Six Sigma: What Went Wrong? by ProQuest

VIEWS: 45 PAGES: 2

More Info
									 THE TIPPING POINT
     BY CRISTOPHER   DEL ANGEL AND
     JOE FROELICH




 Six Sigma: What Went Wrong?
            A 60 percent failure rate suggests process change requires behavior change


           S
                 I N C E JAC K W E LC H , the former                                  of the process. Much less specific and robust,
                 chief execuive officer of GE, popular-                               however, are their efforts regarding the work-
                 ized Six Sigma in the late 1990s, the                                ers upon whom the company depends. With
                 business-management methodology                                      any significant change in internal processes,
        has had a profound impact. Yet, amazingly,                                    just the initial talk of the intended change
        the majority of all corporate Six Sigma initia-                               can be unsettling to a workforce comfortable
        tives—60 percent—fail to yield the desired                                    in its current routine. The situation is exacer-
        results, according to Praveen Gupta, a noted                                  bated if management fails to communicate
        author who has been involved with the                                         the reasons behind the change and fails to
        methodology since its origin in the 1980s.                                    demonstrate strong, visible support for it.
           Amid rising concern regarding these failures, more               Thus, at Six Sigma locations, a sizable gap may exist:
        corporations—across multiple industry sectors—are                While it might be clear what type of change is needed to
        now pulling back on their Six Sigma initiatives, realizing       technically enhance throughput, the success of that
        that the methodology by itself is not the cure-all for           effort hinges on whether that behavior is modified per-
        corporate ills.                                                  manently. Process improvements may perfectly achieve
           At Home Depot, for example, former CEO Robert                 their objectives, but the workforce may not be prepared
        Nardelli was ousted after his strict focus on Six Sigma          to accept them as part of their daily routines.
                                           negatively affected worker       Some of the aspects that make Six Sigma powerful may
COMPANIES OFTEN FAIL TO GAUGE morale and consumer                        in fact reduce its overall effectiveness. The methodology
  THE FACTORS THAT IMPACT THE sentiment. In the Ameri-                   employs rigorous statistical analysis to identify defect
  LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF can Customer Satisfac-                     areas, the correction of which produces better quality,
                                           tion Index rankings, the      lower costs, and increased efficiency. But while Six Sigma
     SIX SIGMA IMPROVEMENTS.
                                           company dropped from a        may be very effective at controlling processes, elements

								
To top