Paper On Lean And Six Sigma

741 words - 3 pages

The concepts that I selected were Lean and six sigma. I had never heard of these concepts prior to class, and once presented, I was fascinated with the results and success it has had with businesses. My father worked at Motorola for many years and I had no idea that this was the company that pioneered six sigma and presented it as a business management strategy in 1986. Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defect errors and minimizing variability in manufacturing by using statistical methods. Six Sigma produces products with a 99. 99% chance of it being free of defects. That correlates to 3. 4 defects per million opportunities. In order for Six Sigma to be successful, it requires the entire company's support, especially top management. The main focus of Six Sigma is to improve processes and to have operational cost savings.

Six Sigma can be a very beneficial tool for companies to embrace if it is implemented correctly in a company. Unfortunately, some companies fail to fully understand Six Sigma, and it ends up hurting the company more than improving it. A company that failed to use Six Sigma correctly is 3M. 3M is known for its innovations, and once Six Sigma was implemented into operations, the company was negatively affected. Former CEO James McNerney noticed a decline in the creativity of its employees after Six Sigma was introduced. "The Six Sigma process killed innovation at 3M," said Nicholson. "Initially, what would happen in 3M with Six Sigma people, they would say they need a five-year business plan for [a new idea]. Come on; we don't know yet because we don't know how it works, we don't know how many customers [will take it up], we haven't taken it out to the customer yet."[footnoteRef:1] Due to the fact that innovation is a major component of 3M, the company should have found a process that supports the company's supportive process instead of using more of a rigid process like Six Sigma. 3M did not fully understand what/who Six Sigma was developed for. The article continues to explain that Six Sigma was not designed for creativity but rather for manufacturing when starting to scale up a product. 3M believed that Six Sigma was a strict process that lacked freedom and was, evidently...

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