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Setting Up Six Sigma In Mobile Workforces

Mar 10, 2008
Setting up Six Sigma in places of high dispersion or workforce mobility like field services or sales has been established to be very demanding. However, relating the same principle to mobile workforces would be highly paradoxical as the mobile workforces usually spend their time doing business with the customers in person.

Six Sigma's key forte is its ability to concentrate on providing customers with what they really expect. Amongst all the organizations that have tried to imbibe it's principles in their field service or sales, many have instantly opted for information technology solutions like sales automation systems. Although expertise in technology has been a major role, the technological solutions are destined to fail. This failure is evident because of the inability to deal with factors like illogical perceptions, cultural norms, inadequate data, and logical that counteract 6 Sigma in mobile workforces.

For a successful deployment in workforces, organizations ought to know more about the basic business needs and the factors that are counteracting it. Following are some insights and tips for making the task easier:

Recognize Critical Ys

Many practitioners are aware of the fact that people would probably use 6 Sigma tools, if they are told about the benefit their business and personal goals would gain. Always ensure that the critical Ys are linked to your projects. This means working towards business objectives using profitability, price erosion, cash, cost, productivity, etc. - and then setting up projects.

Concentrate on Supporting the Field workforce

It is evident that the field services or sales workforce might reject it field initially. Field agents are interested in only in spending less time in working and making more money. They have a limited amount of time for improving their activities. Considering this, ensure that the methodologies and tools implemented complement the project capacity and people.

Additionally, adopting a practical, realistic approach towards implementation is usually advocated.

Control Technology for Automating Process Logistics and Data Gathering

Apparently, 6 Sigma projects with mobile workforces need some type of technology support. However, many mobile business jobs undertaken by the field staff are not compatible to PC or laptop-based software applications. The reason why many companies are using personal digital assistants (PDAs) as they have mobile task automation (MTA) software applications. These are specifically designed for simplifying and accelerating daily business.

MTA simplifies manually track tasks like sales offers, repair or warranty terms, etc., and make the job of the field staff easy and considerably easy and faster. Therefore, the ease and speed of data reduces the time taken for performing tasks and specific outcomes a 6 Sigma team tracks.

Focus on Change Management

Change management includes everything from training all personnel in new methods to open discussions at staff meetings regularly. This also denotes effective advertising of the benefits obtained by Six Sigma approaches. In addition, change management encompasses change in organization structures for making it easier and better for people to act in accordance with the change than to lag behind because of orthodox business functionalities. For instance, reward field staff based on customer satisfaction and not just on the quantity of work done.

Making effective use of technology simplifies data collection, work, and communication makes Six Sigma a powerful partner for mobile workforce management. A mobile workforce manager can prove to be successful only if he or she emphasizes on generating relevance of Six Sigma to the targeted workforce and focusing on aiding staff work before waiting for them to do away with their customer responsibilities for achieving Six Sigma tasks.
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 six sigma professionals such as, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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