Is It A Good Fit?
Before deploying an effective Six Sigma program, the biggest consideration leaders must consider is whether or not it is a good fit for the organization. While moving through the decision-making process, leaders sometimes lack a complete understanding of what Six Sigma really is, what can it really accomplish and is the organization properly prepared for the process. Reality is that there are serious considerations that must be discussed and a firm commitment to the change process must be acceptable. There is a quote that illuminates this point:
“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”
-Georg C. Lichtenberg
When implementing Six Sigma, we seek permanent and continuous change to achieve the best possible result.
Measure Yourself For a Fit
As leaders move through the due diligence process leading up to Six Sigma implementation, there are six questions that must be considered:
- Does your company leadership team understand and embrace their role, and are they willing to learn what lean and Six Sigma are all about?
- Does your company utilize cross-functional, multilevel teams to get things done?
- Have you mastered the basic problem-solving tools throughout the company, driving to root-cause corrective actions?
- Do you have accurate data systems (gauge repeatability and reproducibility) that are easily accessible to the workers closest to the process, and does this data drive your improvement actions?
- Are the employees empowered to shut a process down if an out-of-control condition occurs, and are there resources instantly available to help the employee identify and implement corrective actions to get the process back up and running?
- Is the financial community willing to participate in the improvement efforts, assist in the calculation of the financial impact of the improvements, and help reshape the accounting systems to more accurately reflect reality?
How Does It Feel?
Now that you have considered the questions, leaders must ask — is it a good fit? The fact is, without being able to 100% answer affirmatively each of these questions, it just may not be a great fit for your organization. Belief and commitment to a change process of any kind is crucial. The good news is that leaders with open minds and a commitment to quality find these six questions easy to answer. They also lead organizations that are open and willing to make permanent changes in the corporate culture and process. Now that you have a good fit with Six Sigma for your organization, doesn’t it feel good?