iSixSigma

Human Resources

Case Study: Applying Resource Modeling to IT Problem

Resource utilization is managed using models. These models are created based on multiple influencing variables or factors. The goal is to balance resources – including people and skill levels – to achieve higher service levels, lower costs and other benefits. Widely used across industries, resource modeling functions as an efficient decision-making tool. Some successful applications…

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Case Study: Improving Recruitment Processes – Part 2 of 2

In this case study, a team strives to improve the recruiting process in a large, fast-moving consumer goods company. Part 1 focused on reducing the recruiting cycle time. Part 2 focuses on decreasing the effort required to fill a job opening. The case described here uses total quality management (TQM) to address the problem of…

Case Study: Improving Recruitment Processes – Part 1 of 2

In this case study, a team strives to improve the recruiting process in a large, fast-moving consumer goods company. Part 1 focuses on reducing the recruiting cycle time. Part 2 focuses on decreasing the effort required to fill a job opening. Rising attrition is a common problem across industries. Tight monthly, quarterly and annual objectives…

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Six Qualities of Successful Green Belts

Many factors play a role in the success of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt: support of top management, a well-defined and properly scoped project, a solid project team and more. One element that may be overlooked is the qualities of the candidates themselves. Everyone can contribute to continuous improvement efforts, but the Green Belt…

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What Makes a Training Program Effective?

The purpose of a training program is to impart knowledge of a system or process to someone new to that process. Individuals may have worked on something similar previously, so will have an idea, or at least a starting point, on which to build. However, most training programs must start with the basics and a…

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Taking the Recruitment Industry Forward

Recruitment has always been a good indicator of how the wider economy is faring. Since the global downturn, many recruitment companies have been squeezed. The rise of Internet-based recruitment, including social media tools, has added to their problems. Employers are watching their costs and they understand the alternative routes to new employees. As a result,…

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Understanding the Impacts of Change

As improvement project leaders, Belts can sometimes lose track of an important factor in the success of a project: the impact that any changes stemming from the project will have on the stakeholders. As they rush quickly into data collection and employ tools such as failure mode and effects analysis, cause and effect matrix and…

Case Study: Implementing an Automated Time and Attendance System

Companies lose an average of 5 percent of revenue annually due to payroll process inefficiencies, errors and fraud. Leaders at Océ Business Services, a provider of outsourced document process management services, estimated that their company had an even greater opportunity because of their outsourcing model – employees based on client premises supporting thousands of individual…

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Fixing Payroll Problems: A TQM Case Study in Human Resources

A large, Indian, fast-moving consumer goods company had completed successful total quality management (TQM) projects to improve its manufacturing efficiency, expedite vendor payments and increase availability of finished products. For its next project, the company wanted to address problems in human resources (HR). By working with HR process owners, a focus for the project emerged…

Ask Dr. Mikel Harry: How Can Six Sigma Be Applied to Human Resources?

Dr. Mikel Harry answers the question, “How can Six Sigma be applied to the Human Resources (HR) function?” Listed are some simple examples for Human Resource projects: 1) Employee turnover rate. 2) Job satisfaction issues (surveys). 3) Management satisfaction. 4) Cafeteria food quality. 5) Policy deployment. 6) New hire process quality and cycle time. 7)…

To BB or Not to BB?

OK, so you are not Hamlet, and deciding whether to become a Six Sigma Black Belt (BB) is not a matter of life or death. But it is a major career move, and you should carefully consider the pros and cons. With a nod to David Letterman, we have created two “Top Ten” lists that…

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Top Ten Six Sigma Black Belt Candidate Qualities

Whether you are a process owner, Master Black Belt or Champion, you will at some point need to interview candidates for an open Black Belt position. Or, you may be a Green Belt or quality engineer with aspirations of someday working full-time as a Six Sigma Black Belt. What should you look for in a…

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The Role of Human Resources (HR) in Six Sigma

Chances are you’ve heard of Six Sigma, perhaps in connection with General Electric, the company that made it popular in the 1990s. You may even know that Six Sigma uses statistical techniques to improve processes in both manufacturing and service industries. But did you know there is an important role for Human Resources (HR) in…

