This article is a follow-up to my article on Justin Bieber and Six Sigma.
To the extent that search terms is a measure of intention and interest, Google Trends is helpful in identifying, by geography, the general interest of that population given the search term.
Out of curiosity, I decided to search on the term “Lean Six Sigma” and this is what I found:
India is really interested in Lean Six Sigma and so is the United States, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
What is going on in India? Why is India so interested in Lean Six Sigma?
United Arab Emirates? – what’s going on there that they are so interested in Lean Six Sigma?
Assuming the data above is correct AND that we can gauge interest and intention based on search term, the following world regions are most interested in the topic of “Lean Six Sigma”:
- United States
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
On the one hand, I expected some of the above, but there are some countries that I was very surprised to see on the list, like Afghanistan.
Lean Six Sigma in India
So what is going on in India?
Without data to support my claims, we generally know that many back-office processes that were once performed in the United States have been outsourced to places like India, Philippines, and others. Often, this is called “Business Process Outsourcing” or BPO for short. This usually includes the following processes:
- Call Center, Contact Center, Help Desk
- Human Resources
- Financial, Planning, and Accounting (FP&A)
- Mortgage Processing
- Medical Card Processing
- Other Support Functions
The general trend is to use a third party in a lower cost country to perform these support functions for the company.
And this makes sense: support functions like the ones I describe above are perfect processes for the implementation of Lean and Six Sigma. And with the massive outflow of these types of jobs from the United States and elsewhere to India, it makes sense that the demand and interest for Lean Training, Six Sigma Training, and Certification has grown correspondingly.
By region in India, the following have the most interest in “Lean Six Sigma”:
If we overlayed the number of BPO companies in these locations, I believe that there will be a good match between the number of BPO companies and search interest from Google Trends.
Common Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Lean Six Sigma projects are typically on behalf of the client and can be the following:
- Increase First Call Resolution [for client…]
- Reduce inbound non-revenue generating contacts [for client…]
- Improve CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) [for client…]
- Improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) [for client…]
From a historical perspective, below is a the search term “Lean Six Sigma” in India, over time, from 2004 to today:
Based on the chart above, there was a significant jump in interest for the term “Lean Six Sigma” around March 2009. I wonder what happened in March 2009 that led to that spike.
Lean Six Sigma in the United States
Second on the worldwide regional list for “Lean Six Sigma” is the United States.
The growth pattern for the search term “Lean Six Sigma” is very interesting for the United States:
An interesting pattern emerges for the search term “Lean Six Sigma” – there is a dip toward the end of the fiscal year and a big spike at the beginning of the proceeding fiscal year. I don’t know exactly what is driving that behavior, but my guess is that corporate budgets are depleted toward the end of the year and replenished at the beginning of the year and interest in Lean Training and Six Sigma Training follows the same pattern.
By region in the United States, below is the interest map for the search term “Lean Six Sigma”:
By Region in the United States, these are the areas that appear to show the most interest in “Lean Six Sigma”:
- San Antonio
- San Diego
I’m not sure what exactly is driving interest for Lean Six Sigma in these regions. My guess, though, for Norfolk and Pensacola is Government and the Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Marines – there is much interest and Lean Six Sigma activity within Government.
Become a Lean Six Sigma professional today!
Start your learning journey with Lean Six Sigma White Belt at NO COST
Jamie Flinchbaugh says
I think some of your conclusions are correct, but I am curious about what the data means. First, I’m not sure that “lean six sigma” is the best indicator. Most organizations in the world are not calling their version of continuous improvement this. If you combined all the different derivatives, then it would be more accurate. But most companies practicing lean aren’t calling it lean six sigma.
Second, and this is only based on my observation, but those in India are both very willing (good thing) and limited to (bad) learning via the web. There is a lot of interest there, but relatively little access to the great collection of books on lean or real training and coaching. Therefore, they resort to Google and web-based learning through blogs, articles, video and other sources.