iSixSigma

Make It a Team Effort: Involving Employees Can Lead to Lasting Solutions

Problem solving teams are often confronted with resistance to change. Even if the change is positive, employees are not always willing to embrace the improvements identified through DMAIC projects. However, by involving the employees to solve problems together, instead of providing solutions for them, practitioners can help assure that employees not only buy into process…

The Influence of Empowering Healthcare Workers

“What kind of care would I want for a loved one who is fighting cancer?” This is the question that Julia, an outpatient clinic nurse at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), asked herself as she observed the following process: Mrs. Smith, a patient, arrives early to the clinic to meet with her oncologist, Dr….

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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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Is Lean the Secret to Curing Healthcare?

Dr. John Toussaint, former CEO and president of the ThedaCare healthcare system, shares his lessons learned in applying Lean in his recent book. ThedaCare Inc., a not-for-profit system of hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other services in Northeast Wisconsin, has been practicing Lean for more than seven years. Through its use of Lean principles, the…

Segue Manufacturing Hires Lean Expert as VP of Engineering, Quality

Segue Manufacturing Services, of Lowell, Mass., USA, is proud to announce Brian Desmarais as the new Vice President of Engineering and Quality. Brian comes to Segue with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field, centering on and around quality management, product development, program management, systems engineering, and customer relationship management. With Brian’s experience…

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…

Voice of the Business, Customer, Process and Employee

Business could not have been better. Customers were reacting positively to the company’s new and enhanced service portfolio, the company entered the market without much competition and customer satisfaction was at an all-time high. Profitability continued to rise, and the company’s efficiency rate was impressive. But then things changed. New account numbers abruptly fell. Some…

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12 Tips for a More Motivated Team and Better Results

Lean Six Sigma, a process-driven program to reduce defects, relies heavily on a decidedly process-free emotion: passion. A motivated, driven team can make the difference between success and failure. I know about the power of motivation – I learned to walk again with braces and crutches after a 55-foot fall that left me as a…

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Change Dynamics: Prepare for Optimal Buy-in

We are constantly hearing about change. Change in the political environment, change in the economic environment, change in our personal lives and change in the business environment. Change has become part of everyone’s life. For instance, no one uses a briefcase-sized cell phone anymore, and mimeograph machines have long been relegated to the storage room….

Focus on Employees to Improve Healthcare Bottom Line

In a recent speech to a local chapter of the American Society for Quality, the speaker stated that in a typical work site as many as 15 percent of the employees actively work to subvert the goals of the organization. Their activities obviously have a negative effect on the clients of the organization and the…

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…

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…

Ask the Expert: The Topic – Six Sigma and Employees

Barbara Wheat, executive director of Six Sigma for Tenneco-Automotive, offers her views on Six Sigma and employees. She discusses a variety of ideas on communications, but her best advice about what to tell employees is: The truth. Barbara Wheat Executive Director of Six Sigma Tenneco-Automotive Lake Forest, Illinois, USA Q: What should a company planning…

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…