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The Pros and Cons of Six Sigma: Featured Article

Six Sigma is a methodology and approach used to implement lean manufacturing in a production process or service oriented business setting.There are many different reasons why people use Six Sigma and there are also many reasons why people say it may not be the best approach.Of course there are pros and cons to every business idea and there isn't anyone who has found a formula that will work all the time for everyone.So each case has to be considered individually to ensure that it really is the best option.There are many different opinions about lean manufacturing in general and in Six Sigma processes.Here are some pros and cons about them.

One of the areas where there is a lot of controversy about Six Sigma begins with the inherent objectives of it.There are many people who say that improving efficiency may not even lead to improved profits and that reducing waste may actually cost more than just having the waste there in the first place.The main goals of Six Sigma are to minimize defects found in products and also to maximize customer satisfaction through better production methods.But the marketplace that businesses now have to operate in is changing especially with the advent of the internet where customers are much more independent than they have ever been before.One reason that Six Sigma has become so important to many businesses is because they often don't have a chance to tell a customer about all the things that are great about their product, especially if they are buying online.Customers expect certain things from products and businesses are not necessarily capable of finding out what those things are before the customer reviews or purchases their product.The ability of customers to do this has made it even more important for businesses to exceed expectations and to delight consumers.

Helpful Resources:

1. Six Sigma Manufacturing
Six Sigma manufacturing pros and cons is generally a topic that those in the manufacturing industry are familiar with.You can brush up your understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of implementing Six Sigma in your manufacturing organization by reading this.

2. In-Depth Analysis
If you are looking for an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of six sigma that is so detailed it would not be offered for free, you may consider downloading this paper and getting the information that you need.

3. Certification Pros and Cons
Being trained in one of the implementation roles of six sigma could be advantageous to you, but like anything in life there are also disadvantages that should be carefully considered.Read more about the pros and cons of receiving your certification here.

4. Advantages and Disadvantages
This article explains both the advantages and disadvantages of the Six Sigma process from the viewpoint of one individual who has experience with the process.Read and then reply to his article with your own opinions.

5. Pros and Cons of Six Sigma
Read more about some pros and cons of six sigma by first reading this introduction to the subject and then create a free account if what you read sounds interesting and you wish to learn more.

6. Wikipedia
Follow this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page to read what critics of the Six Sigma process have to say.The disadvantages listed and explained are helpful when making decisions regarding implementation.

7. Professional Workshop
If learning about the pros and cons of six sigma with the options of asking a professional is the method of education that you prefer, perhaps you ought to register for a workshop like the one offered through this site.

8. Six Sigma Software Packages
Software packages that aid in the implementation of Six Sigma will also have their advantages and disadvantages depending on how these software programs address the implementation issues.

9. Academic Perspective
This article provides an academic perspective on the pros and cons of Six Sigma.Read more about how this process is fundamentally flawed and how it is genuinely beneficial in different aspects according to the opinions of the writer.

10. Advantages and Disadvantages of Six Sigma
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of six sigma is something that each organization planning on implementing the process must do.This article aims to help the reader with this decision making process.

Some people believe that Six Sigma is a very complicated system and sometimes doesn't warrant the attention and time that it takes to even begin to understand the concepts.But if used correctly it can yield great results to the business that is implementing the ideas especially if they are very committed to increasing customer satisfaction and moving in to lean manufacturing.The parts of the business that Six Sigma focuses on are parts that perhaps need more attention in the first place so the fact that it places an emphasis on these areas is a good thing.One of the greatest advantages of Six Sigma is that all of the measuring and data collection that takes place along with evaluations can be shown in direct connection with increased revenues and profits.In fact, there are even investors that want to see Six Sigma principles applied before they will make a final decision to invest in or purchase a company.Research has proven that companies who consistently implement Six Sigma do perform better in almost all categories and measures of business success including return on investment, return on sales, employment growth, and stock value increases.

