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4 Keys To Managing Six Sigma Effectively

Aug 17, 2007
Managing Six Sigma calls for a multidirectional approach as guided by industry specifics, projects on hand, expertise level and commitment of upper management as well as the goals envisioned by management.

Managing effectiveness in Six Sigma can be defined as well directed efforts to successful deployment of the methodology to the project which is chosen to give you the best results. This helps to improve the company's bottom line.

Managing Six Sigma Effectiveness

Experience and research over the years have time and again proven that grooming leaders results in maintaining the competitiveness that corporations need. Consequently, the end result of this is seen as improvement to profitability and sustainable and predictable constant improvements.

Effective Leaders: Key contributions to the effectiveness of Six Sigma deployment are by the leaders of high caliber. The leaders like black belts, master black belts and champions are central to the success of the project. Black belts have to standup to face the challenges during the implementation stages if the implementation has to succeed. The resistance that might crop up has to be dealt with using a practical approach.

Selection Of The Right Tools: If black belts are central to the successful implementation of Six Sigma, correct selection of tools is what helps to steer the project towards improvement. Statistically, each one of the tools must be able to measure and show in which way the project is progressing. The right tools set up checks and balances as each activity in the process can be measured against its original value. Accuracy of measurements and verification sets the stage for mid-way course correction, if needed.

Creating Communication Channels: The utmost importance must be placed on establishing and utilizing communication channel for all purposes. This does not stop at just communicating matters of project development but must include human resource plans that aid role players of Six Sigma. Regularity of communication in both written and verbal form is essential so that everyone involved is kept abreast in order to help foster communication. But the main advantage that regular communication brings about is clarity about the status and progress of the project. While developing the communication channels, it should be disseminated so that it is understood by all involved.

Establishing An Effective Project Tracking System: Tracking the project effectively is at the core of managing Six Sigma effectiveness. The essence of effectively managing projects lies in the hands of Champions and Black Belts. A watchdog committee of Black Belts and Champions must ensure a few key aspects such as developing documented project inventory for at least one year, assuring linkage of customer needs and critical business needs with the project, along with establishing an optimized project scope and size. Although documentation in itself does not ensure the success of Six Sigma, it must be taken as the first step towards establishing a permanent culture for the company to follow.

Cost of quality and improvement should be the focus in Six Sigma implementation. One must keep in mind that the transition to problem solving from data collected is continual for optimal effectiveness of Six Sigma 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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