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  • #41852

    terminator
    Member

    This is my first visit to the six sigma website and I can’t tell you how excited I was to find a discussion forum.
    I recently completed the second week of my two-week green belt training for the large valve company I work for.  I have been assigned a project and my team consists of four to six employees – most of whom I’ve know for at least a year.  My question is this – how do I get them all on board with this idea of improving processes by the means of this method?  In other words, how can I explain what I learned in two weeks in only a few meetings with my team?  Do I need to explain what I learned, is it necessary?  I believe in the six sigma methodology and its claims but I have a really difficult time trying to explain it to my colleagues.  I’m just not a good teacher and have a difficult time finding the right words.
    Any response would be helpful.
     
    Thanks,

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    #131711

    G
    Participant

    terminator:
    It’s too bad you do not see your self as good teacher, I feel one of the roles a Green Belt / Black Belt is to tranfer learning, which implies some level of teaching. You may want to invest in some reading, or find a mentor, that will support you in how to effectively teach.
    However, all is not lost. When first meeting with a team I like to use real examples of how important it is to have a proven methodology for improvment efforts when first introducting people to Six Sigma. I ask them to give me a real-life day-to-day examples they have of ‘defects’. The bus not showing up on time… the skim milk not on the shelf there when you go to the store… How many sour cartons would you buy before switching brands? Or, how long would you use a gas station which only has one pump and are waiting in a line every time you go for gas… (flip chart them) you get the idea. 
    I then ask how they would go about fixing one of these problems? ( They usually offer ideas). I then aks how do they know the problem is that bad as they think it may be? I suggest they may be the only one experiencing the problem? (They suggest getting samples)… (I introduce process capability and DPMO) Thus we introduce the need to Define the problem… and even get into Measure… Then link to the problem your project team is being asked to address in your business…. (make sure you know the Defect!) and tell them you will share with them a proven methodology to fix it.
    This approach may work for you, it does for me… I find getting right into DMAIC and Six Sigma at first can cause some team members to feel they are not in this to fix the problem but rather to learn DMAIC and Six Sigma.
    Hope this offers an idea for you to consider.
    Good Luck.
    ~g
     

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    #132103

    terminator
    Member

    Thanks, that helps a lot.  Bringing real-life examples is probably always a sure way to get people’s attention.
    And the fact remains, all processes and procedures being utilized presently were created by man, meaning they are not perfect…far from.  Nobody can look at me and tell me the way they are performing is the best possible way; there is always a factor for human error; everything can be improved.

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    #132105

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Terminator,
    I don’t want to sound contrary or playing semantics games on this but you are more of a facilitator than a teacher.
    The DMAIC process is a discovery process. You should have a project charter that explains what the percieved problem is. That is you starting point. Build data around that so that the team understands why someone believes it is an issue (do not be surprised if it changes from what they believed the issue was. Once you have that quantify the financial impact then they understand why it is a business issue. All the tools you were taught in Define and Measure are simply to get an issue in perspective – the who, what, where, when, why, and how much stuff. Remember when a project first starts you (the belt) have 100% ownership and the rest of the team owns nothing. The ownership transfer to the team is a gradual process that grows as the project progresses. You want understanding and acceptance in Define and Measure. No serious ownership really happens until you start to address causes and solutions in Ananlyse and Improve. The thing you have to be careful with is that it doesn’t turn into some Rambo one man army thing. Every project and every team moves at their own speed. Do not leave them behind otherwise you will hit Control and it will be your solution and it will still be your problem.
    Doing a stakeholder analysis sounds a little goofy but if you do it after every team meeting it will help you keep track of who an the team is moving forward and who is treding water – there will be at least one who doesn’t want to move. One on one, face to face discussions is a very easy solution for that.You need to understand their issue.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #132106

    G
    Participant

    I agree with Mike, in that you’re more of a facilitator, but don’t discount the teacher thought. I have found if I know I need to teach something I take on a different perspective to the learning. (When becoming a BB I knew I would need to use the tools and share what I was learning… making me a teacher.)
    In our company we do Stakeholder Analysis with our projects, but also look at where they are on a Commitment  Curve. Different levels of commitment are experienced on different levels of understanding and ownership. We need to determine how we, as BB’s, can increase understanding and how those on the team can become owners. The right SS tools help with both. Factual data presented so as to answer the right questions can be very powerful.
    ~g   

