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Essential Tips For Deploying Six Sigma In Mobile Workforces

Apr 13, 2008
Many service sector companies have no doubt successfully deployed Six Sigma and are currently deriving its benefits, but you just cannot declare Six Sigma as the best based on this because what is also true is that the statistics are the same for service sector companies that have failed to derive any real benefits from Six Sigma deployments.

Why Failure Rates Are Higher In Mobile Workforces

Statistical data also suggests that the largest incidence of Six Sigma setbacks has been noticed in niche domains such as sales and marketing that mostly comprise of mobile workforces. So, what is the main reason for this mismatch? Well, it is obviously because the concept of deploying Six Sigma in mobile workforces is a relatively new one.

Since all new concepts go through a trial and error phase until they are perfected, it does not come as a surprise that many service sector companies have failed to derive the benefits of Six Sigma deployments. In effect, it means that the failures are mainly due to the inability to make the right use of Six Sigma tools and techniques rather than the concept of Six Sigma as is generally believed.

The truth in fact is that Six Sigma can be made to work for mobile workforces in quite the same way as it might work for manufacturing business units. Explained below are some essential tips that will help in achieving the above stated objective (i.e. deploying Six Sigma in mobile workforces).

Highlight the Benefits to Mobile Workforces

Mobile workforces, such as sales personnel, usually have an autonomous work style and are not forced to follow standardized procedures and policies. This is usually because in their business what really counts is the end result and not the method that might have been utilized for achieving the desired results. This is exactly the reason why mobile workforces generally do not take too well to standardized procedures as they may be asked to follow during Six Sigma deployments.

Now, this might look like an insurmountable problem, but it is certainly not so and can be overcome just by highlighting the prominent benefits to the targeted mobile workforces. However, it's recommended that team leaders exercise patience obviously because it will take time to change old habits and move over to a new setup.

Offer Special Incentives

To speed up the changeover process, businesses can launch special incentive schemes, targeting mobile workforces who might be willing to shift to the new setup. The incentives may also be offered in the form of a compensation package, targeting mobile workforces who after shifting to the new setup might be finding it difficult to achieve the same results as earlier. Team leaders are advised to keep a close eye on the activities of their mobile workforces because even though quite effective, incentive schemes also hold a great potential for misuse.

Apart from these, businesses should also conduct regular meetings and seminars to discuss the relevancy of the suggested changes and also to ensure that mobile workforces do not lose their interest midway. Deploying Six Sigma in mobile workforces and deriving the associated benefits will then be as easy as cruising along an open highway.
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 suchas, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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