It's now a few weeks ago that we read in a comment, that among managers, the perception over six sigma, with respect to Lean or Kaizen has failed a little, with respect to the implementation intention plans and overal method appraissement. We bring this comment here, because there exists a certain confusion about what each thing is, about what is better to implement, if it is and about the usefullness of external advise to do it.
I is evident that these systems have proved their success, there is no doubt about it, however it is important to realize that one thing is the method (Lean, six sigma, 8D, PDCA, etc) to get to evolve from certain organization systems, process design to others and their dynamics, and another thing is the analysis, problem solving, etc tool. It really doesn't matter which tool is used in each methodology, in fact they are all absolutelly opened to be used in any methodology, even though each tool gets optimal results for ceratin results to be obtained. Six sigma has an specific peculiarity, that lies in the intensive and almost unique use of advanced statistics, as a more or less complex tools.
In order methodologies and tools are used well and success is guaranteed, collaboration and team work are needed, why? for knowledge? not in general, the most important success factors are identified in an open and relaxed collaboration approach in the company, to address many details of the process, an approach that should be done through a group structure, free from conditions derived from hierarchy or funtional conditions boss-worker, to allow a fluid communication, Could you guaranty that without external advise? usually not. We should never forget, that when these kind of details are addressed in Lean projects or details about data and statistical analysis in six sigma, very often, susceptibilities are awaken in managers who could hinder the analysis process, and even the focus of the solutions when they see their activity can be visualized and exposed to the opinion of other colleages. These situations demonstrate that an implementation plan has to be studied and matured, and that the success posibilities are much higher when using an external consulting or facilitators like ATEC+ID, since it is the way of reaching a clear and neat communication, and to hold firm the method and tools application, beating psicologic barriers to collaboration and maintaining the contribution and motivation of the employees to get the process improvement, and finally the success of the plan.
It's not extrange perception of six sigma fails a little for a lot of managers, with respect to Lean or Kaizen, since six sigma is based in advanced statistical tools and rules, but the phylosophy of thinking is Lean, and both Lean as Kaizen are effectivelly much stronger since are mainly thinking phylosophies, visual and understanding phylosophies, whose references are not that numbers but concepts and clarity of vision.