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Part-time Black Belts

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  • #50837

    Angi Lee
    Participant

    Looking for feedback on the success/failure of part-time Black Belts by others that have deployed Six Sigma.  If it failed in your org, why?  If it was a success, what key factors made it successful?  Thank you in advance for your feedback!

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    #175285

    Jered Horn
    Participant

    My experience…primarily plant-level manufacturing:
    Successful Six Sigma deployment requires corporate/upper management support, a trained and supportive champion/sponsor attached to every project, a Master Blackbelt available as a mentor to all Blackbelts, a Blackbelt available as a mentor to all Greenbelts, Blackbelt and Greenbelt training available at some regular frequency, and a culture of continuous improvement apparent to all in the organization.
    Many factors come into play here…industry, size of the location, coroprate resources, etc.
    My experience is not as a consultant, but as a Blackbelt for over 10 years in four different companies, three different industries…  I know it will not work without at least one strong local champion.  When you combine a culture of tribal knowledge and resistance to change with weak top-level support, it won’t work.  One company I worked for had six Blackbelts at one facility.  We struggled for almost two years with virtually no support from management and no Master Blackbelt available to us (none of us were trained internally).  At the end of those two years…we were all out of a job.  Fortunately, I’m seeing it work in my current job.  The success here has a lot to do with the culture.
    That’s just from my experience.  I’m sure others will have different perspectives.

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    #175286

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Deployments with a mix of either:
    – full time only
    – Full and part time
    – Part time onlyAll work – and depend upon the business and culture.However – part time Black Belts – Part time results !!!Adam

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    #175287

    GB
    Participant

    Yea verily…Adam speaketh the truth!

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    #175288

    [email protected]
    Participant

    I’m a LMBB working at a company with no 6S position.  One project, but “part-time” as in squeezing it in between our already full schedule.  The comment of “Part time participants=Part time results” is correct.  Almost an afterthought, not everyone buying in, and very discouraging.

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    #175290

    wedge
    Member

    Part time belts can work. I once was a BB at a large e-commerce company and our part time model was 7-8 months of project work followed up with an operating role during the busy season.
    In fact, I think this model improved the quality of the project work.  Frequently your operating role was in an area where you just closed a project or an area where your next project would focus.

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    #175292

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Hello JMK@Denver – this is Adam@Denver, well Elizabeth, Co actually
    – drop me a line – it’s good to network locally :^)Adam
    720 938 0321
    [email protected]

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    #175295

    Michael Mead
    Participant

    I have had huge success within a big company. I had a team of process owners and operators supporting me. Unfortunately, one of the keys to success was a dramatic work stoppage, where the senior management left us alone to run the project. In such a large company, outside interference, the “not invented here” syndrome, and territorial constraints can kill a good project.

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    #175365

    Simon Wei
    Member

    Take all the above into account, especially part time belts = part time results, but also be very aware of your company’s maturity level. If you are not well advanced on the path to process excellence, project sponsors and senior managers will usually be wanting results now! If this is the case with your company, then I would say hold off on having part-time belts. If you have a good sized stable of projects and belts, and are a year or two into your journey, then mixing your portfolio to have some full time and some part time resources may make a lot of sense.
    In either case, it will come down undersnading the needs of your business and the needs of your stakeholders, then balancing them against the people you have available to you.

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    #175376

    mcintosh
    Participant

    I work for the Government in which my department began its Lean Six Sigma journey five years ago. At first we had senior leadership which embraced this model (DMAIC/DFLSS/KAIZEN) but since then senior leaders have changed, and the culture is reverting back to the way we did business before. Our industry has enormous potential for savings/improvement but people are not measured on how efficient we are fiscally. I was a full time Black Belt but have subsequently gone back to the workforce. Our deployment has gone from full time, to part time belts, and since this transition so have our successes. It is no longer career enhancing to embrace the LSS jargon publicly. Those of us that are believers will use the tools and try to make improvements anyway we can. I believe the departure from full time to part time belts, was a contributing factor to our deployment declining. There were other mistakes made with the deployment but part time belts did not help. Just my 2 cents

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    #175378

    Mikel
    Member

    Sounds like a GG deployment.

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    #175382

    mcintosh
    Participant

    Yes it was but I dont belive it to be their fault. More on our end (Rice Bowls)

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    #175383

    Robert S
    Member

    That was clear in your post Tom…mngt change, etc. Plus I doubt GG was still envolved if you were 5 years into your program.
    “Stan” just takes any opportunity, valid or not, to knock any training firm than isn’t his or a couple of his buddies.

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    #175384

    mcintosh
    Participant

    I have nothing but good things to say about GG. They were and still are extremely professional and excellent teachers/leaders. Our deployment declined not as a result of their efforts or model. We declined because of our business model and leadership influence. In relation to the part time belt discussion, a part time belt was an attempt to draw in people as the climate to join LSS diminished. I am sure we write volumes on what went wrong with our deployment but as you can see I am still a believer in LSS, and hope someday that we can revitalize the workforce (leadership) on the value and importance of process improvement.

