Monday, January 16, 2017

Transitional roadblocks in Six Sigma deployment

Six Sigma is not a completely new way to manage an enterprise, but it is a very different way. In essence, Six Sigma forces change to occur in a systematic way.

Change Resistance

Despite the change imperative, most enterprises resist change until there are obvious signs that current systems are failing one or more stakeholder groups. Perhaps declining market share makes it clear that your products or services are not as competitive as they once were. Or may be your customers are still loyal, but customer complaints have reached epidemic proportions. Or your share price may be trending ominously downward. Traditional organizations watch  for such signs and react to them. Change occurs, as it must, but it does so in an atmosphere of crises and confusion. Substantial loss may result before the needed redesign is complete. People may loss their jobs even
their careers. Many organizations that employ these reactionary tactics don't survive the shock.

How to overcome change resistance?

Embracing Change

The Six Sigma enterprises  proactively embraces change by explicitly incorporating change into their management systems. 

Employ Change Agent

Full and part time change agent positions are created and a complete infrastructure is created. As contradictory as it sounds, the infrastructure is designed to make change part of the routine. 

Integrating New Techniques with Business Process

New techniques are used to monitor changing customer, shareholder, and employee inputs, and to integrate the new information by changing business processes. The approach employs sophisticated computer modeling, mathematics, and statistical  analysis to minimize unneeded tampering by separating signal from noise. These analytical techniques are applied to stakeholder inputs and to enterprise and process metrics at all levels.

Six Sigma Training

As a consequence of deploying Six Sigma, people require a great deal of training. Communication systems are among the first things that need to be changed so people know what to make of the new way of doing things. 

Consider only Meaningful data

When Six Sigma is deployed, the old reports are no longer used. Six Sigma requires that internal data be presented only if there is a  direct linkage to  a stakeholder. 

Walk the Talk

Six Sigma demands that you constantly look for ways to improve your systems. This often means that systems are eliminated entirely. In the face of this insecurity, employees watch like a hawk for sight of leadership in consistency. Trust is essential. Leaders who don't communicate a clear and consistent message and walk the talk will  be faced with stiff resistance to Six Sigma. 

The need for a well-designed approach to making the transition from a traditional organization to a  Six Sigma organization is clear.  If the approach is not right then the DMAIC and all the tools and techniques will be of little use.

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