What Makes Six Sigma Work
As a vast number of Six Sigma professionals and CEOs that have had the good foresight to implement the framework at their company can testify, Six Sigma definitely works. It leads to optimization on every level of an organization and always results in a much heightened level of competitiveness and profitability.
Of course, those great results beg the question how? After all, in order for a logical person to accept such optimistic claims, they would require both evidence and an understanding of how that is made possible. That’s why it’s important and useful to examine what makes Six Sigma work down to its core.
Here is a list of the most important fundamental advantages that the Six Sigma approach offers that allow it to be reliably successful and universal.
It sets the right goals
Six Sigma does really well at setting the right goals, and then making them known throughout the whole organization, and to all levels of the company structure.
The most important metrics always end up being centered on carrying out the most important activities for the business successfully. Creating value in an efficient and reliable way is what Six Sigma was designed for and the way it evaluates business processes. It’s a framework that strives for perfection in the most important tasks for an organization, and makes those goals accessible and essential knowledge for every employee. It doesn’t matter if a company is large or small, the Six Sigma methodology forces everybody to evaluate their own work according to the most important metrics of the company. As most managers know, communicating this type of information is a huge challenge, and Six Sigma handles it better than most initiatives.
The Six Sigma process optimization method produces consistent results
Historically, Six Sigma was based on a number of quality control methodologies that were available and successful at the time, and thus incorporates decades of valuable business experience, data and evidence. The main weapon that makes this methodology such a great success across all industries and business types is the DMAIC data-driven improvement cycle. It allows a business to make improvement a regular and controlled occurrence, and usually it’s just a matter of time until all goals (as lofty as they might be) are achieved. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control and it provides a structure to finding a solution of any problem that a team might be facing. It produces reliable improvements, and is better than other methods because it doesn’t allow for straying off the path or moving too quickly. In fact, sometimes the DMAIC approach suggests you shouldn’t proceed unless you have additional information or approval, which avoids wasted efforts and frustration in the future.
It transforms organizations
When Six Sigma is implemented properly, it adds a brand new strand of DNA to the organizational genome of a business, and the new DNA provides a number of adaptations that gear it towards success. To put it simply, it forces the company to change in a way that makes it more competitive in the market. Six Sigma is a methodology that comes with success-centric goals and values, and makes striving for them consistent and routine. This makes the company leaner, more effective and more efficient on the most basic of levels, and those long-term changes and focus lead to long-term success. When the transformation is permanent, and designed with the right mentality and informed by data, it allows the company to take advantage of the gains every single day.
The simplest explanation
In the end, exploring why Six Sigma works is quite productive, and it allows for better understanding of the concepts and the methodology as a whole. But posing the question and looking for the answer also clearly highlights the most important conclusion. Six Sigma does work, saves resources and provides an invaluable competitive advantage.
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