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    #132269

    R.M.Parkhi
    Participant

    Dear Sir,
    I suggest that you be a mentor. You need not show what you have leaernt. Explain them about how your team working is going to help them in business life; all the time need not be in monetory terms.It can be ease in their working.Remember that your team members are listening to what you are DOING & not to what you are TALKING ABOUT.
    Regards,
    R.M.Parkhi
     

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    #132274

    Scott
    Member

    Guys,
    I think there is a lot of truth in everything being told here, but keep in mind that as Green Belt you are not to teach the DMAIC methodology to your team members. You have or will follow a three or four weeks course. I don’t think the meaning of the course is to teach you teaching the methodology to others, it learns you to use the DMAIC storyboard and the statistical tools that goes along with the methodology.
    Sometimes it is a good idea to clear some things out for your team members, although in my humble opinion you should leave that to Black Belts and Master Black Belts. Remember the ‘Belts’ are there to ensure that the DMAIC process is followed. They do guide the team because the expertise should sit in the team not with the ‘Belts’. It’s good that you understand what they are talking about, but still the finesses are known by your team members. I have done several projects as Black Belt where I didn’t have a clue of what my team members were talking about, but we did succeed doing great things because I and the process owner had choosen THE experts to get into the team. I listened to what they had to say and tried to fit it into the storyboard. I haven’t come to one example that didn’t work so far !
    The idea of using real day-to-day examples is also good to show the general usage of DMAIC. That should give your team members confidence that it’ll work for them too.
    Last remark. Don’t pull yourself down. Don’t think you are bad teacher. It’s not because you think you are not a good teacher that others have the same opinion, and even if they have the same opinion try to get some input from them in order to learn how to teach in a better way. In the end you will be able to teach better…

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    #132280

    Abidian
    Participant

    I have to agree with Mike Carnell’s earlier comment about serving primarily as a facilitator. The other thought to keep in mind is the “team” is the holder of the real knowledge. Whether you’re a GB, BB, or MBB, your goal is to facilitate the process with the tools acquired to gain the greatest improvement from the team’s talents and knowledge. As someone explained to me early in my career, we were given only 1 mouth and 2 ears … there’s a reason for that! :)Best regards,Mike

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    #132298

    Matt Aguilar
    Participant

    This is a very good discussion and everyone has great points. Engagement is always going to be a challenge when you have an unspecified problem and a group of sharp people who may already have pre-conceived ideas as to what the problem is and what the solutions are. I’m with a biotech company that fits that mold perfectly. Here we are still introducing 6S methodologies under an Operational Excellence umbrella. DMAIC is the primary method being used and it is quickly permeating the culture here much to my joy. I’m a Project Manager/Green Belt and came from a 6S founding company (Motorola) where it was deep seeded. The model we’re using here of teaming PMs with 6SBB is working very well and the results from the projects have been positive. When folks begin to see that there is a data driven logic to using the tools with an end means they embrace it wholeheartedly and old (ineffective) practices begin to fade away. You have a role. Whether it is to facilitate or to teach, your role is vital to the overall success of the effort.

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    #132322

    H R Palanki
    Participant

    Dear Terminator:
    You are set up for failure by your management team and BBs and MBBs.Where is your champion and BB  helping you in creating an envirorment for successful deployment of six sigma project. First of all is this project selected from Strategic planning seesion of your management? It appears that you are still in TQM and Quality ccircles or Enpowered Team eras and walking around in Six sigma clothes. I do not blame you,this sham is going all around the world.by the Psuedo six sigma consultants.

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    #132326

    Viti
    Participant

    I am fairly new to Six Sigma and like what you are writing.  Maybe you can help me with something else SS related.  I am looking for a few simple things I can do as part of a group of belts that all work on our own individual projects around Mastering New Skills (over and above SS), Maximizing my SS exposure and Exceeding SS Metrics.
    Do you have any suggestions that I can use for my performance review.
    Thanks.
    Jane

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    #132335

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Jane,
    Thank you.
    If you have a group of BB’s I believe the best thing you can do is talk to each other. Everyone of you will be having a different experience and using tools in different ways. You can accelerate each others learning curve just by presenting to each other the things you are doing. I like to keep the people in training colocated just for that reason. We can coach and mentor the people in class and during projects but for some reason you put two people together that are both struggling and let them work through it and it seems to be retained better.
    Read stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with statistics. There are a ton of great books out there that will help you i.e. “The Deviants Advantage, Managing at the Speed of Change, Leadership is an Art, Integrating Lean Six Sigma and High Performance Organizations, Good to Great, etc. I would stay away from the SS conferences. Maybe that giant AME conference they do in the Fall is worth going to.
    The easiest way for me to tell if someone knows what they are doing is to have them work a project or teach a class somewhere other than where they work. Most people have some degree of a support network where they work. Find a supplier that will let you work a project. Somewhere where you don’t have a clue about what or why they do what they do. You will have no choice but to learn to rely on the data and your ability to put a team together. Go by yourself. That will put you on an exponential learning curve.
    I don’t know if that helped much.
    I am not real sure how to put this in performance review terms but if you want to email me I can hook you up with someone who is much better at this than me. [email protected]
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck
     

