Implementing six sigma techniques can be daunting, especially for new teams. You can get caught up in the details from well-established practitioners and the novice, yet forget how this affects everyone involved.
Once you know what is six Sigma, it is time for the next step.
So what are the things for successfully implementing six sigma techniques?
Transparency in six Sigma starts when you first reveal your plan. It is especially true with quality improvement efforts because it focuses on continuous changes and improvements. With this in mind, you have to communicate with everyone affected by your project. It includes sharing the project’s goals, how they will be met, and what will change. It also incorporates sharing how the project will affect them and the available support to help the transition.
Having defined roles for everyone involved is a must. It would make it easy for people to access resources they may need, such as training. Also, involve cross-functional teams whenever possible.
The need to communicate should not end once the project concludes. You should continue to monitor how everything is progressing and maintain open lines of communication until there are no further changes to be made.
Similarly to being transparent about your plan, six sigma techniques need to remain flexible while they are underway. It means that you should avoid thinking about one project with a beginning and end.
Your efforts should be considered part of an ongoing process to use appropriate tools for the specific need. While there may be cases when using six sigma techniques for problem-solving is beneficial, sometimes they do not offer the best option.
While it is essential to recognize what six Sigma cannot do, it is also important to realize when it is beneficial. When you start a project, the needed tools should be clear from the beginning. Once you understand what is six Sigma and what it can do for your requirements, it will feel like a whole world has opened up to you.
However, this does not mean using a single tool for every problem. Sometimes a different approach makes more sense depending on the issue at hand. Another case where flexibility becomes essential? When multiple issues come up simultaneously. In this case, you should use a different approach for each problem.
Do Not Overlook People
Six Sigma is aimed at improving the quality of output through people. It is essential to acknowledge and involve everyone who can contribute towards success. Teams must rely heavily on teamwork and communication to ensure the best results. It is especially true when using six Sigma for problem-solving.
It is simple to get carried away focusing on data and statistics, but you should never lose focus on the people behind them. Because this approach has such a strong focus on quality, it often involves uncovering hidden problems that can affect many people. Your efforts should never compromise the quality of work that people are doing.
Once you have identified the problem, all team members need to come together and review their efforts to understand better how they can work together towards success.
Do Not Forget About Change Management
No matter how beneficial 6-Sigma can be when problem-solving and increasing productivity, there will always be a learning curve when using a new tool or technique.
It means that not everyone will immediately embrace your efforts. To ease this transition and increase success rates, it is essential to train people and work with them to become familiar with your changes.
Training should be a two-way street. So if you find yourself needing training, seek it out yourself too! There are many various types of training available, including online training, seminars, on-site training sessions, webinars, and more. The options are almost endless!
Do Not Forget About Measurement
Just as change is inevitable in the workplace, so too is the ability to measure progress towards your goals. Having specific measures before starting a project and updating them as you progress is essential. It will let your team see how much work has been done and what needs to be done next.
When it comes to 6-sigma techniques for problem-solving, measurement is vital for ensuring the quality of your efforts. Measurement also becomes necessary when it comes to changing the management. It would be best to have specific measures to determine how much progress has been made and identify where you still need work.
Do Not Be Afraid to Use Tools as Needed
Learning Six Sigma and how it can help fulfill your requirements is essential to utilize it well. The good news is that 6- Sigma is a very flexible approach, and your team must use the tools appropriate for the problem at hand. Sometimes you will need statistical analysis and problem-solving techniques, and sometimes you can apply them to lean six sigma tools, for example.
Remember that you have to take charge of the entire process! If it does not fit your goals, you do not need to exclusively use a specific tool (like statistical analysis). As long as the result is the same, it does not matter which devices you use to get there.