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Optimizing Activities of Regional Six Sigma Implementation Teams

Mar 17, 2008
This is being done mainly to minimize the negativities as well to optimize the possibilities brought about by globalization. Such initiatives no doubt offer huge benefits, but they have also created new challenges for businesses, especially for those that are in the process of improving quality and productivity through the use of improvement techniques such as Six Sigma. New challenges have been created because the success of Six Sigma projects depends a lot on the level of coordination between implementation teams, something that is quite difficult to achieve when geographical boundaries and limitations are to be considered.

However, this should not dissuade businesses from achieving their global ambitions because the only thing required is the right focus and the ability to select the right options. Explained below are some tips and strategies that businesses can use for optimizing the performance of their geographically scattered Six Sigma implementation teams.

Relying on Technology

Technology has always been the best friend of businesses having worldwide operations, obviously because technology does not recognize geographical boundaries and offers the same benefits, irrespective of the color or creed of the individual using it. As such, geographically scattered Six Sigma teams that need to coordinate their activities can make use of the latest communications technologies such as Internet telephony (VoIP), Internet Video Conferencing and other available technologies.

The best part is that they do not have to worry about overhead cost because most of these technologies are much cheaper than communications technologies that were available just a decade ago.

Increasing the Frequency of Team Interactions

With the easy availability of cost-effective technology, businesses should try to make the best possible use of the available resources. Since geographically scattered Six Sigma teams are most likely to have members belonging to different countries and regions, businesses need to make efforts to help break the ice and initiate the familiarization process. This can easily be done by increasing the frequency of interactions between the regional teams.

If possible, businesses should try to encourage informal discussions and debates because it is only then the geographically scattered team members will be able to open up to each other and most importantly trust each other. This will go a long way in instilling the spirit of camaraderie, something that is vital for getting the best performance from regional Six Sigma teams.

To achieve even better results, businesses need to provide top management support to regional teams. The support can come either in the form of regular guidance or the leeway to take independent decisions. Whichever way it is delivered, top management support always helps because team members then feel more confident and are not afraid to take calculated risks that are a part of every Six Sigma implementation project. All this helps a lot in ensuring the success of ongoing multi-point Six Sigma implementation projects.
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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