Six Sigma

How to Live and Breathe Six Sigma in Your Business ?

Lorenzo Del Marmol

June 24, 2015

Six Sigma

How to Live and Breathe Six Sigma in Your Business?

Six Sigma is not just a buzzword—it’s what can change your company from a startup to an industry leader while keeping everything that’s good about your product and brand constant throughout the change. Six Sigma only wants to add value—which can only build your brand image throughout the eventual transformative change that your company will go through.

It’s important to understand that Six Sigma wants to delivery quality that speaks to your clients as a brand and as a product—it builds on your good idea and makes it profitable and marketable.

So how do you live and breathe Six Sigma in your business? Take a look:

  1. Setting your business objectives. It gets a little meta since you have to go to your top executives, investors and other major stakeholders to set the goals of your transformative change initiative. You need to assemble the top leaders in your company and agree on what they want to happen.
  2. Create core and key subprocesses. List down all your company’s key processes and try to break them down as much as you can. While this may look a lot like micro-management, planning out your change carefully can eliminate a lot of risk and deliver a huge impact on your business. Have your managers rank the processes from 1 to 5 based on how important these processes are and start with the ones that can disrupt and create new avenues for change.
  3. Create process ownership. Most of the time, there are people already responsible for certain key processes, projects and areas in your company. Get Black Belts and experts shadowing or coaching these persons responsible for the processes and see the change happen. Make it clear how important these processes are to the company so the people in charge know what kind of impact they have on the business.
  4. Determine your metrics and disseminate them. You can only measure success if you set a standard. There are a lot of ways to determine how well your company is running like Scorecard. Once you’ve set your metrics, create a focus group that determines the results and how the reality measures up to what they expect. Always question how the metrics are acquired and if they truly reflect the change that you want in your company.
  5. Collect data judiciously—just like your business process. Even your data collection must reflect an optimized process. Too much data or even big data can bog you down. Look for the numbers that matter and use them as your benchmark and foundation.
  6. Select your targets for change. Since you’ve let your managers find the processes that are the most important to your company and can deliver the most impact when changed, find 7 to 10 of these processes or projects that get the Six Sigma treatment for the first wave of changes.
  7. Choose the very first ones from the 10 processes. Outline your projects or processes using a simple graph. On the vertical axis, list the 10 processes that you want to change. On the horizontal axis, list the criteria why all these projects or processes were chosen. Start with the process that hits the most criteria, working your way to the last.
  8. Maintain your change momentum. Change doesn’t happen overnight and you need your top executives to support it while your staff to sustain it. When the hard changes die down and you drop into a routine, continue to link key processes with your business goals to keep everything optimized.

The only way to make sure your Six Sigma initiative works is if you’ve trained all your staff and your management team can respond to issues and change.

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