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With this deployment style, sight of the big picture can be lost.” However, he says that, there can be a promulgation of this innovation-stifling belief by those who feel threatened.Some are concerned by the additional level of accountability and are looking for ways to undermine the deployment’s implementation,” Breyfogle remarks.
“One exception will be incremental innovation such as product extensions (for example, multiple colors of post-it notes are innovations, but very different than a groundbreaking radical innovation like the ipod).
Such incremental innovation may actually increase because it is easy to measure in the short term, and managers can demonstrate improvement in metrics like time-to-market or costs,” adds Benner.
But I think it always has to be leavened a bit with a focus on innovation and [customer relationships].” Brushing aside criticism that 6S inhibits rather than encourages innovation, Forrest Breyfogle, CEO Smarter Solutions, says: “this could be the case in an organization’s Lean Six Sigma deployment, where focus is given to the search for projects and their completion.
In these organizations, primary focus can be for black-belt or green-belt certification upon project completion.
In addition, if all the companies within an industry are undertaking similar Six Sigma-type improvements, it can be hard to gain any upside advantage from Six Sigma, she says.
Commenting on the limitations of Six Sigma and its applications, Benner says that while ground breaking innovation is not possible with 6S, she says that incremental innovation can be achieved.
“Six Sigma is very compatible with innovation and invention when applied appropriately.
6S, at its heart, is about eliminating bad outcomes of a process through the use of hypotheses, tests, and experimentation.
While some management professionals feel that Six Sigma hasn’t lost its sheen yet and is still serving the purpose it was initially designed for, many are opposed to the idea and consider 6S as a mere appraisal tool which has been over-rated mostly as a result of marketing and overexcited public relations.
They say that the days of 6S glory are over and its’ no more an easy sell now.