iSixSigma

Project Management

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Project Management

  • This topic has 17 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 15 years ago by CI.
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #46756

    curious george
    Participant

    As a MBB I am responsible for continuous improvement projects within our business unit.  This is not a surprise to me, however, I have the most difficult time getting certain people to follow through on team project tasks.  Can anyone offer advice to me on how to motivate people to truly embrace Lean and continuous improvement?
    regards,
    Curious George

    0
    #154902

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Are these “certain people” Black Belts that fall under your pervue?   If so, it may be time to wield the hammer of accountability.   Did they sign a charter/contract?   If so, leverage it to the hilt.   Many Companies have wisely held charters/contracts as legally-binding documents.
    If you are matrixed, you may need to have a “come to church” session with them and their “solid-line” boss(es)/Sponsors.
    This is really about leading/influencing people, not so much about managing their projects.
    -My $0.02

    0
    #154907

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    Sure thing!  Take them to court, hang the guilty, and while we’re at it, maybe we can crucify a few along the road to Rome.  This isn’t an issue of project management.  Rather, it is apparently an issue of poor project leadership.  Go ahead and use the heavy hand, if you want, but I’d start with the leader(s) of the project(s) before going after the troops. 
    Using a heavy hand will get you compliance – maybe – but it will also turn into a less than optimal project and may even get some rebels who will covertly work against you and Six Sigma.  Remove people from the team if need be and replace them, find out the root cause for their lack of performance and address that, but I wouldn’t wave a charter in their face and take legal action nor would I take any other punitive measures.  If you wan’t to ensure future failure – go ahead and make their day, as Dirty Harry would say.

    0
    #154927

    Rpaul
    Member

    Curious George,
    Find out why those “certain people” aren’t doing things the way they should be. Are they properly aware of their responsibilities/deadlines? If yes, then are they constrained by their skill, their will/inclination or time bound issues? Find these first. Based on this you should choose how to motivate the people.
    People with time issues can be sorted out easily with a little use of common sense. People, who are skill constrained, need to be properly trained, mentored and coached to bring them up to the performance levels necessary. A good leader not only gets performance out of his colleagues/team members, but also contributes to their development along the way.
    The ones with willingness/inclination issues, would be tricky, but they aren’t (or shouldn’t be) impossible. Talk to them, interact with them more often, and find out why they lack interest. Should you find they do not identify with SS/Lean/Continuous Improvement, maybe your organization didn’t spend the needed time on awareness about them. You’d have to do this then. Focus on how it helps the organization as well as the employees involved. Show it to them as a path to greater roles & responsibilities, recognition and rewards. Get to their ulterior motives and use that to highlight the importance of your projects. Market your project, heck… sell your project to them showing them that it will benefit them the most!! Once you are able to establish a direct correlation between your projects and the employees’ goals… you have all the aces! Thereon, all you need is to lead from the front and keep guiding the others. It’s a project in continuous improvement in itself!!
    Please ensure that you’ve tried everything else in the world before using “heavy-hand” tactics!

    0
    #154929

    curious george
    Participant

    Rpaul;
    I whole heartedly agree with your advice.  And I am doing just that; selling the benefits of CI and Lean.  Some of the problem is that some people are skill challenged.  Therefore, I am encouraging my colleagues to offer opportunities, to learn new skills, for these individuals.  Unfortunately some people who have been accustom to traditional thinking for many years are very hard to convert.
    I appreciate your input.
     Curious George

    0
    #154931

    curious george
    Participant

    I believe in the phrase; ‘It’s the process, not the person’.  And I am willing to reevalute my project leadership skills.  However, it is quite challenging working on multiple projects and dealing with even a small % of resisters.  In the CI and Lean world there are some ‘cement heads’ who are beyond conversion. 
    Curious George

    0
    #154934

    Rpaul
    Member

    Ah!! I totally understand your predicament about the traditionalists… Just one golden rule for this… Try try and keep trying till you succeed.. and you will!! Best of Luck!!

