How Do We Start Implementing a Lean Six Sigma CPI Program?

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    I work for a company that has not implemented six sigma company-wide yet. Myself and another black belt working here have used the tools of lean and six sigma to facilitate improvements. How would you all suggest starting a program within our company that promotes CPI. We are setting up visual display boards to stay accountable for projects and timelines, but what other ideas might you all have?



    Hi @jfelten775,

    Congrats on your CPI initiation.

    What I found to be the best way to start a CPI project is to make it known and shared.

    And the best way to do that is a top-down business or process check-up using descriptive Lean and Six Sigma tools with the people involved in the business and the processes.

    You can start with the business indicators, identifying the KPIs impacting them and then you can move to processes creating those KPI values. Drilling down like that two or three process levels will focus your efforts on the most important sub-processes.

    Once identified, gather people responsible for those sub-processes and identify main issues that do or may adversely affect their KPIs.

    Gather or collect data of those processes and you are well on the way.


    God Speed,



    Steve Ingersoll

    As mentioned in the previous comment, getting top down organizational support is key.   If you have to bottom up it is a much bigger challenge.

    Whichever way you go, make sure to really assess the organization and its needs.   What types of problems does the organization typically face and what depth of Lean Six Sigma tools can the culture absorb.   This will allow you to customize your implementation and maximize the benefits of your deployment.


    Harry Kenworthy

    In our work with government we start with a two day boot camp workshop for the top executive and her/his team along with selected “coaches” (the folks that will become the internal consultants). In the same week, a Lean Six Sigma Steering (LSC) committee is trained and established, a series of action items are expected from the boot camp participants on the follow on weekly visit, including a refined project charter (the project they brought to the boot camp), and the identification of project opportunities (full one week Kaizens, smaller Kaizens, Just Do Its [daily Kaizen], and Benchmarking [to establish new baselines to improve from and not improve waste]). The LSC also develops a project ranking grid to prioritize the projects that will be worked on.

    The second week visit (3-4 weeks later) has the coaches with one of our consultants conducting team interviews 1:1 with each top manager to review the refined project charter(s) and the action items the manager should have accomplished from the boot camp (learn by doing). More training for coaches happen that week and a full project tracking grid (owned by each top manager) is populated with identified Lean opportunities (total can range from 50-100+) for the organization. The coaches are there to support the top managers, however, the top managers are tasked by the top executive with owning Lean. The top managers also provide the 1 hour Lean overview to their respective teams, with coach support, with the internal Lean introductory training developed by the coaches.

    This sequence has proven to be very effective in driving management ownership and engagement. If a client won’t do the above, they aren’t one of our clients.


    Sakthivel Perumal


    As per previous comments, you can start with identifying & deployment of organizational KPI’s from top to bottom level of the organization.

    Secondly you can start with Following,

    – Maturity assessment of entire organization followed by training program based on low scoring area.

    – 5S Program

    – Gemba meeting

    – Kaizen Events

    – Quality Circle Program

    – Value Stream Mapping

    – 3P

    – Etc


    Lloyd Wood

    In addition to the above, encourage the leadership to benchmark, encourage customer focused projects, get finance involved to independently track financial ROI and validate sustainability of benefits, carefully scope and select projects (Big Y Little Y, then x’s), develop leading indicators, carefully identify and select champions and “belts” (I.e. don’t select training course jockeys that won’t implement a single tool or project), get preconditions in early and challenge management and employee resistance hard (redefine the culture), ramp up the internal marcomms and plan messaging for the end in mind (I.e. fill in the blanks: our situation was…..our vision was….. our purpose was….our people delivered…..our customers benefitted…..our organisation’s culture is now defined as….



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