The Key Principles behind the Integrated Enterprise Excellence Methodology (A Procurement Insights Knowledge Leadership Publication)

Posted on January 29, 2009


Is Six Sigma Still Relevant in A Dynamically Changing World?

“With the growing level of dissatisfaction with programs such as Six Sigma, the question that needs to be asked is quite simply this . . . what are the key elements of a successful process improvement initiative?

This white paper focuses on the possible reasons behind the alarming number of failed or struggling programs, as well as providing insight into why Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge establishes a meaningful foundation upon which Forrest Breyfogle’s Integrated Enterprise Excellence methodology consistently delivers superior results.”

Excerpt from “The Key Principles behind the Integrated Enterprise Excellence” White Paper (January 2009).

When I first began work on this white paper my intention was to discover why, beneath the veneer of excellence, there appeared to be a growing disenchantment with programs such as Six Sigma, Lean and even closer to home relative to supply chain practice, SCOR.

As I began to peel back the proverbial onion, it became obvious that the above methodologies shared many of the same characteristics that have been linked to both the enterprise software and outsourcing industries.  Specifically the long on promise, short on delivery dilemma that is usually tied to a visionary surrender to a “just fix it” executive mindset that is based more on expedience rather than practical application.

Don’t get me wrong, there are of course Six Sigma successes.  But as the results from my past research has consistently demonstrated, said success had little to do with the actual methodology or technology employed, and more to do with the people charged with the program’s execution.  One such example is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s eVA initiative.  While Virginia had utilized Ariba as the platform for the program, their success would have been the same regardless of the enterprise vendor with whom they chose to work.  The fact that Ariba, like the majority of other vendors experience an initiative failure rate of 85% gives testimony to this fact.

And it is this absence of a scalable success model, which is the result of a greater emphasis being put on compliance with a formulaic approach to operational “excellence” versus an active engagement between key stakeholders that is at the heart of the growing disenchantment with Six Sigma, Lean and the other similar-type programs.

This of course brought me back to the fundamental question, what are the key elements of a successful initiative.  I believe this paper on Integrated Enterprise Excellence represents the first step toward answering that question.     

Use the following link to access the paper in its entirety:  


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