    0
    #154938

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Agreed, the heavy-hand is a last resort.   If I understood the original post, this has been an on-going “battle” of sorts.   If so, the H^2 may be called for, after of course, trying to determine the RC of the encountered resistance.   The resistance typologies can help you root out the source of said resistance and help plan for overcoming it.
    Bottom line, what’s in it for them?   What’s the payoff for their efforts?
    if that doesn’t work, then yes, leverage the heck out of your charter/contract.

    0
    #154946

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    Do I hear an “Amen, brother?”  Rpaul – great stuff.  I would only add that the trick to getting those who are resistant to the changes might be to establish a solid shared vision between the objectives of the organization / projects and the personal objectives of the people involved.  In the end, you have to make the perceived pain of the current system more than any perceived pain of the new way.  No small trick in itself, but it works well.  Persistance is the key – as you’ve said quite well.  One of the key trademarks of a true Black Belt and Maste Black Belt.  Never give up – never surrender!

    0
    #154949

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    I appreciate the “Never surrender” approach, especially as applied to 6S, but it is also wise to know when to fish and when to cut bair.
    Persistence is indeed a rare virtue these days, but persistence and “keep on trying” attitude isn’t a guarantee of success either.   This is where your change agency/OD skills will come into play.   This where your political saavy will make or break your ability to influence.
    As the classic Kenny Roger’s song goes, “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…Know when to walk away, know when to run..You never count your money, when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’, when the dealin’s done…”

    0
    #155035

    Rpaul
    Member

    Agree. Its included in the “never give up” prophecy. Doesn’t mean keep trying the same stuff… Change tactics appropriately without giving up on the objective!

    0
    #155106

    U
    Member

    I also think the “little things” are important too. For example, when was the last time success (big or small) was recognised and celebrated as a team? When someone did a good job, were they told they did a good job so that they knew whatever they delivered was what was required? When someone doesn’t deliver, were they told exactly what was the shortfall? And was the feedback done immediately? Is there sufficient trust built between you and your individual team members such that any suggestions coming from you are constructive and not as a means of “having a go” at them?
    In my personal opinion, I believe that 9/10 (I never measured this – ha ha) of people want to to a good job. But they need to be told exactly what they are doing right or what needs to be done (and less of what what they are doing wrong).
    Cheers.

    0
    #155120

    Allthingsidiot O
    Participant

    Very Impessive

    0
    #155137

    SCarol
    Member

    I agree that getting to know each one can help you select the best strategy to use with each.  Do you do a stakeholder analysis on the team members when you start a project?  Defining what risk lack of commitment posses to the project, how important they are to the success of the project, and factors that may influence their behavior, can help you define the right strategy for each.  In this case, it sounds like you are getting push back from some people “consistently”.  Causes me to ask why they are assigned to the project in the first place; that might be an influencing factor to help you set your strategy.  In some cases, the timing is not right for them to accept this commitment, and for the sake of the project benefits the company is counting on — have a frank discussion with them (make sure you are speaking with facts and not emotion), and get on with it. 
    Tolerating sabotage is never a smart move. 

    0
    #155139

    CT
    Participant

    To all……….Great stuff,
    Changing a culture is very difficult. AND it will never happen if you don’t have Trust. Without Trust there can be no loyalty-and without loyalty, there can be no true growth.
     

    0
    #155144

    Silviu
    Member

    Let me share my experience.
    During the first meetings, team members, (new to six sigma) were skeptical about it, no cooperation at all. By the end of the project, everybody became fan of six sigma.
    So, I guess, everybody must see it works.
    Silviu
     

    0
    #155146

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Curious George,
    Just a couple thoughts on this. Frequently you find people talking about the advantages of Six Sigma being that it establishes a common language. That is true to some extent as long as you stay within the confines of people who have been trained in Six Sigma. During implementation most of the time you are involving people who are outside the confines of the Six Sigma language/methodology/process.
    We have worked on several occasions with a group called Landmark. They have what they call “the language of committed speaking.” It is very soft in terms of skills but it creates a common language that isn’t tied directly to the Six Sigma mathodology but instead addresses peoples behaviors.
    You might want to look into what these folks do as a way to achieve what you need from people supporting projects.
    Just my opinion.

    0
    #155149

    CI
    Participant

    You did say you were a MasterBlackBelt, correct? What am I missing here????

    0
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.