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project completion rates

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  • #49027

    JD
    Participant

    What are the typical project completion rates (percentage) for GB and BB sudents in the first year of a deployment. Second year, third year, etc until it stabilizes at what year?

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    #166762

    Aquinas
    Member

    JD,  there are a few different factors that can affect your expectations.  At the least, you should consider the strength and maturity of SS already in place.  The level of organizational support can have a strong impact on this. 
    As a general rule, I suggest that you don’t expect more than 1 completed BB project within a year.  Too many times I’ve seen candidates predict 3-4 months to completion only to find it takes much longer than they originally thought — especially if they are new to statistical concepts or project management. 
    Beyond a year, this should be something that is discussed and supported from the executive level.  A full-time BB will often be mentoring and completing projects, and this has impacts.  However, I don’t know of many BB that can successfully complete more than 3-4 projects per year unless there is a bunch of low-hanging fruit — not if these projects are going to have a significant impact on business anyway.
    just my thoughts….

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    #166765

    JD
    Participant

    Thomas,
     
    Thanks.  I am trying to help set expectations for the boss.  For example, if we train 300 GB and 80 BBs over the first year, what can he expect in the way of completed projects.
     
    Then, as we mature (in a lot of areas like student and project selection) what can we expect in the following years until we reach the “industry” standard for completed projects

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    #166767

    Aquinas
    Member

    JD,
    I am going to shy away from the term “industry standard” purposely.  However, the amount of GBs or BBs you train isn’t as important as their ratio to the total number of employees in the organization.  Traditional materials, ie. T Pyzdek, suggest that organizations aim to have 1 BB for every 100 employees, and I agree.  The GB part should be decided based on how infused you want the culture to be.  Be aware during deployment that support is critical to successful projects, and projects should be explicitly chosen so that they don’t step on each other’s toes — especially if your organization is comprised of traditional silos.  This will create animosity, not vast success across the company.
    You should also be cognizant to select BB candidates that you expect to be future leaders in the organization, not just SS project gurus…as this leads to my final thought.  In the end, if your organization is so infused with SS that the terms, concepts and approaches are part of everyone’s daily work, then you will have achieved great SS success.    For now, I would suggest that each BB complete a project with the proper support and guidance, and then coach and mentor other GBs to BBs while completing 1 or 2 projects a year that they lead.  Overall, just make sure the organization can support the BB and GB efforts, then decide your own organizational standard, and don’t worry about industry standards.  It has to fit and make sense for you and your business both in terms of ROI and culture.
    Hope this helps.

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    #166768

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    JD,
    You need to be careful about setting up expectations for your boss on this. First if you train 80 BB you had better be a really big company and really spread out. We produced $108,000,000 in a year with 36 BB’s in 4 different countries. The 1% number is high in most cases but it is the most commonly used – more of a maximum. You are better off starting low – like 0.1% and then if you can manage that and need more resources train them up.
    Pay attention to where the potential lies. If you are cutting cost you will not generate as much in benefits as you will if you work revenue. You work revenue if you have customers for the extra you produce.
    As far as projects the noise that constantly rattles on about projects is driven typically because people think all projects are the same. I had a woman at Allied that could complete around 10 projects per year and another woman in Chile that could do the same. Neither drove all low hanging fruit – they just paid attention and were great time managers (you might take note they were both women as well – never had a guy come close to those numbers).
    Projects are not all the same. If you want to discuss how to differentiate projects I will be glad to do that off line at [email protected].
    You need to remember that if you are training you belts properly it will take you 6 months to bring them up to speed. Your first year you are going to get 2 projects from most and 3 from the really good ones. Cycle time should average about 90 – 120 days after training. The 6 months thing is crap after they are out of training.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #166771

    Aquinas
    Member

    Mike,
    Great comments, but I would like to add a few thoughts. I think that the number of projects you expect a BB to complete in their first year, including up-to-speed time (6 months), of 2 or 3 assumes their only role is as a BB, and that the organization is completely vested in SS. Since this sounds like a from scratch deployment, I’m not sure that assumption should be made. If BB candidates have other roles/responsibilities, then 1-2 projects is more realistic. Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but that’s what I’ve experienced.Also, I have seen that many times, a BB gets certified and then suddenly they get promoted and projects aren’t being completed anymore. Later, someone in the deployment asks, “how many projects have you completed?” The answer is more often than not, “well, it’s not projects, but the methodology is infused into everything I do.” My point is that most organizations don’t have full-time BBs unless they are part of the Quality Deployment/Department, and this does not sound like all 80 of these BBs will be full time project change agents, unless this is an enormous company.While I have the utmost respect for a female MBB who is a good friend and mentor, I also do not believe that people should make assumptions about capabilities based on sex any more than they should based on race or religious preference. Six Sigma projects and their leaders should be held to data and bottom line improvements, regardless of personal issues.–just some thoughts

