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Change Management In Six Sigma

Aug 17, 2007
Change is the only constant thing in the world and businesses are no exception to this universal principle. The aim of change is bringing about continuous improvement in the competitive world through which businesses hope to surpass their competitors to meet customer needs better than the rest.

Change Meets Resistance

You need to anticipate resistance from unexpected corners while contemplating and proposing change. This could be for the first Six Sigma project or for the subsequent project, despite rigorous results with previous project implementations. Workers may respond by ignoring the change, by refusing or failing to comprehend changes, disagreeing with apparent benefits and resorting to delay tactics and tantrums. Other instances can be ignorance from other sections within the organizations and non-cooperation on projects

Managing The Change In Six Sigma

Project leaders understand that most resistance has no valid reasons.

1. For example, let us take the case of ignoring the change. People are opposed to change just because they don't want a change. Change entails doing things in a different way, which demands adoptability regardless of its simplicity. They assume ignoring the change proposal will ultimately lead to its withdrawal. Make it an irreversible change, perhaps by associating annual review to the success of the changed process.

2. Failure to comprehend is another place to manage the change assertively, although this is not intentional. Handling things can be easier in this case. Use additional sessions to explain, such as a lunch meeting, one-on-one meetings; mailers, tables, and calendars which are visible daily and can be used for tools.

3. Not accepting or ridiculing the true values of the benefits is another way of resisting change, which the Master Black Belt must anticipate. Use independent sources or/and positive results from other departments or projects to prove your point. See that the points are valid and the team can relate to them.

4. Failure to achieve speed: Slow progress in change initiatives may bog you down, forcing you to go through multiple steps, which you may want to skip, even though they are essential. But practically, this could be futile. Break the illusion of speed and build up the momentum as you progress on a scientific path only. This is more permanent and speedier than a diluted and scattered set of activities.

5. Sustaining and sharing the vision: They key to longevity of support down the line is the shared vision, the dream and positive attitudes. Following up launches with a flurry of short-lived activities achieves nothing. But the workforce needs to be galvanized regularly to keep the vision alive. Communicating and getting together regularly will help in this regard.

6. Proof of the pudding is in eating it: Shareholders look for economic benefits out of every project, although not opposed to changes as long as they see appreciation to top line and bottom line figures in the financial statement. You can only prove to them when you show increased profits riding on more volume and enhanced quality.

Managing the change in Six Sigma is no different from doing it elsewhere. But the scale of the operation and the interests concerned along with wisdom should guide the way ahead.
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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