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Strategies for Surveying Employees

Most mid to large companies or organizations can at one point or another, benefit from surveying their employees for the primary purpose of gauging morale. A survey may be needed for a number of reasons, including changes in employee behavior such as high absenteeism or a reduction in output; before or after major adjustments in…

A Lean Approach to Staffing Brings Optimal Performance

Organizations are often challenged with managing seemingly unmanageable work volumes with available staff. At times, staff may feel overwhelmed with high work volumes, or underutilized during periods of low work volumes. When a management team finds itself confronting these issues, team members may ask the following questions: How can staff respond to internal and external…

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Six Sigma Aids in IT Employee Resource Planning

Effective resource planning is an important part of any process improvement program. Formalizing processes and developing measurement systems helps to determine the value of internal projects from a human capital perspective. A measurement system for effective resource planning in implementing project goals may be particularly helpful for information technology (IT) divisions of companies. Developing a…

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Creating a Recruiting Process: DFSS for Process Design

The following case study illustrates how a pharmaceutical company applied selected DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) tools to develop a new recruiting process for sales representatives. Tools and activities are described along the IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize, Verify) phases, which served as a guiding roadmap through this process design project. Identify The need to completely…

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Dispute Resolution: Facilitators, Mediators, Arbitrators

Alternative dispute resolution has become a popular way to identify the root cause of a problem and to build a solution strategy – both in and out of the business world. In some environments this is accomplished by a mediator or arbitrator. Mediators act as neutrals to reconcile differences before proceeding to arbitration or litigation….

Every Reason That HR Should Be Involved in Six Sigma

Human resource (HR) professionals who have a background or education in basic project management have a clear advantage. Being well versed in an improvement methodology, such as Six Sigma, is even a bigger plus. An HR professional who is able to present a business case with a compelling return on investment will be respected. Having…

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Tops Best Places to Work List

Among all industries, upscale hospitality must rank near the top in its attention to customers. Because guest expectations are high, quality is not just a goal, it is the very essence of the business. With nearly 1,000 properties scattered across the globe, Starwood Hotels and Resorts owns some of the world’s most recognizable hospitality brands…

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(Human) Resource Planning Is a Key for DFSS Projects

While several factors can drive the success or failure of a Six Sigma project, experienced project managers cite resource planning or allocation of resources as the greatest driver of success for larger projects. All three types of resources – materials, technology and people – must be used effectively. In particular, human resource management plays a…

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Six Sigma Projects in the Human Resources Department

Human resources is no different than any other aspect of a business in being able to deliver Six Sigma projects with significant financial benefits to the company. Projects are directed toward the internal customer by conducting human resources functions faster and more efficiently, or toward the external customer by contributing to the ongoing transformation of…

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Establishing Criteria for Black Belt Candidate Selection

It is widely recognized that a number of factors are important in achieving successful Six Sigma Black Belt projects. In particular: Leadership support Project selection Black Belt candidate selection Much has been written about leadership support and project selection, not as much on candidate selection. Many Six Sigma companies would benefit from knowing more about…

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Six Sigma Tools for Every Day Projects and Processes

During a Six Sigma symposium, speaker after speaker presented good information on Six Sigma concepts, tools and approaches to use when working on a Six Sigma project. If these Six Sigma tools, approaches templates, etc., are good for Six Sigma projects, why not use them in day-to-day software development and IT processes? Learning Objectives It…

Using Six Sigma for Assessing Employee Satisfaction

Today’s competitive world has made every organization rethink its strategy for long-term survival. It is becoming quintessential to realize the importance of human potential in the long-term success of any organization. A satisfied employee can actually be the differentiating factor in the struggle to gain market share, to deliver customer delight, to innovate product and…

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Consider Kaizen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Pirsig’s 1974 book about the metaphysics of quality entitled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance relates a father’s journey with his son, during which are delivered ideas of quality, philosophy and formal dialogue against the backdrop of a good old American road trip, all from the seat of a motorcycle. His allegory for…

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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…