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Gianna Clark

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At the End of the Day . . .

People may not always agree with what you say or find value in what you offer, but at the end of the day, if only one person walks away with a different question, thought or idea, then you have made a difference.

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Customer W.O.W. – The Time Is Now!

As families struggle to make ends meet, the value provided for the dollar spent is more important than ever. What should we do? Panic? No – we don’t need to stinkin’ panic. . . we got Six Sigma!

Mapping a Path to the W.O.W. Side

Consistently delighting customers and providing exceptional handling of issues and errors using the R.A.P.I.D. methodology are two ways to create customer W.O.W. (What’s Needed – On Time – With Value).

The Grapes of W.O.W.

If your customers rate you a “7” on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best), do your customer ratings range from 6 to 8 or do they range from 4 to 10? What would you do with this information?

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Back to Basics

It is funny how such a small gesture can make a big difference. Just the fact that I am talking about it four days later lets you know what an impression it made (net promoter score will be high on this one).

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Dirty Socks

I have heard people say that once you have experienced the power of Lean Six Sigma that you will never be the same. I can vouch for that. Process thinking and waste elimination will begin to infiltrate every part of your life – including how you do laundry.

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Six Sigma – The Real Deal

Deploy – Integrate – Sustain – Institutionalize. Although each phase has distinct qualities, the lines between them are blurred or almost seamless – as it should be. I’m often asked what I think “institutionalization” looks like. My response: “Unconscious application.” By that, I don’t mean asleep at the wheel. When addressing an audience I typically use the following…

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Six Sigma – IAGTM

I recently got a text message from my son.”Mom . . . Pick me up ATEOTD.” Unable to decipher the text message abbreviation I’m forced to do what any mom what do . . text back . . . What?”At The End Of The Day” comes the reply with a big UGH! It’s like a…

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Facilitating Success

What could be tougher than binary logistic regression? How about facilitating a team? Team inputs vary in type, personality, knowledge level, background, etc., but the choice for team output is pretty discrete – success or not. So what does a good facilitator look like? Here’s what Wikipedia says: “An individual who enables groups and organizations…

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Magic Mirror On The Wall . . .

Magic Mirror on the Wall – Why did my deployment stall? When companies deploy Six Sigma, most have a vision of what that will mean to the organization. It might be improved customer satisfaction, or shorter cycle time or better quality products, cost reduction, revenue growth or maybe achieving an overall culture of excellence. Whatever…

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The Weakest Link

Last week I spent an evening at the local emergency center with my mom. The experience reminded me of the old saying: “You are only as good as your weakest link.” And here’s why. . . When I walked into the emergency center I was immediately accosted by a huge poster focused on customer service…

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SigmaLeanZenOut

What the heck is SigmaLeanZenOut? It is what a lot of people are doing in the world of continuous improvement. No matter where you got started, most companies gradually evolve to SigmaLeanZenOut. Six Sigma deployments add Lean, Kaizen, and then Workout (not necessarily in that order). Lean deployments add Kaizen, Workout then Six Sigma. You…

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Branded!

Oh no – not a label! Too bad. Whether you like it or not, you are being labeled – or branded – every day. Regardless of whether your company brands themselves and markets this brand or does nothing, your customers have already put a brand on you. Think about it. What comes to mind when…

Six Sigma . . . Still Growing After All These Years

I recently spoke at a Lean Six Sigma Conference for Services hosted by the American Strategic Management Institute (ASMI). One of the morning speakers started her presentation by taking a quick survey. She went around the room and asked everyone three questions . . . What industry are you from? How long has your company…

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Continuously Improving Continuous Improvement

I just spent three days at IQPC’s 2008 Lean Six Sigma and Process Improvement Summit where more than 600 process improvement professionals came together to learn, share and network. In addition to getting a “booster shot” from Jack Welch, it was great hearing other professionals share their thoughts and experiences about how they have applied…

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Networking “Orlando” Style

Networking, by definition, is a supportive system of sharing information among individuals or groups having a common interest. Next week, IQPC is hosting one of the biggest networking opportunities of the year. It’s the 2008 Lean Six Sigma & Process Improvement Summit. This year hundreds of process improvement professionals will converge in sunny Florida to make…

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Six Sigma Seven Year Itch

Hundreds of companies embarked on their Six Sigma journey in 2000 and 2001. Today, Six Sigma deployments haven’t slowed a bit but instead have expanded and grown and are a driving force in achieving excellence in almost any type of business. And, because of industry experience and forums for sharing, are being implemented with the…

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Six Sigma 2008 – Make It Personal

As another year comes to a close, reflecting on what was accomplished in 2007 is a typical year-end activity. After a quick review, a few smiles and a big sigh about things left undone, it’s time to start on your 2008 list. While you are putting together your ‘list’ of things to do for 2008,…

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Year-end Six Sigma Jingle

It’s that time of year again.The year-end stress of closing Six Sigma projects is enough to make any Black Belt sing the blues. But don’t worry, here’s a little song (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells) that will help you get through the holiday rush. Year-end Six Sigma Jingle

Innovation on Tap

Innovative solutions are frequently the answer to new or age old problems. But what kind of tools can help you and your team get out-of-the-box? Seems like way back when, we didn’t spend enough time in training talking about innovation in the “Improve” stage. Armed with the 5 S’s, a DOE and some poka-yoke, we’d…

Six Sigma . . . The Winning Hand

What started out 20 years ago as a way to reduce variation is now the hottest game in town – Six Sigma. Although it has been reshaped through the years to meet constantly changing business needs, the definition is still the same: “Near perfect performance”. . . and customers still demand it. When first introduced,…

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When Variation Is Your Friend

