No one especially in a leadership position wants to fail. That is why using the data driven models of the DMAIC methodology combined with the energy of focused rewarded teams results in positive tangible results your company can grow with.
An easy to use chart to give a visual on possible Six Sigma projects is this improvement actions grid. It is very simple to use and similar to the stakeholder analysis we showed you earlier. Simply categorize your ideas in the area of effort which you believe it falls using criteria of Low or High benefit and Low or High effort and resources.
Choose the improvements you want to make using your team that will have the most benefit to your customers which are value added, meaning those they can see and feel. You can see this action below. High benefits and low efforts would be a definite go. Low benefits with a high cost would be a no-go stop situation. Low benefit and low effort should be avoided to focus your effort on the high benefits.
Six Sigma Improvement Actions
In order to thrive as a company you must reduce the fear of failure and confront the challenges of leading Six Sigma improvements. Confronting the fear and challenges is the responsibility of leadership. The role of leadership is to provide guidance and feedback at each stage of a Six Sigma project. The leadership is tasked to ensure that the goals from the business case for implementation of Six Sigma is shared and communicated. They ensure the project scopes are narrow yet broad enough to assure the results of the project. They also ensure cross-functional collaboration between management and working teams, an aggressive yet achievable timeline is in place, and the downstream impact of any constraints is understood.
The fear can be eliminated at each level of the DMAIC using simple questions along the way such as in the Define phase, do we have the right scope, timelines, and deliverables? Measure phase can we quantify the problems with our current data? Analyze phase do we fully understand our opportunities, major problems, and opportunities? Improve phase do we have the resources in place to deploy our improvement?
Some other ideas to prevent the fear of failure include looking into the reality of the common obstacles to implementing Six Sigma and develop a plan for dealing with them they include:
- Resistance by middle managers
- Failing to remove obstacles to change
- Functional or departmental bias
- Lack of sustained senior management participation
- Lack of a sense of urgency
- Lack of customer focus
- Too many small disconnected projects
- Backpedaling to the old ways of working
- Poor linkage to new technology