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Six Sigma Implementation – Is it really a Panacea for Industry?

Is Six Sigma really a panacea for all industrial ailments? What is special about six sigma, that fortune 500 companies have embraced it?

Six Sigma is essentially a process control and process management theory which can be applied to all processes in an industry. In a manufacturing setup anything can be construed as a process. If a subordinate gets a red herring, from the boss that is a process of communication. Output of that process of communication may be negative or positive depends on the attitude of the individual who got the red herring or the circumstances. Invariably output of a process becomes an input to another process. For example output of production process becomes input to shipping process. Realization that every word spoken and every written message can be a process of communication, every process output can be input to another process and to control all such processes in a scientific, data driven methodology,  is the principle of six sigma. This methodology helps to control products and processes such that the organizations can excel in operations not only with improvements to bottomline but also pleasantly surprise their customers by exceeding their expectations. This is an enterprise wide effort at correcting the processes that outputs in million products/processes can have no more than 2 defects.

Companies like Motorola, GE and few other pioneers who have implemented Six Sigma, in their enterprises had reported extra ordinary gains of implementation. Industries that followed suit had similar positive results.

It is difficult to conceive that after a decade of its presence in industry there is still some skepticism about Six Sigma. This may be due to lack of understanding the whole theory or failures in implementing it implicitly with a disciplined approach.

It is believed that more often than not theories fail to take off in practice due to implementation difficulties. Top management who acquire the training has little or no time to implement the theory all the way into practice. They in turn train the middle management to implement the theory. The transmission losses occurring during these communications will lead to shortcomings in understanding and consequent pitfalls in implementation.

There have been a plethora of books written on this subject and there have been several gurus teaching Six Sigma. The success lies in not knowing what is to be done but in knowing how it can be done specific to the enterprise/ facility. This is where Quality Systems Enhancement (QSE) enters the picture. QSE undertakes to comprehensively train middle management on the theoretical aspects and practical aspects of this proven methodology. The training is always very interactive and motivational. QSE difference is to show how it can be done rather than just tell what is to be done. QSE will involve all key personnel in their exercise for implementation. QSE has a proven 10 step path designed to be a disciplined path towards successful six sigma implementation. QSE will adapt this proven system as applicable to a particular facility and will not rest till the enterprise achieves its goals either for quality or bottom line improvement. Any enterprise implementing Six Sigma diligently will realize the benefits of this panacea for all industrial ailments they may be facing and emerge as champions in overcoming the difficulties.

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Bhaskar Kotte

Baskar Kotte

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