The Agreement Process: 3 Steps to Achieve Buy-in

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Anyone who has implemented continuous improvement programs understands that employees are the people who make the changes happen. You can force their hands and use managerial authority to direct change, but if team members do not accept and embrace change management, you will not reap the full benefits of change, and sustaining the change will […]

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Combine an Improvement Initiative with Change Management

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The full value of any improvement initiative is realized only when it is complemented by a robust change management strategy to effectively manage the people side of the change throughout the course of improvement cycle. What Is Change Management? Change management is a systematic approach to transitioning individuals, teams and organizations to a desired future […]

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Keep It Super Simple: Five Steps of KISS

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KISS stands for “keep it super simple.” There are other definitions of the acronym but they all mean essentially the same thing. Lots of things in life are complex but there is great value in presenting them in a manner that can be easily understood by everyone. The ability to present complex things simply is […]

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How to Win Support for Continuous Improvement Programs and Projects

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Gaining support to implement and sustain a continuous improvement program is an oft-voiced concern of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioners. These concerns reflect frustration in both senses of the term –  feeling frustrated personally and encountering attitudes that frustrate the effectiveness of the program. Three sets of skills and methods have shown success in gaining […]

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Three Steps to Deliver Business Results

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Executing actions directly aligned to an organization’s strategy is fundamental to achieving success. Strategy with no action is just an idea; action with no strategy is anarchy. Neither scenario enables a company to deliver results. This article explores the three essential steps of achieving success (as defined by a given organization). Successful organizations: 1) define […]

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Resource Page: Change Management

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During the month of August – while many are taking time off to enjoy summer – we will be offering a resource page on a different topic each week. The resource page features an overview of the week’s topic and links to the best related content across iSixSigma (articles, blogs, discussions, Marketplace products and dictionary […]

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From Shelfware to Implementation

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I often think about the losses corporations and government entities take on with initiatives that result in decorative shelfware (the unused products that sit on a buyer’s shelf). There must be millions of great ideas and intelligent business plans just sitting on shelves because of the lack of execution. For all we know the solutions […]

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Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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Many years ago I worked in industrial security; I spent many nights patrolling an automotive assembly plant. During this time I would occasionally find flyers written by somebody who called themself the “Sleeping Dog.”

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Four Questions to Address As a Lean Six Sigma Business Matures

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A former colleague recently wrote to tell me about his new position as a Lean leader at a global company. He is excited because his time in his new role will be broken into 70 percent change leadership and management systems work, and 30 percent as tools implementation. A few years ago the distribution of accountabilities […]

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Leadership and Lean Six Sigma

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Is leadership from the bottom-up better than top-down? How can employees convince and excite their leaders about the opportunities waiting for them with a Lean Six Sigma deployment? The best leadership references on iSixSigma can be found at the following links: Ask the Expert: The Topic – Six Sigma and Employees Developing Change Leadership by […]

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Why Don’t More Leaders Get It? Explanations for Six Sigma – Part 2

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This three-part article reviews three approaches to explaining Six Sigma that the author has seen backfire, along with an alternative. Part 1 sets the stage. Part 3 looks at the third trap. Below, I’ve listed three approaches to explaining Six Sigma that I’ve seen backfire, along with an alternative. I don’t want to put words […]

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Meet Tomorrow’s Challenges with Future-ready Reengineering

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Nobody knows what the future holds, but a shared uncertainty about tomorrow creates a forward-leaning opportunity for reinvention. Future-ready reengineering helps companies move from doing what is most effective today to meeting tomorrow’s challenges.

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A Recipe for Continuous Improvement

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The following are selected highlights of a corporate leadership profile of H.C. Starck. The complete article – with more details about method and project selection, and the program’s growth beyond the manufacturing floor – is available for purchase on the iSixSigma Marketplace. The almost 100-year-old H.C. Starck knows a thing or two about achieving the right […]

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Change Anything in Your Business or Personal Life [VIDEO] – With Ron McMillan

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Self-help books abound for those who are looking to improve themselves, either personally or professionally. What these books fail to address, however, is the personalization that most people need to make lasting change. Ron McMillan is one of the authors of the book Change Anything, which introduces a framework to help you achieve any of […]

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Roadblocks to Implementation

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Every Six Sigma project and Lean event goes exactly as planned right? There are many reasons for detours during your project journey; unfortunately, many of these are unpredictable. As much as we try to avoid these pitfalls by following established methodologies or hiring experienced project management personnel, it remains clear that some of the best […]

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Six Anchors to Make Change Stick

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Through Lean Six Sigma projects and an arsenal of tools, Black Belts make change and manage change. But before Black Belts pat themselves on the back for a job well done, they should consider the following: How deep, pervasive and life altering are the initiated change? What mechanisms were put in place to make the […]

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How to Improve Project Cycle Time

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A common metric many organizations use to assess the performance of their Lean Six Sigma program is project cycle time – the total time from the beginning to the end of a process improvement project, including total process time and all delays. If your organization’s project cycle time is running higher than your targeted rate, […]

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DC Electronics Uses Lean Six Sigma to Stay Competitive

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The path to Lean and Six Sigma is different for every company. Some begin a deployment as a means to increase productivity or profitability; others start with encouragement from a new leader. For DC Electronics, the journey stemmed from an unlikely combination of circumstances – unprecedented business growth and a bit of tough love from a […]

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Building a Six Sigma Project Team

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If you were selecting a basketball team, what criteria would you use to select the players? What about if you were selecting an academic team? If the selection of a process improvement team were the objective, what criteria would you use? The answers to these questions may seem simple, but Belts can sometimes make things […]

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Driving Six Sigma Success Without Top-level Support

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Common wisdom about Six Sigma is that top-level executive support is one of the prerequisites for having a successful deployment, regardless of the organization. Almost all Six Sigma training materials (either developed in-house or delivered by external consultants) for Green Belts and Black Belts focuses extensively on how executive support is critical for the success […]

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Workshops Open Up 2011 iSixSigma Energy Forum in Houston

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Three exceptional workshops opened up the third annual iSixSigma Energy Forum for Process Excellence, being held May 16-19 at the Westin Oaks Hotel in Houston. The workshops, attended May 16 by a host of leaders in the oil & gas and utilities sectors, were as follows: “Change Management: The Cornerstone of a Successful Lean Six […]

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Managing Performance Factors: A Sample Checklist

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In the May/June issue of iSixSigma Magazine, the article, “Taking the Next Step: How to Eliminate Errors for Good,” offers an approach for managing human performance factors in an effort improve processes in service organizations. An excerpt of a checklist used to measure human performance factors and gauge risk is featured in the magazine article. […]

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Finding the Balance Between Leadership and Management

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The first article of this series discussed how a number of Lean initiatives either fail outright or fail to deliver as planned. Furthermore, the first article went on to attribute these shortcomings to four cultural factors: an organization’s purpose, its leadership, how it treats its people and how the organization views continuous improvement. This article […]

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Controlling Change in IT Departments Using DMAIC

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During a Six Sigma project at an information technology (IT) department, there are many good reasons why a process or a system needs to change. There also are a few bad reasons – bad, but unavoidable. It’s up to the practitioners to decide how to transform bad reasons into good ones, and how to prevent […]

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