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Sigma projects for Supervisors/Managers?

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  • #53277

    Allegood
    Member

    My employer stated using six sigma a year ago and is totally high on it. Forcing folks to take care of what they were hired for and six sigma projects. Each has to do not only their own job, complete a sigma project and do 2 additional misc tasks six sigma related before taking a mandatory exam. What I noticed is a sharp increase in manufacturing/production issues, machine and employee related, so bad that the division is starting to drown. Definitely sigma related. In fact when the company was smaller we would just do it if it made sense now we need to use these crappie tools that are not user friendly at all and what use to take 2 months is now 6 months.
    You have got to see the way management acts in these presentation meetings with the sigma instructors! No mercy- it’s an all out slaughter. Can anyone tell me if they agree that indeed this is an expensive ($60,000 each wave, 10 employees, we are in the second wave) Dog and Pony show? What can be done to persuade management to let up and practice moderate Lean instead?
    I believe these tools were rolled out with someone’s personal goal in mind. This is why the pressure is on to complete x projects in a period of time. Engineer’s portfolio is really project related so these sigma tasks are just another way of executing projects, but for supervisors and managers, this impinges deeply on what we were actually hired for. I think this green belt certification program has really taken over so much so that this is the reason process/machine/employee issues have rocketed over the past several months. No one is taking care of these things because they are executing six sigma projects.
    I said this would happen some time ago, it’s not too late yet but I need to somehow convince management to put their personal goals aside and relax the sigma projects and get back to the supervising/managing fundamentals to resolve the everyday issues.

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    #189399

    Andrew Banks
    Participant

    Deja vu. Hmmm…Troy, see Scott’s post Feb 13.

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    #189400

    Severino
    Participant

    Sounds like you have a holy trinity:  bad management, bad deployment, and bad employee.  By solving one issue, you may very well solve the others. 
    Your problem is that you presuppose that your deployment is to blame, but you’ve proven nothing.  In fact, you are specifically trying to condemn six sigma.  Why don’t you try a more objective approach and ask yourself, “How can I determine if our SS deployment is working?”  At the end of this exercise you will either have the proof you need to refocus the deployment, but it is doubtful you’ll have enough ammunition to switch from doing sigma to only lean. 
    Keep in mind that your analysis needs to focus on more than your small little world and must focus on the big picture of the entire company.  Additionally, the tool you may need to prove what you want is the very same tool you are trying to condemn.

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    #189404

    Taylor
    Participant

    While I agree with Jsev, I want to take it a little further. This is a classic example of not knowing what the end goal is. Obviously management has a vision or they would not have set parameters to follow, however the process by which to get there was not “road mapped”. It appears that while trying to embrass, you are also just trying to “get it done” in hopes it will go away.
    One way to approach management about projects is, “If the fix or improvement to a problem is known, then it is not a full project”, but rather a “Quick Fix” and should be chartered as such. Too many times manager fall into the rut following the DMAIC process and fail to realize that the end result is easy to attain. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some ground work to prove it, just means the problem is not as complex as to become a full blown project.
    Additionally Troy, this is a culture change, in order to be a change agent you must fully embrace the concept that Six Sigma is the way to achieve manufacturing bliss. As corny as it sounds, attitude is 95% of battle.

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    #189405

    ?
    Participant

    A bit rambling but I hope it may help a little.
    You deployment does seem to be a off. You use of the word force is never a good sign that the “sell” section of the process has gone well. Also if your view of the tools is carried over to other people you need to find a better trainer who can put the tools in the context where you can see how they can help.
    Without knowing more about your business I can’t say if Lean or Sigma is what you should be using but most forward thinking companies use the tools to fit the problem and if they’re not teaching you lean as well as sigma then you really have a problem.
    I have one question for you though and this is process based. Why are you having problems when you’re not managing the process. To me these are possible signs of poor processes and would be where I’d be looking to use the tools to help me out.
     

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    #189408

    Utter Chaos
    Member

    I am curious on how your projects are being selected.  Properly selected projects should be addressing “pains” within the organization with the overall goal of making everyone’s job easier and more effective. The people working on these projects are more likely to be supportive if they can see the benefit down the line.  If the projects are poorly selected AND those working the projects get beat up for the lack of progress and benefits yielded, it could get very nasty.

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    #189416

    Reade
    Participant

    Troy/Scott – Why did you feel it was necessary to copy and paste your 2 earlier posts into a new message with a new user name? It would have been better if you’d responded to your first post to bump it to the top. Generally, better discussion happens when people can build off of earlier replies. Regarding your question, are you permitted to choose your own SS projects/activities, or are they assigned? If there are production issues that need to be fixed (even if they’re related to the deployment), why not make that a project?

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    #189420

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Troy,
    It sounds like, from your post, that you see improvement and your job as two different things and maybe that is because the wrong people are working on the wrong things. First projects should be aligned with what the business needs and wants to accomplish. Assuming projects meet this criteria how can you have the situation you stated:
    “Forcing folks to take care of what they were hired for and six sigma projects. Each has to do not only their own job, complete a sigma project and do 2 additional misc tasks six sigma related before taking a mandatory exam.”
    If we take that comment and then your other comment:
    “I believe these tools were rolled out with someone’s personal goal in mind. This is why the pressure is on to complete x projects in a period of time. Engineer’s portfolio is really project related so these sigma tasks are just another way of executing projects, but for supervisors and managers, this impinges deeply on what we were actually hired for.”
    Only engineers were hired to improve things? Very enlightened.
    This sounds a lot more like a territorial issue on your part. Let the other people do Lean and leave the real engineering to us engineers. I suppose everyone else isn’t smart enough to improve things?
    Life is actually pretty simple. The people running the company do exactly that. It isn’t a democracy and it probably isn’t even a benign dictatorship. If you don’t like the way the company works find another company to work for because basically you are out of alignment with the company. You take their money then you work their programs.
    Personally I would think you would be better off supporting all these people who are trying to improve things rather than spending your time peeing on trees.
    Just my opinion.
    Yes Stevo it is a long answer but I haven’t posted in several of days so the average amount I posted per day is pretty small.

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    #189423

    Darth
    Participant

    Stevo, he said “peeing on trees..” Is he allowed to say that on the Forum? Good thing J9 is gone.

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    #189426

    Stevo
    Member

    Darth – I only police the length, not the content.  (sounds a little homo-erotic) not that there is anything wrong with that.
    Stevo
    Ps.  I stopped reading the post way before any mention of peeing.
    Pss.  Please no letters.

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    #189437

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    I can say that. It is only if we change one word that it becomes an issue and we won’t even go into how ludicius it is that changing a couple sounds/letters while the meaning stays the same is a very idiotic morality issue.
    J9 would have never had an issue with this.

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    #189438

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Steveo,
    This isn’t Miami where you get to sit on a couch snooze while Darth rambles endlessly.
    A little Ritalin might get you through those posts that are more than 2 paragraphs long. The peeing part was good stuff.

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