Bridezilla Meets Six Sigma

Our daughter, Kelly, got married in September. Our oldest grandson, Jake, had his Bar Mitzvah in July. One of the themes I've discovered in these ceremonies is the tendency to think that the lavishness of the event determines its quality.

My wife and I, on the other hand, got married in our backyard. It's lasted 20 years and seems to be getting better every year.

What has this got to do with Six Sigma? Everything. 

Six Sigma Success

Far too many people judge Six Sigma success by how much money is thrown at it, how many black belts are trained and so on. When Six Sigma becomes an event rather than a process, it is doomed.

So many companies measure their success by black belts trained and projects started, but few are willing to measure their success by projects completed and money saved.

Consultants love it when CEOs commit to widespread implementation and big dollar contracts. But few are held accountable for results.

CEOs come and go, and Six Sigma comes and goes with them.

Ask yourself:

  • How long does Six Sigma stick in an organization (3 years is the average tenure of a CEO)?
  • What are the costs of Six Sigma?
  • What are the bottom line benefits of Six Sigma?
  • Is Six Sigma an event like a wedding or a process like a marriage?

Here's My Point

Is your Six Sigma process like a celebrity wedding or a life-long commitment to excellence? Are you a black belt, green belt or money belt? Is Six Sigma paying for itself or just a ceremony everyone attends before they return to their "real" life?

Make sure Six Sigma delivers on its promises or start looking for a job. Your CEO is looking for their next bump in pay. You should be too.

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537,"

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