One drawback that has been seen and noticed is that Six Sigma doesn't do as well when there is not a general buy in by employees at all levels.This can be very important in some types of organizations.This becomes a problem with companies that produce more than one product.There may a plant producing a particular product and when upper management and the board of directors see that that particular division has improved they may be very anxious and eager to put similar procedures and measures into place in all of their facilities when this may not be a good idea especially without securing the commitment of all those who will eventually be involved.There are also others who accuse companies who have adopted Six Sigma of only wanting to look good in court when they are in a lawsuit or some similar problem.Some also state that the value of reducing variation may not actually be worth the time and money it takes to implement Six Sigma, especially when time is an important factor.

Here are some of the most commonly cited pros and cons of Six Sigma.One of the beat things about the methodology of Six Sigma is that it places and emphasis on achieving measurable and attainable goals.A Six Sigma implementation is never put into motion unless there has been sufficient evidence that it will produce results and improve the bottom line.There are also a great deal of tools and techniques that are used for fixing problems in a business setting that take place in a very sequential order.This helps to improve the way that ideas and action flow through the company in many different areas if not all.Discipline regarding the way problems are handled and solutions arrived upon is engrained in the process.Another thing that makes Six Sigma great is the reliance on the passion and commitment of upper management to the company and this passion often trickles down to lower levels and improves company morale in general.This also makes employees on all levels more committed to the business and its vision and goals.Six Sigma also tries to look outside of the company to solve the problems that it faces.It relies on cultural changes and customer opinions which really are very important in the success of all businesses.These concepts are integrated into the company from top to bottom as well.It also creates a foundation on which development of employees and other business ideas can be solidly founded.The decisions that are made through implementation of Six Sigma processes are generally only based on data and actual numbers that have a real world meaning.There are no hunches that make their way to production and no hurt feelings when an idea doesn't do well even though the management really wanted it put into action.Assumptions have no place in Six Sigma and the absence of these types of bad business methods improves the company even more.

With all the positive things that people have to say about Six Sigma, there are also plenty to go around that aren't so positive.With any system that relies heavily on data and measurement like Six Sigma does, it may sometimes be difficult to gather sufficient data and this can be a big problem especially when big tactical decisions are being made based on the date collected.There are even times when a particular type of data or measurement may not even be available at all.Gathering and finding out ways to gather data when it is not available can have a very significant cost to the company in terms of time and effort.Prioritization can also become a problem when Six Sigma is being used because it so critical to the success or failure of the implementation.There are very few tools that have been developed that help make objective decisions regarding prioritization.There is also some dispute as to what really qualifies as statistical error and how much should really be allowed or assumed.If a defect qualifies and anything that doesn't meet a customers demands then where do you draw the line?There are some fantastically picky consumers out there and most businesses will argue that it is near impossible to please everyone that you will ever do business with, especially when customers have expectations of a product or service that were never intended to be there in the first place.Another problem that is stated about Six Sigma is the non standardized process of determining roles in the process and how each relates to the other.For example, when exactly does a green belt really need to become a black belt?What ratio of master black belts should you have to black belts and similar questions?Such procedures are never uniform from one company to another and there is a great deal of flexibility in how this process is implemented.Another problem that can really hurt badly in the long run involves companies that claim to have knowledge of Six Sigma but are only familiar with it from a consulting position and have never actually implemented a system themselves.This lack of experience may lead to problems down the road and lead to losses or decreased quality rather than increasing these figures.Others say that Six Sigma is simply a complicated and overworked quality improvement scheme and can sometimes be done much more easily without following all the tedious steps involved.Six Sigma is also oversold by consulting companies who really only have basic understanding of the tools and resources involved.Some people see the designation of roles in Six Sigma as a cheesy rip off of the different belt levels used in martial arts that really isn't parallel at all.Some also say that Six Sigma is based on arbitrary standards that may or may not translate from industry to industry and from company to company.There are also those who suggest that Six Sigma stifles creativity and replaces it with a controlled process rather than creativeness.This is a very serious problem especially with companies that are in the high tech field that relies on innovation and thinking outside the box to drive business and revenues.

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