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How to Describe Lean Six Sigma in Non-jargony, Real Words

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Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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  • #53950

    Barry Tanner
    Guest

    How do you describe Lean Six Sigma to “regular people” who aren’t in corporate America and don’t understand all the jargon and mumbo-jumbo phrases we have to deal with daily? In other words, what’s your elevator pitch for showing your net worth to the company? I’d love to know.

    But again, don’t post jargon, please (“voice of the customer”, “process excellence” and stuff like that). I really need help with this. Thanks!

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    #192195

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Here goes, Barry – We look to improve the organization by rooting out waste (lean), ensuring that what is done is necessary and efficiently accomplished, and apply mathematics (six sigma) to evaluate just how well things are done and to make decisions based on data not conjecture or wishes.

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    #192210

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    If you can get Mike Cyger to open up the old archives to this site. There was a fairly long thread about the best elevator speech and after a while everyone seemed to agree on one – that was a miracle back then. I used it for an example (with the appropriate acknowledgement of iSixSigma – for all the “looters” who attempted to lift IP from here). I have no idea where that slide is in my old training material otherwise I would provide it. It should be before June 2003 so that should narrow it down some.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192211

    Michael Cyger
    Participant

    @Mike-Carnell They’re openly available already at https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/old-forums/general/. Maybe this one? https://www.isixsigma.com/topic/elevator-speech/

    Try the search. We’re still working on improving the search, so it may be a little hard to find. Give us another week or two and we should have the search straightened out.

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    #192214

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @Michaelcyger That is not the one I was thinking about but if you read the one you listed there isn’t any jargon beyong the words Black Belt which can be replaced easily enough.

    I am happy to see the old stuff is still out there and usable. There is a ton of very useful information in those old posts.

    I appreciate the help with that. Thank you.

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    #192215

    Jonathan Leahey
    Guest

    We assist front-line losers and clueless middle managers persuade sociopathic leaders to recognize the value of timeless quality principles with objective data.

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    #192218

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Wow, Jonathan – harsh even by my standards.

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    #192219

    Jonathan Leahey
    Guest

    The truth hurts MBBinWI. Go Badgers!

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    #192220

    Stan Mikel
    Member

    Mr. Leahey, that is the dumbest thing I’ve seen posted since the reincarnation of ISixSigma. What arrogance.

    I hope people aren’t dumb enough to hire you.

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    #192231

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @stanmikel – you tell him, Stan. Who would root on the Badgers?

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    #192235

    Michael Clayton
    Participant

    Call us if you need to stablize your operations in order to then improve their underlying process capability, while optimizing supply chain or factory flow.

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    #192241

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @mclayton200 – the objective was NOT to use jargony verbage.

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    #192243

    Michael Clayton
    Participant

    Lean = Jargon
    Six Sigma = Jargon
    Acronyms = Jargon
    I have to avoid those terms to get managers to listen without pre-judging the reputed high training costs of LSS etc. Most managers understand the word STABILIZE and OPERATIONS and IMPROVE and PROCESS CAPABILITY and OPTIMIZE and SUPPLY CHAIN or FLOW. That gets them to start listening and asking questions.
    Unless they think they are already LSS-gurus, I avoid any of the LSS “jargon” until we focus on the factory or office process. Value Stream Mapping is even Jargon, but that comes up early after the first very very simple opening comments. Cost reduction is what’s on their minds. So I don’t have to say that.

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    #192256

    Jeff Jones
    Participant

    Here is my shot. “We are going to take a look at how you do what you are doing to make sure we aren’t wasting time, effort and money while driving towards your goals. I’ll be using some fancy tools with funny names but don’t worry about it”

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    #192257

    Michael Cyger
    Participant

    @ jeffjonesspeaks Love it! Great icon for your profile too. :)

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    #192258

    Michael Clayton
    Participant

    7 years ago I used this site for a while, under username SemiMike.
    After I got a lot of really useful things, I got busy working and stopped using it. Now at age 76 I am only working part time, so set up new account, not remembering the old password and username. However, after a new logins, I remembered the old account name and password (slow response in brain at this age?) and sure enough its still there. There were just as many jokers back then. But to explain my experience pertinent to LSS “elevator speeches” I get more jobs if I only let my Black Belt certification come out in extended interviews, not in first contact. In first contact, I try to listen while explaining that I am a contract engineer, working to help factories get stabilized, and then perhaps suggest and lead improvement efforts. If they start talking about cost reduction (normal behavior for VP’s and Directors) I mention that the Lean methods are somewhat useful, particularly a gap assessment visit that I could make at half-fee after which we can see if we have a match in my capabilities and the factory cost problems.

    Does that make sense for an elevator speech?

    The reason I learned NOT to invoke certifications or LSS terminology was that it seems to invoke memory of huge wasted training costs with no results (which later turn out to be guru who did not know the industry, giving generic series of black belt classes, which the engineers loved, but never dealing with the real CEO business objectives. To get around those sad memories, I use stealth methods, and only provide help that is really needed for the current business objective. They can get all the other stuff on Google or in local colleges. But I do donate a copy of Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook, by George/Rowlands/Price/Maxey to help with vocabulary of LSS just in case they want to focus on a few of those tools later. First, the one day gap assessment.

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    #192259

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @mclayton200 I like the approach and the simplicity of the initial contact. So many want to go in with guns blazing and use a strange language and insist on a full blown implementation. The basic approach is we’ve got the solution, what’s your problem? Pretty dumb, and the executive who buys it deserves what they get.

    We too go in selling one of two things. A simple look at your business from which we can tell execs what impact is possible in terms of money and process metrics and even what work needs to be done. Or, we sell let us go solve your hardness problem, the one your organization has declared unsolvable. Selling a full blown anything or using unintelligible language makes no sense at all.

    So our elevator speech is simple – “We can make any process better as long as you are not trying to violate the laws of physics, which processes are your most important?”

    The trick is you’ve got to be able to stand behind those words. Most who feature training cannot.

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    #192261

    Michael Clayton
    Participant

    “We can make any process better as long as you are not trying to violate the laws of physics, which processes are your most important?” from Gary Cone is memorable. Should be part of our new elevator speech.

    You better make sure the CEO or VP or Director really understands what a PROCESS really is. But you will find that out when he/she answers your priotizing question. So be prepared to expand his/her thinking a little if the only reply is “cost reduction.” Gently. Humbly. But persistently. We all have trouble with listening (I do certainly) so let them do most of the talking, and listen, after your initial elevator speech. I screwed that up many times, personally, when I jumped in on top of their own elevator speech.

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    #192262

    Michael Cyger
    Participant

    @mclayton200 — great to see you back on the forum, Mike. Here’s your original profile (https://www.isixsigma.com/members/SemiMike/), and we can get you back into that one if you’d like. Just email editor @ isixsigma dot com and @KatieBarry will take care of you.

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