iSixSigma

Organization & Strategy

Do you recommend that a company imbed Black Belts within business units or organize them in a central group that are "loaned out" to business units for project work?

In my deployment and implementation experience, Black Belts should not be pooled into a central organization and then farmed out like a bunch of “rented experts.”  To my knowledge, only a few organizations have successfully implemented this type of approach.  When executed in a large-scale corporation, there is a certain amount of “up-front management appeal.” …

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How can an organization create "sustainable" Six Sigma projects?

I assume you mean “sustainability of project results.”  In other words, the resulting benefits are not to be enjoyed just one time – they are recurrent in nature.  The best way to ensure that recurrent benefits are continually realized is to monitor the situation.  This would normally involve a proactive accounting system and someone to…

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How can six sigma culture best be spread to the entire company?

The following references will provide a very nice overview of the field – from general theory to in-depth case studies: 1) Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World’s Top Corporations by Mikel J. Harry, Ph.D. and Richard Schroeder, Doubleday 2000. 2) Six SIGMA Leadership Handbook by Rath and Strong Staff, John Wiley &…

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How do you think Six Sigma will evolve?

To me, the ideology of Six Sigma will evolve in two distinct by complementary directions.  The first will be a focus on value creation, not just cost reduction and quality improvement.  The second will be an implosion of Six Sigma to the personal level.  I have been working with these two perspectives for quite some…

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Can you discuss a few of the common problems related to project selection and how they can be addressed in a large service organization?

The following is a list of some “big dos.”  Just flip things around to answer your question. 1) The project targets only one CTQ (for purposes of improvement).2) The target CTQ should be measurable – conveniently and economically so.3) The CTQ should have a well-defined set of performance standards.4) The CTQ should not involve destructive…

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How can we improve the growth and acceptance of Six Sigma?

We must always remember that the power brokers within and external to a corporation are the ones who render judgment about the success or failure of some initiative. Simply stated, the power brokers are only concerned with one matter – demonstrated results that are overtly visible and economically aligned with larger aims, not hidden somewhere…

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Is it recommended to start Six Sigma in a single function, like Sales, temporarily ignoring all other business functions?

Simply stated, the deployment of Six Sigma in a single functional area (to the permanent exclusion of others) will most likely not succeed.  Generally speaking, Six Sigma is an “all or nothing” proposition.  However, if the overall deployment and implementation plan (for the total organization) calls for a staggered but comprehensive rollout over time, then…

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Is it possible for me to learn Six Sigma from home?

Personally, I believe the potential for “learning at home” is awesome these days.  I like the look and feel of it because all of the knowledge, information, communication, and analytical resources I need are within arms reach — right in my office.  This level of augmentation would be very difficult to consistently provide for in…

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Our CFO expects more from our projects and finds a gap in sales projects. The CFO would like to see more cost reduction. How can we do that with Six Sigma?

I find it most interesting that you experienced “typical” success in several other areas of the organization, but not within the sales function.  Were hard goals not established for this area?  Was this area not emphasized during the course of deployment planning?  Does this area lack leadership?  Should the sales personnel work on improving their…

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What should we do when a project closes and the result is an employee relieved from the process, but is not reassigned to a new area because of political issues?

It sounds to me like you’ve been “trapped in a barrel and tossed overboard,” so to speak.  Where is your champion?  He or she is supposed to prevent things like this from happening (i.e., sound project selection criteria).  Your project champion’s main purpose in life is to guard his or her flock of Black Belts….

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I am new to Six Sigma. Can you please help me understand Six Sigma step-by-step?

On its way to disrupting the historical business continuum and changing its performance trajectory, an organization passes through a number of milestones.  Assuming a “typical” business, our discussion begins at time T1.  This is when the organization is functioning reasonably well — a stable force in its industry, capable of maintaining itself reasonably well. The…

How can Six Sigma be applied to the Human Resources (HR) function?

You should reference the article submitted by Anonymous on 17 July 2003.  Truly, it is this form of reasoning (coupled with this example) that should “get you thinking in the right direction.”  Listed are some simple examples for Human Resource projects: 1) Employee turnover rate.2) Job satisfaction issues (surveys).3) Management satisfaction.4) Cafeteria food quality.5) Policy…

How can Six Sigma failure be avoided when dealing with company cultural issues?

Today, many business leaders would agree that the “culture of an organization” is not a fixed quantity or preordained destiny.  Rather, it results from the unique blending of values (at the business, operations, process, and individual stratums).  In this context, the idea of a “value” is akin to that of a belief or truth.  For…

Can we say Six Sigma is a culture? How can we spread the word at the grass-roots level?

To begin, we must consider the idea of “organizational culture.” In the book “Organizational Behavior” by Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki, the culture of an organization is defined as: “The set of shared, taken-for-granted implicit assumptions that a group holds and that determines how it perceives, thinks about, and reacts to its various environments.” Based…