iSixSigma

Change Management

Six Sigma Presentations: On Target with Minimum Variation

Six Sigma presentations are something every level of practitioner – Green Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt, Champion and even deployment leader – must do. However, many presenters face their initial efforts with a great deal to say but without a great deal of experience in saying it. As you prepare your first presentation or…

Overcoming the Barriers to Change in Healthcare System

Research has shown that 95 percent of diets fail over the long term. Oddly enough, various studies show that 60 to 80 percent of major change initiatives also fail. In both cases, it is certainly not for lack of good intentions. For a person who has been on a successful diet, it is frustrating to…

Manager’s Guide: Fostering Success with Lean Six Sigma

Managers play a key role in building a successful Lean Six Sigma organization. They must create and foster an environment that sets the stage for employee success. Here are six essential factors for creating Lean Six Sigma that thrives: Pick the right projects Pick the right people Follow the method Clearly define roles and responsibilities…

Six Sigma Culture: Better Processes and Problem-Solving

CEOs of businesses launching Six Sigma initiatives often say they expect Six Sigma to help create a company culture of continuous improvement, as well as achieve important financial results. Having culture change as an explicit reason for doing Six Sigma is not only laudable, it shows savvy. Experience demonstrates that changing the way work is…

1 comment

Start Now with 10 Keys to Successful Transformation

There is no need for another survey to confirm what healthcare professionals already know – healthcare delivery is overdue for a major renovation. New management models and strategies must be adopted that will: Enable quick, sustainable results around immediate issues. Equip teams with solid problem-solving skills and proven best practices. Empower the organization with a…

4 comments

Dispelling Several Myths About Leadership for Change

It is widely recognized that successfully implementing Six Sigma requires leading and managing change effectively. Today’s manager lives in the paradoxical world of having to simultaneously control day-to-day operations, while encouraging appropriate risk taking. Leading change, especially in successful businesses, is about aligning energy through a compelling vision of the future. The willingness to change…

Overcoming the Challenges to Project Realization

Black Belt project would end with a concise set of action items being turned over to the transition owner who would then swiftly implement them and achieve the desired results. But for many Six Sigma practitioners in transactional environments, simply handing off the project does not guarantee that the gains will be realized. Even in…

Presentation Development/Delivery Tips for Six Sigma

While those new to Six Sigma sometimes assume Black Belts and other practitioners constantly sit in front of computers running numbers through statistical software, that is far from the truth. Indeed, everyone involved in Six Sigma spends much more time interacting with their fellow employees and managers. And, with some regularity, those interactions are in…

2 comments

Managing Change to a Continuously Improving Culture

When evolving a culture of continuous process improvement using associated methodologies such as Six Sigma or Lean, the ultimate goal is to improve business performance. An important factor is changing the underlying culture of an organization. It is important to define culture in terms of the organization, and to understand its ramifications to the organization….

1 comment

Knowledge Transfer Is the Key to Lean Six Sigma Culture

The Lean Six Sigma deployment climate has evolved from one of training internal resources as experts on implementing process improvement projects to a progressive and forward-thinking collective effort facilitating cultural change in an organization. Historically, with a few exceptions in large companies, most financial services organizations are behind in terms of adapting formal, continuous improvement…

Teaching Six Sigma Awareness/Methodology in Workplace

Teaching Six Sigma awareness and methodologies in the workplace is not that different from teaching any process improvement subject. The most important point is to let the audience members know up front that they do not need a master’s degree in statistical analysis. From there, just “keep it simple” and use common, everyday examples to…

Enabling Culture Change in Healthcare with Six Sigma

After embarking on a Six Sigma journey, many organizations soon realize that one of the most significant benefits is also one of the most difficult to quantify. It cannot be measured in terms of “Z” scores or analyzed using a box plot. This benefit is the “people value” (no relation to p-value). It is the…

Success of Improvement Initiative Depends on People

Whether it is Lean, DMAIC or DFSS, Six Sigma boils down to improving business processes. And irrespective of the methodology employed or the scientific rigor behind it, every process improvement initiative – if it is to be successful – has to be approved, understood and implemented by people. Given the body of work published about human inertia…

Healthcare Quality Initiatives: The Role of Leadership

A distinguished panel of healthcare executives recently shared their thoughts on the importance of leaders taking an active and visible role in their organization’s quality initiatives. They also agreed on the need for organizations to develop the right management systems and structures to adequately support their quality efforts, measure outcomes and encourage accountability. Speaking on…

Why a Quality Management System in Service Industries?

In every organization, both management and the general workforce tend to resist change, whether it be in systems, culture or environment. That is natural – people are usually happy to continue with what they have always done. The change brought about by the introduction of a quality management system (QMS) – particularly in service industries – is no…

7 comments

Process Ownership: A Vital Role in Six Sigma Success

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…

Integrating Lean Six Sigma into Culture Is Like a Merger

While it is essential for a company to create familiarity with Lean and Six Sigma disciplines by training employees, it is even more important to integrate Lean Six Sigma into the company change culture. Lean Six Sigma should be a key component of the organization’s change infrastructure supporting all projects and change initiatives from the…

Making Good Change Agents: Attitude, Knowledge, Skills

When a business leader realizes that his organization is in need of significant change, one of the first and most critical actions is to appoint a team to spearhead a change initiative. Typically, a Six Sigma team’s leadership consists of project sponsor, with overall responsibility, seconded by project managers who focus on specific aspects. These…

4 comments

Pace of Six Sigma Teams Differs Dramatically by Culture

Imagine that an organization has chartered four Six Sigma improvement teams – one each in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each has been given the charter to reduce manufacturing cycle times. The four facilities are virtually identical, producing comparable products and packaging, with the same technology. However, even with an equal degree…

Not Just Statistics: Implementing the Cultural Change

When contemplating a Six Sigma initiative, it is easy to visualize a group of technically skilled individuals running around with pocket-protectors and laptops, statistical software running 24/7 and operational problems and defects disappearing at a rapid pace. In reality, Black Belts learn not only statistical tools and Lean techniques, but also how to apply them…

Managing the Executives for Lean Six Sigma Success

Being at the focal point in the cultural migration of executing change using Lean Six Sigma, deployment leaders/deployment Champions have many obstacles and opportunities to deal with. Strange as it might seem, the people who may be pushing the hardest for the results inherent in Lean Six Sigma deployments are the same ones who can…

It’s Not Common Sense – It’s a Sixth (Sigma) Sense

Many times when Lean and Six Sigma are introduced to an executive management team, there will be an individual who makes the statement: “This is just common sense. Why do we need to go through all this methodology, training and the statistics stuff to execute a simple project?” A large segment of thought leaders in…

1 comment

Building the Foundation for Successful Change

As the filter coffee and leftover chocolate cookies are being gathered from across the vast boardroom table, the CEO leans back in his leather chair, stretches, lets out a sigh and purrs to his colleagues, “Excellent presentation, this will make a real difference. . . cutting edge you know and it’s bound to work –…

3 comments

The Employee Perspective of the Six Sigma Methodology

Those who lead Six Sigma improvement projects often are in a teaching position, instructing employees who participate on project teams but have no experience with the methodology. Obviously, the inexperienced employees learn as they work on a project. But what is not as obvious is that the leaders also learn – no matter how much Six…

Turning Management Reluctance into Six Sigma Support

It would be great if every organization had senior management fully on board from the start of a Six Sigma program. Think Larry Bossidy at AlliedSignal and Jack Welch at GE. But not every organization is so lucky; many improvement efforts start at middle or lower levels. A middle manager gets a vision about how…