Six Sigma application in HR

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Six Sigma application in HR

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • #27544


    I’ll be attending the transactional Six Sigma Green Belt training next week. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could share their experience on the following:
    1.  websites/URL link that contains some application examples of Human Resource projects that make use of Six Sigma methodology.
    2. Case studies of HR related projects (e.g staffing, training and development, comp and ben, etc) which make use of 6 sigma method.



    HR related Six Sigma projects aren’t the most common, but I’ve seen some.
    Our company had a problem with managers abusing the merit increase system.  They were using it in situations where it wasn’t appropriate, such as using it instead of an equity adjustment, or a promotional increase.  A Six Sigma project got most of that under control.
    There was also one on reducing the cycle time to fill vacant professional positions.  A lot of the delay came from internal paperwork cycle times, which can be reduced.
    In a different role, I did one for one of our manufacturing managers to find the variables that correlate with high turnover among temporary employees.  We used the information to select temporary help that was more likely to stay with us for a while.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Denton Bramwell, Sr. Master Black Belt
    [email protected]


    Marc Richardson

    This was application of statistical problem solving way before six sigma was ever a glint in Mikel Harry’s eye.
    There was a medium sized plastic injection molding company in Indiana. They were having terrible turnover and absenteeism problems among a work force that consisted mostly of females. True to form, the managers of this company attributed the problems to laziness, irresponsibility or whatever on the part of the workers. Then they decided to gather some data. They interviewed the workers and determined the causes of tardies, absents and turnover. They started charting attendance and turnover and made weekly pareto diagrams. It turned out that the most common reason for lost time at work was that the workers’ childcare was not dependable. You see, if you have small children, things have to go right in the lives of three people: you, your child and your childcare giver.
    The company opened a day care center on the premises. Tardies, absenteeism and turnover dropped dramatically overnight. It was so successful that they eventually shut the daycare center down because all the kids grew up.
    Food for thought,
    Marc Richardson,
    Sr. Q.A. Engineer


    Ram Josyula

    There are plenty of successful six sigma applications in HR.  Not only in the area of absenteesm but also in the whole strategic and tactical areas of HR and its relationship to the firm.  The key to approach the HR issues with six sigma insight is to realize that we are talking about HR processes and like any process HR processes can be designed, improved and controlled using the standard six sigma tools and philosophies…but there are some critical considerations to watch out – such as what value the HR process is adding, to whom, how, how do you measure it etc.  These kinds of questions are some time new to HR community but with little explanation they will get it and eventually support the cultural change


    Rich McDonell

    I guess it boils down to the empirical formula – y=f(x)
    Having workied in the past with our HR team on absenteeism its great to know that the principles of DMAIC hold true no matter what the process.
    I think we all know that there are many inputs (x’s) that go towards the function of good attendance.
    Most importantly it takes a good team, who understand all the issues during the brainstorming phase. You will need Greenbelt support from union, HR people & the manufacturing team – It will certainly ensure lively debate when root causes are discussed.


    Tab Tsukuda

    Assigned to work on our HR processes, I am currently working on an Employee Retention Process Improvement Project (PIP) – we’re only in the Define phase.  Focusing on employee terminations as the defined defect, our Pareto analysis focused the team’s attention on the career development process.  Originally, the attention (based on tribal knowledge) had been on compensation / benefits and promotional opportunities.  We’re now looking at how we will define our customer (employee) requirements for the career development process as it is becoming clear that this particular process is not meeting employee expectations and is the major source of dissatisfaction.  We are also completing work on the COPQ – it is more significant than originally thought which will hopefully garner more management support and attention for our efforts downstream.
    Hope this helps – Tab



    Hi Chris–feel free to send me an email–I am currently working on a retention project in our HR dept (I am the HR manager for our corp office)
    [email protected]



    I have the same question about HR and implementing Six Sigma…if you come up with anything interesting, please let me know.


    Peter Richards

    Hi Tab,
    I am following the iSixsigma ‘Chat Forum’ on Six Sigma applications in HR and was keen to follow-up on your experiences. I have recently finished Black Belt training with my first (and current) project focusing on the low level of training and coaching of new employees within our Retail Branches including the potential linkage to high employee turnover in this employment group (ie employees with less than 12 months service).
    Would appreciate sharing of information as I am currently looking to scope out potential new projects.
    My e-mail address is ‘[email protected]



    I’m a management student doing project on reducing cycle time to fill professional vacancies,could you give me idea of how six sigma can be utilized for the same?
    Keenly waiting for reply



    have just mentored and closed a green belt project on reducing the TAT for hiring
    get in touch at [email protected]



    When we talk of cycle time for recruitment of professional, you need to first identify why to select this as a project. Is it because there is lot of variation in the cycle time for different levels of professionals that are hired or is it because the overall cycle time is much more than the industry benchmark ?
    Once you are able to quantify the problem then you can use the DMAIC methodology to identify the factors contributing to the problem and then do analysis and improve the same. Emphasis will be more on taking systemic actions rather then doing post-mortem.



    As you know it has to follow DMAIC process as detailed below :
    Define : Find out the existing average cycle time and min & max achived in the past.Fix the target required.decide on team and time.
    Measure :
    Draw the process sequence of this placement process.
    Try to draw trend chart and histogram for cycle time taken
    List down the possible causes by a brainstroming
    Analyse :
    Do the value stream mapping /value analysis for the existing process sequence
    Prioritise the causes by pareto.
    Idnetify the chance and assignable causes.
    Improve :
    Identify the few solutions.
    Modify the process sequence if required ie eliminate Non value added activities.
    Establish proper understanding of requirements
    Try out the possible solutions on trial basis to prove.
    Finalse the solution.
    Change to be made in the process sequence,documentaion etc,



    Donot use this site for doing spoon-feeding job ? Just explain the concept and let the black belt  apply his/her mind to move ahead. Hope there is no argument on this !



    This is only for the new comers those who are entering this site and six sigma profession.Most of this type of questions from students or trainee.
    I don’t find any thing wrong to guide such a people.



    I suggest you open a site ”” for fulfilling your objective of guiding the new-comers in detail. Please take it sportingly. It is just  a suggestion.


    Mike Carnell

    It would be nice if you chose to spoon feed someone you could at least get a little closer to the methodology.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

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