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Ensuring Continuity of Six Sigma Implementation Projects

Mar 1, 2008
If continuity is not maintained during Six Sigma implementations, it will become quite difficult for the organization to derive the entire range of benefits normally associated with them.

Explained below are some of the processes and procedures that businesses can deploy to ensure the continuity of 6 Sigma implementation projects.

Charting Out Implementation Plans and Strategies

Continuity of implementation projects can be easily affected if proper plans and strategies are not formulated prior to the actual implementations. This is why businesses first need to concentrate on doing their homework (i.e. devise an appropriate roadmap for carrying out the implementations).

For this, businesses need to conduct brainstorming sessions to seek input and suggestions from all the potential stakeholders such as employees, team members, Green Belts, Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Project Sponsors, middle and top management and department heads. The brainstorming sessions should preferably be conducted under the guidance of a senior management member having prior experience in Six Sigma implementations.

This person should ideally be able to set the right tone and give the right direction to the discussions in order to achieve the desired results and avoid getting stuck with input and suggestions that sound like mere wish lists.

Making Available the Required Resources

Another factor that can easily affect the continuity of Six Sigma implementation projects is the unavailability of essential resources required during the implementations. Here, resources refer to both human resources as well as material resources. Depending on the type of project, human resources may be composed of 6 Sigma professionals such as Black Belts, Green Belts, and Master Black Belts whereas material resources may comprise of new tools and equipment, Information Technology (IT) systems, and the required infrastructure.

When these resources are made available at the right time, at the right place, and in the right quantity, it becomes much easier for the implementation team to ensure the continuity of the Six Sigma implementation projects. To get the desired results, businesses need to create a separate logistics team, responsible for making available the necessary material resources to the implementation team as and when needed. In case of human resources, the HR department can be called in to play their part.

Maintaining continuity is necessary because then it becomes much easier for the implementation team to complete the implementations within the stipulated time and costs. If continuity is not maintained, chances are high that the project might get derailed, leading to increased implementation costs, something that would defy the very basic tenets of Six Sigma implementation projects. These implementations are meant for improving quality and reducing costs and not for achieving the opposite. Businesses that want to realize the full potential of Six Sigma should thus undertake all the initiatives that are required for ensuring the continuity of the implementations.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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