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Communication

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  • #49125

    K7
    Participant

    Hi,
    What role does communication play in a six sigma project and how important is that ?Thanks & Regards,
    K7

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    #167303

    Deanb
    Participant

    I think communication in all its forms may be the single most important factor not only in doing a SS project, but in initiating and sustaining the program as well. Even something as basic as data needs to be documented and shared (communicated) before it can be analyzed. Companies with poor communication habits often have some remedial work to do before they can execute a SS project.

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    #167501

    Smoothie
    Member

    Hell there
    Communication, I feel, is a key role in the management of any project.
    From some projects I have conducted before I was fortunate enough to make the mistake of not communicating as well as I should have which had a massive impact on results, mostly negative but this was a valuable learning point for me personally.
    My advise is communicate communicate communicate at every stage. This is because with any project it assumes change and people get uptight about this,  they close down on what information they give you and for successful projects, you need that information.
    By communicating effectively, they will open up and begin not to fear new faces and new changes, this way you can get what you need and its a win win situation.
    Hope this helps

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    #167504

    Fake ATI Alert
    Participant

    Easy  said,difficult  to  implement?

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    #167507

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    Change is indeed a very difficult thing to have put upon you by someone.  That’s why I believe it is incumbent upon change agents to not only communicate, but to go to the point of being inclusive whenever possible.  Peter Drucker once observed that people are one of the most adaptable creatures on earth, but they resist change that is forced upon them.  We resist change that we do not understand. 
    Even with understanding, we are often locked into our comfort zones of the present state.  The fear (and pain) of change and the unknown keeps us from moving into the future state.  We have to create such a strong and positive vision of the future state that the current state is percieved as painful enough for us that we embrace the change.
    Communication is key, but by itself, it is often not enough.
    My humble 2 cents worth,
    Shooter

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    #167509

    Deanb
    Participant

    Part of communicating effectively is doing it in a way that removes participant risk, or at least shares that risk fairly.I have known strong communicators in CI that use communication as a means to delegate (or abdicate) risks to others. People are much more willing to try new things if they feel they are not alone.

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    #167516

    MrMHead
    Participant

    As part of our BB curriculum we have a CAP class – Change Acceleration Program – which is basically communication and getting buy-in for those being affected.  And part of that is the support of not only those implementing the change, but also those that drive the change – Stakeholders.
    CAP / Communication should start well before those that are affected see any change.
    It may be politics (aka lies and propoganda ;-) but it’s still important to the success of any project.

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    #167518

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    “It may be politics (aka lies and propoganda ;-) but it’s still important to the success of any project.”
    This is truly a very sad statement, indeed.  If this is the case, you are doomed before you start.  If you think you can pull the wool over the eyes of the workers, the only one being fooled is yourself.  They hear your talk, and they watch what you do to find out what you really mean.

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    #167521

    Deanb
    Participant

    MrMHead,Perhaps “propaganda” is how it is received. There is a big difference between demanding buy-in and earning it. Hopefully you meant the latter, and try to avoid the former.Effective communication stands in great need of distinguishing the difference between “good” and “bad” forms of it.

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    #167524

    MrMHead
    Participant

    Maybe “Hype” would be a more PC term.
    It’s not necessarily pulling the wool over ones eyes (others or self) but encouraging enthusiasm and a positive attitude for change.
    Who hasn’t been on a project where you questioned the “advertised” results, but moved forward for the sake of the team… or your boss?

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    #167525

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    I am only responding to your words of choice.  Call it “hype” or whatever you will.  My earlier response stands.  And yes, we’ve all been the victim of lies, propoganda, hype – all resulting in expectations that aren’t met.  The end result is a loss of trust, enthusiasm and commitment to projects in the future.

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    #167526

    Deanb
    Participant

    In such cases it is important for the leader/mgt to be honest about the promotion.If there is no choice and it is “mandated from above” then be straight about that upfront, and focus communications on helping everyone cope through it and succeed. This is real leading IMHO.If decisions are to be discussed and shared, then mean it. Far too many fall into the trap of eluding to shared inputs and decisions to get buy-in, when it is really a mandate and most decisions have already been made. Almost nobody buys into that sham. This is one of the most common trust and enthusiasm killers I have seen over the years.

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    #167527

    Brandon
    Participant

    I’ve found any program is best “sold” when performance evals and comp plans are aligned to the program. If mngt puts the $’s on the table in alignment with the program then people know this is a commitment and their contributions to the program will be recognized.
    Not doing this begs the mind set that it is just another hot dog deal.

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    #167539

    wgmiller
    Member

    I will add my 2 cents to what Shooter said about thinking you can fool your employees – you should assume every statement you make to your employees will be critically examined, and news of any errors found will spread all over the the company like wildfire.
    W. G. Miller
     

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    #167540

    Torrance
    Participant

    Agree.
    If the reasons for implementing a programme are very real, it makes the communication easier – but still critical to it’s success.
    If you try to create reasons, it is not going to be as persuasive.
    Your message or communication(s) need to be ethical, logical and communicated down through the organisation with passion. (You can read this in lots of books, but it does work!)
    If it is logical and ethical, the debate against it can be handled more easily – you can win minds. If you have passion, you can win hearts.
    I’ve experience excellent communication in 3 yr programmes (focusing always on clarity of our purpose) – equally I’ve experienced poor communication which ultimately ends up as another wave of nonsense from the Senior Mgt – those programmes last only a few months as a fad.
    Davy T
     

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    #167556

    Jen
    Participant

    K7,
    I have found that communication is key to solving many of my BB projects.  If I am making a process map I go down to the floor and speak with each of the operators about what I am doing and why and I get honest feedback on their processes (including some hidden factory).  When I create data sheets I involve the person that will be taking the data so that I can a. cover everything that will be needed to collect instead of assuming what needs to be collect b. help them understand how important they are to helping solve the issue and the importance of good data and c. we work together to make the data sheet as easy to fill out as possible because on the assembly line there is often a time constraint.
    When I run a SWAT (Statistical Weapons and Tactics) Event to solve a BB project I involve all production shifts, maintenance, supervision, etc so that the communication between all parties happens.  When only one or two parties get to be involved I have found that it is the surest way for many of the improvements to go south if not the entire project.
    I have found that sometimes people can be very gruff when I am communicating with them.  I try to find ways to see what I am doing from their point of view and change my style accordingly.  Mostly by being up front with people I have not had to many problems.  I have also found that I forge some great future problem solving relationships by being honest about what I am doing and how the project is progressing, especially with those that were hard to speak with at first.  They just needed proof that what I was doing was real and not management “here to help”  :-)
    I hope this posting helps you.  Really just treat others as you would like to be treated.  All of us want to know what is going on and communicating is a sure way of helping that happen.  Good luck and don’t be afraid to approach people.

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