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Synchronize Six Sigma Into Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
The foundation for success of Six Sigma is laid by synchronizing Six Sigma into the way business is carried out. There is no dispute about the need for synchronizing the methodology with the business if it has to succeed in transforming the enterprise.

Why Synchronize Six Sigma Into Your Business?

What leadership must keep in mind when deciding on Six Sigma is its ability to solve the most difficult problems. However, commoditization and variability in deployment have been the stumbling blocks for success. 'Dumbing Down' of the methodology and displacing it as a tool of decision making which is aided by the critical thinking process and losing customer focus will only contribute to the acceleration of its demise. If things are not put into proper perspective, the metrics for its goal measurement, which is maximization of bottom line or savings, loses focus.

Phases In Synchronizing Six Sigma

Six Sigma can be synchronized with business processes in three phases. The phases can be modified based on the suitability.

Initialization Phase: The various steps can be summarized as follows:

1. Identifying and apportioning of enterprise level savings goal with SBUs
2. Identifying Champions and aligning compensations to attainment of goals
3. Establishment and streamlining of the steering committee and reporting channels
4. Writing down and aligning the deployment plan with a highlighted financial savings plan
5. Communicating and preparing the workforce to deployment

Execution Phase: This is the crucial phase in the implementation. The project progress decides the direction in which it is moving.

1. All key data are communicated, through a designated database, to upper management for continuous review
2. Champions engage X-belts to gauge progress to ensure mentoring
3. Regular monitoring and reviews at business meetings
4. Delays are discussed and dealt with according to necessities. They are terminated, postponed or extended with additional resources as may become necessary.
5. Steering committees at SBU and corporate levels assess progress towards stated goals and day to day benefits and prioritize new projects for assignment to the Belts
6. Project teams are individually acknowledged for their accomplishments and rewarded
7. X-belts prepare document of implementation as knowledge notes for records and future references
8. Champions report to accountable executives in the management

Assessment Phase: Assessment is done at least once a year to assess the progress and quantify the figures.

1. Promotes greater and earlier alignment by accelerating result generation and sustainability
2. Emphasis is placed on real versus theoretical or anecdotal data
3. Focus will be placed on capturing benefits, enhancing the belts' performance and certification, deployment planning, and overall performance
4. SBUs are informed of results relative to the organization.
5. Steering committees revisit the deployment plan with a view to revise as may be necessary
6. Training for Belts or refresher workshops, and reorientation for Master Black Belts and Champions who undergo certification program are scheduled
7. Rescheduling, if necessary, of early sustainability by "training the trainer"

Like implementation, synchronization is a continuous process as seen above until self- sustainability and goals are achieved. Benefits can be realized with perseverance by all those involved throughout its implementation.
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 lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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