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What to Do With Special Causes?

“Don’t use Six Sigma to tackle special cause variation!”

is one of the common phrases being repeated by Lean Six Sigma coaches and a very important recommendation for the management, too.
The Six Sigma methodology is indeed targeting variation that is an inherent part of the process – common cause variation that has been expected and tolerated due to its unknown and supposedly complex root causes. Understanding this variation and analysing the real root causes before implementing improvements is a fundamental pillar of the methodology and driver for its success.

Forecast to Fulfill – SKU (Product) Proliferation

Supply chain strategies often take second or third place to operations in the growth and development phase of an organisation.  One of the unintended (though sometimes strategically intentional) operational consequences of aggressive growth, both organically as well as through M&As, is that of product or SKU proliferation. As a result, forecast to fulfill gets slowed down.

Working Capital Area: Forecast to Fulfill

Working Capital Area: Forecast to Fulfill

SKU proliferation manifests itself as a hindrance to supply chain efficiencies in a variety of forms including:

  • An ‘impressive’ range of product
  • Dramatic levels of raw material or WIP, the latter held as a strategy of postponement
  • Elaborate operational set ups that often challenges productivity and efficiency KPIs resulting in large production batches
  • Loss of operational and commercial control as batched production produces a bull whip effect in finished goods inventory
  • An inflated balance sheet where inventory is concerned and gradually thinner margins due to missed or short ships as a result of batch & efficiency metrics

Taken individually, these anomalies can be dealt with, and they frequently are, in a piecemeal fashion.  Slashing SKUs across the board delivers instant results but a trade off is that of falling efficiency levels measured at the plant level.  Inventory can be shifted onto a VMI strategy where costs are kept off as long as is possible though this eventually strains supplier relations.  Moth-balling entire plants are not uncommon once ‘demand’ is perceived to have dropped though this leaves much to be desired in terms of industrial relations.  Micro-management becomes the order of the day and a fairly immobilized organisation results.  Undue force is applied to ‘balance’ the balance sheet in an effort to improve margins.

Collectively however, addressing such a situation at the strategic level while selectively ‘leaning’ some operations yields results that are relatively more ‘stable’ to the organisation.

A multi-variate analysis of product selectively utilising Pareto principles ought to produce an SKU range that is manageable both from the marketing / margin perspective as well as the operational perspective.  Combined with some innovative product re-design resulting in ‘multi-use products’ as well as postponement, the results are appreciable.

Some of the variants to be considered are:

  • Movement (traditional ABC)
  • Value in dollar terms
  • Margins
  • Inter-operability
  • Market positioning & share
  • Ability of the product to be innovated upon
  • Strategic position for consolidation

Forecast to Fulfill – Benefits of Managing SKU Proliferation

A diversified industrial client we worked with in this area managed to lower overall (RM, WIP & FG) SKU counts from some 5,500 to 4,200 over the duration of an 18 month long project.  A 22% reduction.

Project yields beyond SKU consolidation were:

  • Overall decrease in inventory of 15%
  • Short / missed shipments decreased by 60% resulting in less commercial and financial penalties
  • Expedite (both for production and shipping) occurrences decreased from a monthly average of 370 to under 100

Less tangible benefits were an improved working relationship between the front and back ends of the firm and an improved understanding of how better sales and marketing could work together with production to ensure a lid on SKU proliferation.

Procure to Pay – Spend Policies

Spending, apart from capital investments, tends to grow a little faster then organisations in most cases. Left unchecked firms face a ‘mid-life’ crisis where working capital is stretched to levels requiring borrowings incurring heavier and heavier finance costs. This is often bringing down the Procure to Pay cycle.

A lack of policies guarding the growth of spend is often an underlying cause. Naturally, many other factors come into play as well – an extreme focus on growth, inorganic growth (M&As), lack of standardization for spend reviews, infrequent and irregular supplier reviews, poor supplier maintenance, spend policy over-riding behaviour or a ‘just get it done now’ (covered as maverick spend in an earlier article) culture among others

Procure to Pay – Spend Policies

Working Capital Area: Procure To Pay

Working Capital Area: Procure To Pay

A strong spend policy put in place for both core and non-core spend that governs both buying behaviour as well as spending limits encourages stable growth of spend as an organisation grows. The requirement to ‘just get things done by hook or by crook’ often played out in the earlier growth phases of any commercial undertaking should be steadily replaced by regulatory equivalents covering especially:

  • Spend limits & authorization levels
  • Constant ongoing periodic reviews to bring in non-core and ad-hoc spend onto contractual terms
  • Annual supplier / vendor councils for both core and non-core spend
  • Supplier / vendor innovation councils (as opposed to simple ‘cost down’ demands)
  • Pre-M&A spend policy reviews where possible or immediately upon acquisition to bring in potentially detrimental terms and conditions that may cause ‘grandfathering’ or legacy terms and spend behaviours
  • Strict policies negating, as far as is plausible: ‘emergency’ payments, supplier ‘loans,’ ad-hoc payments and on terms other then contractual unless business needs so dictate
Procure to Pay - Spending Trends

Procure to Pay – Spending Trends

Policies together with a rigorous procedure to ensure adherence forms the major key to achieving a state of ‘ideal spend’ where as the business grows, again barring capital expenditures, the margins from running the business increases. While applicable primarily to larger firms with multiple cost centres the same principles apply to small and medium sized enterprises in efforts to gain this critical core competency every firm should possess.

