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Using Performance Scorecards To Ensure Six Sigma Success

Apr 26, 2008
Innovative strategies may certainly aid the implementation process, but since the success of such implementations depends a lot more on the performance of organizational members, businesses need to concentrate more on this vital aspect.

What businesses can do is initiate a performance review program using scorecards that keep a tab on the actual performance of each and every organizational member associated with the Six Sigma implementations.

For better understanding, we'll discuss exactly how these scorecards help in augmenting the performance of different organizational members and consequently in ensuring the success of Six Sigma implementation projects.

Reviewing Performance of Implementation Team Members

By using performance scorecards, businesses can easily assess the individual contributions of team members towards the progress of the Six Sigma project implementation. Although only the most talented and skilled employees are selected to join the implementation team, assessing their performance is still necessary because being skilled in a routine job is a lot different from displaying the same level of expertise in a completely new setup.

Performance scorecards are preferred even by the team members because they allow them to uncover their strengths and weaknesses, based on which they can then select the right course of action. For example, if a team member's scorecard shows less marks in the "problem-solving" category, he can either opt to improve it or make a shift to other important implementation functions such as "communications", "financing", etc.

For best results, what businesses can do is link the performance review program with an incentives scheme. Such schemes will provide the right motivation, both to members who might already be giving their best performance and members who may still require unleashing their full potential.

Reviewing Performance of Six Sigma Professionals

Since the eventual success of Six Sigma implementation projects depends on the skills and talents of Six Sigma professionals such as Black Belts, businesses should not shy away from assessing their performance, even when these professionals might have been awarded full freedom to carry out the implementations exactly as they like.

However, efforts should be made to avoid any direct confrontations - obviously because that will do more harm than good as far as the implementations are concerned. In effect, when using scorecards, the focus should be solely on assessments and in no way should relate to the kind of efforts that are generally made to reform an organizational member.

Reviewing the Performance of Management

Although management is not directly related to the implementations, reviewing their performance is still necessary because they do perform some important tasks such as making funds and resources available to the implementation team as and when needed. If performance scorecards were not used for assessing the performance of management officials, it would become quite difficult to identify the culprit in case something goes terribly wrong with the Six Sigma implementation.

Performance scorecards certainly help, but since there is a limit to their overall usability, it is recommended that businesses consider other factors as well before taking decisions based on the scorecards. Using performance scorecards in this manner will be beneficial for all the stakeholders including the business and the organizational members. It will also contribute a lot towards the success of the Six Sigma implementation project.
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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