Isn’t it ironic that what might actually be needed to address variation in your process is variation in your team? Picking the right team members is almost as important as picking the right project. In addition to an expert, a customer and representatives from other key stakeholder groups, you should think about how you can…

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A Six Sigma Thanksgiving

Ever wonder what a Six Sigma Thanksgiving would be like? Here’s a glimpse . . . 99.9997% of the turkey would get eaten so you don’t have to eat turkey sandwiches every day for the next two weeks 99.9997% of the mashed potatoes won’t have lumps 99.9997% of the desserts taste great and have no…

Business Line-of-Site

Whether it’s a Six Sigma deployment, a project, a training class or metrics, one variable stands out as the ultimate gauge of success: Business Line-of-Site. Yes, I meant “Site” not “Sight.” It’s more than just seeing the path to the destination. It’s about actively targeting it. When you are passionate about something, it is easy…

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Scary Six Sigma Moments

It’s Halloween and what could possibly be scarier than monsters and goblins? Here’s a top ten list of frightening Six Sigma moments that might send chills up your spine! Number 10: Having the network go down when you are on question 49 of 50 of your online Black Belt exam. Number 9: Being in the…

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Where Have All the Hours Gone?

Hours . . . Days . . . Weeks . . . Months . . . Years . . . Seems like some Six Sigma projects drag on forever. But the question here is not how long does it take to complete a project because that really depends on the project scope. The real question…

The Amoeba Theory

Many companies look to Six Sigma to help them transform. They constantly talk of “weaving Six Sigma into the fabric of the company,” “having Six Sigma become part of their DNA” and “fundamentally changing the way they work.” These are all nice wugga words but without a real vision of what they want to transform…

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Gearing Up for Success

Just got back from Philadelphia where I spoke at a conference on how to design a training strategy to support organization-wide Six Sigma learning. Entitled “Gearing Up for Success,” it focused on the linkage that must always be maintained between the training strategy/curriculum and business objectives. Without this, it’s easy for training to become disconnected…

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!

“We’re not in Kansas anymore.” Recognize this line? Made famous by the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” it fittingly describes the feeling you get when you suddenly realize that things have changed. How can change happen so fast that we get caught off guard? Even Dorothy saw the twister coming. I recently had a “Kansas…

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What’s In Your Toolbox?

In every company, people in organizations make decisions and implement changes every day. Many of these changes are not typically the type of things that warrant a Six Sigma project. That being said, it should be recognized that the application of some Six Sigma tools in these everyday activities can provide a significant positive impact…

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Are You a Good Customer?

Being in the business of customer satisfaction keeps us focused on making sure that our customers get the best value and service possible. When a customer tells us we did a great job, it is the ultimate measure of success. Try changing hats for a minute and think about how you rate as a customer?…

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Passion Is the Seed of Change

Changed processes, changed skill sets, changed thinking and changed performance. Six Sigma is all about change. Passion, defined as “boundless enthusiasm,” is the seed of change. With it, Six Sigma flourishes. Without it, project implementation is a constant struggle. Does your organization have the passion for change that allows processes to bloom to their full…

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Benchmarking and Six Sigma – Umm Umm Good!

  Benchmarking and Six Sigma go together like peanut butter and jelly. Both are really good on their own but put them together and it is three times better. Here’s why. Benchmarking helps you understand how your performance rates against others. If your performance is not in the top quartile, you may want to commission…

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Green Belt Sonic Boom

“We need to train as many Green Belts as fast as we can!” At first this sounds like the type of fast-track deployment that will get things moving. But training too many Green Belts too fast may fuel unnecessary resistance if not deployed properly. Listed below are a few things you may want to consider…

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A Short Trip from WOW to OW

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pair of red stiletto shoes on the web. I received them the next day (free delivery of course). They didn’t fit quite right so I decided to send them back. The return instructions were in the box. I got online, printed a pre-paid return label & dropped…

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Walk On The W.O.W. Side “With Value”

Over the past two weeks we talked about how Six Sigma can help organizations accomplish “What’s Needed” and the significance of being “On Time.” But none of this matters much if it is not done “With Value.” Value – wartosc – der Wert – valor . . . Whether said in English, Polish, German or…

“On Time” for Your Walk on the W.O.W. Side

Last week we talked about how Six Sigma can help organizations accomplish “What’s Needed.” Without this element, nothing else really matters because being “On Time” with the wrong thing won’t “wow” anyone. This week we are exploring the significance of being “On Time.” Whether it is the delivery of a product or service or keeping…

What’s Needed to Walk on the W.O.W. Side

In today’s world, new technology, changing customer expectations and the competitive market are constantly redefining “What’s Needed.” Any company with hopes of competing must constantly reshape their processes and products to meet these changing needs. Fortunately, Six Sigma is there to help accomplish this by: Providing a systematic approach to continuously improve and redesign processes…

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Take a Walk on the W.O.W. Side!

Everyone is focused on What’s Needed. Done On Time is part of what must be heeded. Use Six Sigma to make it slick. Delivered With Value will seal the trick. She said hey babe, take a walk on the W.O.W. side. Said hey honey, take a walk on the W.O.W. side. And the Belts say…

Is Six Sigma Really the Baaaaaaad Boy?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about Six Sigma. Believers tout stories of business success, unprecedented customer satisfaction and countless dollars to the bottom line. Naysayers point to near business ruin and cultural impacts that stifle innovation and growth. Whether you are an avid believer or a practicing naysayer there is one thing…

Six Sigma – A Whole New Language

I recently stepped into the elevator at our corporate office with a newly trained Green Belt. It was lunch time and the elevator was crowded. As the doors closed the Green Belt, recognizing who I was, remarked with pride, “I just finished the SIPOC on my project!” A voice in the front immediately said, “SIPOC…

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