Six-Sigma’s Orderly Withdrawal: The Right-Sizing of a Problem-Solving Methodology

Posted: 10/13/2009

After roughly 30 years (1979 – 2009), Six Sigma-DMAIC, when examined as a structured, scientific–based, problem-solving methodology (and its record of providing tangible, bottom-line benefits) stands up to the test of time. It has however, not lived up to the remainder of its wide claims as a stand-alone program for strategy, change management, leadership development, and as a quality and continuous improvement strategy, these weaknesses primarily being traced to Six Sigma’s minimal/poor consideration of the human, behavioral, and team-participative aspects of creating and driving sustainable change.

In this white paper, David Joecken, a Six Sigma Master-Blackbelt at a privately-owned tier-one automotive supplier, examines Six Sigma’s historical legacy and projects its future role. From Six Sigma’s initial creation and conception thirty years ago, to its widespread appeal, a potential exaggeration and overextension is postulated. A subsequent exploration and critique of the potential strengths and overextensions is conducted in the following areas: problem solving methodology (DMAIC), bottom-line benefits privider, overall business and change managment strategy, leadership and management development program, and quality and continuous imprvement strategy (replacing TQM and other programs).

A final observation using the (character witness of) North American-specific history of quality management and improvement initiatives, postulates that Six Sigma, although a credible methodology, was oversold as part of an ongoing cultural and economic convention.

David Joecken

To continue viewing this content please fill out the form to register and become a Process Excellence member.
Or, if you're already a Process Excellence member, sign in below to view this content.

By entering in your information and submitting the form, you give the sponsor permission to contact you regarding their product and you agree to our User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

Posted: 10/13/2009