iSixSigma

Roadblocks to Implementation

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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Addressing Six Sigma Concerns From The Skeptics

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary states, “skepticism implies an unwillingness to believe without conclusive evidence.” Sometimes a little skepticism – or at least curiosity – can be a healthy thing. For instance, one should probably not begin taking a new medication without asking a few pertinent questions such as, “What are the side effects,” “How will this interact…

Managing Six Sigma Change Resistance

A critical component of any successful Six Sigma project is to overcome resistance to change. The reason: Without user acceptance, any process improvement is doomed to fail. Therefore, proper anticipation and understanding the approaches to various resistance tactics is essential to success. People resist change in the workplace in many ways, but among the more…

The Path of Least Resistance: Is There a Better Route?

Driven by nationwide technologist shortages, an industry-wide focus on quality and rising consumer demand, healthcare is feeling the pressure to deliver more with less. Given this challenging environment, some organizations have come to the conclusion that taking the path of least resistance may not be the best approach. For many, delivering quality patient care is…

Six Sigma…Without The Pain, For Healthcare

What is clear is that Six Sigma can drive bigger improvements in patient care and cost reduction, and potentially, do it faster. In the handful of hospitals that have successfully implemented Six Sigma, the results are impressive. Hard financial savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range per Six Sigma project have been reported….

My Business Is Different, Six Sigma Won’t Work

If you think Six Sigma won’t work for your company, you are either ignorant or refuse to change. Every business process can be measured, improved and controlled using the Six Sigma methodology. Reading the iSixSigma Discussion Forum unearthed a thread about the application of Six Sigma to Facilities Management: When it comes to the implementation…

Safeguard Against Four Forms of Six Sigma Opposition

Over the years, I have had numerous inquiries from readers about overcoming opposition to Six Sigma. Interestingly enough,  have also experienced this opposition when speaking with prospective or existing clients, some of whom have asked me not to mention Six Sigma but to speak to tools in a generic fashion. Obviously, opposition to the method…

Overcoming Initial Resistance to Six Sigma

“We don’t have processes. What I mean to say is, we don’t use them.” This was the reply of a Fortune 500 executive when asked recently about his company’s processes. Oddly enough, this response is quite common in spite of the inordinate amount of time and effort spent trying to convince managers otherwise. Most managers…

Words of Advice for Frustrated Black Belts

“I entered the Six Sigma program with our organization in May as a BB candidate. Since then I have encountered a number of setbacks and frustrations. They aren’t unique to me, either. Many other BBs at my company are experiencing the same things. I’m hoping for some general advice. What can you do (as a…

Converting Skeptics and Keeping Them On Board

A powerful process improvement tool since the 1980s, Six Sigma has grown in popularity over recent years while less effective initiatives have faded away. Yet some still believe Six Sigma will ultimately share that same fate. These skeptics are people who feel burdened by the disruption Six Sigma has caused in their responsibilities and authority….

Ten Ways to Boost Up a ‘Pretty Good’ Six Sigma Program

Many process improvement efforts are doing well enough, limping along with casual support from the management team, blissful ignorance from most first-line employees, some frustration from overtrained and underutilized Belts, and savings and improvement that are neither earth-shattering nor close to entitlement. Here are a few relatively simple and straightforward actions to take to turn…

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How to Turn Resistance into Support for Lean Six Sigma

One phrase in Lean Six Sigma that may be heard more than any other is “culture change.” Most organizations today are undergoing some form of culture change, and 75 percent of all major or cultural changes fail to achieve their goals. Experience shows when strength and culture collide, culture has a higher probability of winning….

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…

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…

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…

Automating Input Data to Improve On-Time DeliveriesAn iSixSigma Case Study

Liquid Controls, a manufacturer of high-quality flow meters and accessories for accurate liquid measurement, is a well-practiced user of Six Sigma methodologies. Having adopted Six Sigma in 1999 and made significant strides in improving manufacturing processes, the company more recently began to turn attention to transactional processes for serving customers. Liquid Controls identified several processes…