Six-Sigma Pitfalls by Marc S. Morrison, Industry Week.
In a word, yes.
While an amazingly simple idea, people seem to forget this quite often. When people say “Six Sigma is great” or “Six Sigma is a waste” often they are talking about different things. But because in both instances “Six Sigma” is used people believe that the meaning must be the same in both cases. It often isn’t. While I find some Six Sigma efforts, books or consultants very useful many others (that also use the words “Six Sigma”) do not offer much of value.
What exactly is meant by “Six Sigma” varies quite a bit. And execution is critical to what makes one program succeed and another fail. Well I guess once I say that I find some of what is called “Six Sigma” valuable but not all of it I should share how to know what I think it good. I am not claiming these are the only good sources, just that they are what I have familiarity with and confidence in.
From my post: Has Six Sigma been a failure?: “Many Six Sigma proponents have done great things: Gerry Hahn, Roger Hoerl, Soren Bisgaard, Bill Hill, Ron Snee and Forrest Breyfogle” are good examples. Read several good articles by Roger Hoerl. You can also see more articles, by those I mentioned, and others via the Curious Cat Management Improvement Library.
Forrest Breyfogle, Roger Hoerl and Ron Snee have some excellent six sigma books.
This is often the case with any program management is pushing. Whatever program those at higher levels want to see given the credit for successes, get the credit. This is one of several forms of distorting the figures.