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Managing The Change To A Continuously Improving Culture

Sep 16, 2008
Breakthrough improvements are the bigger projects covering larger or major areas of the organization.

The Organization Focus

Continuous improvement is mostly done by Yellow Belts and White Belts, who are trained in the usage of DMAIC methodology. Breakthrough improvement projects are undertaken by the Black Belts. In any organization, there will be people who are ready to accept change with active participation - and at the same time, there will be some who will resist even small changes.
There are even some who will want to stay neutral. These should be the employees who need to be made to change their view on accepting or adapting the changes.

It is necessary to bring about a change in the culture of the organization. The organization has to identify people who are adapters and those who need to be converted into ones. To sustain the results across the organization the executives should take appropriate measures.

Form A Team for Mobilizing and Implementation

Management should ensure that at the organizational level, a team leader or a senior member of the staff should build a team to implement the mobilization concept. The chairman or another senior staff member should ensure that improvements are sustained. The working of these members in tandem is the key to the continuous improvement process going smoothly.

There could be a steering committee that sanctions the program as a vision, develops a mission statement and makes policy decisions and recommendations from the members of the team accordingly. There should be an implementation team for the implementation of continuous improvement in process and to coordinate the activities of the team members.

They would have to ensure training, equipping and implementing teams for the mobilization. The key would be the implementation of the best practices.

-Align Business Goals

The teams should ensure that the process and the improvement culture is brought about throughout the organization. These activities should be aligned such that all efforts are moving in the same direction.

-Identify Measurements

One of the most important things required is the identification of the measurements of business goals. Proper metrics should be in place, which can determine effectiveness of the changes brought about.

-Align Continuous Process Improvement Activity

The teams have to ensure that the activities that are arranged are done in such a manner that they should be accountable to the organizational goals. Continuous improvement process should be defined to align the activities to the organization's metrics. Care should be taken in weak areas in relation to the organizational results.

These efforts have to be sustained by the team, with regular follow-up schedules planned so as to make the efforts effective in the weaker areas as well as the standardized processes of the organization.

Quick results achieved from this continuous improvement process gives the Six Sigma team an opportunity to prove that the utility of changes is for the betterment of employees as well as their processes. The team members will accept this change if they see that it is worthwhile.

Well thought-out breakthrough improvements coming after the smaller projects will have greater acceptability and allow for a change in organizational culture as well.
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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