Week 6 Discussion
Prepare a rough draft of the Case Study (Case study 467 Six Sigma at 3M, Inc.) submitted.
Answer the questions at the end of the case study within the paper (Challenges at 3M).
Also, Rough Drafts from fellow classmates are submitted, and the material needs to be included within the rough draft paper.
NO PLAGIARISM !!!!
NO COPY AND PASTE !!!!
NO REWRITE OR RE-PARAPHRASE !!!!
HAS TO BE ORIGINAL !!!!!
Six Sigma 3M Case Study (draft)
1. What will be the benefits, costs, and risks of the Six Sigma program, and how will they be tracked and reported?
The benefit to 3M would primarily come from a cost and productivity boost from improvement in their existing product lines that made sense in their long term strategic plans. The more extensive strategic plans should take care of answering does a product line “make sense,” or should it be sold off or scrapped? Six Sigma would be misapplied to attempt to make a bad product good.
It is a manufacturing tool, and that is what it was designed to be not a business planning matrix tool. There is always danger in the process, taking over for vision. Tracking and reporting many aspects of a Six Sigma program is relatively easy as the approach is data-driven, and many of its outputs rely on metrics to show results.
· It has a Rigid framework of define, measure, analyze, improves, and control, as the process it follows all data-driven.
The costs and risks of the program usually come from poor implementation, misuse!, and this rigid approach. It also being data-driven does a poor job at tracking soft metrics of its impact within an organization over the long term.
· It is a short term tool for problem-solving, not a long term, high-level strategic planning tool. While it has at its core a goal of process control and stability, that also means that there is little room for risk. It also breeds very often a form of rigid thinking within the process workers as there is a lock on the process from six Sigma projects generally that may or may not foster engagement, and creativity.
2.How should the various functional areas in the organization be included in the Six Sigma initiative, and what role should senior and middle management play in this change initiative?
Senior Management needs to be in a leadership role with the implementation of the plans, ensuring and reassuring that this is a beneficial course for the organization and will further its long term goals. They also need to realize that by committing to this culture change, they have to support resource-wise sufficiently for the shift to happen and not be impatient with inevitable mixed results. Middle Management has a role to follow the implementation carefully and track what is happening and keep the new system moving toward successful implementation
3.What role should Six Sigma play in corporate strategy?
· Sigma should be utilized where it makes sense! It is easy to say it should be used everywhere. This is not a reality. There are many places it works poorly; minimal quantity builds to order highly complex items, R/D departments, for example, are places that require a careful examination of its application. When doing accurate basic research, there may not be a final goal or exact set of defined goals during the process. Small quantity highly complex items may require being built in singular or batches too small to every fully realize the timeline or scale of data required for Six Sigma to be effective (the sample size is too small). It may, however, still have an application for making the lego blocks used in these applications or maybe ventured into for management and process control of these departments.
· Resource implications include leaders who are totally committed and involved. Motivated employees who are ready to work thoroughly with Six Sigma are essential. Furthermore, by implementing Six Sigma, it allows HR to reject the candidates that will not be suitable to the organization or the company. Even though most employees will be trained, it can limit the candidate’s pull for specific roles that required Six Sigma knowledge. Six Sigma still not universal in manufacturing, so without a commitment to extensive training programs, many competent candidates may be excluded from the hiring process.
5. How will Six Sigma affect the innovative culture at 3M, and is Six Sigma enough?
· Sigma has overhead, it is bureaucratic, and it is rigid. 3M had a 15% notion that many in R/D could spend time outside their assigned tasks to do DEEP Thought type of work. Where does this go if it is consumed by 20% of their time being consumed by Six sigma training, record keeping, and project planning? What if another 20% of their time is consumed simply by the new processes it takes to accomplish their current work that is being enforced by the Six Sigma program? The answer is unclear to a point, but very clear Six Sigma is a tool for a specific job, and that is to solve problems that in all reality probably should not have developed initially but did.
· And the process is more often than not poison when introduced too early in the innovative phase, it is a tool that cannot be brought into play soon enough once an actual task is defined, and a product concept is put into a strategic plan.