Revitalizing Six Sigma: What Matters Most to the Business

from John Crager – APQC (WCBF Presenter)

Honeywell’s Six Sigma journey

Honeywell began its Six Sigma journey in 1995 to drive data-based decision making, ensure quality levels, and improve customer satisfaction. Through training, leadership, and senior management support, Honeywell has developed a successful Six Sigma program. However, the progress did not happen overnight and has been recently re-energized to create a more powerful business advantage that will drive productivity and growth.

In late 2001 Honeywell combined the concepts of Lean and Six Sigma in a program called Six Sigma Plus. This program aligns its improvement objectives directly with the business needs by incorporating top talent and producing bottom-line results.

“Although Honeywell had made great progress, Six Sigma was viewed as a side dish and not an entrée,” said Jeff Osborne, Honeywell Aerospace’s vice president of Six Sigma Plus. “We had to create a compelling Six Sigma vision that was directly aligned to the business. Our vision was to make Six Sigma the way we think, act, and execute. It wasn’t solely about doing projects, and it was much more than Green Belt training and certification; it was about changing the way we operate our entire business.”

Osborne identified the following points as the 10 commandments of Six Sigma:

1. Six Sigma has one purpose: to serve the business. The business does not serve Six Sigma.

2. The Six Sigma vision and strategy must be a subset of the business vision and strategies.

3. Six Sigma organization must be directly aligned to the business model.

4. Focus on application instead of certification.

5. Project selection is owned by senior management, not by the Black Belts.

6. Measure the business results, not Six Sigma activity.

7. Never overstate Six Sigma benefits. Math wins every time.

8. Six Sigma resources must be business leaders and not statisticians.

9. Six Sigma resources must be full time and dedicated.

10. Six Sigma is a mindset, not a quality program.

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