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Six Sigma Weekend Training

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  • #32475

    Tami Jay Alison
    Member

    Hey You’All,This little tier-one supplier of plastic injection molded parts to automotive that I work is starting up a Six Sigma undertaking.  Management recently decided to conduct all Six Sigma training and related “busy work” on the weekends.  I was challenged when I replied that the decision sends a variety of mostly negative messages to the employees.  For instance,  that there’s no time to do Six Sigma stuff during their regular 40-hour work week and that Six Sigma is something dealt with “after hours” or on the weekend.  I mentioned that it may negatively impact our Six Sigma undertaking.The challenge came in the form of a manager asking me to provide one company’s name that failed because they did their Six Sigma stuff on the weekend.  I couldn’t think of a specific company.So, does anyone know the name of any companies where Six Sigma deployment failed?   Did it fail due to management pushing Six Sigma activities off onto the weekends?Thanks,Tami Jay Alison

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    #86777

    Chatikobo
    Participant

    Hi Tami:You are not likely to get an answer because any company that tried this likely failed at it miserably.Successful implemeters are managers who see it as a valuable resource to meet business objectives and well worth the investment in people and time. Weekend only six sigma implies no committment – and doomedLance  

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    #86786

    clb1
    Participant

    Tami,  I would suggest that the proper response to that managers query would be – “Since you seem to think that pushing Six Sigma activities to the weekend is commonplace, how about YOU giving me a list of the 100 or so organizations you seem to believe have succeeded using this approach.”  More to the point, show me any organization that has taken anything that they have deemed important and succeeded in making it happen by restricting activities to the weekend. 

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    #86792

    Dacid
    Participant

    I have never heardof a company doing this on weekends – your management is clueless

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    #86794

    B.S.Saini
    Participant

       Tami,
            I heared first time that you are running weekened trainig for six sigma . I think that your management is not serious about this initative . this is not a right direction for initative .
    thanks .
    B.S.Saini     

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    #86800

    Richard
    Member

    Hi,
    As you can see, this kind of policy sparks a somewhat angry response.  Even among those not directly involved.
    A good argument against is the difficulty which the company has retaining employess with good training.  An employee who feels that his/her company does not support his training is more likely to leave!!
    Our company normally runs three day training programs for other topics from thursday through saturday to ensure that only the interested people visit the course (and to save costs).  They chose not to implement this with the six sigma.
    Every awareness course or text book highlights mangement commitment at the start.  Perhaps you should send your boss on one over the weekend.