Benefits of this program will show up in an organisational capability to effectively manage spend. For a large retailer with $5 bn of spend some $200 m were recovered from terms corrections, extensions, standardization and process improvement within 8 months of program implementation. A further $150m was liberated by contract negotiation spanning a 15 month period.

Customer to Cash – Dispute Management (Receivables)

A portion of collection activities often relegated to ‘customer service’ is that of actual dispute management. Customers who need ‘correction’ on invoicing information, goods returned, quality claims, delivery issues among others get directed to a generic ‘customer service’ department. This department attempts to secure resolutions from throughout the organisation. As opposed to ‘customer service’ per se we see these activities specifically as ‘dispute management’ as it relates to receivables management. They turn customer to cash.

Working Capital Area - Customer to Cash

Working Capital Area – Customer to Cash

Customers utilise a myriad of reasons for slow or delayed payment. Often these reasons are ‘valid’ to some extent.

“Sorry, we are unable to process your invoice as the address is different or wrong.”

“Your invoice information is incorrect …”

Crossing t’s and dotting i’s hardly figures in most finance functions but we have seen these very reasons result in late payments. This happens often after a costly (both time and money) rectification exercise that can span the entire firm in terms of inputs from different departments. Production, logistics, marketing, sales and even management sometimes gets involved in the resolution of these ‘disputes.’

Other common reasons we have come across for delayed payment are:

  • Incorrectly addressed billing entity (billing entity name)
  • 3rd party billing that has not been verified
  • Lack of ‘documentation’ such as Delivery / Purchase / Variation / Confirmation Orders
  • Quality / Quantity / Time issues
  • Incorrect credit or other terms reflected on the invoice – relative to the contract

Dispute Management to Turn Customer to Cash

A dispute management system helps address these issues by collating information on ‘reasons’ provided by customers – to turn customer to cash. Properly, though sometimes arbitrarily, categorised, these are then worked upon systematically for eradication. Inter-functional or inter-departmental work is required but this is considered a ‘one off’ exercise rather then for random late invoices that come up every so often.

Customer to Cash Disputes (AR)

Customer to Cash Disputes (AR)

While true that a smaller firm will gain in terms of organisational learning and that such a formal system may not be an absolute requirement but for sizable firms which face regular resource turnover it is much more difficult to retain ‘institutional’ memory that will quickly resolve ‘disputes’ resulting in delayed payments. These memories, in such an informal system, are also stored across departments in bits and pieces making a whole picture difficult to obtain at critical times.

As a medium and long term measure to address late receivables a dispute management system can yield results that go beyond lowering DSO (as a KPI of late receivables) to improving organisational understanding and work flow. Inter-departmental disputes are also reduced over time.

While this system is not a panacea for ‘cheques signed but locked in drawers’ customers we have worked with to design and implement such a system reap benefits of lowering their chronic overdues by some 40% to 80% permanently. As best practice for the establishment of a Financial Shared Services Centre (FSSC) or greenfield projects a dispute management system ensures that the set up of operations do not quickly degenerate into constant fire fighting exercises. Customers typically respond positively to such activities when they realise that there can be no reasonable excuses for late payments.

 

Cheap Cash – Working Capital Reduction

Credit lines drying up are common phenomena these days. Past credit performance, even with a great history, seems to have no impact on the decisions of banks to lubricate the wheels of commerce. There is, however, a relatively cheap and available source of cash many firms have that may be tapped into now: Working Capital. Working Capital – or the cash flow of a firm – can broadly be categorised into:

1. Customer to Cash (Receivables Management)
2. Forecast to Fulfil (Inventory and Supply Chain Management)
3. Procure to Pay (Payables Management)

Often simply referred to as ‘cash flow,’ working capital resides on the balance sheet of a firm. Improvements in this firm-spanning area yield many returns including the reduced need for cash to keep operations running, a reduced requirement for finance facilities that attract interest payments (Weighted Average Cost of Capital or WACC), well tuned and simplified processes which often mean a reduction in operating expense and P&L impacts. All these are some of the critical fundamentals that every analyst looks for in all economic climates. Even more so today.
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Take Care of Your Talent – Develop your Belt

