Experts and businesses have praised the Six Sigma methodologies for continuous process improvement for years. The goods, services, and procedures of companies that apply this practice have all improved.
By eliminating errors, they were able to increase productivity, customer happiness, and profitability. The difficulties that come with implementing Six Sigma are less generally highlighted. No discussion of Six Sigma deployments is complete without discussing Six Sigma Implementation Roadblocks that companies face during implementation and how to overcome them.
Here are some of the most common roadblocks or challenges to successful Six Sigma deployments in an organization and solutions.
1. Lack of Leadership Commitment
Unlike any other continual Improvement initiative, the Six Sigma initiative would not be successful until and unless top management commitment is there. Top management’s understanding, alignment, and support are a must for the success of the Six Sigma initiative.
It is a true test of a company’s commitment to Six Sigma implementation when management decides which employees will be allocated to the project. Using whoever is available instead of dedicating top expertise to Six Sigma project efforts puts the project on the insecure ground and reduces its chances of success. Project leaders that are willing to spend time, expertise, and money are required for a successful Six Sigma project.
Taking high-performing employees away from their current employment to focus on Six Sigma projects is a short-term investment that can pay off in the long run, as Six Sigma require skill and knowledge of understanding on problem-solving and statistical tools/techniques, which can be acquired by special through various belts like Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt.
Infect, top management to be fully aligned they also must attend Champion level programs generally designed by senior management teams.
2. Inadequate knowledge of Six Sigma methodologies
In their zeal to gain the benefits of implementing Six Sigma, several companies rush in before fully understanding what successful Six Sigma implementation entails.
This might happen when organizations employ Six Sigma to stay competitive or to impress shareholders by being able to use continuous process improvement terminology in company documents. Organizations that use Six Sigma as a cosmetic change or without the resources needed to implement it are setting themselves up for failure.
Companies can overcome this barrier by completely committing to the process and hiring and supporting Six Sigma professionals to guarantee that the methodology is being implemented rather than simply the phrase.
This expertise also keeps the project focused on core operations, where they may have the greatest impact, rather than on minor tweaks and low-hanging fruit.
3. Poor Deployment
Six Sigma quality improvement projects can go astray even under the experienced guidance of project Champions and Master Black Belts if they are not properly performed.
When process improvements are not connected with the organization’s goals, when the project is built on reactively solving problems rather than reaching strategic objectives, or when the quality improvement project focuses on the process outputs rather than the inputs, poor execution occurs.
Companies are more likely to stay on track when they understand that Six Sigma approaches are not meant to operate in a vacuum, but rather work best when linked with the organization’s goals and objectives.
Organizations who don’t get the productivity or cost reductions they expected from using Six Sigma methodology aren’t dissatisfied; it’s not because the approach is ineffective.
The most likely cause of their dissatisfaction is a lack of competent leadership and ineffective project management.
The chances of Six Sigma success rise considerably when leadership is committed to using the approach, assigns top personnel to project teams, puts the project through a formal selection and review procedure, and provides the necessary resources.
4. Lack of Stakeholder Engagement and support
A lack of strong stakeholder engagement and support is another important roadblock to Six Sigma’s success.
Process excellence should be considered as an experience and a corporate way of life that is completely backed and supported by management, rather than a transitory trend that is thrown into your organization’s goals at random.
While identifying the projects, Black Belts or Master Black Belts should ensure that projects are taken from all relevant functions having positive business impacts. Besides this, they should also ensure that the Cross-Functional Team should be formed after identifying relevant stakeholders for each of the projects, which will ensure the success of these projects.
5. Poor Project Selection
The process of Six Sigma quality improvement begins with the selection of projects. Unlike other methodologies, Six Sigma project selection is quantifiable and based on objective data rather than guesswork. A project is a problem that has been given a time limit to be resolved and generally SMART Goal setting concept is used for project goal setting.
A strong Six Sigma project aligns with a company’s strategic goals and helps customers address problems. A successful project will save time, money, and effort, and can be tailored to the demands of external clients, internal clients, or shareholders.
Many organizations, fail to succeed as they do not identify projects which are aligned to organizational objectives. Hence, the top management must ensure before approving the project charter to give go-ahead only to business-critical projects.
It is very much important for project leaders, Black Belts, and Champions to understand all these challenges and make plans to overcome these challenges. There could be other issues as well besides mentioned 05 common challenges which can include inadequate execution, the indeterminate role of Six Sigma champions, and ineffective team members. Companies implementing Six Sigma may face difficulties as a result of these factors.
It’s critical to maintain an agenda of open communication and transparency among personnel involved with the Six Sigma project to deal with such organizational impediments during implementation.
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