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Guidelines For Implementing Six Sigma

May 16, 2008
Since Six Sigma makes use of facts and figures while initiating quality improvements in business processes, it greatly increases the probability that the implementation project will turn out to be a huge success.

However, since there are often just too many variables to consider, it's recommended that businesses follow the prescribed implementation guidelines, as described below.

Choose the Right Project

Although Six Sigma can be successfully applied to all types of business processes, it's recommended that businesses take extra precautions when selecting implementation projects. This is especially true if it is the first time Six Sigma is being implemented in an organization. The first thing that businesses need to do is carry out a risk assessment analysis that will help in identifying the right project.

Risk assessment should try to cover all the critical factors such as potential benefits of a given project, it's ability to act as a guiding light for future projects, costs associated with the project, it's acceptability within the concerning functional department and most importantly, the potential damage that the organization might have to bear if the project goes haywire and fails to achieve even the most basic objectives.

For best results, businesses need to use a point-merit system, whereby points are awarded to different projects based on the degree of their compatibility with the factors mentioned above. The project that scores the most can then be selected for final implementations.

Formulate Effective Deployment Strategies

Selecting the right project may be very important, but since not much can be achieved until the project is finally deployed, businesses need to formulate effective deployment strategies before actually starting the deployment process. The focus should be on evolving strategies that can effectively tackle problems related to the Six Sigma project implementations.

For achieving this, businesses should seek input and suggestions from employees who might be directly related to the selected business process. Brainstorming sessions should also be conducted in order to identify all the pros and cons of a suggested deployment strategy.

For best results, it's recommended that a deployment strategy be selected only when the majority agrees to it.

Carry Out Checks and Follow-Ups on a Regular Basis

Since there is always a chance of failure, businesses cannot afford to relax during the implementation process. To ensure that the implementations are going as planned, businesses have no other option but to carry out checks and follow-ups on a regular basis. If done sincerely, this would help businesses to identify deviations as soon as they might occur and consequently take corrective action before the situation might get completely out of control.

Six Sigma is certainly beneficial, but since a lot depends on the outcome of the first implementation project, businesses should make it a point to follow the prescribed guidelines described above. Successful implementations will greatly improve an organization's confidence levels and as a result pave the way for future Six Sigma project 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 including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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