Six Sigma Business Strategy is all about developing a robust road map leading to the improved business results. It starts with the fundamental business thinking first. It is irrespective of what kind and size of business you have, whether small, medium or large, Six Sigma business strategy can only help you to give you better direction and business results.
Every business is usually aware of what the business strategy
is (though it may also happen that a few businesses
still don’t know much about it and they are just doing business based on
intuition and instincts). The business strategy is all about how to devise the
right strategic ways and tactical actions plans to achieve the desired goals.
The simplest example is like having a goal of reaching some fixed destination of Point A. But there may be 10 roads which may lead to point A. Some long, longer and some short and shorter. Some laden with more risks and some apparently clear and easy. Some may be expensive and some may be cheaper to adopt. The business thinking is important at this stage, out of the 10 roads which one you should take to reach your destination point A. If you don’t take a pause and think and analyze carefully, you may get tempted to use the road which you are familiar with and which you perceive it is the right one. Or, simply your decision may be based on an impulse going for any one road which just feels right.
Such way of decision making often happens, and many a time, bring wrong or disastrous results. Now those who are really serious about the serious business thinking, they may take some time along with their team to think through choosing the right road. This is a perfect good business sense.
Now, if you really want to upgrade to the higher level, then we now enter into the domain of Six Sigma which is a near perfect business improvement methodology and which can be used in almost all areas of business and life.
Six Sigma Business Strategy will involve some solid analytical methods along with some data gathering in order to arrive at the right decision making which road should be chosen. Therefore, it will be no more based on the intuition, impulse, staff feedback or just casual past experience or any feedback from someone. These factors all combined together will only be one part of the whole equation. The other part is the more scientific and statistical.
Six Sigma just cannot be separated from the famous Six Sigma
equation DMAIC – Define, Measure,
Analyze, Improve and Control. The true soul and spirit of Six Sigma is
hidden in this DMAIC equation. In the simplest term, DMAIC is also called a
problem solving equation in the Six Sigma planning and implementation. When we
talk about the problems, it is also important to understand that problems are disturbing
and painful things or areas which cause continuous trouble or pain in one way
or the other. As an example we only go to the doctor when we have consistent pain
or medical problem. For a few days we usually wait that the problem will go
away naturally (the self-healing), then we try to adopt our own native and domestic
solutions. When everything is exhausted and we are unable to solve the pain or
problem then we rush to the doctor to get the expert advice, solution or
Similar is the case for Six Sigma Methodology. But the irony of the fact is that most of the small and medium sized companies keep on doing things wrong and keep on wondering why it is going wrong and why it is bringing the wrong results all the time. Such business blindness is really costly.
Six Sigma Business strategy helps you to find the right course of action at the right time, through structured way of measuring and analyzing the options at hand.
In our above example of reaching the Point A, lets apply the DMAIC here.
Define - (the problem or issue on hand)
How to reach to the point A destination with less money and fastest time.
Measure – (get the problem data and measure it)
Take or obtain the past 12 months’ data of the cars, and passengers who have taken different 10 routes to reach to the point A. You can then put it in a tabular form, and it can give you the money and time statistics with mean, median and mode, standard deviation. You can also take into account the accidents on the routes and personal problems of the passengers, about how much that may have cost.
Analyze – (find the root causes or shortlist the options)
Now analyze the root causes of the problem or issue on hand. Shortlist the 3 roads which would require less money and are shorter to reach with less problems and accidents.
Dig deeper and you may also try to get more data of the three options or roads and also get the subjective feedback from the ground up.
Improve – Finalize the One Option / Road
Now select the one option or road in this case backed up with solid analysis, quantitative and qualitative.
Control – Maintain and Use it for future
Keep this solution and analysis as a future reference to adopt and effectively communicate to all the staff that out of the 10 possible roads or options, company will adopt the Option No. 5 or Road 5 to reach to the destination Point A.
The above Six Sigma Business strategy provides a simplistic business analogy based on the core business strategic planning. However, when you want to analyze the more advance problems and issues, the basic Six Sigma philosophy and mindset will remain the same about how to use the DMAIC in every area to solve things and issues, mostly the measurements and analysis part may be much deeper and advance level with much greater effort in order to the reach at the desired ‘Improve’ stage.
The Six Sigma Business Strategy demands that the company should be able to achieve their stipulated goals, no matter what ‘plan of action’ you adopt. The top management will only be concerned with the final results. However, please note that the Six Sigma Business Strategy should be agile and flexible. Don’t make it rigid. It may also be possible that your Six Sigma Business Strategy my hit a dead end in the mid-course. Don’t fret much on it, re-draw your plan and get on to the alternative road or option. The bottom line is that you need to reach you goal i.e. Point A.