Perhaps you’ve heard of the examples. The corporations who turned to Lean Six Sigma years ago in order to gain efficiencies in their processes which result in cost savings, better service, and better products. For those corporations — or any company turning to the methodology for strong results — does the investment of Six Sigma training ever end?

Actually, it does.

Recently, as reported in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Xerox announced that it was disbanding its Lean Six Sigma team in order to free up funds for marketing and customer-based innovation. Does that mean that Xerox, one of the most ardent supporters of Lean Six Sigma over more than a decade, is turning its back on the methodology? Absolutely not, the company says.

Xerox employees began their Lean Six Sigma training in 2003. Currently, the company has about 500 black belts and 2,500 green belts. Not only do those employees use Lean Six Sigma in the workplace, but they also volunteer to help other companies in the community use the principles for better business, as well.

The Connecticut-based company’s president of corporate operations, Herve Tessler, wrote in a memo to employees that Xerox has met its goal of embedding the principles of Lean Six Sigma within the business and that those black belts and green belts will continue to be important resources to critical operations. However, Tessler explained, because the principles are now embedded so well, the company no longer needs a separate Lean Six Sigma function. According to Xerox spokesman Bill McKee, “Lean Six Sigma is alive and well in Xerox and will continue to be so.”

Yes, the investment of Six Sigma training for employees does end. But as long as you have employees who are trained in the methodology, the benefits of it never end.

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