There are as many organizational roadblocks to implementing lean six sigma as there are kinds of organizations. Some types of general organization road blocks include:
- Lack of buy-in from senior management.
- Changing objectives.
- Difficulty securing necessary resources for the project.
- Ambiguous prioritization of the project or prioritizing the improvement project below others.
Flat / Horizontal Organizations
- Minimizes departmentalization.
- Decisions are forced to lower org levels – leads to inconsistency.
- Loss of key people can have a negative impact on the organization
- Resources may be too sparse and the organization may be unduly dependent upon the values of single individuals.
Tall / Vertical Organizations
- Lower level decisions are reviewed by those above them.
- Communications & decisions are slow.
- A lot of time and effort required to have people respond.
- New org levels are added to handle details of decision making – sometimes becoming impediments.
- Feedback is filtered.
- Upper management is out of the loop on localized quality or customer issues. Sometimes festers into major issues.
- Can be too bureaucratic.
- People become extremely specialized in their field. Well-rounded people difficult to find.
- Coordination of projects can be more difficult than in the flat org.
- Danger of sub-organization values becoming an echo chamber.
- May be duplication of effort / services.
- Individuals may lack overall corporate focus since they are concerned with the smaller piece of the pie.
- Segments are better at meeting competitor challenges.
- Sometimes parts of the company compete against each other for resources and / or consumers.
- Similar as functional.
- Undesirable regional or nationalistic cultural differences may arise.
- Specialists report to 2 or more people. Violates the 1 boss rule.
- Difficult for the specialist to decide which boss to respond to first.
- Competing values.
- Occupational subcultures.
Team Base Organizations
- Employee selection process is much more stringent.
- Management time is directed at employee training and support.
- Not for organizations that are encountering severe short-term threats.
- Loss of some middle managers (when transitioning to team-based) would mean tremendous loss of knowledge.
- Many teams can spawn multiple subcultures that compete with overall culture of the company.
- Can be loss of clarity in business goals due to numerous communication channels.