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Process Ownership Is Vital To Six Sigma Project Success

Aug 28, 2008
They may be team leaders, managers or others relevant to the process, but may not be in leadership positions. They have very good knowledge about the process and its critical areas. They are an integral part of DMAIC and DFSS projects.

The solutions brought in by the improvement team are handed over to the process owners.

Roles and Responsibilities of Process Owners

-Subject matter expertise of the process: Process owners must be thoroughly aware of the input, output and overall relevance of the process in the entire business operation. They have to be detailed about what is strategically important to the process and how it contributes to project effectiveness.

They should be sensitive to the poor functioning of the process as well as analytical about the changes that are brought about. They should have the ability to think about the process in terms of improvement.

-Process performance: The process owner monitors the input and output metrics of the processes, compiles the data and summarizes it so as to understand the process performance level.

They are involved in identifying opportunities that are relevant to process improvement.

-Ensure process documentation: Process documentation is necessary for processes to run smoothly without any variations. It is the responsibility of the process owners to see that the new process documentation is complete with minute details and flowcharts, and is referred to constantly by process members.

If any changes to this documented process are made, then they should be updated on time.

-Develop a process management plan: Process owners are responsible for making a process management plan. They have to see to it that everyone knows what processes are operating and in which areas.

Each person should be made aware of signs that indicate trouble or a problem in the plan. They should make process improvement charts and post them in work areas.

-Conduct reviews: Process owners are responsible for constant review of the process; whether or not it is as per the requirements of customers. If it is not going in the right direction, they should be able to find ways to tackle the problem.

-Linking customers and suppliers: Process owners should have contact with everyone related to the process. They should be in contact with customers, suppliers and everyone who is affected by the process.

-Providing training and resources to process operators: The proper training of the process operators is important for the successful implementation of the project.

It is the process owners' responsibility to fulfill training needs and find the resources required for process operators to be more efficient.

For a process owner to work effectively, the ultimate success of the project needs to be the combined responsibility of the process owner and Black Belts. Also, Six Sigma team members should be selected with the help of the process owner, as they are well aware of the various members and know the best option for any given job.

An efficient process owner is involved in all stages of the Six Sigma project, and is vital to its success.
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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