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The benefits and disadvantages of Six Sigma


Six Sigma helps businesses reduce costs and remain competitive in their respective markets. Implementing six sigma will improve your company in the following ways:

  • Return on investment

  • Return on sales

  • Growth in employment

  • Growth in stocks

  • Value growth

In order for six sigma to become successful, it all depends upon your employees. Employees will all undergo training programs that focus on improving the entire company to achieve financial results.

The benefits of six sigma

Six sigma is a business strategy that seeks to identify and eliminate errors, defects, and failures in the business process by focusing on the inputs and outputs that are critical to customers. Six sigma is a measure of quality that focuses on obtaining the complete or near elimination of defects by using statistical methods.

Six sigma is a new process of thinking. Every project must have impact upon the bottom line of a company and this must be clearly identified before you can proceed with a project. This is because six sigma has an intense focus on achieving measurable financial returns.

Another benefit of six sigma is that it is used to create strong leaders. The leaders must completely believe in six sigma and be able to properly train their employees if it is going to work. The tools and techniques used in six sigma are disciplined and used to fix problems in a sequential form. Each technique and tool in the six sigma process has a different role to play:
when, why, where and how. The tools are properly applied to each individual situation to properly measure the output.

Since human error is the cause of many problems for businesses, six sigma is focused on using data to make decisions instead of personal opinions. Individuals are forced to put measures in place and these measurements will be part of the cultural change. Six sigma also encourages people to brainstorm and think outside the box.

The disadvantages of six sigma

The main reason why six sigma is normally not successful for most companies is because the employees do not fully accept it. Another disadvantage of six sigma is that many companies implement it because they are trying to protect themselves from liability. This is used because some companies produce low-quality products and then blame it on the defense that the quality of the product was known at the time of purchase.

Since eliminating waste is a large problem for many companies, several of them are compelled to implement six sigma out of default. The managers don't truly believe in it and they don't have a good return on their investment. Far too often businesses will waste money on projects that don't have a high return.

Another large disadvantage to six sigma is that it is expensive to implement. You need to spend valuable time and money on your employees to attend training seminars. After they are properly trained and certified, they need to come back and train others and start implementing the program. This will take months to finally complete. Without strong cash reserves to support the training hours, your company stands to lose thousands of dollars during the implementation phase.

Six sigma can also cause contention between staff members. Your Black Belts are placed into a position of authority and they can cause a lot of problems with management if they start getting too involved with some processes.

Six sigma also has high expectations, which can be hard to obtain. The goal of six sigma is to reduce defects to 3.4 failures per million opportunities. This can be a daunting task for any business and you may not ever be able to meet this expectation.

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