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    #132337

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HR Palanki,
    I read your post a little while ago and had to fight off the urge to respond immediately. Your post was so deep and profound and went right to the root cause of the issue that I am glad I took the time to step back and appreciate what an enormous driving force had written that response.
    You are abosolutely correct. When things are not going your way grab that institutionalized absolution manta: “Where is my management support?!!!! I can’t do anything without them. I am being laid up on the alter as a sacrifice for their incompetance!” Great idea. Very classy move and all worded very “professionally.”
    If you will scan down the posts you can find a similar post by Iknowu who has perfected another “professional” sounding way of dodging accountability. The two of you could gather up some of those “I can’t do anything until the process is stable” guys and publish this drivel in something like “Six Sigma for Teflon Black Belts – accountability does not stick to us.”
    ……. you may be right about it being the responsibility of the consultants (not psuedo – you either are or you are not). A good consultant/trainer would have dropped you from a class.
     

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    #132339

    Savage
    Participant

    Mike,
    That’s twice today you had me shaking my head at your response and then you pull the ole’ switch-eroo.  Love the sarcasm.  (The other was about the cycle time data analysis)

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    #132341

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Matt,
    Sorry about the switch but you answer some of this stuff am
    d you have to wonder how do you get some of these people to wake up. After about 10 years of this you get used to working with some really great talent all over the world and then you run into these people posting this stuff and it scares you that they consider themselves on equal ground with some very talented people.
    I am about to get into trouble. I have a guy here telling me not to post this part of the discussion we just had (just remember laughter is an involuntary response and nobody can really explain why a person finds things funny from one moment to the next). We decided that some of these guys just had this love affair with all these dead excuses so we decided to create a website just for them: Six Sigma for necrophilliacs.
    To much time off the road? I think so. Three days till we get back into the little wheel. That love/hate relationship.
    Regards

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    #132347

    Texgal
    Member

    Mike,
      Where do you work?  If you always get things done with a team of SMEs and no support from management (the SME’s bosses, the MBB, Quality Leader, CEO, etc) then you are lucky (or are paying the process owners and team members some bucks).  There is certainly some accountability and some creative politicking that needs to be done to get these team members to work on a project that many times they don’t have any incentive to work on outside of their normal jobs.  I’m not saying a Green Belt/Black Belt shouldn’t have accountability for getting the project done…but there are some times when the lack of management support puts the project on life support and the plug needs to be pulled.  I have done some projects where the team kept going but management didn’t support it because the process owner was threatened at us looking at his process (that happens sometimes, too)…guess what happened at implementation?  Six months down the drain… 

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    #132350

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    texgal,
    I am a consultant so I work a lot of places. We put in an escalation policy right at the beginning of the deployment.- BB works an issue 24 hrs > escalates it (the issue not the person) > Process Owner has 48 hrs to work the issue > escalates it > the Deployment Leader works it 48 hours > escalates it > the Executive sponsor works it 48 hours > escalates it > CEO works the issue. If you are Belt and you have your data in place you should never lose this exercise. In the last 3 years I have only had one issue make it to the Executive Sponsor.
    People seem to see resistance to change as lack of Management support. That is nonsense. You work change management concurrently with your project. Nobody says just because it is a SS project everyone buys in and the issue of resistance to change goes away. It isn’t the Leadership Teams job to throw lightening bolts at anyone who isn’t on board. That is just life and what it is like dealing with people.
    The mear fact that there is a SS program says someone on the Leadership Team decided it was the right thing to do. If they are operating at the project level then they are managing at to low a level.
    You create a vehicle (like an escalation policy) when you start a deployment that lets those issue bubble up where they are visible rather than expect them to walk the halls looking for issues. They don’t get involved in other issues that way why would we expect them to do that for SS?
    For years Belts have been sold as “Change Agents.” If that is true then they need to figure out how to do more than run some analysis on a computer and email in some change they think is going to fix something. You get involved. You get face to face with them, you find out what their issues are and you work through it. If you get one of those “over my dead body” types you escalate it and let the system resolve it but at the end of the day you had better be working the change management side from the day you start the deployment.
    Motorola had a thing called MMI (it was either Motorola Management Institute or Motorola Manufacturing Institute – they seemed to use both). We were taught by the same guys that consulted with the CEO, Bob Galvin. The guy that did change management did the whole class and then he said “if you do all that then you use COW. COW was comply or walk. More recently we have heard it called FIFO – Fit In or ____ Off. Either way it usually only takes one.
    At the end of the day if anyone signs up to be a belt and they think it is going to be a walk in the park because they will have a “C” level guy come beat up whoever isn’t doing everything they ask then they are in the wrong job. You can have your stats down perfectly and you still need to understand how to drive change though people not by fiat.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #132383

