A few thoughts on the ISO 13053 standard for Six Sigma which was published in 2011:
Yes, “Standardization” is one of the key tools of Lean and Six Sigma….however…
1. When international bodies get involved their motivation is sometimes only to acquiring more authority and leverage in the commercial marketplace.
2. It is important to be able to update or improve a standard rapidly, when the need or opportunity arises. Again, my concern is that international bodies often have rigorous, slow and many-staged processes to adapt standards to changes in usage.
3. Lean Six Sigma or even simply six sigma should be considered as a Body of Knowledge rather than a clearly defined methodology. Establishing a standard can lock out useful tools which could otherwise add value in a real life situations.
Then the purists say “we use the one true six sigma” and become less willing or even unwilling to use tools which would otherwise add value to an improvement project. The danger lies in that a company chooses to work with a purist and their options of paths to success are therefore narrowed.
4. No one body or organization is the ‘owner’ of Lean, Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma …and that should be made very clear.
I look forward to your comments and possible additions or alternative views.