Six Sigma methodologies follow the principles of improvement in quality which is not entirely new however it is focusing on key areas while implementing its methods. This focus on key areas including elimination of wastes and risk management has made it highly successful across the industries.
Management of risk and avoiding the fad cycle creates a big difference between Six Sigma and other quality management methods. It demands consistent high level of commitment and in depth understanding for ensuring real improvements.
The success of Six Sigma lies in the fact that it actively manages ‘soft’ social factors, in spite of being a ‘hard’ scientifically-based methodology.
One of the main reasons of the success of Six Sigma is that it leads to the improvement of entire business procedure covering the implementation in each and every process of organization. Six Sigma is not only an improvement toolkit but also engages managers in activities such as championing projects and programs. This results in commitment from the professional as they are involved.
Six Sigma requires senior managers to personally invest time and attention and ensure they get return on their investment on Six Sigma training and implementation. Six Sigma requires its managers to constantly deliver significant improvements and their performance is measured by the improvements they made to the process. Black Belts are given power to bring about the changes in the organizations.
The standard approach to Six Sigma is to ‘give it teeth’, for example in the way GE requires its businesses to constantly make and report significant improvements. When managers are measured on the changes they make, then in the words of the old saw ‘what gets measured gets done’. Black Belts are also often given positions of authority, adding to their expert power in being able to convince people to engage in improvement activities.
Implementation of Six Sigma includes in-depth training that leads to real expertise and thus a well-educated Black Belt can approach a problem with a wealth of expertise and experience. Statistics is the mathematics of reality that highlight real significance and it has a social dynamic in that it adds credibility to Six Sigma Professionals.
Six Sigma recognizes that full-time improvement professionals are a critical part of the successful implementation where the professionals are engaged and committed to bring improvement that is both important and difficult enough.