Sustaining six sigma at Motorola

By Rajalakshmi Rahul on June 22, 2012

The following section describes the strategies to be adapted by Motorola in order to sustain its six sigma process successfully.

At the launch of Six Sigma initiative that will set expectations for superior results, require dramatic improvement, demand major changes, transform corporate culture, and embody the corporate philosophy, strong leadership is required (Keller, 2005; Pyzdek, 2003). Strong leadership creates a target for employees, inspires commitment and action from employees earns the respect of employees, and recognizes employees successes. Employees must be able to experience the leadership passion for practicing Six Sigma and realizing measurable units.

One of the major principles of Six Sigma is measuring what you value. Corporations have been initiating Six Sigma without a measure of their growth and profitability. Six Sigma provides the necessary tools and builds the momentum to achieve benefits fast and corporations realize those benefits. Without a measurement of progress toward sigma levels one is accepting partial results because they are better than what could be achieved without Six Sigma. Interestingly Corporations that have been implementing the Six Sigma initiative appear to have no drive to establish the corporate sigma level. This is understandable because it is rather easier to simply pick the low hanging fruit and not worry about the sigma level.

However to go beyond the obvious, the leadership must decide to take the journey beyond the first few years of Six Sigma. Otherwise the Six Sigma initiative is bound to change into another initiative because the drive for improvement would no longer be Six Sigma just the elements in it. An integrated, well aligned, directed and monitored Six Sigma initiative will extend the life of the improvement and realize sustained results for Motorola irrespective of any leadership changes.


  • Keller P (2005), Six Sigma Demystified, Tata McGraw Hill, New York.
  • Pyzdek T (2003), The Six Sigma Handbook, Tata McGraw Hill, New York
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