Getting more Value from Six Sigma
Six Sigma is an extension of total quality management (it has been described as TQM on steroids). It refers to a goal of 3.4 defects per million units produced and promises lower costs, higher quality and a more capable workforce. The management focus is on training ‘green belts’, ‘black belts’ and ‘master black belts’. These people learn a whole box full of tools that enable them to implement Six Sigma procedures. Like TQM before it, Six Sigma offers the large command and control organization a way to set rules and procedures and demand conformance to an initiative that promises to cut costs and improve customer value. But, as this paper explains, it has a reputation for too often being imposed from above with bright young ‘black belts’ telling seasoned managers how to do their jobs.