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    #166858

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thomas,
    I did not make any assumptions based on sex. I just put the observation out there for people to draw their own conclusions. I was mentored at Motorola by one of the best Six Sigma implementors ever and is still to this day, John Lupienski. John’s words “one time is random chance, twice is coincidence, three times is a trend.” If you choose to do anything with that piece of data that would be you drawing that conclusion.
    To your point about part time Black Belts, I have never seen a successful part time Black Belt let alone a successful program built around the idea of part time Black Belts. It has nothing to do with the individuals in general but most organizations do not have the discipline to make it work. In general we differentiate a BB from a GB to a small degree in what they learn but more so in the type of project – BB in a broader scope, cross functional and GB in a natural work team in the area where they work. GB’s struggle. BB’s trying to work cross functionally and part time is like someone dieting and trying to quit smoking – the odds are against you.
    Just as a point of reference during the first year at GE none of the BB’s I worked with came from the QA department. My last two mining companies had no QA department so the BB could not have come from the QA department. I am not sure how you exptrapolated 80 BB’s to mean they had to be from QA. Personally I prefer the GE approach – the message is clear process improvement does not belong to QA.
    The very idea of 80 BB’s in most companies is a scarey thought. Even if they average 4 projects per year that is 320 projects. That leaves you implementing a project virtually every day that you are working. It would take an organization that is world class at change management to do that. Even if they were world class at change management there would be so much change in play at any point in time you would end up with conflicts between projects almost daily. 80 is a number that just doesn’t make any sense unless the organization is huge or it very widely spread out geographically.
    The danger of some “benchmark” of 1% doesn’t make sense in some businesses. In one mining company we have 25,000 people. That would mean I should be at 250 BB’s? Pure BS. Nobody effectively manages 250 BB’s. 22,000 of the 25,000 work underground and about 3,000 work above ground. We run with about 25 BB’s so just under 0.1%. The return on the deployment is generally about 10:1, the number of BB’s is manageable and the change management is still difficult but can be done.
    There are way to many formula type answers given to what seems to be pretty easy questions. In stead of formulas people need to get involved in the business and understand the business and you will see a lot less people logging on here and complaining about poorly managed deployments. You don’t see people complaining because they they tried to calculate an average and std. deviation and the formula didn’t work. It is the way the deployment is run that makes the difference. Look at that guy in the other string that has never been involved in a deployment, has done a simulated project and now wants to teach Six Sigma. He knows tools. Period. End of story. That isn’t six sigma that is death by PowerPoint. Successful deployments may begin in a classromm but none of them end there.
    Just my opinion.

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    #166870

    Aquinas
    Member

    Mike,I appreciate your response, and you stated the key points very clearly related to this issue. Thank you for taking the time to do so. By the way, I did not mean to challenge critique your comment about females being able to complete more projects, I just think this type of comment can be easily misinterpreted, especially in a forum such as this.In any case, your thoughts and comments are well-received, and I’m sure your post will be very valuable to any organization looking to implement Six Sigma.Thank you for the thoughtful response.

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    #166879

    Silviu
    Member

    Mike
    I hope you are wrong with the statement: “I have never seen a successful part time Black Belt “. I am one of the three recently trained Black Belts in our company. We are all part time BB:(.
    Silviu

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    #166918

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thomas,
    I don’t mind being challenged or critiqued. That seems to be the major issue with the current wave of participants. They want to put their thoughts up here and if someone says something they immediately label it as unprofessional. The comments you get are the chance you take when you post. An old rodeo saying “you pay your fees and you take your chances.”
    As far as the comment concerning the two women. I would hate to do a hypothesis test on BB’s based on sex. We would be rejecting the null and there would be a lot fewer male BB’s in this world.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards

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    #166919

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Silviu,
    My statement is correct based on what I know today and the criteria I would use to determine success. Return on Investment.
    It doesn’t really matter if I see you as successful. Make sure you deliver the organizations expectations so they view you as successful.
    Unfortunately I believe the odds are against you but somehow that always seems to be the best spot to be in. When you are successful and nobody expects you to be what can they say?
    Best of Luck> I hope it works for you.

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    #166929

    Fake Harry Alert
    Participant

    Have  finished  a  comprehensive “Change Management” program in 18 months,saving more  than $mill.1.5 (with  restructuring).
    How  would  you  consider  this  project as  a  BB project  or  what?
    Considering that it  was  based on “PDCA” and  the “CM” concepts,using only some  basic  quality tools (havn’t  used  the DMAIC approach or  any  of  the complicated statistical SS tools).
    thanks  and  best  regards

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    #166946

    Fake ATI Alert
    Participant

    Who  cares?
    Don’t  talk about  your  achievements

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    #166950

    Jamilah Haron
    Participant

    Hi,
    This opinion is based on Green Belts classes for a multinational organization that has started Six Sigma seven years ago, centrally from its head quarter. The MBB is regionally based, usually an MBB is incharge of 3 to 5 manufacturing plants.
    The class size is 20 which only 10% of them have seen statistics before ; the classes were spread over 4 months following the different phases of DMAIC ; there were 3 full time BB available for coaching ; each project registration is required to produce a fixed dollar of cost reduction ; there was periodical progress review and monthly top management review . The results were – 45% completed 1 project after 7 months, next 30% completed within 12 months and the rest did not make it due to various reasons like leaving the company, and change of job function.
    While successful Six Sigma companies and various literature in the market offer common Critical Success Factors, I believe as change agents it’s fun to try out a few coaching and buy-in approaches for every new group of Green Belts that we train.
     

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    #167175

    Fontanilla
    Participant

    I’ll second Mike’s comments regarding part-time BBs.  That combination is a recipe for frustration, failure, and degradation of a Six Sigma program.  A Black Belt needs to work broadly, across functional areas and in such a capacity, to be able to effect change in each area.  Change doesn’t come about quickly.  It takes perserverance, persuasion, data (and more and more data!) as well as business acumen.  There is an old rule of thumb that if you want someone to remember something, you need to tell them at least 8 times.  A part-timer may be able to get the message across but the repetition of it and consensus-building that it requires will likely take quite a long time.  Probably, long enough that the first few messages will be forgotten.
    A Green Belt can be part time on a project.  A part-time Black Belt may be possible if you are a very effective time manager and communicator.  Some Black Belts work on 2 or 3 project simultaneously (and therefore might be considered “part time” on each).  If this is your part time arrangement, you’ll have a better chance at success.  If not, may the Force be with you!

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