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Role of the Consultant

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Role of the Consultant

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  • #50391

    Stanly
    Member

    What is the real role of the consultant during the implementaton of SS?
     
     
     

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    #173190

    BC
    Participant

    To tell you not to pay attention to any other consultants.

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    #173197

    Ron
    Member

    It depends on what they were hired to do. Implementation, project work, technical ssistance, tool usage , training???
     
    By the way I really liked the previous response.

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    #173204

    Stanly
    Member

    Mainly Implementation

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    #173207

    Brandon
    Participant

    Are you answering your own question Stanly?

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    #173208

    GPaisley
    Participant

    To make money for their firm and themselves.

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    #173209

    Jeff
    Participant

    At a previous company I contracted with, they made a deal with a consulting firm that the consultant fee would only be paid if the project met it’s financial objective. This put the consultant and the project team’s goals in sync.

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    #173210

    Brandon
    Participant

    Nice concept Jeff and I’ve tried numerous times to put such an arrangement into contractual terms and was never able to.
    Challenges: how do you define the competency of the participants, how do you control the commitment and resources the company will devote to the deployment, how do you (as the consultant) assure some parties will not get in the way of the program, how do you know the potential magnitude of the savings prior to starting, etc.
    Great concept…not practical.
    The partial solution (because there is no certain solution) is top mngt commitment throughout the deployment.

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    #173214

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Jeff,
    We have been offering to write that type of contract for over a decade. We have never pushed away from the table yet. It actually seems to make the customer more nervous than it does us. Not sure why.
    I don’t understand your comment “This put the consultant and the project team’s goals in sync.” If a consultant isn’t in sync with the customer then who would they be in sync with?
     

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    #173215

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    stanly,
    I am not sure why I am responding to this since you have already answered your own question. The customer should understand what they have and what they need and work out that arrangement with the consultant.
    There are a fair number of shaky deployments where the sum total of the direction that the customer gave to the consultant was “deploy Six Sigma.” What they get is some junior level consultant training a lot of people and a bunch of trained people suffering from Stockholm Syndrome with a consultant that doesn’t know anything about getting results.
    Just like everything else. A well informed customer will get something more inline with what they expect than one that doesn’t have a clue.
    Just my opinion.

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    #173221

    Mario Perez-Wilson
    Participant

    The story goes like this:A contract manufacturer had 85% of its assemblies failed with solderability defects. So, the GM calls a consultant. The next day the consultant runs a simple 2 by 5 minus 1 factorial, changes some process parameters and fixes the problem. CM assembly defects drops to zero, and the GM is ecstatic. The next day the consultant emails an invoice for USD 17,000. The GM is furious and complains to the consultant, how he can charge 17,000 for one day’s of work. The next day, the consultant resubmits his invoice:For one day’s of work ………………… $ 1,500
    For knowing what parameter to change …… $15,500Total ………………………………. $17,000Consultants are like lawyers, everybody dislikes them, but when you are in trouble, you wish you had one on your side.

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    #173223

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Mario,
    Nice ending.
    Baja coast in October! Enough Beaujolais Nouveau Del Barranco Blandenito to be polite – you guys work that and I am moving over to Havana Club. Not sure the porch being 20 feet from a 50 foot cliff sounds like a very solid plan.
    Regards

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    #173224

    Mario Perez-Wilson
    Participant

    I will bring my Plein Ciel cork opener (Laguiole) and it has a knife to cut the meat. It appears to be a very solid plan up to 20 feet, on the 21st, no more dramas. Gary said yes! Next Adi, maybe Micki?

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    #173227

    Michael Mead
    Participant

    There are 2 roles for a consultant in 5S and most other programs.
    First, everybody else already has a job to do, so focusing on the project is a good job for a consultant. It is his/her primary function–can’t be distracted.
    Second, this is a culture change. If somebody who is entrenched in the organization says, “This is the new way to do it.” He will get infinite flak, excuses, criticism. The consultant bring s level of credibility and is free of internal politics.
    Next question? 

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    #173233

    Dr.Chalapathi
    Participant

    The role of consultant in implementing Six Sigma:
    – Conduct a readiness assessment.
    – Develop a roadmap
    – Help Champions in selecting Right Project, Right People
    – Train and Coach BB’s
    – Give periodic feedback to the top management on the progress and address gaps in the implementation.

