Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a colleague who is a Six Sigma and DFSS Master Black belt who just returned from Europe where he conducted a Black Belt Training session. He pointed out how much different the Europeans are to the Americans when it comes to their expectations and commitment they show for new initiatives, particularly quality. He said when the European’s decide to introduce a program like Design for Six Sigma, they stick to it, even through the early failures and trials and tribulations. This is in contrast to many American manufacturers, who rattle through process improvement programs and philosophies like subscribing to the book of the month. (I have witnessed this firsthand, unfortunately.)
The moral of the story is do your research and make intelligent decisions on what tools you need to employ to make the necessary improvements to your company, for both its products and processes. Train your employees, implement and stick to it through good and bad. Give it the time and effort to be effective before abandoning it for another program.
Look at these programs as hiring employees – we all know hiring employees is a time consuming and costly endeavor, so by nature we don’t want to rehiring for the same position every month or year.