It is estimated that it takes an average of two years to adjust to the changes that Lean Six Sigma requires. If there is
not enough time or effort giving to implementing Lean Six Sigma then its chances of failure increase significantly. Another contradictory aspect is that Lean Six Sigma is meant to save money. While this is true, many companies feel the need to pay for additional resources or external help, such as consultants, which can end up costing the company more at first.
Since the focus of Lean Six Sigma is largely focused on the customer, sometimes the process of initiating the methodology can leave employees feeling stifled and inadequate (though this typically happens whilst the process is being set up and has its benefits later down the line). Customer satisfaction is one of the primary goals of Lean Six Sigma and other aspects are sometimes put on the back burner until issues surrounding customer satisfaction have been resolved.
Large businesses have a better chance of success when it comes to Lean Six Sigma than smaller businesses do. This is due to the fact that employees are required to receive accreditation in Six Sigma in order to go along with the changes and to be an asset to the company. Some companies choose to forgo employee certification due to the costs but still end up spending a lot of time and money with training, despite it taking place in the workplace. The reason that education is essential is because there are many stages to understanding how the methodology works and to know how to use it to enhance the business.
During the time that employees are being trained for Lean Six Sigma, whether at another institute or in the workplace, there will be lack of productivity in terms of work. Many employees can find it frustrating and confusing to understand the stages of Lean Six Sigma, which can lower self-esteem and even cause some to leave the job entirely. It is a process that requires a lot of foresight because the results are far from immediate.
About the Author: Shruti Bhat PhD, MBA, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Dr. Shruti Bhat is an award-winning Business Excellence Leader, Global Continuous Improvement Mastermind, Best-selling Author and Speaker. She is Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start-ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Emerging markets. She has authored eight business books and is an invited speaker at several national and international conferences, symposia and workshops.
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