Six Sigma at 3m, Inc.

Topics: Management, Six Sigma, Team Pages: 7 (2300 words) Published: September 19, 2012
Julieta G. Manzano MM 240
Six Sigma at 3M, Inc. Brief Summary of the Case: When James McNerndy was announced the Chairman and Chief Executive of 3M, Inc. his top priority is to implement Six Sigma in the company as he envision this as the solution to the lagging profit of the company. His first step is to training hundreds of his senior executives to lead the implementation and train the middle management as well. The current Director of Six Sigma Operations, Jeanne O’Connell had mentioned four reasons in implementation of the program; with the common language to be instituted in the company from the program a common approach could be use to achieve the common goals, transferable skills is also developed and it is the most effective way to increase and accelerate business performance and customer quality. “You can not please everybody” as the saying goes, not all companies of the 3M embraces Six Sigma some of these reasons are very costly training of human force, only applies to the manufacturing industry, and it is just a fad. Main issue that have to tackle with is if the Six Sigma really benefits the company or it cost the company to sacrifice the innovative and creative culture for the sake of continuous improvement of products to satisfy the customers and accelerate the financial performance.

Challenges at 3M, Inc. As the firm went through this major transformation, many questions went through the minds of 3M managers.


What will be the benefits, costs, and risks of the Six Sigma program, and how will they be tracked? How should the various functional areas in the organization be included in the Six Sigma initiative, and what role should senior and middle management play in this change initiative? What role should Six Sigma play in corporate strategy? What are the human resource implications for deploying Six Sigma (e.g., employee selection, roles, organization structure, reward systems) How will Six Sigma affect the innovative culture at 3M, and is Six Sigma enough?




I. Summary table for benefits, costs and risks of Six Sigma at 3M Benefits Energize the organization Costs Boosts employee morale as everybody will be involved in the implementation through collaboration and team work. Investment in the variance reduction or prevention of defective products. .Exceeds customer requirements. Risks Reporting/Tracking Measures The program may pressure and *Through the performance stress employees to be on the evaluation of the employees. required time frame *Employee productivity. Time consuming process for the *Financial status report of the perfection of the product company. *Statistical Tools Highlights failures that could *Financial statement hinder the spirit of being innovative specifically on the Income Statement. *Quality Function Deployment Turnover of trained employees *Through the employee productivity.

Increase in sales and cash flow

Satisfy customer better Strengthen management development Conducting of training is costly

Chairman and CEO W. James McNerney Jr. wanted to implement Six Sigma approach to process and business improvement in 3M, Inc. in the belief that the company will be benefited from it the way he sees it to other companies. These are the following;  Energize the organization There is a great significant result after deploying the Six Sigma program in the company according to Brad Sauer (Executive Director of Six Sigma) in his interview with the 3M Stemwinder. He could see that every human workforce in the organization change the way they work. The identified and selected projects of the program by the senior management are supported by the middle management all the way through the group of teams that will work on the new process improvement. The one-system approach of the program that is data-driven makes everybody gathers information to share with others where they could leverage. In this way, teams are force to accelerate from the built foundation...
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