Lean Six Sigma Quality Management tightrope
Every organization has its own opinion of what Quality Management is, and has spun together a list of acronyms and terms to define what it is for themselves. Quality Management has been implemented in most large organisations for several decades, under all sorts of brand names – Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean, etc.
Experience suggests that such Quality initiatives are typically viewed as an overnight fix-it-all and an added chore to the day-to-day activities; teach the employees a couple of Quality tools and BANG! efficiency galore. However, that’s not true. In saying this I do acknowledge that there are many “islands of excellence” throughout the industry.
Quality is like any other activity. You need to learn it, apply it, fail at it, learn from your mistakes, and then get better at it. Companies, managers, and employees are not taught to handle nor given the freedom to fail. That’s why most Quality initiatives die before getting started, just because the fear of retribution is harsher than one will admit to.
No one methodology can answer all of life’s questions but employee adoption of Lean Six Sigma skills will rarely take you in the wrong direction.
Quality is about making things better. And that is the attitude that every company should have. The rest are just acronyms.