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    #173243

    Scott
    Member

    The invoice should have read: One days work…………..$1500.00
    Pointing out how incompetent you and your staff are………….PRICELESS 
    This demonstrates just how bad it has become in our business society today. That we must rely on someone that has a 1,000 acronyms after their name to certify them as a WB,YB,BB,MBB (Who certified the certifier by the way?) It is highly unlikely that Six Sigma Methodology was implemented in this case. It would take several weeks of non-revenue producing DMAIC(How do like that acronym?) to come up with the solution. The 2 by 5 minus 1 factorial wouldn’t get past the tip of the iceburg. If this case is true (doubtful) it’s not an application of Six Sigma. It  does indicate that far too many people are educated beyond their intelligence.

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    #173245

    Mikel
    Member

    You don’t know what you are talking about.

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    #173247

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Kind of a cynical response by yourself but it is SCARY how many stupid recommendations are followed up on. 
    My favorite example is the consultant who said uptime would be increased by just eliminating time spent on preventative maintenance.
    The other sad example is the consultant who said run the machine faster even though the machine would have to shut down due to lack of orders…..and a natural physical consequence of running faster was a lower yield.
    In both cases, the business was in desperate situations and I had to kindly remind them of the lack of logic of the previous recommendations.  How did I(we) do it?….with data.  Oh, and the business is still performing better today…
    There is a distribution of consultants and one should NOT attempt to disparage the upper end with the average or the 25 percentile.

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    #173248

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Wow, you were kind of harsh…. I hope you don’t really think that way about incompetencies.  Sometimes a problem exists because of lack of focus or attention….nothing wrong with getting help.
    It is such thinking that gives six sigma a reputation of needing to take a long time.  If I get the urgency and resources, I can do many six sigma projects in less than 2 weeks.
    Let me restate a past statement.  For those that say lean is fast and six sigma is quick, I say “If I had the manhours dedicated to a typical kaizen event as to a six sigma project, then I would solve a six sigma problem in the same time”.  And before I get any flamers out there, I am NOT advocating lean is just kaizen events and I’m NOT suggesting all six sigma projects can be solved in a week.

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    #173252

    Scott
    Member

    Stan,
    I knew this would somehow be construed as blasphemy  of the religion. Explain ” You don’t what you are talking about”

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    #173258

    Mikel
    Member

    What religion do you think I am promoting? You must not be paying attention.
    You wrote –
    That we must rely on someone that has a 1,000 acronyms after their name to certify them as a WB,YB,BB,MBB (Who certified the certifier by the way?) – You are replying to Mario Perez-Wilson. Last time I checked he had no acronyms after his name, he exists on reputation.
    It is highly unlikely that Six Sigma Methodology was implemented in this case. – Call it what you like, this is the way Mario thinks, so yes the methodology was followed.
    It would take several weeks of non-revenue producing DMAIC(How do like that acronym?) to come up with the solution. – This is the training view of Six Sigma. I know several people who are experienced enough to go in and get a result in a day. Dorian Shanin made a career of this.
    The 2 by 5 minus 1 factorial wouldn’t get past the tip of the iceburg. If this case is true (doubtful) it’s not an application of Six Sigma. – Why? Assuming the process map, FMEA, MSA, process capability, etc are in place. A DOE may be the next logical tool.
    It  does indicate that far too many people are educated beyond their intelligence. – Truth is the whole BB thing has created a load of mediocre Quality Engineers – they are undereducated and underexperienced and being trained by people who do not have any depth of knowledge.
    Other than that, you knew exactly what you were talking about.

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    #173259

    Taylor
    Participant

    Tell like it is Stan, It sure is great to see you still have a passion for pointing out the obvious to the blinded. Not that my recognition means anything, I’m more worthless than Stevo, but your right on the money.

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    #173263

    Brandon
    Participant

    Thank goodness it’s only the upper end that participate in this discussion group…I really wouldn’t want to have to interface with those other losers!

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    #173266

    Stanly
    Member

    I believe SS is not rocket science as Stan believes 

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    #173267

    Stanly
    Member

    Thanks.
    Please explain what do you mean by the “stockholm syndrome”?
    I believe a stupid customer deserves a atupid consultant.
    Appreciate always your AV response

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    #173280

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    From Wikipedia:
    “Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed.”
    I have seen to many students that have to spend time with a “trainer” and end up spending all their time trying to please an instructor who likes to use phrases such as “I don’t like it when ……” It should never be about what a trainer “likes.” It is about what is right and wrong. 
    After 5 weeks of training they are into hero worship following some personal brand of DMAIC rather than understanding problem solving on a more intuitive level. The consultant should be delivering knowledge transfer not training.
    I am not sure a uninformed customer deserves a stupid consultant but the probability that they get one certainly seems to increase. That goes back to a previous thread where there was some discussion around the variation in what gets delivered by consultants. The variation in the market demand drives the variation in the supply base.
    AV response?
    Just my opinion. 

