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Strategic Planning And Six Sigma

Jun 27, 2008
Six Sigma has been basically used either for improvement of existing processes or in designing a new product or process.

The basic concept of Strategic Six Sigma is to analyze likely variations and risks in a system under consideration for a strategy and apply DMAIC philosophy-based tools for process improvement.


Strategic planning as applied to Six Sigma involves detailed and systematic planning in areas of concern that have far-reaching and tactical implications at the project selection stage. The purpose of strategic planning is to develop relevant decisions and actions that guide successful Six Sigma implementation.

A major constituent that helps combine the vision of the leader with the working of the organization is strategic programming. It helps give an entirely new direction to organizational growth. Uncertainty about the future is reduced to some extent with the linking of visions of the action plans that result in tangible results. Six Sigma takes strategic planning to different heights by achieving these results.

Adequate planning is the key for success. Planning is the detailed statement of vision of the leader of the company and that holds true for large corporations as well as smaller organizations. The employees have to overcome many hurdles to achieve the transformation of vision into tangible gains.

Customer satisfaction is the success of Six Sigma.

Sharing Of the Vision

For the transformation of vision to gains, it is important that all know this vision. It has to be shared with all stakeholders and everyone should relate to it. The employees should be made aware to the fact that their actions relate to customer reactions directly.

Another important concept is connecting with the customer. Customers should participate and be involved in defining their needs. The tools of Six Sigma make it easy and simple to create this link in between the key elements, activities, strategies and the vision, which leads to smooth sharing of ideas.

The Six Sigma methodology allows effective communication of the vision to all concerned in a language understandable to them.

Prioritizing Matters

Six Sigma team leaders may get slowed down if they involve themselves in day-to-day matters and minute details. Two tools of Six Sigma, key requirements and differentiators, ensure that the importance or irrelevance of the data is highlighted and the relevant ones taken care of preferentially.

This ultimately results in helping the leaders to concentrate on important activities, and stay away from trivial mundane matters.

Blunders in Six Sigma Strategic Planning

There are some common mistakes made in Six Sigma strategic planning that you should avoid. Human capital is of high importance; they are the assets of the company. Planning should involve consideration of the core competencies of these people. The leaders should put forth this challenge to give them that competitive edge.

There is no link between the actions and the strategy if the chances of implementation of the plan are zero. The aim should be to provide necessary and sufficient tactics to achieve strategic success and modify the strategy to be realistic. The simple thing to do is develop strategy statements that point toward specific actions, rather than just making a statement. Translate strategy statements into strategic objectives and quantify them. Prioritize and define projects to meet the important objectives.

The last thing in ineffective Six Sigma planning is poor communication. The vision cannot be shared effectively if it is poorly communicated. Make the statement as clear and simple as possible - and to the point.

Six Sigma project deployments are related firmly to strategic planning. It means that the company leadership recognizes the need to complete retooling of the organization. This unique combination allows robustness with flexibility to deal with unique challenges.
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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