Facts about Six Sigma
The Six Sigma belt comprises of Master Black belts, who are as the
name suggests the masters of Six Sigma and have concluded the maximum
amount of trainings and projects, Black Belts that have lesser
experience as compared to MBBs but still lead projects and Green Belts
that support the black belts. The higher the level an individual wants
to attain, the more the projects and trainings is he required to
complete. Every level is accompanied with a Six Sigma exam that an individual is required to clear.
Six Sigma certification has become an industry standard in quality
improvement across all fields of operation. Certified resources add
value to their department and make themselves much more marketable. Six
Sigma is a transferable skill set and once acquired, it can be applied
to any field as the basic concepts remain the same.
Early adopters of Six Sigma like Allied Signal (now known as
Honeywell) and General Electric achieved well-publicized success.
However, by the late 1990s, about 66% of the Fortune 500
companies started using Six Sigma methodology with the objective of
cutting down costs, generate savings and improve overall efficiency and
There may be an incredible amount of difference in the management
styles and priorities of one company as compared to the other but one
thing is certain. Organizations that focus on constantly computing and
driving management behaviours, prioritizing, submit a much superior
return on their programs than those who de prioritize it or leave it to
Motorola accounted for a saving of $11 billion from 1985-1995 in one
of their Six Sigma briefings. In 1999, GE announced a saving of $2
billion courtesy Six Sigma. However, other organizations that have
espoused Six Sigma have made far lesser gains and organizational
acceptance. There Six Sigma savings have been in the range of 0.5% to
1.0% of sales. Moreover, there have even been instances where the Six
Sigma programs have been wisped after considerable investment due to
squat returns. Lack of attention to the critical succeed factors has
been identified as the reason for these failures.
Some of these critical success factors are as follows:
Executive engagement - Creating prioritization,
engagement at all levels, accountability accompanied with authority,
clear line of responsibilities and deliverables and conducting regular
checks to ensure that the progress is per the plan.
Communication - Regular communication about the Six Sigma news and facts in every meeting.
Projects - Document a year’s project inventory that
needs to be refreshed regularly, have clear linkages of the projects to
the business goals.