Is Six Sigma Valuable to Small Companies of 50 People or Less?

Good afternoon all,

Our company has been invited by our largest customer to send a representative to attend 4 weeks of 6 sigma training at different facilities. The training would be 1 week/month. We are not a large company, (50 people tops). We have no experience with 6 sigma, and everything I have read is that it is not really for smaller organizations. Its not that we are hesitant to send someone, but want to make sure that if the decision is made to send someone, we are not wasting the time and money to do so. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Does this training come with any type of professional certification? I only ask because this scenario would make me hesitate. As a smaller company is the program beneficial to you, does it align with your goals. You would need to determine whether this program would be something you want to pursue as a business whole, because having someone trained will do you no good unless the business adopts the program into its quality system. Further, there seems to be a reasonable demand for quality professionals with Six Sigma qualification, so I would be wondering if an employee which recieves this training might just start shopping around for other employment. I realize that sounds bad, but it would be an honest concern for me. I wouldn’t want to hold any employee back, but I also wouldn’t want to hand a good employee a ticket to a higher salary position which I would have to compete with in order to keep them.

In your situation, I wouldn’t pursue this training unless I was considering implementing Six Sigma as a whole, and if I were thinking of doing that, I would likely want more than just one trained employee.

I just completed a five week course with our biggest customer and we are a 45 employee shop. I can tell you that you have to have a serious committtment from your management and champion. Mine signed a contract saying I would be allowed to work on the projects full time and I still only get to spend 30% of my work time on the projects. I fear that if I am going to be a functional black belt I will have to do it elsewhere.

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thanks for the links

My number one criteria for a successful six sigma deployment would be management that is committed and seen to be committed to the methodology.

What other factors do you see as important?