iSixSigma

Readying Middle Management for Culture Change at Bosch

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…

Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

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 himself the “Sleeping Dog.” The Sleeping Dog was a frequent critic of Lean manufacturing and often described it as management’s excuse to eliminate jobs. He…

Finding the Balance Between Leadership and Management

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…

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

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…

DoD Seeks Six Sigma Solutions to Overhaul Business Processes

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.

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

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…

Using Kaizen to Gain Buy-in at Boat Manufacturer

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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Three Methods to Sharpen New Deployment Champions

Before any Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program can begin to drive efficiency at an organization, it must have a solid foundation of team members who are immersed in the LSS culture. When third-party logistics firm Transplace established its LSS program, management placed an emphasis on developing a regimented training program for those who would become…

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Highlights from the 2009 Energy Forum

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…

Statistics Can Reduce Process Variability and Costs in Radiology

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…

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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DFSS Technology Tips

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…

Insights on Establishing Operational Excellence Program

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…

Is Your Company’s Leadership Ready for Six Sigma?

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…

Building Cultural Acceptance Key to Lean Transformation

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

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…

Gain Support with Straight Talk and Exit Strategy Tools

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…

Communication Strategies for Six Sigma Initiatives

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…

Using the Power of ISO 9000 and Six Sigma Together

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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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….

Yellow Belts: Creating a Corporate Sense of Inclusion

As the Lean and Six Sigma evolution makes its way throughout the financial services industry and organizations make decisions on how to best spend training dollars, an interesting trend is emerging. Many companies looking at ways to more broadly incorporate Lean and Six Sigma into their cultures are finding that a general knowledge across the…

Making the Journey Toward Culture Change in Healthcare

Recognition is growing among healthcare leaders of the need for a culture change within their organizations. Moving from recognition to reality, however, is more difficult. The problem lies in the perception – or misperception – of what a culture change actually entails. Culture change is not a program with a completion date, nor is it a quick…

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Maturity Model Describes Stages of Six Sigma Evolution

As organizations adopt and deploy Six Sigma, they go through several stages of maturity. Until now, however, there has been no formal description of this evolution. The Six Sigma Maturity Model™, introduced here, provides an outline of five levels of Six Sigma development. The intent of the model is to help Six Sigma practitioners, deployment…

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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…

Six Sigma Catapults Hospitals to Next Level of Quality

The quality and variability of care delivered by hospitals is highly profiled in the media today. Pick up a newspaper, turn on the television or open a healthcare trade journal and chances are there will be an article detailing the real or possible occurrence of medical errors, allegations of a hospital’s failure to comply with…

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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…

Mad Belt Disease: Over-emphasis on Certification

An emerging trend – which can justifiably be labeled as a case of “Mad Belt Disease” – may be threatening the long-term credibility and success of Six Sigma. It is time for practitioners of Six Sigma to help stem the spread of what is beginning to look like an epidemic. This disturbing trend is the increasingly…

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