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Six Sigma after 2 years

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  • #33037

    Jeff
    Participant

    I am implementing Six Sigma in an office site location of about 250 people that report in 5 different divisions into our home office.  I only have authority of about 1/2 of the total 250 people.  I have 2 blackbelts that after 2 years have delivered very little results but have laid the foundation for improvment very well.  Most division leaders state they have very little time for Six Sigma or are spread too thin to participate on teams.  Does anyone have any good revamping ideas?   I believe this is a key milestone that if not handled properly and by some reenergizing effort the entire effort could fall apart. 

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    #88827

    Bob M.
    Participant

    We’re kind of in the same boat here. I admit that my two year tenure was divided equally between running projects and establishing the first wave of Six Sigma infrastructure. Thus, I feel your pain. It does take time, results, and some persuasion to change the culture but it can be done. Your best bet is to work from the top down based on key business metrics and run projects that have the most impact on those metrics. You need to reach a consensus on these projects and have buy-in from leaders, champions and process owners, along with good data and you should succeed. Without these elements, it is a likely struggle and possible failure. And furthermore, if those division leaders feel the project is important enough – they will spend some time on it. The hard part sometimes is convincing them that the time and effort will all be worth it in the end by means of reducing defects, cycle time, and COPQ dollars.
     

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    #88838

    V.Sivakumar
    Member

    Would agree with Bob. It is a cultural shift we are looking at andtakes time to take roots. First thing is appreciation of the conceptby relavent stake holders(division leaders). Extensive efforts may be needed to get the concepts, tools & techniques to reach them.Alternatively, perhaps bring in measures/metrics benefiting business, performance goals/contributions of the divisional leaders towardsthose SS goals adopting SS methodology could also be of help.
    But basically, if the buy in happens in the form of improvements intheir key responsibility area demonstrated through SS, it could certainlytake firm roots.
    Siva.

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    #88851

    Sam Orez
    Member

    I wonder how many messages have been posted to this forum that say something to the effect of “They (whoever they are) won’t let me do Six Sigma.” Why don’t you take responsibility for the results of your efforts? If, as the others have suggested, it is simply a matter of time, then suck it up and keep showing results, if you are showing results. If you aren’t showing results, then you have your answer. If you continue to cast yourself in the role of victim, that is how your peers, subordinates and superiors will see you. You came here for advice? Here’s mine: Study marketing and learn how to sell six sigma more effectively.
    Sam Orez

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    #88852

    harrycanary
    Participant

    Focus on what’s important to the key people in the business, and to your manager (i.e., scrap $, on-hold/quarantine $ or turnaround/evaluation time, process capability, yield, etc.).  Almost anybody can develop a nice set of metrics and keep score, the real work is sorting it out and using it to drive improvement.  Remember, though – don’t turn over the rocks until you’re prepared to deal with the critters.  Having lots of metrics and no action is sometimes worse than no metrics (when all is said and done, usually more is said than done).  Assuming you have good measurment systems and data, then using a simple Pareto chart, in combination with trend charts (and eventually, control charts and COPQ program), can help prioritize resources and better focus efforts.  Don’t wait to be told – take the initiative and provide some leadership.  I think of it as trying to pay back my paycheck, since I have yet to find a job where I get paid just for showing up and wearing shoes (just kidding).  Regardless of what process improvement toolset you use, the hardest part always seems to be the people part; that’s why I enjoy it so much, since people aren’t totally predictable (that’s also why I don’t have any hair left in the front of my head!).  Sometimes, it’s more art than science; if it were all science, they wouldn’t have to hire smart people like you.  So get out of your chair, find a problem, and fix it!

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    #88854

    Mikel
    Member

    Surprize, the effort has fallen apart.
    Go find something worthwhile to do.

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    #88857

    Mikel
    Member

    Jeff, just think, things could be worse – you could work for Stan!

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    #88858

    Jeff
    Participant

    Thanks for all the responses.  It really seems like I need to make it happen. Of course Upper Mgmt support would help. 
    Stan,  not sure I get your feedback.  I’m sure your night time security gaurd position is very important.
    I do want to mention my business is not in manufacturing but in back office financial processing so if knowing that sparks further comments I would love to hear them.
     

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    #88871

    Mikel
    Member

    or worse yet you could work for someone pretending to be me.
    Two and half years with little results and no support and you think a lightning bolt is going to hit and they will make it important. They will not, get on with your life.

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    #88885

    Dean Bottorff
    Participant

    Jeff,
    I facilitated hundreds of improvement projects using quantitative tools before it was called six sigma, and headed 3 separate TQM initiatives (it took 3 to get it right). I can offer this advice. First, becoming a change agent is tough work for even the good ones and some are not cut out for it at all. Second, you and the involved parties have to WANT to improve.  There has to be something in it for them. Anytime I over played upper management power chip, pushed too hard for bottom line gains, and ingored the people’s needs, I failed. Improvement must begin with the rewards and satisfaction of the participants, not just bottom line, or the program not only is unsustainable, but it may never get off the ground at all. If you truly want the headaches of change management, go read some back issues of Quality Progress from the early nineties and you will see case after case of the very problems you are having.  Good luck. 
     

