The new Six Sigma has had no less than a dazzling debut, starting in late 1994 with AlliedSignal. Originated in 1987 at Motorola, Six Sigma was adopted by very few companies, though it was not taken very seriously. Only after AlliedSignal (now known as Honeywell) demonstrated Six Sigma's effectiveness in redefining a company, achieving dramatic results and—more importantly—positively affecting the lives of thousands of employees, did Six Sigma catch the imagination of corporate America. General Electric (GE) adopted Six Sigma in 1996 with a vengeance.
With Jack Welch (GE) and Larry Bossidy (AlliedSignal) promoting the effectiveness and necessity of Six Sigma, the Six Sigma tsunami began. A former Motorola quality leader, Richard Schroeder, was the chief advisor to both these dynamic leaders. In fact, Richard lead the AlliedSignal Six Sigma deployment for Larry. With the leadership of these three spiritual leaders, hundreds of companies have met the challenge of deploying Six Sigma into their businesses. There are very few stories of failed deployments.
This book was written to inspire leaders to commit to deploying Six Sigma and to demystify the process. If you are a senior leader of an organization, or a leader who might be involved in launching Six Sigma, this book is for you. The book will also work well to provide a handbook (or playbook) to support your organization's effort as you start Six Sigma. Everyone wants to know what the next great initiative will be after Six Sigma.
This book will not directly answer that question. But, the next best thing may reside in a company's or organization's ability to effectively deploy change initiatives. To quickly identify and initiate a change program will be the core competency of the millennium. This book demonstrates the way to deploy a complex change initiative within 90 days—the deployment milestones are here, and the roadmaps are here. Essentially, if you don't effectively deploy Six Sigma, it won't matter what the next big program will be.
These milestones and roadmaps are based on my 18+ years' experience in Six Sigma, plus the extensive experience of the 10 contributors to the book. We have seen the critical milestones that work and the failure modes that lead to mediocrity. More importantly, we have provided enough detail to equip you with the knowledge of what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.
Because of my Six Sigma work with the 1994 AlliedSignal deployment, I draw many principles from Larry Bossidy and Richard Schroeder. Larry was the business leader and Rich was the spiritual leader for the initiative—they were a perfect team. These two leaders were responsible for, most likely, the best deployment of Six Sigma ever. With pinpoint accuracy, their leadership teams deployed a very large program in about 90 days. This deployment was a tribute to leaders who weren't afraid to get emotionally involved with change.
Six Sigma presents a clear challenge because of its multifaceted nature. The Six Sigma continuum includes sophisticated statistical methods, problem-solving roadmaps, alignment of strategy to internal actions, and high-powered leadership. This book addresses the actions necessary to create hundreds of "Great Groups" working throughout your company to redefine your performance.
This book will consist of three sections: Part I, "Pre-Launch," Part II, "The First 90 Days," and Part III, "Post-Launch." The term launch is defined as the activities leading up to the first wave of Six Sigma training programs.