Execution: The Missing E

Effectiveness = Quality * Acceptance * Execution


I originally learned this equation during Green Belt training as Effectiveness (of Solution) = Quality * Acceptance, and it immediately resonated with me. In order to produce the most effective solution to a given problem, the solution had to be of high quality, and it had to be bought in to by the stakeholders. Lean Six Sigma gives all the tools one needs to generate high quality solutions. Change management and team building tools help achieve the acceptance needed. Seems simple enough.


Until the solution is correctly and fully implemented, and brought into control, the entire effort can be for naught. The consequences of poor solution execution can range from frustration and resentment on the part of the project team, to actually worsening the problem the project was intended to fix, to spelling demise for an entire Lean Six Sigma deployment.


Sothe new equation is Effectiveness = Quality * Acceptance * Execution. Weakness in any of these aspects will harm the overall effectiveness of the solution.

Knowing this is half the battle. The other half is actually executing properly. Many green belts find themselves leading their first project of any kind, let alone one involving all of the new tools and methods that Lean Six Sigma offers. Coaches, here is where your belts may need your guidance the most.


As those of us who have managed projects know, there are many details involved in rolling out a new change, and missteps on any of them can be damaging. Comprehensive roll-out plans are critical to successful execution.


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Questions I always consider include:

– Who needs to be notified that the process is changing?

– Does anyone need training on the new process?

– What documentation needs to be updated or created?

– Are any of our audit controls affected or changing with the new process?

– What dashboards or other reports are needed to help the process owner manage the new process?

Simple tools like Gantt charts and project plans (complete with detailed tasks, due dates and accountable resources) along with cheerful yet persistent follow-up on the part of the project leader can go along way towards a successful implementation.

So readers, what experiences have you had with executing your teams solutions, especially in transactional environments? Share your stories in the comments section.

Comments 1

  1. michael cardus

    the "buy in" of team members or the whole team concept whatever you call it is the acceptance you speak of. Often times when I speak to HR exec. or other consultant (who are not the 6 Sigma knowledgeable) they claim that 6 sigma is all numbers and no personal interaction. This is not true – the aceptance you wrote about is what pushes a 6 sigma project over the top – a belt needs to ensure that the team members are all on board and prepared to implement the strategies. Great Post!

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