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  • #30748

    John DeVries
    Participant

    Dear All,
    My 5,000+ employee healthcare organization is embarking on a medium scale Six Sigma Deployment. Our tentative consultant submitted a proposal which has no mention of Blackbelt or MasterBlackbelt roles. It relies heavily on “Green Belt Plus” training, which includes two weeks of classroom while serving on a concurrent project team. Verbally they have suggested relying on Greenbelts permanently or at least for the initial 1-2 years. FEEDBACK ON THIS CONCEPT, SUPPORTIVE OR CRITICAL, WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. Thank you, in advance.
    John

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    #80492

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    John,
    I’m not sure what consultant you received a quote for, but here are a few of the initial thoughts that ran through my head:
    1. Why are they only recommending Green Belts? Are they trying to ensure that they have a consulting gig well beyond 2 years by supplying Black Belts and making you rely on them for strategic planning, etc.? You will never havea  self sufficient program without developing in-house talent of Master and Black Belts.
    2. With 2 weeks of training, they won’t have all the tools necessary to solve all problems within your hospital. It sounds like they’re bastardizing the Six Sigma deployment “success model”. Ask them who else they’ve deployed to with this model and call them to ask them how successful it’s been. Don’t rely on a consultant that hasn’t done it somewhere else already — successfully.
    3. Why have you only received one proposal for consulting services and the rollout? Would you buy a car without checking your two local dealers? Why spend shareholder money without doing the same. Check out the long list of consultants (https://www.isixsigma.com/co/six_sigma) and request proposals from a few of them. If you stick with the more established six sigma providers, you may pay a little more, but you’ll also hire someone with proven results.
    Good luck!
    –Carol

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    #80504

    Ron
    Member

    First don’t use consultants !
    Second one of the greates errors of six sigma implentation is the lack or or worse yet an incorrect infrastructure to sustain the gains.
    In the healthcare business six sigma will have to be 95% home grown. It certainly tells me that your “consultant” is planning his retirement on your account.
     
    Find some good MBB’s with a great track record, the rest will come around.
     

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    #80512

    Joy Cowling
    Participant

    John,
    Even proven MBB’s don’t usually bring materials to the table that don’t belong to a consulting company or former employer so I would be leary of Ron’s advice, unless you are interested in being sued. Good MBB’s will have the knowledge but if they have their own materials, they are probably consulting.
    Good consultants (and there are many out there) will help you put good infrastructure in place, will provide quality, proven materials for internal training and will make sure that you have resources in place to carry the program forward when they leave…and did I mention that they have to leave?
    I think you are right that this particular consultant may be looking for a longterm relationship.  I don’t know how you implement in a 5000+ employee company without good Black Belts and a couple of Master Black Belts.  Who is going to support all the Green Belt projects?  What will you do when the Green Belt tools aren’t enough to solve the tough problems? 
    I think that in many instances, companies have big enough problems that Green Belt projects can make a HUGE impact.  But if you are serious about implementation, those projects won’t do all that you need them to at some point.
    Get other proposals.  Get a solid foundation.  Don’t skip the hard work in the beginning of setting your program up for success.  The successful Six Sigma implementations that have gotten the most recognition in industry didn’t just train Green Belts.
    Good luck,
    Joy

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    #80516

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    John,
    This is purely my point of view. GB’s will drive your culture shift – no question. If you train enough BB’s to drive the change they will trip all over each other and screw it up.
    If you train BB’s first then they can train your GB’s. When you do this your GB’s will view your internal resources as the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s). That is what you want. Internal mentoring. That is how it gets internalized and becomes your program rather than a consultants program.
    If you train GB’s and let consultants mentor them you will never get rid of them. There will always be that link and the program will never be completely internalized.
    There is more to this just as Joy said. The very first thing you should do is ask if your organization knows how to change and what have you ever done (as an organization to demonstrate it. If other initiatives have failed in the past this one probably do the same unless you figure out what you intend to do differently. You can read these posts all day long and do perfect stats but at the end of the day the thing that determines if you have a successful program is if you can act on the outcome of the projects. That takes you back to the Champions and all the up front work – just like Joy mentioned.
    You can get a screwed up using a consultant as nor using one. Lots of people are hiring an MBB and doing it themselves. Doesn’t guarantee anything. If you hire a bad consultant or a bad MBB (one hit wonder) you still have a mess. If you hire well it can go well. Amazing how that works out.
    Good luck.

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    #80518

    Mikel
    Member

    John,
    Transactional processes that have not been studied and improved yet do not require the full complement of BB tools yet. You are probably being given good advice at least to the level of initial training.
    A good consultant will give you a good roadmap of what to do when based on the sophistication of the improvement effort already in place. Anyone who offers a canned solution without understanding your organization is wrong.

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    #80701

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    Carol,
    Thanks to you and other posters for excellent feedback. I advocated for using this consultant for our pilot Six Sigma project last spring based on good local referrals, and I will be chagrined if I need to advocate against them for our full deployment. In retrospect, my lesson learned is to thoroughly familiarize yourself with your consultant’s approach, even for a pilot project. In response to my serious concern about no Blackbelt training and my request for format and cost of Blackbelt training, the consultant had a somewhat soft response:
    “… We are all fully capable of handling the first phase (2 years) of the deployment plan…The most successful application of Six Sigma in health care is (their client) –and they don’t have any black belts! It is simply a title…we envision a “black belt ” type course for (your organization) eventually once your organization has a critical mass…
    The client, to which they referred, is far into their third year of deployment, I have not seen evidence that they are most successful. Regrettably, it looks like I will be spending a good deal of my Six Sigma energies and capital on consultant issues.
    John

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    #80705

    RT
    Member

    Lots of good points in this thread.  A consultant can offer the uninhibited training i.e. dedicated to just the training and not other functions at the place of business.  That with the expertise of a good MBB to develop and institutionalize the roll out.  If you don’t have someone to constantly grow SS it will eventually fall by the wayside.  People need to be motivated to keep using the tools they learn.  Especially in a transactional driven process.

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