Six Sigma Won’t Fix Bad Management?

Posted on March 15, 2006  Comments (5)

Re: Six Sigma won’t cure bad management

I believe Six Sigma can be an effective management improvement strategy. It is not the most effective, in my opinion, but still effective. In my opinion, if Six Sigma isn’t making a significant impact on fixing bad management then it isn’t a very effective six sigma effort.

Like most management concepts how it is applied varies tremendously. If one just uses some tools that are part of the “Six Sigma tool kit” (mostly tools from TQM and the like) then you might improve bad management only marginally.

But if you read the work of Roger Hoerl, Soren Bisgaard, Forrest Breyfogle III… and learn and apply what they talk about as Six Sigma you will definitely have to address bad management practices. Their Six Sigma is definitely a management improvement system (you can’t apply their concepts of Six Sigma without fixing many bad management practices).

Also see my thoughts after a Six Sigma conference in 1999 and more recent posts on Deming and Six Sigma and Has Six Sigma been a failure?.

5 Responses to “Six Sigma Won’t Fix Bad Management?”

  1. Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog » Blog Archive » Six Sigma Theory?
    July 2nd, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

    [...] Six Sigma Won’t Fix Bad Management? [...]

  2. New Rules for Management? No!
    December 10th, 2006 @ 11:07 am

    [...] New” rule: “Admire my soul”
    Meaningless, feel free to read more and disagree with me. Is it dangerous to be seen as a bully? Yes. That has been true for a long time. Is there value in being trustworthy and respected? Yes. Again, true for a long time. [...]

  3. CuriousCat: Six Sigma at Cummins
    May 12th, 2007 @ 7:46 am

    [...] Six sigma is obviously achieving results many companies find worthwhile as they continue to grow their efforts year after year. [...]

  4. On Pharma
    January 3rd, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

    [...] For any of you who don’t read “comments”, just heard from ASEE Program Manager John Hunter, whose excellent blog, “The Curious Cat,” focuses exclusively on management improvement. Last March he wrote an interesting post that may interest you: “Don’t blame Six Sigma and Lean for poor management.” [...]

  5. Claudia
    August 23rd, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    I like how people expect a methodology to “fix” poor management. It doesn’t.

    Six sigma or lean is not an entity in and of itself. It requires a good manager or management team to execute.

    “…Six Sigma can be an effective management improvement strategy…” very true.

    Perhaps some people should get a bit more comfortable with the concepts of lean and six sigma, rather than assuming they know the details simply because it’s been around for several years.

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