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    #175386

    Mikel
    Member

    Not true, my friend. Darth is a friend and I was jsut getting him excited.
    But to Tom’s point – they were good teachers/leaders. What time did they spend with the Leadership to make sure they did the things needed to make things sustainable? You don’t get that by hading out Michael George books and you don’t get that with GG, BMG, SBTI, SSA, or OSSS. You get that only with a select few who will forego the money if the Leadership headset isn’t right.

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    #175387

    Robert S
    Member

    See Stan…you counter my statement then proceed to dis GG. You can’t help yourself.
    PS: Don’t put OSSS in the grouping you did. We are in an entirely different business – no training, consulting or certification. Course licensing only.

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    #175388

    Mikel
    Member

    I did not dis GG. I said they don’t focus where they need too – The executive suite.
    You are right that OSSS doesn’t belong in the group – they are selling the promise that all you need is a slide deck (given that the notes are better than most) and you too can implement SS. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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    #175389

    Mikel
    Member

    Bob,
    Isn’t it funny that I knew it was GG without the poster giving the name of the organization he is part of?

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    #175390

    Robert S
    Member

    Wow, major govt deployment – who would have thought GG? Other than you that is.

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    #175391

    Robert S
    Member

    Show me where we make the promise you asserted. You can’t because we do not make that promise. You’re making it up to give credence to your continual bashing of us.
    We license courseware…to be used in whatever manner the licensee chooses; in accordance with the terms of the license. And, we are the number 1 seller through each of the channels we distribute. You’re just sorry you didn’t think of this. Go back to fixing your defect-free lunch.

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    #175392

    Mikel
    Member

    hey genius, there are 6 consuting firms teethered to that teet.

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    #175393

    Mikel
    Member

    Bobby,Bobby-Don’t go to Vegas, you are an easy mark. Number 1 in every channel eh?Selling false hope for $99 a pop. Wow, if I had thought of I would
    not have done it. Sounds like someone who is not willing to do the hard work such
    as getting on a plane or having the tough discussions with
    leadership

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    #175394

    Robert S
    Member

    Well, you’re right about one thing “Stan”, I’ve been able to remove the muda of travel from my business model.
    PS: You don’t need to try to talk down to me with the Bobby stuff – it doesn’t make you any better or bigger person….in fact it has the opposite effect.

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    #175395

    Darth
    Participant

    Stan the Dancing Queen,
    As you well know, we don’t willingly go along with part time belts.  I have yet to find a real successful deployment with that model.  The difference is that we hestitate walking away at the start in the hopes that light will be eventually shed and we will be there to help make the transition.  Unfortunately, many client leadership “knows what is right” and often don’t listen to the experts that they have hired.  We will rarely bail out on a client but will try real hard to convince them of the correct path.  Of course, in time, integrity does have to creep in and we will gracefully withdraw if in our heart we know that the path is leading to an eventual disaster. 

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    #175396

    Robert S
    Member

    And you knew immediately it was the GG because the deploymnt failed at the mngt level…that had to be the reasoning since it was your only data point.
    Therefore, genius, you are saying the other 5 consulting firms must be very good at the deployment level.
    Have I understood you correctly?

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    #175397

    mcintosh
    Participant

    Wow guys time out; I did not mean to start a war. No matter the method/approach you can’t argue the value/importance of the basic principals of Lean and Six Sigma.
     
    Yes our deployment failed, or is hanging on by a thread depending who you talk to. GG did bring in the A team in the beginning, and was very in tune to senior leadership or should I say our senior leader. Shortly after our initial deployment, they took the original team who was already familiar with how the Govt. works, and used them with their newly acquired Govt. deployments. There was a gap created at that point that was compounded by a change in our leadership. I am not saying their team is still not strong, what they are lacking is the history with remaining leadership who did not change. I believe they have very brilliant people that support our organization.
     
    Where things went wrong is that there was never a central chain of command within the deployment. Each individual “stove pipe” of our organization had their own belts and projects. The “stove pipes” are individual elements that are designed to support the major programs of the organization but the major programs did not have belts of their own. So, you had the “stove pipes” working on trivial things like copier use, while a few of us worked the billion dollar programs that pay the bills of the organization were swamped with work. Ok here is the key point or punch line of my story. Our organization is not designed to make a profit. You are graded on how well you spend you money before it is taken away or expires. Everything you would think of as a consumer when spending money is not a graded factor if you are successful at your job. That is a very basic definition of the system. I could write pages on the subject and never fully define things.
     
