book stores. One would expect however, things to be slightly different in the U.S, which after all is the birth place of Six Sigma!


making_six_sigma

The whole concept of making Six Sigma ‘sticky’ hits close to home since this has been a considerable challenge in our experience too. Irrespective of the type of deployment model used department/business unit or enterprise wide, they all need some version of the famous ‘elevator speech’ made by Bill Smith of Motorola and a whole lot of perseverance, just to receive the ‘go ahead’ to introduce it in any company. But commencing a Lean Six Sigma programme is only half the battle, sustaining it is another story altogether.


In our experience, many people tend to have a perceived notion that Statistics is hard, do not fancy extended training sessions or the hassle of lengthy exams and in general simply want a ‘quick and easy’ solution, and who can blame them? The need of the hour is to strike a balance between making it overly stringent (and self-gratuitous?) and making it seem less scary and more accessible. One way this could be achieved is to address the unique needs of individuals in different lines of work. To this end, we at Sigma Sustainability Institute (SSI) strongly believe that Lean Six Sigma should be made relevant to various fields such as Facility Management, Commissioning, Telco, Incident Management, HR, IT BPO etc, where everyone truly understands how Lean Six Sigma could be used to improve their process efficiencies.


As for Six Sigma not being sticky, the fact that Six Sigma books are displayed in the Sri Lankan book stores (which are a pretty fair distance from the U.S) is a testament to its worldwide acceptance and popularity, even if they are only found on the bottom racks.


Author: Christopher Thuraisingham

Senior Consultant Business Excellence

Sigma Sustainability Institute

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