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    #88886

    Rick Tucci
    Member

    Jeff:
    You might find a whitepaper we recently published of interest. I’d be happy to forward a copy to you. Siimply email a request to [email protected].
    Rick

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    #88890

    Andy Brody
    Participant

    On a smaller scale, I’m in your same position only with QS 9000.  I get very little cooperation except for a few people and I can’t lean on them for everything.  The problem is management.  The company owner/manager almost to be President Hates QS 9000 because of the time and resources required and the fact that there has been no financial payback in five years.  She’s ready to dump it and we stand to lose one almost inconsequential customer and maybe not.
    Our Management Review consists of my writing out a brief history of all the appropiate items and suggesting action plans in each area.  Then I have each manager read it and sign it.  She won’t pull her managers away from their duties as it consumes too much valuable time.
    I don’t think QS is going  be around much longer here.  What I have done and suggest you may try to cover your rear is find one large or several little niches in the company where you make yourself valuable in case the boom falls on 6 sigma, you won’t be without a job because it sounds to me like your going to be doing most of the work.
    I wish you luck, and apologize for being pessimistic, but thats where I am right now.  I am finding niches where I can be of value to my company, fill them and take life one day at a time.
    Good Luck,
    Donald Duck (nom de plume – for protection of the guilty)

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    #88893

    Ohmygosh
    Participant

    I have to wonder who in your company was the driver of Six Sigma in the first place?.  What were the reasons?  It is so easy to lose focus at times and yes, quality initiatives, if done correctly do take time and resources!  So, who wanted to do this?  Who layed out the plan?  Who determined who the resources would be and what kind of training have they received?  To try and deploy this initiative in a team of ONE will always fail.  If done correctly, projects should run for 3-4 months and monetary benefits almost always yield high dollar savings, not to mention the learning opportunities for the team members using the DMAIC methodology.  I think you need to go back to the management that wanted this in the first place and try to understand what has happened or didn’t happen to change the focus of this initiative.  We have been deploying Six Sigma since August of 2001, have acheived great results and now every project is approached as a Lean/Six Sigma initiative.  Some times managment has a hard time identifying projects.  Value stream mapping is a great tool in these cases and sorts out the quick fixes from real projects where the answer isn’t so visible.  Hang in there and constantly review what your objectives were when this iniative originated in your company.
    Best of Luck!
    Six Sigma Black Belt Certified.

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    #88895

    Fred Patton, CQM, Black Belt
    Participant

    You need to get executive management more involved!  They need to take the lead to weave Six Sigma into every fabric of the organization.  One of the most important and successful techniques at that level that I have seen is for the CEO to insist that all meetings at all levels including his own have quality or Six Sigma as the very first item on the agenda for the meeting.  David Kearns at Xerox initiated this approach when they were working toward the very first Malcolm Baldrige Nationally Quality Award.  Robert Galvin who established Six Sigma at Morotola, according to Mickel Harry, would walk out of a meeting at the very beginning if the first agenda item was not a Six Sigma update.  That kind of behavior sends a very strong message.  You need to demand what I like to call a “Continuous Hawthorne Effect” from your CEO, great attention all the time to Six Sigma as the way they run your business.  Hope these thoughts are constructive.

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    #88907

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Jeff,
    I agree 100% that Six Sigma and Lean are business strategies that must be driven by senior management, and the CEO should be leading the charge. I participated in a Lean implementation where I experienced similar complaints from middle managers who were not supportive due to the exact same reasons that you expressed. This particular organization had an entire Six Sigma/Lean division that consisted of at least 12 Six Sigma/Lean Master Black Belts. The resistance to change was tremendous in spite of the fact that the CEO was advocating and making demands for its implementation and support. After numerous complaints from those responsible for the implementation, the CEO initiated a policy that tied a middle managers performance reviews (and raises) to their support and participation in projects as well as the participation of those who worked for them.
    The end result was a substantial increase in the number projects undertaken and completed, more buy in, greater support and more participation. Soon after, productivity and cost improvement benifits began to materialize……..and that’s a true story. If senior management is serious about it, then they can get it done. If they’re not and you enjoy this type of work, then find an organization whose values are consistent with your own.
    Mark (Six Sigma/Lean BB)
     
     

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    #89048

    lin
    Participant

    You have to pitch it to the CEO. If he does not get it, well then….
    John Young and what he did at HP with his quality program (which I can not remember the name of. Something like 2x or 10x). The point to stress is management active participation. I heard stories how John would fly around the world and the only thing he wanted to talk about with his staff was where were they on the line that defined the targets of the company. Initially, John had launched the program but quickly realized that it was not having the impact he anticipated. Therefore, he made it such a priority for himself that it was all he wanted to discuss when he talked to his executives. And it succeeded and surpassed the original goals.
    So take Sam’s advice and learn some marketing skills so that you can be a successful participant of a successful six sigma program!
     
    Good Luck,
     
    Bill
    P.S. To others, no I am not delirous or taking drugs!

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    #89056

    Dojo Sweden
    Participant

    Jeff,
    Implementing 6S fresh into an organization is indeed a chalange. I would estimate the timespan of a comany your size to 2-5 years. By now I could get a masters degree in reasons why we should abandon 6S. Key is to have top managements full support and patience that the full affect will show later. Once you start having momentum of trained GB and YB (read converted to the new way of thinking) you will be well on your way. But rally it is up to you to keep management happy enough and train people to really see the pay off

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