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Introduction To Six Sigma Implementation Teams

Mar 2, 2008
If a business fails to select the right team for Six Sigma implementations, chances are high that the organization will not be able to unlock the full potential of Six Sigma implementation projects.

Now, selecting the right team is not that easy because team selection depends a lot on the type of project selected for improvement. If there is a mismatch between the type of project and the type of implementation team, chances are high that the implementations will not go as smoothly as planned, even if the team is composed of talented and skilled professionals.

This is why businesses need to focus on the overall strengths of the implementation team rather than focusing on the talents and skills of individual team members. They need to select a team that has the ability to tackle the challenges posed by the implementation project rather than just picking out the most talented and skilled employees.

For better understanding, let's discuss some of the most common variations of Six Sigma implementation projects and what the right team composition should be in each case.

Kaizen Projects

Kaizen quality improvement initiatives are mainly associated with processes that can be improved upon just by using visual analytical tools and resources. Since most of the decisions in these projects are based on common sense and visual perception, it will be better if the organization selects employees who have similar skills and talents.

Lean Projects

Lean process improvement projects rely heavily on the use of statistical tools and techniques, which is why it is necessary to select team members who have in-depth knowledge of "Lean" concepts, methodologies, and the related statistical tools and techniques. If the right candidates were not selected for Lean projects, it would become quite difficult for the team to face up to the challenges that might surface during the implementation phase.

In such cases, the chances are high that the project will get delayed or in the worst-case scenario, exceed the budgeted implementation costs. For eliminating such risks, businesses should focus on providing the requisite "Lean" training to employees selected for the Lean implementation project.

Standalone Six Sigma Projects

Standalone Six Sigma projects that aim at achieving a near-perfect defect rate of 3.4 defects per million opportunities should preferably be implemented by Six Sigma Green Belts under the guidance of Black Belts, Master Black Belts and Project Sponsors. Existing employees can also be inducted as team members, but only after providing them with the necessary training, such as Green Belt.

There are many other variations, but the three explained above are the broad categories that can be used to classify different types of Six Sigma implementation projects. Classification is necessary because then it becomes a lot easier for the organization to select the most appropriate implementation team and consequently ensure the success of the selected project.
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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