Sunday, August 19, 2007

Six Sigma: So Yesterday?

I guess I missed it when this article first published in June. Here's a quote from the BusinessWeek article - it's quite telling and resonates with a lot of us.

But as its popularity endures, the notion of Six Sigma as a corporate cure-all is subsiding. Once a company has done the requisite belt-tightening, "the strategic needs of a business change," says Robert Carter, a consultant at defense contractor Raytheon (RTN ). Kick-starting the top line becomes paramount; the best way there apart from an acquisition is innovation. At Raytheon, Carter is leading a Six Sigma effort to promote innovation. But while "most Six Sigma practitioners are very strong on the left brain, innovation very much starts in the right hemisphere," says Carter. Even he, a Six Sigma expert, acknowledges the "define, measure, analyze, improve, control" mind-set doesn't entirely gel with the fuzzy front-end of invention. When an idea starts germinating, Carter says, "you don't want to overanalyze it," which can happen in a traditional DMAIC framework."

Six Sigma also has a lot of overlap with Business Process Improvement efforts in Enterprises. However, I truly believe that unless Enterprises start looking at BPMS as an enabler for process and business innovation as opposed to process efficiencies, they will be using only half the potential.


Murray said...

Six Sigma is something of a passive art form that fails too often to deliver measurable results. At the end of the day process improvement is limited by the process itself and only true innovation will lead to process elimination. BPM is only effective when it is actionable, Six sigma, and lean manufacturing often stop short of being actionable and measurable. The result tends to be paralysis by analysis.

denver web design said...

For our company Six Sigma would strangle our nimble production process. It's more suited to a giant company like TeleTech