3M Cuts Back on Six Sigma for Research and Development

3M Shelves Six Sigma in R&D

For the past two years, 3M Corp. has been giving back freedom and decision-making to its researchers following four years of Six Sigma mania under former CEO and Chairman W. James McNerney Jr. Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology and associated toolset for eliminating process defects.

Under McNerney’s successor, 3M CEO George Buckley has de-emphasized Six Sigma in R&D. At the same time, R&D spending in 2007 has been increased by 11 percent over 2006. “3M is a technology company so it’s essential that we keep investing in and creating new technology and product platforms

“George is throttling back in the laboratory and in R&D. At the same time, he’s a very strong proponent of lean Six Sigma in manufacturing and our supply chain,” according to Wendling. “Six Sigma has a place, but more in what I’d call transactional activities as opposed to basic research and product development. The key is to selectively use what makes sense in R&D, but not let Six Sigma become the end. For instance, we use (Six Sigma) design of experiments routinely in basic research

My previous posts on the proper use of six sigma: Process Improvement and InnovationSix Sigma Outdated? No.3M CEO on Six SigmaWill Six Sigma Fix Bad Management?New Rules for Management?Quality and Innovation

2 thoughts on “3M Cuts Back on Six Sigma for Research and Development

  1. Pingback: learnsigma » Innovation + Six Sigma = Disaster?

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