Applying Six Sigma To Office Positions

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums Europe Applying Six Sigma To Office Positions

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    My firm has recently decided to apply six sigma strategy to an entire company that they just purchased.  However, the only person who is familiar with six sigma is the CEO and he is a certified green belt.  He has placed me in charge of the entire project and sent me home with multiple books about six sigma.  I am slated to begin six sigma training in late October, but for the time being I am supposed to research and define all of our current processes in each department of the company.  I have recently accomplished defining the majority of our processes and am realizing that if there is a clearly defined process for the task it is extremely inefficient and should probably be completely revamped.  I have decided to start with the office positions first and they seem to be extremely hard to measure.  The industry that I am working in is oil production therefore it is hard to adapt the most common tools to fit my situation.  If anyone has any suggestions for me or has any good resources that I may need to use I would truly appreciate the advice.  Thank you so much for your time.


    Adam L Bowden

    Hello Angela,
    Getting thrown into mapping the majority of processes sounds like hell !
    There is a right way of deploying Six Sigma and a wrong way.  I’d suggest that you may be headed down the wrong road in attempting this “world hunger” size adventure driven by your CEO.  If your CEO has been GB trained I think that that is absolutely admirable.  What GB training does not do is to allow you to map out the deployment strategically – and typically neither does BB training – you get it by trial and error !.  If you are to be successful in your endeavour as a BB you need to …
    – identify the right projects
    – gain and deploy the right & appropriate tools/methodologies
    – get the right support.
    It sounds like you have the right “top level support” but might not be approaching this from the project selection/tool perspective appropriately.
    Typically if you have not conducted “strategic deployment” sessions you need a method of identifying which specific “non world hunger” areas to tackle first and prioritize the others.
    If you have been chosen to go through BB training you will need to be a Leader which means “doing the right things” more so than “doing things right”.  To do the right things requires planning and not jumping right in.
    Please give me a call/e-mail me and we can discuss potential plans for you to be successful in your endeavour.  If you want your CEO to call/e-mail me please feel free to pass on my details. 
    I do not wish you to fail or to try an “uphill struggle” which I’ve seen too often.
    Best regards,
    Adam L Bowden
    MBB & Director – 6 Sigma
    [email protected]
    (1) 720 332 3737 (Denver Colorado, USA ,  GMT -7hrs)


    Howard Miller

    Hi Angela,
    What is the size of the company? for example, its turn over, its direct to indirect staffing levels, and its total number of personnel?
    Also what is the acceptance level of the new company’s Six Sigma program?
    I worked for a company that was taken over by a larger one, the larger company had a SS initiative that they wanted to instil in the smaller recently bought company. They took the following approach:
    1, Full company diagnostic,
    2, Trained an onsite BB, me.
    3, Created a proposed ‘Operating plan’ from that point onwards, this was the basis for the define element of their project.
    Although their intentions were good they had one problem, the acceptance of the new company to take on the SS system and approach. Although the CEO is SS trained, it does not mean that the rest of the company has taken acceptance to it.
    I would be happy to talk further with you regarding this subject, I am assuming that you are not SS Trained. I am and I have done exactly what you are trying to do.
    One thing to remember though, when doing any SS project, nothing is beyond the realms of possibilities.



    Richard REDFERN

    Hi Angela
    You certainly seem to have a challenge on your hands! I would suggest stepping back a bit. I have some simple but profound questions to ask yourself that might help decide how you approach your implementation:
    1. Do you have a clear idea what your CEO is wanting/needing to achieve and why is required? How do you know this?
    2. Have you agreed with the CEO how you will measure success? What are those measure?
    3. Do you have a plan (agreed with the CEO) for deployment which involves the entire organisation which is affected (including the CEO)?
    This might cover :

    Ownership and Objectives 

    Organization, Resources and Expert Selection



    Project Selection


    Training, Material and Software 

    Documentation and Data Control
    What are the key milestones?
    4. Do you have the available resources, capabilities and responsibility to implement the plan? (Share the Load!)
    (If you have already done this work….fine. It will all just be a review.)
    The following is a list of the critical factor for successful Six Sigma deployment as discussed by groups of Six Sigma Blackbelts I have trained:

    The right leadership (Involved with the programme)

    The right business issues

    The right mentors assigned to each issue

    The right projects

    The right selection of Expert candidates

    The right allocation of Expert resource on projects

    The right goals, measures and metrics

    The right reward systems

    The right validation of financial return on investment

    The right utilization of intellectual capital

    The right evaluation of implementation and deployment
    I would recommend that in the early stages of any business improvement activity to improve your chances of success, you should find something relatively easy on which you can test the principles before you move into hard stuff.
    Best of Luck



    Hi Angela,
    I know this was a while ago (2004), but I was wondering how everything turned out?  We are going to be implementing Office Lean at my company and we really don’t know where to start either. 

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