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Deployment fatigue anyone?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Deployment fatigue anyone?

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #49072

    SiggySig
    Member

    Have any of you been involved in starting up Lean Six Sigma in a company? In my current role, I’m one of 14 BBs hired by a large-ish company to launch LSS. This is the second deployment I’ve been part of leading.We’ve got many of the classic problems that most LSS deployments encounter – everyone’s too busy to work projects, leadership talks a good game but doesn’t truly empower people to be successful, sales is totally resistant and getting away with it, and on and on.Oh, and the LSS VP is hammering us BBs to get the Green Belts’ projects done already, [email protected]! Even the lead MBB (allegedly in charge of the whole deployment is saying we should have a do-over with launching LSS at our company.)I know, I know, put on my big boy pants and get on with it already. It’s just really really tiring to be fighting the battle, y’know?Anyone have war stories to share, and tips for thriving in the insanity?

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    #167058

    Taylor
    Participant

    De Ja Vu, unfortuanetly even the best deployments are not much more than organized chaos. Coming from a Nightmare Six Sigma Deployment myself, I simply refused to break, and plowed through the BS. And then I took my resume and moved on to bigger and better things. But I must say the first 3 years, yes 3 long years was absolutely hell.

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    #167059

    Deanb
    Participant

    Siggy,I have found that org-wide initiatives need a pinch of journey management so orgs processes can stabilize and become capable of supporting real continuous improvement. One of the big journey killers (as you are finding) is “insufficient available time of participants.” Step one of any new journey is to “buy new time” or else you will get very little of folk’s time to do larger improvement projects later. This often involves targeting time killers like firefighting, in-fighting, conflicting objectives, unnecessary meetings and reports, obstacles, lack of communication and frustration. These kinds of projects may be viewed as too “soft” for many SS folk, but I have found them to be necessary or you may never get to the real juicy projects later. An added benefit is these soft projects will noticeably improve productivity and win popular support. Saving time probably will improve productivity, but may be hard to measure in dollars, hence I try to utilize non-financial metrics on these projects. Getting more done in the same time should please management. Management needs to take this on faith as a common sense necessity and invest in these efforts as part and parcel of the journey they have committed to. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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    #167060

    SiggySig
    Member

    Chad, what bigger and better things did you move on to? My current gig is basically my “bigger and better” from the last gig. I’m essentially a generalist, having worked in numerous industries and functions over my career – make for a very versatile consultant-type, but didn’t really provide the deep deep subject knowledge that years in the same field provides.I’m just not sure I want to be an MBB when I grow up or be a quality nomad, doing deployment after deployment. What can you recommend?

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    #167061

    Deanb
    Participant

    It took until my 3rd or 4th initiative until I understood how to prevent the “burn-out” syndrome (for others, and for me). Sometimes this knowledge helped, other times it didn’t matter. The state of the companies themselves may be bigger factors. Getting companies started that have a poor history of continuous improvement can be jobs from hell. For me, the more experienced companies have generally been much easier to navigate.Eventually, most of us warriors burn out on doing the high octane roll-outs, and seek more stable situations where we can preserve our sanity.

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    #167062

    SiggySig
    Member

    Dean, would you be inclined to share your wisdom on preventing burn-out? I’m all ears!

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    #167063

    nedezero
    Participant

    I have been hired  by a medium sized bank as the “process improvement coordinator”.
    I have an MBA, and SSGB and am basically starting from scratch.
    Everyone including leadership has been very supportive and It’s linda exciting and scary to think I’m building this new position from scratch.
    So far, the first thing I decided we should do is bank-wide kaizan events/VSM.
    The challenge for 6s, is defining what to measure. I’m thinking of treating each transaction as the “product” and start there.
     
     
     
     
     

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    #167064

    vcapa
    Member

    The burnout is pretty typical.  Everyone pushes hard on the first projects then they are too busy to continue. Why?  Because most of the participants don’t really believe in the process; they were just doing what the boss wanted.  The solution is not straight forward but here are some ideas:
    Try to find true believers and help them have success (don’t waste time with the stonewallers). Look for a balance of soft and hard financial wins.  The soft, to make managers feel good about the process and the hard,  to get executive attention.
    Find non BB’s, especially key managers to help you and become allies.  Sometimes you can get a VP’s attention by convincing one of his/her key managers that you can help.  You don’t always have to start at the top.
    See if you can convince management to make financial metrics part of top managers performance reviews. In other words if Dept A has a budget spend of $41MM try to get the CEO to put a cost reduction target on that manager of at least 10% , say $4MM, then the manager might be inclined to think LSS project as they struggle to meet budget.  If the non-believers don’t get a target on their back you will not sway them easily.
    Be persistent without being rude or threatening.  Lay out your case for management…how they will not achieve objectives without some good projects. Keep after them , compromise if you have too – a team of 3 vs a team of 5, 8 hrs of time a week vs 20 hrs, etc… 
    Have confidence in yourself – deployments are not easy. Celebrate the little wins and don’t get down because you did not hit a home run…it will happen with steady persistance
     

