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Using Interviews To Shape Six Sigma Deployment

Aug 27, 2008
Interviewing major influencers of the Six Sigma initiative is a technique that initiates the involvement and consideration of everyone.

The CEO or top management generally proposes the need for a Six Sigma initiative. Conducting interviews of these people is equally necessary, as is the need to interview other key influencers.

These interviews are needed to understand the factors to design the deployment plan, integrate it with the company environment and make it part of the company culture.

Interview Subject Matter:

-Most important is understanding the organization's corporate strategy and priorities. The products and services of the organization have to be properly understood. Interviews should be able to identify areas that may be the barriers to the deployment plan.

One major barrier is the resistance or lack of acceptance of top management regarding the need for such an initiative. Additionally, their consent to allocate some of the workforce to dedicated responsibilities, such as for Black Belt positions, is needed.

-If there were initial change initiatives undertaken in the past, then the reason for their failures or the need to undertake a new one like Six Sigma is highly important in making a proper deployment plan.

Also, interviews should be conducted at all levels to understand the feeling of the organization as a whole; enthusiastic or skeptical, a means to accomplish goals or simply a passing fad.

-Interviews should be planned to identify the decision-making and conflict resolution process. Six Sigma team leaders should be able to ascertain the team attitude in decision-making and implementation of the decision.

-The key players in decision-making and planning and those who will be affected by the changes should be interviewed so that any problems that may arise in the entire deployment can be studied and eliminated.

-The coordination level among all members of the organization can also be estimated from the interviews. If the efforts are not coordinated and aligned with the goals of the team - and the organization as a whole - then all efforts will be wasted.

-If some team members are aware of Lean Six Sigma, then their understanding and experience can be utilized for various roles in the Six Sigma initiative.

-The trainings conducted and the success and utility of them should be fully understood. If previous trainings have not been successful or useful, then the expectation of members from those trainings should be carefully noted.

-It is important to find out if any union issues exist from the CEO and top management. The effect of the union factor on such initiatives has to be established.

Openness to new approaches is important for the success of Six Sigma deployment. Any resistance to change should be known and a deployment plan designed with these factors in mind.

The answers to these questions will be very useful to a put a strategy in place to deploy the project successfully with the least resistance - and the probability of failure is drastically reduced.
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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