Can Six Sigma Help Improve HR Processes?

In 2021, prolific author Daniel T. Bloom published the second edition of his book entitled Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma, which describes exactly what excellence in human resources (HR) means and outlines dozens of proven approaches as well as a hierarchy of the exact steps required to achieve it. It illustrates the Six Sigma methodology from the creation of a project to its successful completion. At each stage, it describes the specific tools currently available and provides examples of organizations that have used Six Sigma within HR to improve their organizations. 

When I spoke with Daniel this past month, I asked him: "How does Six Sigma actually help improve HR processes?" Here is his complete answer:

The Human Capital Management field today is faced with a dilemma. It is a dilemma that will determine whether there is a human Capital Management field going forward. 

Too many of my colleagues are stuck in a transactional field which means that they see their role as that of the organizational fireman. There to purely put out fires. However, there is another view that Six Sigma encourages and that is the role of being the organizational thinker.

Consider the reactions from two HR professionals who have seen the Six-Sigma approach and have had phenomenal results. The HR Manager of an electronics organization stated that Six Sigma made her rethink the way she viewed HR -- it empowers you to want to make immediate and sustainable improvements to your organization. Using the strategies discussed in the book, she was able to reduce the average time to fill an open position by 58 percent and the cost of hire by 81 percent. The other view is from the VP of HR for a major trade association who told us that the material in the book (and the accompanying course) inspired her to think about additional training and professional practice of these concepts. She had already put some of the key concepts behind the DMAIC method to work.

The ultimate goal of Six Sigma and its associated tools is to enable you to see and feel the problem through the use of logical thinking processes and then to create a new normal by changing the corporate culture accordingly.

What do you think of Daniel's perspective regarding Six Sigma and the HR department? Have you incorporated Six Sigma techniques in your HR departments? If so, have the results been positive?