Meeting Action Item Planning Worksheet

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A tremendous amount of work goes into the design, planning and execution of a productive team meeting. Attendees should always know the purpose and desired outcome(s) of the meeting before getting too deep into the content. The meeting should start on time, an agenda should be set and previous meeting notes should be reviewed, if […]

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Maximize Six Sigma Team Performance

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The Black Belt’s ability to maximize team members’ contributions is critical to the success of the Six Sigma project. Many factors must be addressed. Assuring Basic Team Member Needs During World War II Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) developed his famous hierarchy of needs study. He showed an individual needs hierarchy ranging from the most basic, to […]

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Project Management: Remembering the Human Element

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Project management is a discipline comprised of planning, organizing, and managing available resources, which results in meeting or exceeding project goals and objectives. Included in project management methodology are specific start and completion dates, as well as emphasis on constraints such as quality, scope, budget and time. In Green Belt training, project management may be […]

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Black Belt

Reaching Excellence in Black Belt Performance

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Beyond technical know-how and project execution, outstanding Six Sigma Black Belts know how to get in the “flow” – that level of performance that comes when competence and challenge are aligned.

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How to Effectively Coach Green Belts and Black Belts

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Green Belt and Black Belt coaching has for many organizations become an integral part of Lean Six Sigma implementation and critical to the success of improvement projects. However, standards and best practices of effective coaching are only rarely established. Some may ask, “Why coaching for someone who has gone through training?” While training is essential […]

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12 Tips for a More Motivated Team and Better Results

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Lean Six Sigma, a process-driven program to reduce defects, relies heavily on a decidedly process-free emotion: passion. A motivated, driven team can make the difference between success and failure. I know about the power of motivation – I learned to walk again with braces and crutches after a 55-foot fall that left me as a […]

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A Unique Roadmap to Guide Lean Six Sigma Champions

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Most organizations have DMAIC and DFSS roadmaps to guide Black Belt and Green Belt projects. But what guides their Champions? Most Champions are busy people, often managers or executives with multiple and diverse responsibilities. In many cases, although not the optimum situation, Champions receive a meager one- or two-day overview in the Lean Six Sigma […]

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A System for Colleague Consulting Among Black Belts

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Most of the difficult situations Black Belts face in their day-to-day work are not related to the application of a specific Six Sigma tool, but rather to change or project management issues. For example, issues such as:  How to involve a stakeholder that is very negative about the project. How to get commitment from the […]

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Developing BBs and MBBs: Three Questions to Answer

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So your Lean Six Sigma initiative is looking good. Training is moving along, project results are coming in, momentum is building. Ah, the sweet smell of success. But before you get too comfortable, here is something for deployment leaders, and others in positions of leadership, to reflect on: Are you doing all you can to […]

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Three Elements of a Deployment Governance Framework

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The ultimate goal of any Lean Six Sigma program is to achieve operation and execution excellence, which can only come about through a well-thought-out and executed deployment governance framework. A governance framework enables an organization to more rapidly implement positive change by establishing team structure, focusing on knowledge transfer and enabling people. With this framework, […]

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Finding Black Belt Talent: The Buy-Make-Rent Dilemma

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Should companies hire ready-to-go Black Belts, develop them internally or use a Black Belt from a consulting company? It is a question that many companies wrestle with during the early stages of deploying Six Sigma. The obvious trade-off is between the time it takes to develop one’s own talent and the time it takes to […]

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Innovative Training Methods Can Give Teams an Advantage

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Often, new team members are introduced to Lean Six Sigma using the following model: One week of training One month of project work led by a Black Belt or Green Belt Individual coaching scheduled at regular intervals during project work A priority courier express company experimented with this model in order to increase the likelihood […]

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Army TACOM LCMC Strengthens Lean Six Sigma Deployment

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Since 2007, the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) has made efforts to institutionalize a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. The goal to have TACOM LCMC associates at every level advocate, pursue and implement continuous process improvement methods through the promulgation of Lean Six Sigma across the command is a […]

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From Dojo to Office: Training Lessons from Martial Arts

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Failed Six Sigma efforts often are attributed to ineffective training of Black Belts and Master Black Belts. But there is a more fundamental issue at hand: the training and experience requested of Black Belts. It may be time to reconsider the typical certification process in order to produce expert Belts and lower the odds of […]

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Focus on Employees to Improve Healthcare Bottom Line

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In a recent speech to a local chapter of the American Society for Quality, the speaker stated that in a typical work site as many as 15 percent of the employees actively work to subvert the goals of the organization. Their activities obviously have a negative effect on the clients of the organization and the […]

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Training Black Belts or Hiring Them – Which Is Better?

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A company’s leadership has decided to fully deploy Six Sigma and is committed to reach its destination to change the culture. Currently, headcount includes a number of Black Belts and Green Belts. The organization has settled on a five-year plan to achieve Six Sigma, with an additional number of future Black Belts and future Green […]

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Process Improvement Teams Power Six Sigma Success

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How can a company find time for improvement if its managers are spending all their time fighting fires and managing the day-to-day responsibilities? How is it possible to improve a process when the company barely has the resources to maintain it? This all too common obstacle faces many organizations. One approach that leverages these resources […]

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Leading Geographically Scattered Six Sigma Project Team

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Leading a Six Sigma project team can have many challenges no matter the industry – manufacturing or services – and no matter the location from New York in the United States to New Delhi in India. But the challenges are more unique than most practitioners experience when the team is geographically scattered. Six Sigma began […]

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Leveraging Company-wide Knowledge to Support Projects

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At least three kinds of knowledge are vital to the success of a Six Sigma project in any organization: Knowledge of the Six Sigma methodology – its steps, tools and techniques. Knowledge of the process being improved – how that process is currently implemented, what are its SIPOCs (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers), what […]

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Well-run Process Improvement Teams a Key to Success

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One of the key success factors of Six Sigma is the ability to set up and run an interdisciplinary, multi-skilled and management-supported process improvement team. A Six Sigma project team – like any small team of workers asked to effect change in their organization – is expected to help promote a culture of innovation and spontaneity […]

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A Method for Picking Up the SLACK in a Team Project

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A method exists for quality professionals who would like to obtain the benefits of a corrective and preventive action (CAPA) system, but do not have the time or resources to dedicate to deployment of the full initiative. This is particularly true for those working in companies involved in agile product development where there must be […]

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Success in the Development Stages of Six Sigma Teams

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All Six Sigma teams are groups of individuals, but not all groups of individuals have the cohesiveness of a team. Teams outperform individuals because they generate a special energy. This energy develops as team members work together, fusing their personal energies and talents to deliver tangible performance results. The behavioral descriptors of a successful team […]

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Process Ownership: A Vital Role in Six Sigma Success

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Process owners are a vital part of successful DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) and DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) projects. Process owners are responsible for the management of processes within the organization. In some cases process owners are current leaders/managers, and in other cases process owners may be taken from non-leadership positions. They are the […]

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Tips and Technology for Six Sigma in Mobile Workforces

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Six Sigma has been adopted by some of the world’s leading companies as a mechanism to improve bottom line results and delight customers. But though the companies have made spectacular gains in some areas – millions of dollars in increased revenue or reduced costs – success has not been uniform. Deploying Six Sigma in areas of […]

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