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Why Six Sigma Projects Fail

Why Six Sigma Projects Fail

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Published by Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra
Why Six Sigma Projects Fail?

.... A thing to ponder...
Why Six Sigma Projects Fail?

.... A thing to ponder...

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Published by: Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra on Aug 27, 2009
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Why Six Sigma Projects Fail?
Dheeraj Mehrotra, MS (Ed. Mgmt), Research Scholar, Six Sigma In Education
Head, Total Quality Management DepartmentCity Montessori School & Degree College, Kanpur Road, Lucknow, Indiawww.sixsigmaineducation.com
It may sound idiotic and scary of the very fact that surveys by many of theQuality Management Magazines suggest failure of the initiatives of the SixSigma Projects at times. It may be of keen interpretation of the modules butthe fact lies in the concern that not all six sigma projects accomplish a comeout with a conclusion of success. The success level is certainly low due to thepoor HR initiative and the dwelling of too many correlations of the variancesfurther. The initiatives pertaining to the concern lies in the fact of observance thatmany of the respondents of the modules of the survey in this category feelthat the failed Six Sigma project at their company is “a project that is startedbut not completed”, obvious of the factual belief that it was started with allfancy inauguration and party to conclude at the poor initiatives further. TheIndian scenario talks of more of training and implementation rather thaninception and practical application to the maxima and the sorry historyreveals that it is more for the sake of training and having a break. It is true torealize the density of the projects but at the same time the employees are allthe time so occupied with the assignments and routine operations that theytend to forget the project as their first choice and is hence at times this isgiven a name of PROJECT an offline, time consuming, weekend party routineto be accomplished with the facilitator. This is the TRUTH.In addition to this, everyone wants to implement Six Sigma, but not everyonesupplies the resources. Many Six Sigma projects fail because of insufficient
people and expertise, poor participation among team members or both.Summing up a quote and a reference from a Quality Digest write-up, wecome of a unique fact by considering the case of a company in England. Thecompany wanted a Six Sigma program to improve and control processes fora new contract received from a missile manufacturer. Senior and midlevelmanagers and first-line supervisors knew nothing about Six Sigma.Employees signed up for Six Sigma training, and all had projects to work onduring the training.Although the participation of top managers was requested in a trainingsession to learn the basics of Six Sigma and become champions for theprojects, all but one declined. Employees were required to take the trainingon their own time. Mid and lower level management never bought into theprocess and declined employee requests for time during their shifts to workon projects. Unfortunately, this company was never able to establish a SixSigma program. The culture remains the same today as it was 50 years ago.Also all in all, the commitment from the TOP MANAGEMENT is very importantfor the success of any planning or execution within an organization. As amatter of fact, commitment and communication go a long way towardpreventing failure/ miscommunication and de motivation among theworkforce. Six Sigma projects are most successful when the methodologyinvolves team members from the top down, from the Top Man to the DoorMan. One can feel the KAIZEN in action with the RECEPTION or even at timesby the TIME WISH at the gate as well. Management must be willing toallocate resources and participate in the staffing of diverse teams from allareas affected by the project. This includes internal suppliers and customers,and others with beneficial experience and skills. The TEAM management, better known as Together Every One Achieves More(TEAM) brings harmony and shares the burden to make it half and doublesthe JOY of accomplishment. Hence, the Employee involvement is bestaccomplished through open communication, including an honest evaluationof the project's benefits to the organization and employees. Employees mustknow that employers want their input and are present in team meetings toencourage and accept feedback. A sense of ownership quality with a WINWIN ‘we can do it’ approach works wonders and among the team memberswould result in positive participation by everyone. To my and everyone’s surprise, more over it is not easy, what is not easy, isthe CHANGE, it is all good to share the joy but when it comes to be the partof the joy, it is irritating, “ Why should we?”, “What made the Managementto think like that?”, “What the hell?”, “We are not prepared for this theory”,“It is a waste of time”, “It must be done only office hours” and others attimes. What is hence needed is to empower the employees. As we know,Changing an ingrained culture isn't easy. The HR cult of training andempowerment is well instrumented with the catch for MOTIVATION by praiseand publicity of their operations. Organizations that are mired in flowcharts
and the maintenance of bureaucratic boundaries are slow to change inresponse to multidisciplinary philosophies like Six Sigma. Organizations areprone to failure when managers dictate how workers must perform their jobs.Workers often know best how to perform tasksand processes because they're the ones doing them. This is what bugs themand they spell out their SAYS at the RESOURCE person at times, with apromise to and at times NOT to forward it to their MANAGERS/ Management.What counts is “Are the employees MOTIVATED” or there is an urge in themto Leave the organization as fast as they can. Employees who areempowered to identify problems and institute changes become invested,with an eye on the future of their organization and themselves.Empowerment is an extraordinarily powerful tool in an organization, and oneof the most effective ways of transforming a culture.Also at the same time MATURITY with the organization of the employeesmatters a lot. Lack of organizational maturity can doom projects and the SixSigma discipline to failure. Maturity goes along with cultural change.Organizations are mature when members have evolved in empowerment toidentify problems, recognize the need for change and offer to find solutions.With an immature organization, the response to a problem is often, "It's notmy job." Mature organizations are composed of members who realize that it'severyone's job to seek solutions rather than working for the sake of it. It hasto be a management through Head and Heart. One must integrate this withmore of self-esteem to the necessity that one must manage others by Heartand self through the Head. This maturity can take from two to five years. How quickly an organizationmatures depends in part on how well Six Sigma is supported by seniormanagement. If they're not "walking the talk" on a daily basis, maturationwill go slowly. By setting good examples, senior managers can speed thematuring process, improving Six Sigma efficiency.And above all the selection of the right six sigma project is the key of itssuccess. One may not do wonders over night but certainly may makemeasures for proper implementation. Yes it has to be a SMART project withan ignition viz ..
pecific: Usually one geographical location.
easurable: Must be limited to the fertile limits within the organization.
chievable: One Product/ Defect
elevant: Must be backed with Data as otherwise, NO DATA is BAD Data.
ime Bound: Get a Milestone Chart before the project.And employ the above to practice the best as you may revise your Qualitythought in action is
and this isthe crux of the very success of any
SIX SIGMA project.

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