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    #167065

    Deanb
    Participant

    Siggy,I have found that engaging the functional areas (office processes) it is much more complicated people-wise than just doing “hard process” work on a shop floor. If the environment is unstable due to firefighting, in-fighting, conflicting objectives, unnecessary meetings and reports, obstacles, lack of communication, frustration, or deceit, cliques, tribalism and backstabbing, or such things, then those things need to be brought under control first or you will be pushing a rope. All orgs have some of these negatives, but if they combine to create severe barriers to improvement initiatives, then they become the Red X’s.The key to preventing burn-out (for others and for yourself) is to make dealing with these cultural factors a part of the initiative and expectation from the beginning with your sponsor and assessing these factors with them all the time. If at any time you feel the severity of these factors are not taken seriously by your sponsor, then it is time to bail, because time is not on your side.I was overwhelmed by these culture factors in my first few assignments in the early 90’s, and went to the Crosby College in Fla-who were especially focussed in this area IMHO. There I learned the importance of targeting “time killers” first and “conditioning” the environment. Later I devised my own tactics, such as implementing codes of conduct, and even ethics training when needed, so common courtesy and open/constructive dialog was assured. Anywhere I have used these methods, continuous improvement progress accelerated and burnout decelerated. Later, I only took projects where the sponsor enthusiastically bought into my approach. You would be surprised how many companies actually prefer this approach. This prudent selectivity probably prevented the most burnout. We all acquire enough scars in this business, why collect more unnecessarily? It is all good character building experience, but only to a point unless you are a masochist.You have to assess your current situation as to whether it is salvageable. Your current sponsor may be frustrated too, and might even welcome a proposed change in approach, especially if he/she is growing disparate. If not, you can focus on doing the next one differently. I feel your pain bro.Dean

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    #167068

    Taylor
    Participant

    Siggy
    For me the bigger and better was simple a job change. I had been working as Sr Mfg Engineer for about 8 years with a couple different companies and then landed at the time I thought my dream job. I held the same title, but was put in charge of consolidating 3 plants into one, all high production machine, high margins, lots of low hanging fruit. I had already completed GB training with a previous employer and a couple projects under my belt so I knew the drill. My new employer put me through a very good BB training and thus off with my first project(s), and all this while they are just beginning to role out Six Sigma across the organization. The deployment went ok, usual stuff, but the VP, self proclaimed MBB, never had completed a project, just a moron of a man, was the biggest “Road Block” I ever encountered. He questioned everything. He once made a young Engineer prove  P=nRT in a presentation. I swear I spent more time on presentations than I actually worked on projects. The last project I worked on, and the one that really sent me over the edge, was simple parts washer project, I left before completion, but it took them another year and half to complete because of arguement over How clean is clean. Long story for another post, but this guy absolutely ruined the culture, since my leaving, only one engineer, and two BB’s from the original team are remaining. I know I’ve heard someone quote “The Paranoid will survive by questioning everything” this guy fit the mold.
    As for me I moved into a completely differenet industry, I decided I had turned too many chips, and now I’m in the Ethanol business. Currently a facility Superintendent. I am glad I spent the time to learn the process, and go through all the BS associated with it. It has taught me patience and survival at a level I never thought possible. However, I never want to do it again. Or at least under those circumstances.
    My first deployment environment came in the early 90’s just out of college. A couple of us were hand picked by the Plant Manager to attend training, when we came back, we silently went about our business of performing MSA’s, DOE’s and making subtle meaningful changes to the process that needed the most attention. No two hour presentations, no VP watching every move. We were given a tool set that we understood, and applied it in a fashion that made since. I was able to take this knowledge to every place I’ve worked and use it almost daily.

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    #167069

    Yawn
    Member

    It is good to see how rapidly this site has gone downhill in regards to the number of posts per day over the past few months. There was never much quality to the same old boring posts on this site anyway. But if the trend continues, Brandon is poised to finally having his own platform discussing six sigma “issues” with himself. Soon he’ll be advertising the now famous $99.95 presentation to himself. Way to GOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    #167070

    Brandon
    Participant

    Interesting story Chad. Your concluding paragraph hit home with me.
    All this discussion about “Is SS dead?” is a mute point to me. SS provides an organized approach to the use of data to make good decisions. So, call it whatever you wish – or call it nothing at all; just use it. As with any other skill we gain it assists us in performing our jobs.
    So, it sounds like what you have done is just that. Forget giving it a name just use the skills to perform better. If someone gets around to asking how – you have the option of explaining SS – or you can just say “Hey, I’m good.”.

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    #167077

    Yawn
    Member

    Very impressive insight by a training coordinator clerk: “o, it sounds like what you have done is just that. Forget giving it a name just use the skills to perform better. If someone gets around to asking how – you have the option of explaining SS – or you can just say “Hey, I’m good.”.How much dumber does it get on this site???? Keep on going, the numbers of posts are significantly down and keep on dropping and dropping :-))))).

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    #167100

    SiggySig
    Member

    YAWN, I don’t really see you adding any value to this thread with your posts.Go troll somewhere else, will ya?

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    #167115

    Fake ATI Alert
    Participant

    Brandon is  a  good  contributor,don’t  attack  him

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    #167116

    Fake ATI Alert
    Participant

    Well said

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    #167118

    SiggySig
    Member

    That was directed at “YAWN” (whoever that is)

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    #167127

    Brandon
    Participant

    Thanks guys – I was just ignoring him. I’ve finally realized that is the best tactic…..took me a while though.

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    #167128

    Dr. Scott
    Participant

    Chad Vader,
     
    That is an excellent testimony. And I applaud you for keeping and applying your knowledge anywhere you go.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Dr. Scott

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    #167131

    Silviu
    Member

    Hello,
    when I get home, troubled with all kind of “six sigma” problems, isixsigma.com is a site where many times reading good discussions make me charge my batteries and not to loose the believe in success.
    Thanks for that.

    silviu

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    #170025

    UKSS
    Member

    Am loving reading this thread. I have just moved into a job where I am to ‘pragmatically apply Lean and SS to achieve process improvement’. So, I turn up and the ‘BB’ doesnt have a clue what he is doing SS wise and is still committed to Prince 2 methods in all cases.
    So, I am going to try to fly the flag solo and hopefully get to project manage a few projects using DMAIC and manage to convince the program mngr to let me run my own SS area.
    Isixsigma has been a great way of me finding people that have similar problems to those Im facing, and just wanted to say thanks for all your contributions!!

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