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Geographically Scattered Six Sigma Certified Project Teams

Aug 7, 2008
Typically in the service sector, the various teams are at varied locations worldwide, with a diverse set of personnel. It is the Black Belt's and the Champion's creativity in managing such teams that ensures the success of the project.

Managing Using Technology

With new developments occurring everyday in technology, Black Belts have various options for their support. In a Six Sigma project, the Black Belts can use various software and statistical analysis tools that will help increase the speed and accuracy in data collection and analysis in the measure and analyze phases.

Internet technology, web-based meetings and other tools can assist the Black Belts in managing teams. Though these tools are not the only ones on which to base Six Sigma project management, their utility helps improve the function and communication among team members.

Tools such as net meetings and teleconferences can be used to communicate different ideas and decisions to people at all different locations at same time. Even conducting trainings and seminars for employees is possible. Live communication of decisions to dispersed team members helps bring about participation and improved communication between them.

Technological advancements provide teams with aids that can be used for digital documentation of important papers across scattered locations. Sometimes document management systems can also be used, which help bring down the excessive physical movement of communications from desk to desk at various locations.

Communication

The most critical factor in managing Six Sigma teams is communication. There has to be continuous two-way communication among team members in all locations.

Team members should regularly communicate through formal meetings, calls or even emails to understand and track the progress of the project.

Regular Visits

It has been observed that when teams are situated at separate locations, Six Sigma team leaders cannot frequently visit them. These meetings are seen by many as disturbances in the daily flow of the team's work.

However, if the leaders manage such visits on a regular basis, they would find more support, which is necessary to the success of the project. They would be able to manage the project better by frequenting the scattered locations.

Top Management Support

The support of top management is equally critical for managing Six Sigma project teams in scattered locations. This support has to come in the form of staffing, money, time and consultants, which are necessary for the project's success.

The teams, in return have to show a satisfactory return on investment that top management does offer. Regular communication of reports based on the data at all locations will ensure regular support from top management. Their support becomes critical in removing roadblocks that occur in such scenarios.

Creativity

Creativity is one factor that Six Sigma team leaders and Black Belts cannot ignore. Creative thinking is important to the success of the team (e.g., it may be preparing teams for meeting and teleconferences, precise report preparation of Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and so on). This will ensure team participation and accurate communication among team members.

Six Sigma team leaders can avoid pitfalls of projects at scattered locations by regular communication and the appropriate use of technology. The challenges simply have to identified and tackled wisely.
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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