iSixSigma

Blog

How to Revive Your Lean Six Sigma Deployment

The Six Sigma world is filled with stories reiterating the importance of leadership focus when implementing Lean Six Sigma. However, the continuous improvement landscape is also littered with examples of Lean Six Sigma programs that were implemented in full force to start with and then were slowly abandoned after they had spread to other departments…

2 comments

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…

Building Team Consensus

The Six Sigma quality methodology almost always requires a Black Belt or Green Belt to lead a team in solving a problem. When teams members interact – and no matter how well the Black or Green Belt can facilitate – opinions of the individual team members will inevitably differ and the team may end up deadlocked, compromising…

1 comment

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…

Gain Support with Organizational Improvement Strategy

Striving to improve should be the prime directive for all business leaders. If organizations do not improve, they run the risk of getting left behind. So the question is: What is the best strategy or approach for improvement? Over the last 20 years, many continuous improvement initiatives have been introduced, but only one seems to…

1 comment

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…

2 comments

Work Design and Six Sigma: Improve Jobs and Processes

The business world keeps revisiting the concept of a high-performance organization, often coining some new phrase or slogan to describe it. Regardless of its newest label or the guru touting its latest incarnation, high performance has virtually always meant achieving a hard-to-sustain combination of six critical elements: High profitability World-class service Accountability Simple workflow Customer-centered…

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….

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…

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…

1 comment

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….

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…