Against the common belief, statistical knowledge is not a criterion for selecting your Belts. However, the capability to acquire new technical skills, to apply these skills successfully is an important prerequisite. More important is the aptitude to involve, motivate, coach and train people, to lead and manage teams towards delivering results and to communicate effectively with different levels in the organisation.
A study by iSixSigma Magazine about the importance of different skills and characteristics for a successful Black Belt (“The Hard Truth About Soft Skills,” January/February 2008) was showing that Communication Skills is by far the most important requirement. Leadership Skills came in second and Technical Skills third. The question for the importance of Soft Skills for different roles in the Six Sigma deployment was answered by 72% for Green Belts and 99% for Black Belts with important or very important (5-point scale). Soft Skills include Communication, Collaboration, Team Leadership, Change Management, Time Management as most important to the success of the Belt.   Continue reading →

Leaders in The Driver’s Seat

In times like this, every penny counts. So, how do we ensure we get the most out of our learning & development dollars spent? Many studies prove what practitioners have known for long: formal training programmes do not deliver the promised ROI – especially when the so-called ‘soft skills’ are concerned. We must find a way to craft a learning experience for our leaders that will really make a change.
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Take Care of Your Talent – Or Someone Else Will

Your Lean Six Sigma initiative has taken off well, project teams led by Belts have done a nice work and results are in. Good job so far?! However, this is the rather easy part of your journey. The more difficult part is about retaining and accelerating the trained Black Belts and Green Belts (Belts).

Lean Six Sigma Deployments need Green Belts or Black Belts

Green Belts or Black Belts are the Project Leaders for Lean Six Sigma Projects

Talking to both, Lean Six Sigma consultants as well as their clients, paints a surprisingly consistent picture. Nearly half of the companies who kick-off a Lean Six Sigma initiative lose some of their Belts shortly after certification. Another tendency is alarming. We are not talking about one or two Belts who resign at that point in time. A considerable 20 – 30% of the first batch of trainees may decide to leave.

So, what went wrong?

The answer to that question lies in the approaches companies choose to run their Lean Six Sigma initiative and human capital development. In some companies like Microsoft or General Electric, Lean Six Sigma education and development is part of the management development programme for their staff. Employees see such development as reward and potential for growth within the company. These companies have included Lean Six Sigma as one of the core programmes in their management and leadership development initiative, where staff undergoes action learning by carrying out real business projects with application of Lean Six Sigma tools & methodologies.

For some companies, the most urgent driver to engage the Belts with the business operations agenda is process optimisation or streamlining. Companies fail to look beyond, i.e. career development opportunities for their Belts, or even to recognise some of them as their key talent who are potentially future leaders for their companies. Unfortunately, this reality hits at a time when demand exceeds supply.

General Electric’s Management Development Programme includes a compulsory module about Lean Six Sigma. Without having a “Belt” no one has a chance to be promoted into the upper management in GE.

The pressing question, then, is how to retain our Belts, our talents. And, how can we accelerate the process of nurturing and maturing leaders so that absence of talent is never an impediment to business goals. As with all change initiatives, it only has a chance when the top management sets the tone and invests time and energy so that the talent development is internalised by the entire organisation and truly shapes the company for the future[i].

Excellence in Talent Management

In most companies, the process and tools around identifying potential and accelerating the development of top leadership talent are facilitated by HR. In the best companies, however, strong sense of personal responsibility to spot, nurture and retain talent is deeply embedded in every leader’s agenda, and is evident in how they spend their time. This stems from a perception that the senior management sees talent as a strategic priority, and is a constant champion of those initiatives that drive it.

In this article, we list some ideas on excellence in talent management and on supporting strategies as well as steps for managing talent that truly benefits the business.

Step 1: Begin with the End in Mind – Your Current and Future Business Needs

Effective talent management delivers real competitive advantage when business goals and strategies are the starting point for determining the quality and quantity of the Black Belts or Green Belts you need. It is important to intertwine Belt requirements with the business needs – which means that business and Belt planning process need to happen in sync. The challenge organisations often wrestle with at this point is identifying and selecting the right people to become Belts. Here are two examples for consideration:

We need a robust and systematic tool to select and train future leaders for our company. What I’ve read about Six Sigma so far was about focusing on customer requirements, managing and improving processes, changing the company’s culture, encouraging people and, last but not least, making money. This is exactly the job of our leaders. Therefore, we want to use Lean Six Sigma as part of the management development programme to select and develop the next generation of leaders, the president of an Asian multi-national company responded when asked why he wanted to kick-off Lean Six Sigma[ii].

We are a government regulatory agency. There have been consistently unpleasant feedback and complaints in newspapers by our customers about our service and process turn-around time. Who will be suitable to bring up our customers’ experience by optimising our processes?, was the explanation of a director in a government agency on the question what they want to use Lean Six Sigma for.

