Benchmarking results consistently identify examples of Six Sigma success. Even so, getting “naysayers” on board is a continuous challenge. What do you tell them?

Nayism 14: Although we’ve had successful Six Sigma projects for over two years, the organization is still resistant. I don’t think Six Sigma will ever be accepted.

In some organizations, even after proven successes, implementing the results of a Six Sigma project continues to be a constant battle. Often mistaken as a “lack of Six Sigma buy-in,” this resistance may just be a byproduct of change that needs to be better managed. So, here’s what I say . . .

Don’t be too quick to jump to the conclusion that the resistance encountered is aimed at the Six Sigma methodology. The DMAIC approach is sound and it’s difficult to refute the results. Maybe what you are experiencing is the natural resistance that comes from the introduction of change. Six Sigma is all about change – changing the way you look at things, changing processes and the way people think. Introducing change management techniques and developing a strategy to effectively deal with change may help counter this resistance. Sometimes belt training does not provide enough focus on things like stakeholder analysis and developing effective change plans that complement the project results and provide the ‘sales and marketing’ that is needed to gain organizational buy-in. All of these things are necessary to obtain successful change.

Overall, black belts and champions should not get discouraged. Stay the course. When faced with resistance, look at it as a sign of success – a sign of introducing real change in the organization and then search for change management techniques to help you get through. If you’re not getting any resistance then you may want to take a look at your ‘change-odometer’ and see if it’s moved lately.

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