Making a seamless transition of an improved process from the project leader to the process owner is the topic of “Getting a Grip,” an article in the September/October issue of iSixSigma Magazine. Author Sean Rohen has seen firsthand how the transition can go awry; he is a Champion and Master Black Belt and has worked as an organizational development consultant for more than 15 years. To offer suggestions for how to make a smooth handoff, he’s taken inspiration from Gail Devers, three-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, who analyzed the devastating handoff misses in the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 meter relay races during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Rohen compares the project leader to the incoming runner and the process owner to the outgoing runner – both have critical roles they need to fulfill for the “baton” handoff to be successful.

The incoming runner must:
1. Have the eyes
2. Get there
3. Announce the handoff

The outgoing runner must:
1. Not peek
2. Give a good target
3. Keep an outstretched hand

Unfortunately, the video of Devers’ analysis that Rohen references in the article has been removed from YouTube LLC’s site due to terms of use violations. I’ve contacted the Associated Press, which produced the video, and requested permission to use it but have not yet heard back.

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