Strategies for Better Facilitation and Team Problem Solving

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It is a common process-improvement scenario: After a project team or a work group is formed, members have a series of productive meetings and workshops, but then nothing happens. How many times has it felt like there are great team dynamics in the conference room but when it comes time to execute change, no one […]

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Three Steps to Deliver Business Results

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Executing actions directly aligned to an organization’s strategy is fundamental to achieving success. Strategy with no action is just an idea; action with no strategy is anarchy. Neither scenario enables a company to deliver results. This article explores the three essential steps of achieving success (as defined by a given organization). Successful organizations: 1) define […]

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Excitement Builds for First Retail Forum Keynotes

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With just a few days to go, excitement is building for the iSixSigma Live! inaugural Retail Forum for Process Excellence, March 28-31. For four days next week all eyes in the process improvement world will focus on the Twin Cities region, as business leaders and operational experts gather at The Westin Galleria, in Edina, Minn., […]

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The Implementation Plan – Getting Beyond the Quick Fix

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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 […]

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A Stronger Chain

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The familiar maxim “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” has particular import for businesses committed to process improvement. For some companies, forging stronger, more collaborative relationships with suppliers and customers has become a natural, even necessary, part of their improvement efforts. “Early on, we knew that to create successful value streams, […]

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India Builds Reputation as Source of Best Practices in Management, Strategy

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Until recently, the flow of management and strategy know-how was one-way; it was India that absorbed business models, technology and management systems from foreign corporations and institutions. As “India Inc.” raced to globalize and global companies sought to exploit the country’s low-cost talent pool, such industrialized-economy concepts as Kaizen, The Toyota Way, Six Sigma and […]

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Sustaining Change with the SUCCESS Model

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Any change to a process is only successful in the long run if the stakeholders truly adopt and sustain the change. Process and technology improvements cannot be implemented without a change in the hearts, minds and behaviors of the people involved in the change. True adoption and sustainability requires thoughtful planning and focus, which should […]

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An Accelerated Project Approach Can Build Support for Six Sigma

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For many middle and senior managers who are considering business improvement initiatives, the thought of committing resources to a three- or four-month Six Sigma project can be a daunting. Many managers feel they are already working “flat out” and don’t have the people to spare. Others understand the reality that projects can sometimes stretch out […]

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Strategies for Surveying Employees

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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 […]

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Communication Strategies for Six Sigma Initiatives, Part 2

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

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Six Sigma for Small- and Medium-sized Businesses

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One of the more familiar dilemmas in business today is how to implement Six Sigma in small and medium-sized companies. This is a serious issue because larger companies are beginning to mandate Six Sigma to their supply base as a condition of doing future business. The problem arises when small and mid-sized organizations solicit deployment […]

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strategic planning

Three Deadly Sins In Strategic Planning

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When clients are not getting the results they expect from their strategic plans, there are usually three overlooked causes – incomplete planning, inadequate links between strategy and action, and poor communication. Are you getting enough from your Six Sigma strategic plan?

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Project Selection Options

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Six Sigma is accomplished one project at a time. The billions of dollars saved by companies around the world is the cumulative effect of properly selecting and defining business issues that can be assigned to Green Belts and Black Belts for solution. As you may have read last week, a strategic plan includes planning, adequate […]

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What Keeps Six Sigma Practitioners Up At Night?

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What causes Six Sigma projects to fail to produce desired results, and what would most help to improve Six Sigma project results? This article presents survey results from Six Sigma professionals and presents recommendations.

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Software Defect Prevention

Case Study: Defection Prevention for Software Development

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Everyone knows hindsight is 20/20. A defect prevention strategy in software capitalizes on this idea, analyzing defects encountered in the past and specifying checkpoints and actions to prevent the occurrence of similar defects – and thus, increases in product costs – in the future.

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The Merits of ‘Know-nothing’ Belts and Champions

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In the musical Camelot, there is a landmark scene in which King Arthur discusses his dream of a new legal system with Pellinore, the scraggly old king that Arthur adopted into his court. This new legal system would have trials led by a judge and the ultimate verdict would be decided by a group of […]

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Overcoming Initial Resistance to Six Sigma

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“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 […]

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How To Implement Quality

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You have decided that you would like to implement a quality program within your business or organization. Consulting companies have developed many different programs ranging from step-by-step procedures to complex manuals, charts and software. The quality program may take the name of Six Sigma, TQM, quality assurance or just plan quality. Regardless of the methodology […]

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Why Hire a Six Sigma Consultant?

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“Changing what we have the power to change, accepting the things we cannot change, and becoming wise enough to know the difference between the two.” It is a very old saying, and one that many people aspire to. But when it comes to implementing quality within your business, many feel they have or should have […]

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Six Sigma Trends: Next Generation of Projects

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I would like to start a series of articles reflecting the University of Kassel’s research in deploying Six Sigma within cross–domain industrial applications. They cover the following topics: Six Sigma trends Advanced strategies Innovative team training I will certainly appreciate if these articles launch a discussion. Getting feedback, I will be able to tailor the […]

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Gain Support with Organizational Improvement Strategy

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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 […]

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Creating a High Performance Culture with Hoshin Kanri

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A high performance culture is the result of high performance actions. An organization should strive to implement actions which deliver the desired performance and assess the results of these actions on the culture. If these actions are successful, performance targets are achieved and a high-performance culture ensues. The pursuit of performance gains starts with defining […]

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5 Six Sigma Deployment Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

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A well planned Six Sigma deployment can lead to a rewarding experience and immense benefits for an organization. On the flip side, however, a flawed deployment may lead to disappointing results – the failure of the entire deployment effort, and/or a significant waste of time and resources. There are five problems in Six Sigma deployments, […]

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Voice of the Business, Customer, Process and Employee

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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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