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Ensuring Six Sigma Success Through Process Improvement Teams

Apr 13, 2008
Businesses, no doubt, have the option to make a call to existing management and ask them to shoulder the responsibility, but since in most businesses managers are already too busy with their day-to-day routines, it's highly unlikely that they will be able to do proper justice to Six Sigma implementations.

This is the main reason why Six Sigma experts stress creating process improvement teams instead on relying on the existing management to carry out Six Sigma implementations.

What Are Process Improvement Teams?

Process improvements teams basically refer to the group of highly talented, experienced and skilled employees who are selected or say hired specifically for carrying out the Six Sigma project implementations. While selecting an improvement team, preference is given to employees who might be directly or indirectly related to the targeted business process. Improvement teams work under the overall guidance of process owners and their day-to-day activities are determined by a team leader, usually an experienced Six Sigma Black Belt.

The team on the whole is sponsored by departmental heads or senior management. The sponsorship however is only for making available the necessary funds and resources as and when they might be required by the improvement team. It has nothing to do with direct supervision or keeping a tab on the day-to-day activities of the process improvement team.

Why Process Improvement Teams Are More Effective

As compared to management, Six Sigma improvement teams certainly prove more effective when it comes to implementing Six Sigma projects. Management just cannot deliver the goods, because what is required is specialized knowledge and skills related to the targeted business process. Additionally, since management often does not get any direct benefits from the implementations, it leads to a lack of interest, which eventually starts affecting performance.

In comparison, improvement teams fare better, obviously because the team members are directly related to the targeted business process and stand to benefit the most if the implementations are carried out successfully. This is what motivates them to work hard and constantly endeavor to achieve the targeted implementation goals and objectives.

The effectiveness of improvements teams also lies in their small size, which makes it easier for team leaders to manage the day-to-day activities of the group. Communications also become easier, something that allows team members to have a clear perspective on every new idea or concept that might have been introduced during the implementation. The team also works more efficiently obviously because most of the members know each and other and share the same values and interests.

For best results, it is recommended that businesses take special care while selecting members of the improvement team. This is necessary because ultimately it all depends on the individual skills of the team members and also how well they are able to work as a team. Businesses that can get this right will have no problems whatsoever and will go on to make the most from their Six Sigma improvement initiatives.
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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