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The Implementation Plan – Getting Beyond the Quick Fix

One of my favorite elements of Six Sigma is researching a problem and finding the data to justify making an improvement. However, this element can also be one of the biggest barriers to securing support for a Six Sigma program. While practitioners might enjoy the hunt, executives often are looking for quick solutions that can…

Leveraging Six Sigma to Improve Hospital Bed Availability

Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center recently began working with GE Medical Systems to implement Six Sigma as a method for achieving quality and process improvement. Since patient throughput and bed availability are among the organization’s top concerns, the team began by focusing on this issue. Following a process of…

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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…

Preventing Conflicts Through Stakeholder Management

A stakeholder of a Six Sigma project is anyone associated with the project either directly or indirectly. Examples of stakeholders are supervisors providing resources, team members, department heads and employees involved in the process. An up-front analysis of who the stakeholders are and how and when to involve them in the project can prevent potential…

Review All Components for Well-rounded Process Analysis

Several management approaches, including Six Sigma, involve a key focus on process analysis. Too often processes are schematically represented in boxes and arrows. While this final result of a process analysis is beneficial, practitioners should ensure they are considering the numerous factors and components that influence a process and how it is viewed. Stakeholders and…

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Better Involvement/Requirements with LURE and COPIS

There is sometimes a tendency in the software domain to display laxity as far as understanding customer requirements and instead focus more on the technology and solution development. This lack of alignment between customer perspective and developer perspective often leads to unclear or misunderstood requirements, to inappropriate design, and/or to false assumptions and expectations by…

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Sustaining Change Requires Focus on Stakeholders

A Six Sigma initiative – or any change process for that matter – is only successful in the long run if the stakeholders truly adopt and sustain the change. Process and technology change cannot be implemented without a change in the hearts, souls and behaviors of the people involved in or impacted by the change….

Communication and Business Case Key to Revising Process

Through a two-year Six Sigma project, the Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition and Technology Programs Task Force (ATP TF) coordinated a revision to a joint weapon system safety review process that provided a 59 percent reduction in cycle time. Without the Six Sigma framework, the project might not have achieved the success it did within…