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How Managers Can Convince Their Peers to Opt For Six Sigma Implementations

Apr 17, 2008
Having read the benefits of time-tested quality improvement techniques such as Six Sigma, many managers often feel the need to implement the same in their respective domains. However, since permission from top management is required for such implementations and most managers often do not know how to present their case to top management in the right manner, they often fail to bring about the desired revolutionary changes, possible only through Six Sigma concepts and methodologies.

However, since this is easier said than done, it is recommended that managers follow the prescribed guidelines, described in the following paragraphs.

Identify and Evaluate the Target Audience

Managers should first try to identify the panel members who are most likely to preside over the deliberations. After this, they need to evaluate each individual member in order to get a feel of all the problems that they might have to face during the negotiations. Based on this, they can plan the right course of action.

For example, if a manager finds out that most of the panel members follow a conservative business approach and do not take too well to new business proposals, he will automatically know that the going will be tough and that he will have to put in extra effort to make the right impression on the panel members.

Sell the Idea in Dollar Terms

Six Sigma implementations no doubt help in reducing costs and improving quality, but since these benefits often do not sound all that tempting, managers should use a time-tested marketing concept that stresses communicating an idea in terms of its monetary benefits. So, what managers should really be doing is concentrate on communicating the monetary benefits that will eventually come in the form of increased sales when quality is improved and costs are reduced using Six Sigma.

Following this strategy will certainly help, because even the most conservative leaders will not find merit in rejecting an idea that holds great potential to earn top dollar. Managers will thus be able to get the desired green light for the initiation of Six Sigma implementation.

Market It as a Low-Risk Proposition

If managers were to state the real risks associated with Six Sigma implementations, they would hardly ever get the desired go-ahead. This is why, when presenting their case, managers should try to limit risk-related conversations. However, since hiding facts may prove disastrous, it managers should take the righteous path and communicate to their peers that Six Sigma implementations will be launched though a pilot project, having only limited risks. It should also be communicated that full-fledged implementations will start only if the pilot project proves successful. Most top management members will agree to this and give the green light.

If managers sincerely follow these strategies, they can easily get the approval of top management. By doing so, managers will also be able to get the support and guidance of their peers, a prerequisite for ensuring the success of Six Sigma implementations.
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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