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    #86807

    Tami Jay Alison
    Member

    Good Morning!
    Thank you for the many responses. I haven’t yet received answers to my earlier questions: “Does anyone know the name of companies where Six Sigma deployment failed? Did it fail due to management pushing Six Sigma activities off onto the weekends?” I do appreciate the responses received and here are my follow along responds…
    Hi Lance… It may be unlikely to get an answer for the reason you mentioned. That is, who wants to talk about their failure (especially a “miserable” failure)? I agree it seems “right” that successful managers are those who treat Six Sigma as a valuable resource to meet business objectives. If those same managers look at the Six Sigma undertaking as one worthy of investing people and time into, all the better.
    You stated, “Weekend only Six Sigma implies no commitment – and doomed.” Actually, it is a commitment of sorts since paying people overtime is a more expensive undertaking than doing the same thing during the week at straight time. So, does it make sense to acknowledge the commitment, but recognize it as somewhat misguided? I hope to steer management back towards blending Six Sigma activities into the regular workweek. Any thoughts on how to best accomplish that change in mindset?
    Hi clb1. Hey, we need to talk about getting you a more personable name for this correspondence! Anyway, I enjoyed your insightful reply, although it might be a bit more confrontational then this little gal would try. Turning the question around and asking management for examples of companies who’ve been successful running Six Sigma activities on the weekend would certainly set them back on their heels!
    I would like to respond to your concluding comment. You stated, “Show me any organization that has taken anything that they have deemed important and succeeded in making it happen by restricting activities to the weekend.” I don’t know about other organizations, but this company runs successful press predictive maintenance activities almost entirely on the weekend. They also conduct a paint line 5S program where most of the “shine” effort is done over the weekend. This last Saturday, we brought in a hoist-training expert and he trained all our mold setters in the proper operation of the hoist. That’s knowledge that our employees will now use in their daily activities.
    I hope I didn’t send the message that management is “banning” Six Sigma to the weekend in a negative way. They aren’t negative at all. They’re just trying to do their job the best they know. Its up to us to help steer them a little bit this way or that way if and when they get a bit sideways, which is the case here. So, understanding that, what are the real dangers of a weekend Six Sigma concentration, and how can I best get that message across?
    Hi Dacid, thanks for the reply. You stated, “I have never heard of a company doing this on weekends – your management is clueless.” Well thank you for answering my original question! I don’t know of any either, so maybe the two of us will get an answer from some of the other responding good folks. You’re right that management is clueless, but you know, they just don’t see it from our perspective. Any thoughts on how to best get them around to our point of view?
    Dear B.S. Saini, thank you for your reply. I take it this is the fist time you’ve heard of weekend Six Sigma training and application? My initial thinking on the subject is that it violates conventional thought and the mainstream trend. Typically, I always have to be on my guard at such times that I’m not in opposition “just because” its different. It’s at such moments that I tend to learn the most about new ways of getting things done. On the other hand, I also must think deeply about what’s going on and be prepared to put my foot down when things are going full speed down a blind alley!
    I don’t want to send you the wrong message about my management team. They actually are serious about our budding Six Sigma initiative. These managers are folks just like you and me. They work hard, they try to make good decisions and they’re good, decent people. They’re also excited about getting the Six Sigma undertaking down the road a bit. So, I agree with you that doing all of this on the weekend is most likely not a right direction. But lacking anything else, they made the decision. Now I must convince them otherwise. Any really good paradigm shifting thoughts that I could use to move them back towards the workweek?
    Dear Richard, thank you! I enjoyed reading your comments. Yes, I did see that my initial writing did spark a little anger from folks. There is so much of that in the world today. Wouldn’t it be nice if a Six Sigma “spin off” benefit could be a little peace and harmony amongst all the good folks at work?
    What you mentioned as a good argument against a heavy weekend approach was quite thought provoking: Company retention of well-trained employees. I can see how a top-notch Six Sigma employee might leave due to frustration with a company that is relegating Six Sigma to weekends. Employees might see that as a lack of company support for their training. They might also see alternate employment (i.e. Doing Six Sigma during a normal workweek) as much more desirable. I mean, who doesn’t want their weekends off for personal / family activities?
    Why did your company not use the Thursday – Saturday training routine for Six Sigma? It sounds like your company also leans towards doing some training on Saturdays. Why did they not do this with Six Sigma training? How does this ensure employee interest? Is it just a matter of employees who are willing to come in on a Saturday are deemed more interested?
    As I mentioned earlier in this correspondence, I think there is management commitment, but it is perhaps a bit misguided right now. I feel it is my job to prepare a compelling case to explain, guide and redirect the management team.
    I have talked to my boss (Quality Director) and her peer (Plant Manager) about going to a Six Sigma seminar. They have read Chowdhury’s “The Power of Six Sigma” and I recently gave them Walter’s “The Six Sigma Journey: From Art to Science” book to read. Both are more than willing to fully participate in the weekend Six Sigma undertaking, which I find a bit strange. Why would they so willingly give up their weekends? That doesn’t make sense to me.
    Again, thanks to everyone for your great input.
    Regards,
    Tami Jay Alison

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    #86809

    Richard
    Member

    Hi!
    In answer to the first question, I don’t know of any examples that can help.  Companies don’t tend to make such failures noticable.
    Our company didn’t push six sigma over into the weekend because they wanted to show 100% management comittment.  Also because the training is compulsory (we are based in Germany and would have problems with the unions on that one).  Other training courses are all voluantry (even if necessary for current or perspective job).
    The weekend course ensures that people are interested because those who weren’t wouldn’t give up free time (comare with those who might take a course because it is an easy alternative to “real” work).  This is a company policy and not one that I agree with.  Another common model is that the company provide the time and each person must invest a small sum of money in the course.
    People who have reached the higher levels of mangment are often very comitted.  Possibly at the cost of family life.  They probably either fit into this bracket or fancy a weekend break!  They may not understand why others might not want to offer this level of comittment.
    I guess you’ve considered that your campaign against more than one dedicated manager could joepardise your future prospects ;-)