    Texgal
    Member

    Mike
    I don’t disagree with your response.  Change management is a HUGE (maybe biggest) part of a BB project, and I taught my Green Belts and Black Belts to include aspects of it throughout the process, especially at the beginning.
    The escalation process is a form of management support though, and that is a good thing to have…not everyone has that process or has management that supports that process.
    Funny…the FIFO that you talk about below…that is also management support I think.  You are right…it only takes one.  It happened in one of my projects where the process owner was the worst our consultant had ever seen.  He was totally not going to implement the solutions.  We held tollgate reviews with upper management and process owners (another good way to make sure there is support!) and during the Improve tollgate this process owner became billigerent about the solutions – he didn’t agree with them.  Well, guess what?  His boss didn’t even think twice…he let that guy go a few weeks later and told me that people need to either get on the bus or get off.  This guy was kicked off.  Did people notice?  You bet.  Did people change how they looked at Six Sigma projects.  Um, yep.  Does that happen everywhere?  No.  I was lucky.

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    #132385

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Tex gal,
    You consider it lucky. I consider it part of the job. If you stick one of these people up where they can be seen they usually get what they deserve. The resistance you are yalking about is not top management – it is middle management. In general they are always the biggest problem. No reason to change – they see themselves as successful and change is a threat to their success. They hide behind cute words like “my plate is to full” and “program of the day” and “we’re different.” That doesn’t mean that you have to sit still for that.
    Change Management is a huge part but it needs to kept in balance with the rest of the proigram. Part of the reason we were brought into one company was because a Change Management company had decided they could deploy SS and sold it to the big mining company. Average project time was 355 days because they knew how to make everyone feel really warm about the change unfortunately after they had squeezed the 5 weeks of analysis tools into 3.5 days they could figure out how to analyze the data and determine what to change to.
    It isn’t luck – it is a test of wills.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards

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    #132387

    Texgal
    Member

    YES!!  Middle management is the biggest challenge.  We agree there!
    Change management can’t mean inertia…agreed…gotta keep the train moving while doing the proper communication, etc.  I don’t want to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy…I just think it is good practice to keep them informed and make them think some ideas are their ideas.  Meawhile the data gathering and analysis is moving along.  It should be done in tandem and if a good job is done up front, communicating is the biggest part as the project keeps moving.

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    #132388

    Peppe
    Participant

    “The resistance you are talking about is not top management – it is middle management. In general they are always the biggest problem. No reason to change – they see themselves as successful and change is a threat to their success.”
    Mike, it is quite easy to understand why top management not have resistence to change, because they are who sponsor the change (your customer). How they could resist to someting they have payed to do ?
    Middle management is who have to apply changes and translate top mgt and consultant ‘study’ in real world (with workers). Have you never thought that, maybe,  it isn’t so easy to do during daily works ? What middle mgt say you during brainstorming/survey about that ?
    Middle mgt feel changes as threat, only in companies where for years top mgt didn’t nothing basing their results on middle mgt experience. It is logic to understand the equation  ‘changes=removing middle mgt power’
    In a good company workers, cell leaders, middle mgt ask for change (= improvements).
    Rgs, Peppe 

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    #132486

    Harley Rider
    Participant

    Dude,
    The team is to be made up of progressive thinking employees.  You should not have to drag the team from the bottom of the pond to see the importance of the task.  All to often management doesn’t give a thought to the members that are placed on the team.  It is usually those that are available at the time.
    Don’t worry about your teaching abilities. As a Green Belt you are a leader.  If you lead they will follow. 
     
    Good luck.

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    #132487

    Leung
    Participant

    Mr. C,
    Just sent your response re: ownership out to all the Belts and candidates at our facility. I am also working to include in future training sessions and have asked mentors to review this in tollgate reviews.
    Good stuff. Thanks.

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