    My take away that I want the originator of this post to understand is that if you have part time belts, then you have part time commitment from leadership. Without commitment and top cover, your deployment is doomed. Another take away is that it helps if you have strong leadership traits if you are to be a belt. Some of our “stove pipes” sent their chaff, and as a result had many failed projects, which is another killer if you are going to change the culture. I don’t know you guys but I wish you success in your own involvement in LSS. It is a wonderful methodology, which could have done miracles in our governmental system.
    We deal in billions of dollars of which millions could be saved. The bright side is that it goes back into our economy but leaves our war fighters with less than they deserve. Many people do not take to heart the money that we spend but those of us who lived on that side of the fence, do everything we can to make their lives better.

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    #175398

    Mikel
    Member

    Bobby,You have not understood anything correctly. You have no background
    in this and apparently are not respected by those you work with.You are simply on here to promote your products. Go pimp them in a
    thread where I choose not to participate.

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    #175399

    Robert S
    Member

    Boy, data and logic mean nothing to you do they “Stan”?
    You ignored my question of you and made up a number of false things about me again. Obviously it is a futile effort made when trying to reason with….whatever you are. I’m through responding to you.

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    #175400

    Mikel
    Member

    False?
    What, you have no background?
    Or is it the folks at SSQ have no respect for you?
    Or is it you and your boy are selling something that you have no understanding of and are just out to milk a market?
    Or maybe it is that you really aren’t pimping a product that is yours?
    Bobby, or Brandon or is it really Scott? – go find something that you have a legitimate claim to.

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    #175401

    Wynand van Dyk
    Member

    In any organisation, you get what you measure – therefore tie a portion of your executive compensation to the audited realised benefits of your deployment to gain executive support. The same goes for BB’s. On the question of full-time vs part-time, I would strongly advise going full-time and set-up the program to be a future leadership development hub in your organisation.  Get your high potential candidates into the program as this sends out a strong message that “we are serious”. If you want to judge the success of part-time BB’s, look at the success rate of GB projects in organisations (done part-time).  Too many times you will hear “I am too busy” as the excuse why projects are not progressing.

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    #175402

    Girly
    Participant

    Hi everyone
    How do you become a part time BB? I am working for a company that hasn’t introduced SS and my previous company was a problem because we didn’t get any buy-in.

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    #175417

    annon
    Participant

    Dont know a thing about you, your organization, or your product…..but the fact that you would:

    Get goaded into a sophmoric rant
    In a public forum
    That caters specifically to your client base
    After you have revealed your professional affiliation with OSSS
    speaks volumes about your organization.  Yikes!

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    #175421

    Robert S
    Member

    Mine’s not the “sophmoric rant” Annon. I attempted to use logic and reason with each of my posts in an effort to have a discussion with “Stan”. His posts were the ones that baited and switched, introduced falsehoods and dodged all logic and all questions relative to the logic behind his statements. Either I didn’t do a very good job of that – and, thus, your takeaway – or you’re one who enjoys bashing as well.

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    #175422

    Mikel
    Member

    Bobby, Bobby –
    Can’t see yourself so clearly, can you?
    For someone who has associated themself with a product, your conduct is just plain destructive.
    What do you think Minitab would do if one of their representatives behaved like you have been since “coming out” a few weeks ago?

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    #175423

    annon
    Participant

    I dont care.

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    #175431

    ExSSQI
    Participant

    The consultants had worse than no respect. There was no trust.

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    #175435

    Mikel
    Member

    Wow in a place that has J L-O, that’s a pretty low achievement. Or as
    Granny Clampett said – lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut.

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    #175479

    Venerable Bede
    Member

    Wynand is right.  People who play the BB role part time are GBs and the results reflect that. BBs who repatriate into functional roles should be similar to GBs on their level – they just have a different certificate on their wall.  But when functional execution becomes the priority, firefighting becomes the norm.  The full-time BB role is an attempt to break that cycle.  Unfortunately many organizations aren’t effective at selecting people who can justify their existence as full-time BBs and/or the management systems eviscerate the role so as to make it unattractive to the sort of talent that it requires.
    As in any function, success as a BB or GB ultimately depends on the recognized value delivered to the organization.  But in order to recognize that value the organization has to be willing to quantify the benefit and link it to compensation.  A little due diligence in benefits capture is worth its weight in platinum when trying to justify the existence of Belts – any Belt for that matter.   Organizations that can’t justify BBs typically don’t understand how to assign value to process improvement efforts. 

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    #175481

    ExSSQI
    Participant

    Wale sXXt in the Mariana Trench.

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    #175489

    BC
    Participant

    Looks like Lebowski’s been bit by the bitter bug, who knew :) Passive agressive as always…
    Stan you just rock.  I enjoy poping in on the forum every once in a while, I can always be sure you’ll be here talking about how great you are.  That probaly carries thru in every aspect of your life.  Do you drive a convertable?  Wear Tank Tops?  Leather Pants?  What do you bench?  > 425?  Your like the Hasselhoff of Six Sigma…only lamer.

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