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 19: Our department is getting overwhelmed by all the Six Sigma training. I’m afraid that if you don’t back down, it will spark a “mutiny.”

Sounds like this “crew” has got its sails in a knot. The first step in situations like this is to look at the data and measure Six Sigma training time as a percent of productive time for the department. This will provide an objective look to see if a real issue exists. If so, action to correct the situation is in order. Sometimes, due to our urgency to get the organization moving, we might tend to over do it. If so, measure, adjust and move on. If it turns out that the percent of time in training is reasonable (operational definition of “reasonable” is needed) then here’s what I say . . .

Thanks for your feedback. I’ve obtained and analyzed data related to the time that your department spends in training and it is x.x%. This is consistent with the proportion of time spent by other departments who are successfully integrating the training and methods in their department while continuing to meet operational objectives and customer needs.

The training is important so that you and your department can begin to understand the new way that our company is doing business. The faster we can effectively integrate the methodology, the better. So if possible, please try not to let your ‘crew’ fall behind in training because many times those who ‘fall behind get left behind.’ (And that’s the pirate’s code, mate!)

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