Readying Middle Management for Culture Change at Bosch

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This is the second of two excerpts iSixSigma.com is publishing from Creating a Kaizen Culture. This week’s excerpt looks at ways to engage middle management in a culture of change at Bosch. Last week a team in a Fabrication Department at Hill-Rom Industries learned about continuous process improvement from Shigeo Shingo. We have seen that […]

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Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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Many years ago I worked in industrial security; I spent many nights patrolling an automotive assembly plant. During this time I would occasionally find flyers written by somebody who called themself the “Sleeping Dog.”

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Finding the Balance Between Leadership and Management

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The first article of this series discussed how a number of Lean initiatives either fail outright or fail to deliver as planned. Furthermore, the first article went on to attribute these shortcomings to four cultural factors: an organization’s purpose, its leadership, how it treats its people and how the organization views continuous improvement. This article […]

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RF Day 2: Macy’s, Best Buy and Many Others Share Best Practices

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Macy’s, CVS and Best Buy. Oh my! Those were just three of the companies that shared their stories of process improvement success during the afternoon session on Day 2 (Tuesday, March 29) of the iSixSigma Retail Forum for Process Excellence. The conference is being held through Thursday, March 31, at the Westin Edina Galleria in […]

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DoD Seeks Six Sigma Solutions to Overhaul Business Processes

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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is embarking on an initiative to overhaul and streamline its business operations systems with process improvement methods, such as Lean Six Sigma, according to a recent presentation at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s (AFCEA) West 2011 conference in San Diego.

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Crafting a Vision: Who We Are, What We Do, Where We’re Going

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The second part in this series on culture change focuses on the importance of developing and maintaining a clear mission for your Lean enterprise.

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E-Z-Go Accelerates Six Sigma Buy-in Through Lean

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Employed with Textron for 22 years, Stern entered the continuous improvement program in 2005 as a Black Belt and has since become a Master Black Belt. She currently oversees training in Textron’s CI program and leads value stream mapping improvement workshops. Here are Stern’s thoughts about the evolution of the company’s CI efforts and how […]

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Lean Six Sigma Reaps $20 Million in Benefits for Mass. Hospital System

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A New England-based healthcare system is proving Lean Six Sigma tools are not just for manufacturing companies after realizing substantial cost savings in a nearly two-year implementation process.

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Using Kaizen to Gain Buy-in at Boat Manufacturer

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What is the best way to gain buy-in at a manufacturer that is resistant to culture change? iSixSigma spoke with Zack Chehaitli, Master Black Belt and director of continuous improvement for Sea Ray Boat Group, about his experience with Lean Six Sigma and how he helped bring continuous improvement principles to the boat manufacturing industry […]

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Deployment Champions

Three Methods to Develop New Deployment Champions

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Learning from past mistakes, a logistics company came up with three areas to focus on when training its future deployment Champions. The result? Lean Six Sigma infused into the company culture.

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Ask the Expert: The Topic – The Way We Work

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Mike Carnell of CS International discusses how organizations can internalize and incorporate Six Sigma.

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Highlights from the 2009 Energy Forum

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At the iSixSigma Live! 2009 Energy Forum for Process Excellence, leaders from across the energy industry shared how they are implementing process improvement efforts at their organizations. Some common questions and lessons learned – about methodology, implementation and benefits – came up over the course of the three-day event. Here are a few highlights. Combining […]

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Statistics Can Reduce Process Variability and Costs in Radiology

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Measurable improvements in radiology added up to greater efficiency and better quality. In this study, staffing was reduced by 14 full-time equivalents, entirely through attrition; identification errors were reduced through bar coding, and processes were improved. A higher sigma indicates a lower rate of defects and more efficient processes. In many corners of the corporate […]

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The Role of Human Resources (HR) in Six Sigma

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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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DFSS Technology Tips

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Many of us – as Quality professionals – have implemented quality improvement projects throughout our careers. Best practices resulting from these implementations are paramount for: designing processes for Six Sigma (defect-free) production from the beginning, increasing business productivity on future projects, as well as not ‘reinventing the wheel.’ After recently implementing a technology project, I thought it […]

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Why Don’t More Leaders Get It? Explanations for Six Sigma – Part 1

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This three-part article reviews three approaches to explaining Six Sigma that the author has seen backfire, along with an alternative. Part 2 looks at Traps 1 and 2. Part 3 looks at the third trap. Humankind has successfully split the atom and put people on the moon, but explaining Six Sigma to busy business leaders […]

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Insights on Establishing Operational Excellence Program

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A Conversation with… Gerald P. Belle, CEO of Merial, And Silke Birlenbach, Merial’s Vice President of Operational Excellence In a conservation with iSixSigma, Gerald (Jerry) P. Belle, the executive chairman of Merial, and Dr. Silke Birlenbach, vice president of Operational Excellence for Merial, offer their insights on establishing a program of organizational excellence. Merial is […]

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Deploying Six Sigma: Challenge for Pan-European Manager

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Managing an integrated European company with variety of national cultures is tough enough. But a little guidance is helpful when a pan-European business is seeking to deploy any organizational change such as Six Sigma or Lean across the business.

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Is Your Company’s Leadership Ready for Six Sigma?

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Six Sigma is not for the feint of heart. It takes courage to attack chronic problems no one has been able to solve. It takes true grit to define and collect the data needed for new insights. And, it takes staying power to see solutions become the new way of working. Is every company ready […]

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Building Cultural Acceptance Key to Lean Transformation

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Successful transformation to a continuous process improvement culture is arduous. It requires an enterprise approach that engages the entire organization and challenges its norms. It requires knowledge of new tools and methodologies, and a level of internal discipline beyond that in which most organizations operate. Most organizations are addicted to quick fixes and immediate results. […]

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Tips from iSixSigma’s Best Places to Work

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In 2008, iSixSigma set out to define the work environment that is most desirable to Six Sigma professionals and to honor the companies that best provide it. Employees from nominated companies were invited to complete surveys that examined factors such as job satisfaction, culture, rewards and recognition, and training and career development. The result is […]

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Gain Support with Straight Talk and Exit Strategy Tools

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Effective cultural change is not simply the result of a large group of people accepting the arguments of other influential people – it is the sum of the change of that population’s values, operational knowledge and habitual behaviors. Essentially, culture is not changed until a majority of the population is thinking and acting differently from […]

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Communication Strategies for Six Sigma Initiatives

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Making the decision to bring Six Sigma into an organization is the first step on a long journey. Although this decision has proven successful for a variety of industries (including healthcare), the best-laid plans may go awry if the focus is solely on the technical side, without considering the cultural and communication aspects of the […]

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Using the Power of ISO 9000 and Six Sigma Together

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Six Sigma and ISO 9000 can be highly complementary. Unfortunately, the two concepts often are driven by different project leaders, competing for resources and therefore not delivering the best results. There is, however, a way to combined the power of both concepts to add value to a company. An Overview of ISO 9000 ISO 9000 […]

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