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    #173281

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Michael Mead,
    I am glad you have set us all straight. I’ll be sure to adjust what we do to meet your expectations.

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    #173282

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Dr. Chalapathi,
    It would appear that the consultant isn’t on the hook for results? It won’t take long for that reputation to catch up with you.
    Just my opinion.

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    #173283

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Rick,
    Because someone goes in and works on a problem and comes up with a solution that nobody else found previously does not mean someone is incompetant. When you run a project and get results and immediately judge everyone that had anything to do with the process previously as incompetant then you will find yourself very short on support of any kind in the very near future. Projects are about delivering business results not head hunting to hang blame on someone.
    It is going to difficult to change a culture when you alienate yourself from the rest of the organization for the sake of your ego.
    “The 2 by 5 minus 1 factorial wouldn’t get past the tip of the iceburg.”
    What do you mean by this comment?
    Just my opinion.

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    #173299

    Scott
    Member

    Ouch Stan,
     Please keep this discussion in context. Mario starts his post with “The Story goes like this”.
    My post was in no way directed at any individual nor did I question anyone’s integrity. Especially Mario’s. I responded to a STORY not to an individual. If you look at my original post the opening was not addressed to anyone.
    I am getting out of this forum before I get virtual injuries.
    Too rough for me.
    Regards

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    #173302

    Stevo
    Member

    Rick,
     
    Stan plays a vital role here.  Way too many blow-hards come in and state their opinion as fact.  Stan tends to separate the boys from the men (metaphorically speaking).  It is a true test of one character, if you stay in the game.
     
    Stevo
    (Self appointed leader of the Six Sigma community)

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    #173304

    Jeff
    Participant

    Late response to Mike,You asked, If a consultant isn’t in sync with the customer then who would they be in sync with? I have found, and I’m sure many of us have found, that some consultants are in sync only with their desire to get paid. Some have no concern for the outcome of the project. Thus, our little company made a deal to only pay the fee if the project met a predetermined level of success, which was agreed to by management and the consultant. I don’t presume to know the exact nature of the contract they made, but I do know that it was a drastic change from our previous MBB consultant who was paid a flat rate. He was not as concerned as was the consultant who stood to gain or lose a lot of money at project’s end. But that’s just my take…

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    #173316

    Darth
    Participant

    Stan is always right

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    #173318

    Darth
    Participant

    Are you afraid from Stan?

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    #173319

    Darth
    Participant

    You have to escape,Stan is serious

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    #173320

    Darth
    Participant

    What do you mean by “self appointed leader”?

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    #173329

    Mikel
    Member

    You are not Darth, you couldn’t carry Darth’s jock strap.
    Go back to being Stanly.

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    #173333

    a.j.
    Participant

    the consultant is in your business to make his goal, not help your company. be vary careful in this area they are vary well educated on the art of helping themselves look good

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    #173380

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Feeling a little schizophrenic today?
    You are now responding to your own posts but you had us all fooled for a while. We actually thought you were Darth since the writing styles are so similar – that was sarcasm.
     

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    #173381

    Taylor
    Participant

    Am I afraid of Stan? UH NO. what a stupid question. I don’t always agree with his style, but I respect his knowledge and experience. He is one of those guys like Robert Butler, Mike Carnell, the real Darth and Alastair, that really know what they are talking about. There are others too, but if you read everything these guys post you will learn something that you cant learn from a book, and thats the knowledge of experience.
    As for the name Darth, don’t let him catch you using it, he gets really cranky sometimes

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    #173382

    Darth
    Participant

    I’m not fooling anybody.Have always great respect for you

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    #173383

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Jeff,
    Your MBB had a very short term view. I sorry you got hooked up with a person like that but it sounds like you got it sorted out.
    I can’t imagine not at least attempting to line up with the customer but we have had two over the years where we walked away because there was no chance it figuring out what they want.
    Regards

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    #173385

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thanks.
    Darth gets cranky? He is always cranky but still missed!

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    #173386

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Thank you.

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