8 Popular Six Sigma Myths

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Before we look at the Six Sigma myths here are the key principles:

  • Customer Focused Approach
  • Understand, develop and improve value stream
  • Design, manage and make the process flow better
  • Making evidence based decisions
  • Reduce process flow variation
  • Equip people, process and machinery by Six Sigma methodology
  • Have continuous improvement and sustain the process

Busting Biggest Six Sigma Myths and its Successful Implementation

Assumptions and misconceptions have spawned 8 big Six Sigma myths. These myths sometimes prove to be a hindrance in the implementation  and might lead to potential resistance from one’s team which becomes a hurdle in the success and fruits of Six Sigma.

Busting the Six Sigma Myths

  • Six Sigma Is All About Data, Excel Files and Conference Room Presentations

The biggest of the Six Sigma myths is that it is about Excel files and PowerPoint presentations only which is totally wrong notion, Six Sigma is actually a cultural and mind set shift which forms the frame of mind towards actual root cause fixing approach because anything that got to be measured gets not only managed but controlled and tracked also.

  • Only Manufacturing Firms Can Have Six Sigma

One of the pitfalls through which many service industries fall into is that they consider only for giant manufacturing companies. However many service industries of Public and Government sector, Healthcare and NGO’s have been benefited from the fruits of Six Sigma by getting an increased in their Sales as well.

  • Only Giant Manufacturing Firms Can Afford Six Sigma

The third of the big Six Sigma myths is Six Sigma has always been thought to be the part of hefty profitable firms only because the approach  thought to be required large amount of money to be invested which only big multinational can afford. It is a big myth that exists in the minds who are afraid of the change and have less change adaptability. Six Sigma is an approach that directs towards actual problem solving by fixing the root cause one time which can avoid recurrence of the problem. Reoccurrence of the problem calls for money expenditure on repeated basis while nipping the root cause will be a onetime expenditure and that will be sufficient to ensure smooth operations.

  • Massive Training Hours Are Required For Six Sigma Implementation

Yes, initial phases of Six Sigma calls for effective trainings and refresher sessions but it will be done massively in the beginning only. However, time to time refresher sessions will be given by your own team to your other team members. Exceptional trainers and coaches will be identified within your team and those will be responsible to train your other staff periodically.

Traditional Approach versus Six Sigma Approach: How Six Sigma Is Better Than Traditional Approach

Six Sigma is way more advantageous and state of the art success proven method as compared to traditional business approach based on hit and trail basis.

  • Work Flow

In traditional approach, work flows on departmental or functional basis with respect to the tasks whereas the flow of process is oriented towards customers’ output and feedback making your process channel more customer friendly.

  • Performance Measurement

In traditional business approach, the performance is measured on the basis of actual versus budgeted amount. On the other hand, Six Sigma believes on taking casual measures and their outcomes in consideration.

  • Problem Solving Approach

In traditional business, most of the problems are being solved on hit and trial basis which means solutions are implemented and the best one gets selected after detailed experimentations. In state of the art problem solving tools which are success guaranteed are being implemented and the recurrence of the problem gets avoided by root cause fixation.

  • Skills Development Of Work Force

When it comes to training and skill development, mostly top leadership managers get selected. However, in Six Sigma the people who get their skill developed are main shop floor machine operators and maintenance technicians and not only just office based management people.

Popular Six Sigma Tools and Techniques Which Further Proves Myths Dead Wrong!

Following are the Six Sigma tools and techniques which are being used worldwide successfully by small, medium and large enterprises:

  • Affinity Diagram: The way to categorize the ideas and making it convenient to get sifted.
  • Bench marking Study: Internal, functional and competitive benchmarking will be done in initial phases of Six Sigma implementation. Benchmarking is a sort of standard by which one can compere own established standard and it can be done internally, functionally and competitively.
  • Detailed Statistics: one of the simple yet very powerful tool for analyzing of data is detailed statistical study.
  • Fishbone Diagram: A graphical method to identifying the actual root cause based on 5M’s (Man, Method, Machinery, Material, Mother Nature) tool.
  • Pareto Analysis Or 80-20 Rule: A bar graph that exhibits the frequency of the occurrence of certain events which is called Pareto principle.
  • Risk Management: Management of potential risks by two elements which are uncertainty and potential loss whereas Risk management is a continuous implemented tool which have numerous steps to evaluate and categorize risks.
  • Scatter Plot: Scatter plotting is wonderful tool which draws a graph between dependent and independent variables and the correlation between them.
  • SIPOC: Supplier Inputs Process Outputs Customers is conveniently abbreviated as SIPOC is a high end process that specifies how a process is being flowed through the value chain. It helps to uncover the hidden details and problems that are stuck somewhere in the supply chain and are continuously harming the product stream.