Is Your Process Improvement Really Six Sigma?

-Control all of your important timelines and ensure that your project stays on track as it approaches the target completion date.


If you carry out these five steps, you will probably see great results from your business process initiative. However, there may be some roadblocks and obstacles along the way. Below, we address a few of the common ones:


1. Resources


You cannot simply staff your Six Sigma project with a few people from your organization. You need to carefully select internal Six Sigma experts, or hire external ones based on predetermined criteria, which should include:


A. Hire a few black belts with extensive Six Sigma knowledge and experience

B. Hire many green belts and allocate them in a manner that ensures success

C. Consider diversity in terms of your business operations. You will want to have Six Sigma experts focus on input from: technical experts, customers, partners, suppliers and stakeholders (including the business owners.)

 

2. Rigor


Six Sigma is all about the details, and process improvement initiatives must be carried out with a rigorous attention to detail. Both analysis and implementation must be strict and exact throughout. Resistance from within the organization must be overcome, in spite of bureaucracy and momentum, or the change will not take proper effect.


To be more specific:


-Timelines must be adhered to, and deadlines met efficiently.

-Progress must be carefully and thoroughly measured and reported.

-Follow-through and accountability is best ensured by having full-time Six Sigma staff, rather than employees who simply do it “on the side.”

 

3. Management and Commitment


Management must buy into the process improvement at all levels. There are four important considerations in play here.


A. Project management should be centralized. This ensures that everyone is kept up to speed and that projects are enacted with consistency.

B. Senior level sponsorship must be evident and genuine. If your principals aren’t serious about process improvement, you can be sure that the majority of your employees won’t be, either.

C. Owners must buy in as well. Dedicated black belts must be on-hand to prevent burnout of green belts who are simultaneously focused on other projects. Business owners must be willing to invest in black belts.

D. You must deploy integrated data systems. Your IT systems and applications must run smoothly during and after the process improvement initiative. This means cutting back on redundancies and ensuring seamless technology throughout.

 

4. Value and Communication


You must understand up front the value of the initiative, and you must communicate that value to all interested parties. When good things happen as a result of process improvement initiatives, that correlation must be made clear!

This is especially important for public companies. Shareholders will want to hear about increased efficiencies and profitability measures undertaken as part of a Six Sigma process improvement initiative. So make sure you are sharing the story of your improvements, and that the right people are finding out.

 

Is your business considering a process improvement initiative? What are the biggest challenges from your perspective? The biggest rewards?


Based on this: http://www.bpm.com/joseph-goodman.html

2011-03-21 | Add a Comment
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