There have always been doubts regarding the effectiveness of six sigma for small or medium size business organisations. But blowing away all cloud of doubt, experts have always suggested the techniques should be deployed with little modification when considering small and medium businesses. With economies around the world watching many SMEs not only evolve but also have shown new roads of success, the time has arrived which calls for better implementation of Six Sigma tools for promoting operational excellence in SMEs and pushing them ahead on the path of growth.
Ideal Conditions for Implementation of Six Sigma for Small Businesses
There are many factors to consider when bricking the way for Six Sigma deployment. They are:
- The support from theowner: Before igniting the implementation process of Six Sigma tools, the owner should be willing to allocate enough time to it.
- Core benefits: For successful deployment of Six Sigma techniques, a small business must have routine operations that will get the direct advantage from the process.
- Open to Change: An organisation, thinking of employing rigorous Six Sigma procedures, should be willing to accept change. There should be no resistance towards the change in organisation’s culture.
All businesses, irrespective of their size, must keep in mind that Six Sigma is not a magic solution. There are many business aspects but small businesses should avoid the temptation to involve Six Sigma for all of them. It is crucial that business organisations also utilise their instincts and intuitive decision making sense to analyse the market and competition for efficient use of this magnificent tool.
What Should be Small Business be Ready For?
As mentioned before, a business should be ready to change if they want Six Sigma to produce good results for them. But to put all the changes into effect there are three requirements a business must fulfil. Firstly, an organisation should be tolerant of contrasts and failures in the expected results. Any organisation that wants to change must have forbearance towards negative results.
Secondly, an organisation should be ready to identify slow procedures and underutilised resources. The procedures should be streamlined and resources should be diverted in theright direction to optimise the effects of change. And lastly, redundancy in the systems must be well presented and approved by stakeholders.
The reasons that bigger organisations meet these requirements with an ease but that might not be the case with small businesses. However, with theright approach, small businesses utilise the benefits of Six Sigma effectively. Here are some points small businesses can use to modify some aspects to meet requirements of Six Sigma.
Focus of Increasing Tolerance
Small businesses are not in a position to afford a lot of mistakes. They are putting all their resources and efforts in direction of growth. But one point that pulls them back from being tolerant is that they are standing on a thin line between survival and success. While one good decision can catapult them into the realms of success, a single mistake might prove detrimental to their survival. This lack of stability should not be the reason behind their conservative choices while implementing Six Sigma. Those anticipating to deploy Six Sigma for small businesses must remember the rule of thumb will always be – “Never risk more than you can afford”.
Small business owners should add on their customers, who in any case, should not be affected by Six Sigma results. It is important to ensure that basic quality systems are installed before deployment of Six Sigma.
Slack: Change Agents
Change agents spend a reasonable amount of time on Six Sigma project. Human resource is the scarcest resource for any organisation. When small business owners are creating slack, they must have a good plan. They should hire an Independent Six Sigma consultant who can bring in factors like experience, knowledge, and skills to ensure the success of the process.
There are many challenges that only small businesses encounter which can cause failure. Two of the most daunting obstacles that are faced by small business is lack of expertise and the dynamic nature of thebusiness.
It is better to hire an expert business consultant rather than handing over this project to amateurs. Inadequate expertise can be dangerous for small business. Small businesses have a dynamic nature and need an experienced consultant who can not only understand nature of business and limitation of Six Sigma but also help them in theeffective deployment of this awesome tool.