Over the last 30 years, Six Sigma has demonstrated its capability to improve the bottom-line and top-line of many of the world’s top corporations. By design, the magnitude of such enhancements are first envisioned by the top leadership of an organization and then downwardly allocated to the process level.
At this level, the improvement goals are translated into Six Sigma projects, each of which is chartered and then assigned to a Black Belt. In turn, the Black Belt executes the DMAIC improvement strategy to realize the prescribed value-centric gains. Upon successful completion of the project, the Black Belt prepares an appropriate control plan to assure the gains are sustained over time. Following this, the gains are validated by accounting and the project is officially closed.
However, far too often this last step proves to be an Achilles Heel. The reason is quite simple – the control plan was not made accountable. The reason for this is almost unimaginable – no one owns the process. Without a process owner, the hard-won gains often evaporate over time and the process usually returns to its historical steady state condition. This is but one of the many “lessons learned” that an organization should embrace during the course of deploying and implementing Six Sigma.
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