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    #86813

    Chatikobo
    Participant

    Hi again Tami:
    Let me elaborate on the committment thing. Yes it may be there (you probably know already one way or another), but what I wrote was that it “Implies” a lack of committment. Many folks on staff would see it this way. – a side activity that does not interfere with our “real job”
    The understanding needs to be there is that this is part of our “real job” and will help us do our “real job” better
    What is most desired is to integrate six sigma into the business, into the way continuous improvement is achieved, into the CULTURE of the company.
    You know if the boss is committed to it or not – If so, you should help him/her with how the message is going to be interpreted by the folks in your organization – Maybe there is a lack of understanding in how it works. So, take the boss to a six sigma conference or one day intro or workshop. Order the boss a good six sigma book. Get the boss on this site or into this forum.
    Good luck and keep posting – this is a good topic to discuss
     

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    #86816

    AJ
    Participant

    Hi Tami,
    We also conduct things like press training, confined entry procedures, etc. on the weekends. The main reason for this is that we can give the same message to everyone at the same time…the participants also benefit from the typical idea exponential growth that happens in this type of environment.
    Our black belt training occurs off-site in the (apparently) typical style of one week training, 3 weeks putting to good use, each month for 4 months, taking a single project through to completion.
    So…what is my point? If it is black belt training you are referring to, then in my humble opinion, you would be better served by spending an entire 5 days for each phase to keep the subject matter fresh while learning.
    On the other hand, if you are referring to project meetings/activities etc, there is no specific reason NOT to do them on a weekend, however, you just might introduce another variable into the process…not the least of which may be the participants state of mind, which will impact creativity.
    At the end of the day, I believe that most of any project needs to be done (as far as practicable) as close to the real world as possible…which means during “normal” working hours…’though some may argue that over the past decade this includes weekends…
    Just my 2 cents worth.

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    #86820

    mcleod
    Member

    Tami,
    I have not heard of a company failing at Six Sigma due to weekend training. Indeed, the weekend might be a good way to reduce the impact of training on lost productivity.
    I know of many companies where Six Sigma failed. But, all failures are do simply to not properly applying the process, or due to a lack of strategic intent.
    There is no way to apply Six Sigma successfully outside of the process. So unless your processes only occur on the weekend, then you WILL fail.
     

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    #86873

    melvin
    Participant

    Tami,
    In all honesty, my experience is very little in comparison to the other respondees. But on the face of it…if you are simply looking to provide training at the weekends, are you talking about yellow belt, green belt, informal roadshows, simply the promotion of the methodology to the workforce?
    I would say that weekends would provide ample time for any of the above except Green Belt. As in my experience, I went on a week long block course for GB training.
    Common sense I think would say that unless you have an extremely committed workforce, the bulk of the attendees are likely to be those who work on the weekend, therefor, you may only see an impact in activites undertaken during that period.
    Good Luck
    Bob

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    #86881

    Rob Carrillo
    Member

    I would be suprised if that manager could name some companies that HAVE successfully implemented Six Sigma training on weekends.
    The Six Sigma team members need to look at their workload and temporarily offload or delegate certain activities while on the project. We improved upon several internal procedures before launching the team. This gave QA more time to focus on the task at hand.
    Currently I am implementing a ISO9000:2000 Quality System  for one of our divisions AND participating in a Lean Mfg. Initiative without working weekends and we are on a 9/80 work week.
    If team members are allowed to plan their day and tasks along with offloading some work, there will be time in the 40 hour work week. Management needs to support the team in this manner. I know of no company where Six Sigma was launched and the team was not allowed to make it Priority #1 above everything else.
    Good Luck with the project…

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    #86884

    Mike Seile
    Participant

    Failed Six Sigma Deployments – We have had several locations whom are struggling and in a sense failing in their deployment for not having support of management.  This support starts by having an in-house resident black belt who reports directly to the Plant Manager.  A black belt works across departments, at suppliers, and with customers.  The autonomy to makes things happen (Change Agent) must be committed from the top down.  This doesn’t mean you are adding another Manager…you are adding a 100% dedicated resource to problem solving.  The locations were there isn’t a Black Belt just a Green Belt and no allegance to the Plant Manager are falling behind in successful certifications and project completions.  During training progression should be reported out to the exec. staff monthly. 
    Weekend Training – In my opinion a strong training class during the work week or on the weekned will require work at night and weekends.  It takes a commitment from the person attending the training and the company to realize that for 3-5 months everyone is going to be busy…and rewards should be established up front for the commitment.  (Company = Cost savings; Person = Professional Development and $)  GB and BB training should also be accumpanied with a laptop for portability of working at work, shop floor, home, vacation etc.
    Management Committment: To enhance the commitment our executive staff is going through the same GB training as the engineers.  Talk about buy in and understanding of the true commitment of training and application of tools.
    I support weekend training if you get the chance to sit next to a manager who is doing it with you.
     

