Lean Six Sigma Deployment Problems

Top Ten Tips to avoid Lean Six Sigma deployment problems according to More Steam:

1. Leadership cannot be delegated.
Successful and durable process improvement efforts depend on senior leadership engagement. Leaders should be active teachers. “Engaged” means process improvement activities are on their calendar and on their “to do” lists – not an initiative that is assigned to others.

2. This is not an “organic” exercise at the beginning.
A certain amount of fascism is required to get things started. Most important projects will cross functional boundaries, so leadership will need to enforce value stream thinking that puts customers ahead of departmental priorities.

3. The “M” in DMAIC does not stand for Months.
Don’t let people get hung up on playing with tools at the expense of getting things done.

4. Don’t take on projects that have massive scope.
It is better to execute a series of smaller, tightly-focused projects that get done.

5. Remember the “3APs”:
Go to the Actual Place (Gemba) where the work is done, observe the Actual Process as it is performed, and talk to the Actual People who perform the process. Beware of Gembaphobia (the fear of going to where the work is actually performed) – tough problems can’t be solved from a conference room.

6. Don’t pick the most available people to become project leaders (Black Belts and Green Belts).
There’s a reason why those people are available, and it’s not because they get things done. Make the functional leaders cough up their best people. Those people will get more done with the right attitude and good people skills than with a mastery of advanced technical methods.

7. Avoid establishing a “Caste System” or “Expert Culture” where only experts can solve problems.
Everyone can use these tools and this thinking in their daily work. Waiting for an “expert” can become a convenient excuse.

8. Don’t operate in secret.
Over-communicate to offset the natural fear of change and suspicion.

9. Don’t forget middle management.
The layer of clay requires extra attention to penetrate. Middle managers must get on board for the approach to have legs. If leaders lead, middle managers will follow.

10. Don’t train without projects!
It’s a total waste of time and money. Don’t over-train, in advance, in batches. Try to pull as needed. Most improvement is accomplished with the simplest tools. The discipline to recognize problems from a customer perspective and address them head-on is more important than technical skills.

We agree with all of these Tips to avoid Lean Six Sigma deployment problems and have witnessed them.  Tell us which of these you faced in your organization, including how you overcame them and your suggested TIPS!

One Response to “Lean Six Sigma Deployment Problems”

  1. Dinesh says:

    Actually the tools of six sigma and lean are designed for better understanding and interpretting the data and scnario and undestand the problems and Gaps and scope of improvements but these tools do not give any atomatic solutions to the problems.
    Solution comes from the functional expert which are very close to the problem. A six sigma expert can analyse the data by using the tools may not able to provide right solution to the problem.
    hence deploying six sigma expert can explore the problems thru the tools but involvement of senior management is needed to lead the activities and compell the functional experts to find the solution for improvement. or the system change.
    Many times the business processes are scatter in various dept. which functions from different locations and deployment of six sigma expert is at one location from he is not accessed to all the business processes

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