Why Six sigma Fails


Lack of management support

The commitment and support of a Lean Six Sigma project from the senior management of an organisation is a crucial factor for project success. Management need to highlight the advantages of Lean Six Sigma throughout all areas of the organisation. Support must not just come from senior management, but from all levels of management in an organisation. All the resources, good intentions, time or effort will not compensate for the lack of continued management support. If the organisation has the full support of the management team, the probability of effectively embedding Lean Six Sigma methods into any organisation are greatly improved. Continuous effort must be taken to always keep management involved at all phases in the organisation’s Lean Six Sigma journey.

Inappropriate strategy implementation

A deployment plan assists in aligning the strategic goals of an organisation to the fore casted results of any deployment and to keep up the support of Lean Six Sigma within the organisation. The absence of alignment might result in misunderstandings amongst the main stakeholders and management concerning the benefits of the overall undertaking, this difference causes setbacks implementation setbacks in many organisations

Incorrect project choice

Not enough focus on the correct project choice and prioritisation, can easily result in projects lacking information or business emphasis or projects centered on process or system sectors which could be outside of either the Green or Black Belts’ sphere of control. This could result in postponed or even abandoned projects, and cause the Green and Black Belts to become disillusioned.

Six Sigma teams need to make sure that a chosen Lean Six Sigma system or process improvement project is information based and centered on financial, business, process and customers needs. They will additionally have to be prioritised correctly to make sure the necessary goals are completely satisfied.

Inappropriate process selection

Best advice is that the majority of Lean Six Sigma teams need to launch a pilot project that isn't a high risk. Unfortunately, they could find themselves excelling in minor situations. This could lead to not achieving the results necessary to put together a strong case to have Lean Six Sigma deployed in their organisation.

The best projects to first improve are those that have the greatest financial returns for the least risk of implementation. Its easier to pick low hanging fruit than it is to boil an ocean.

Unsuitable team member selection

It can easily happen that leaders attempt to create a Lean Six Sigma project team prior to analysing the necessary data to determine who should be a team member. Subsequently, the team will struggle due to the fact they do not have the correct individuals to resolve problems after they have been brainstormed and stratified to a point that the team leader can delegate.

Insufficient process owner support

If the owner of the process wasn't active in the project at the beginning because of other duties and work pressures, then unfortunately, the project is destined to fail. This shortage of work time could very well be the justification for the process owner not attempting to try and implement a solution in the first place. The project team could possibly have adhered to the Six Sigma DMAIC methods, but only concluded the define, measure, and analyse phases, and did not actually reach the improve or control phases leaving the project in limbo.

Incorrect project scope

With predictable regularity, it can be forecast that the first failure of most Lean Six Sigma projects is often tracked to a scope which was far too broad. For instance, attempting to eliminate defects inherent in a complicated product, is so unfocused, that very little improvements could take place in any particular component of the overall product. Focusing on reducing the variation in an individual vital component of a product, enables you to search deep enough to find a significant source for improvement. It is best to always err on the side of caution and scope projects in a very narrow way. Improvement is progressive, it's always possible to return and do more.

Insufficient or poor training

Projects sometimes fail to succeed because of inadequate training. Individuals charged with training devote too much of their time on the training and do not have adequate time left to put what they have learned into practice and conclude an effective project, or even establish that the new methods implemented actually work. In other cases, process owners may typically be charged with directing projects, however, they might not of had the necessary training. Consequently, they sometimes may not really feel comfortable and confident or they do not have the in depth practical knowledge to effectively assist the project all the way through to finalisation.

One other cause of poor training is the actual value of “learning by doing” isn't consistently considered throughout the training. The training may possibly concentrate too much on the concept of certain methodologies, but trainees seldom make an actual project part of the training and consequently are unable to learn in the course of a projects conclusion. Impetus can easily be lost when the trainees do not understand the importance of concluding a project.

Inaccurate measurement system

Measurement and data are the true basis of Lean Six Sigma. Increasingly though, Lean Six Sigma professionals fail to determine the quality of the measurements. Inadvertently depending upon an inaccurate measuring strategy is much like generating a house using a bent ruler, you will not get that which you believed you would get, but you will not know how or why.

Always make time to carry out a measurement system analysis (MSA) at the very start of the project. Making this one step will save you running the risk of many unknown potential headaches.

Incorrect Implementation

Organisations are attempting floor to ceiling and wall to wall implementations of Six Sigma. Regrettably, this suggests that eighty percent of the workforce are occupied in striving for less than twenty percent of the gain. Over zealous implementations can siphon off important resources from satisfying the organisations customers, developing new products or researching new markets.

An excessive amount of training and not nearly enough doing! ninety percent of information learned in a Six Sigma course is forgotten if you do not use what you have been taught within the first 72 hours.