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    #86891

    Hans
    Participant

    First Data Corp is a good example of a company that failed to deploy six sigma properly, reason:P
    1) No senior corporate buy in other than lip service
    2) Appointing executive that view six sigma a way to climb the ladder
    3) Appointing internal people as Master Black Belts simply because they were in a leadership role prior to attempting six sigma.
    4) Lack of technical undewrstanding of the six sigma tools and then watering them down so that they no longer resemble the statistical basis for which they were intended.
    5) Enough said.
     
    Hans

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    #86893

    DHogue
    Participant

    I’d suggest that you start to look for a position in another company.
    Your management’s reply is a measure of their commitment to the six sigma methodology specifically and to quality in general.

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    #86896

    Trev
    Member

    DHogue,
    You didn’t read her other post. I think her company’s executive team is fine. There’s nothing to say they can’t do it “differently” than other companies. The only prerequisites are a strong committment from the top down and the resources to get it done.
    Trev

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    #86897

    Matt M
    Participant

    “The challenge came in the form of a manager asking me to provide one company’s name that failed because they did their Six Sigma stuff on the weekend.”
    If your management has this type of committment you most likely will not have a good deployement.  Even when companies spend a lot of money and time during the work week, there are failed deployements.
    Six Sigma cannot be driven from the ground up, it has to be a top down decision.  They need to believe it and support it.
    Has your management been through Champion training?  I’d be surprised if any consultant wouldn’t bring up the same issues.
    Ask them if they only have time to do ISO, PPAP, Lean or any other improvement system on the weekends?

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    #86902

    Ronald
    Participant

    Lets not confuse training with implementation. I for example offer Six Sigma training at the Green Belt level on the weekends here in Atlanta (also evenings). The students are generally people who are paying for it on their own, or their business demands are too great to allow them to take 2 weeks off, thus the weekend program offers them the opportunity to receive valuable training while still meeting their busy schedule. As a very experienced MBB in industry I can tell you that most six sigma programs fail (and I have seen a few) due to a lack of managment support for the effort. This business may be doing what it feels necessary, given its workload, to accomplish the business demands of its customers and take a shot at implementing Six Sigma. I’d be interested to see how it all plays out. I can tell you many a Six Sigma failure that doesn’t involve the day of the week.

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    #86930

    Jonathon
    Participant

    I don’t think diverting training to weekends is a guarantee of failure. However, it should raise new questions, the answers to which are pretty conclusive:

    How much weekday time is being devoted to Six Sigma?
    What portion of top executives’ time is devoted to Six Sigma?
    Are there indications that top management is making personal changes in management approach, use of problem-solving methods, data gathering & analysis?
     
    If these things are moving along, weekend training might work. If you don’t see the right things happening in these regards, my advice to you is FLEE!

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    #87379

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Tami,
    I’d suggest supplying an email address where people can respond privately as to companies that have failed SS implementations.  I don’t think weekend training is very common.  I would doubt you will get an example where weekend training is the reason for failure.  The world isn’t that simple.  Our thinking shouldn’t be that simple either.
    As for commitment and time: Six Sigma is focused improvement on the problems most holding the company back from dramatically increased profits, quality and customer satisfaction.  By definition, the projects and their results are more valuable to the company than any individual’s time.  This isn’t a chicken donating an egg.  Asking people to do this part-time or in addition to their job is asking them to share the egg or stretch it.  It is extremely difficult to significantly improve the machine while you are already consumed operating the machine.  Part-time dramatic improvement does not work in most organizations.  There are lots of examples of that.
    If this is truly important to the company (and the managers personally) the investment has to be made to reap the benefit.  Otherwise, it is expecting miraculous results without investment.

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    #87441

    Cesar
    Participant

    I do not like the idea of having training during the weekends, since who wants to lose their weekends anyway, but you may want to consider these facts based on my experience:
    During weekdays, and let’s face it, students are often distracted by going in and out the classroom attending “important” everyday activities or emergencies. That would not happen in weekends. Besides, I do not think losing one weekend every certain number of weeks(depending on the training schedule) is too hard to accept. You can keep the students interested by providing lunch, treats, or by making the sessions enjoyful.
    Last, I do not think there is a statistically significant difference between the number of companies failing to implement SS because they did training over the weekend and the number of companies failing since they decided to provide it during normal weekdays. That x is then discarded.

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