As strategic plans and forecasts are prepared for business units or functions, questions about leaders or talent need to be addressed: Who will execute each part of the plan? What skills do they need to possess? What skills do they need to develop to enable them to be successful?

This involves translating requirements into concrete descriptions of the type and quality of talent you need. This means determining critical success profiles for the role (Black Belt, Green Belt), sizing up both the quantity and quality of your leadership bench in relation to current and future business needs.

Step 2: Selecting Belts – What Kind of Talent Does The Business Need?

Our experience over the last decade with Belts who succeed and those who could not make it has led us believe that the performance is linked to the following traits:

  • Personal Interest in the programme is one of the most important factors. It is much easier to teach methodology and tools to people with the right mindset than making a disbeliever (typically low interest) a Lean Six Sigma evangelist.
  • Organisational Knowledge And Business Acumen provide focus for individual’s energy and drive key business initiatives & priorities that will expand business, increase market share or improve profitability.
  • Competencies are the broad challenge to which the Belts must step up, to drive successful execution of the strategic priorities (e.g. driving change, generating ideas, controlling costs, developing others, etc).
  • Personal Attributes – such as customer orientation, be it external or internal customers – is essential for succeeding in Lean Six Sigma and a major step from process improvement towards customer satisfaction. Self motivation and risk taking are other key personal attributes to ensure success in this role. People management skills comprise of a list of key strengths that are fundamentals to win.

Against the common belief, statistical knowledge is not a criterion for selecting your Belts. However, the capability to acquire new technical skills, to apply these skills successfully is an important prerequisite. More important is the aptitude to involve, motivate, coach and train people, to lead and manage teams towards delivering results and to communicate effectively with different levels in the organisation.

A Belt candidate with the right mindset and with the latter strong point will be able to overcome a technical weakness easily by building on the strength of his team members, whereas a technically competent candidate without “People Skills” will most likely fail. Hence, selecting Belts with less people skills needs special development steps in order to avoid frustration and ultimately resignation. Moreover, traditional Lean Six Sigma training focuses on building and enriching technical skills and is typically very weak in developing people skills. Adequate training and development measures need to be considered.

All these traits provide the foundation needed to drive subsequent steps in the talent management process, and other HR systems such as on-boarding and performance management[iii]. Our experience is that such attributes are most essential to measure Lean Six Sigma Belt candidates’ potential or potential derailleurs. At the same time they are critical for selecting staff into other critical jobs or assignments.

Step 3: Developing the Potential of Belts

Consequently, talent management is not about putting the Belts through the Lean Six Sigma training and getting them to deliver a couple of business projects, but is about enhancing them to support organisational leadership capability on a broader scale. This important step acts as screening mechanism for those most likely to become tomorrow’s leaders, providing a basis for a flexible pool, which individual – for any number of good reasons – move in and out of as years go by.

Many common mistakes companies have made at developing the Belts include:

  • Selection without subsequent diagnosis of additional development needs
  • Focus on current performance alone
  • Inconsistent assessment criteria
  • Only focus on strengths (no consideration of leadership potential derailleurs)

We see three components as key to optimising the potential of Belts:

a)  Evaluating Current Performance

Assessing the effectiveness of Belt’s performance and behaviour in their current role should be done before evaluating potential. We believe that sustained high performance in the current role is a pre-requisite for potential.

It is important for the managers to define clear performance expectations and measures; commit time to managing performance by observing, coaching and giving feedback; and balancing consideration of results with behaviours.

Tanya used to be a team leader responsible for renewal of policies in an insurance company. The senior management team wanted to use Lean Six Sigma for improving the relatively low renewal rate. Because Tanya was the only person in sight who knew the process good enough she was hesitantly selected to become a Green Belt and “to fix the renewal rate problem”.

It was an uphill task for her as she was a rank & file manager without any prior management or leadership development. However, Tanya has the key personal traits, her desire to learn and developing others. This and her hard work with her team – Lean Six Sigma work was additional work for her – had made her a successful individual in the organisation.

She delivered excellent business results; the management team was amazed by her hidden leadership qualities and business understanding. Tanya was promoted twice within four years subsequent to her excellent performance.

Today, Tanya is one of the members in the senior management team of that company.

b) Identifying Leadership Potential

Determining individuals with the most growth promise is often done superficially. Uncover the hidden potential of the individual by leveraging on the individual’s strength. And provide space and confidence for the individual to grow. The behaviours of such individuals are:

  • taking best advantage of and
  • responding positively to differential development opportunities,
  • supporting the organisation’s values, as well as
  • being able to apply what is learned productively within the organisation.

If you can identify the potential effectively, you can focus your investment on these individuals who will generate the highest ROI in terms of their ability to grow quickly and broadly.

c)  Creating Opportunities For Acceleration

Once you have screened for leadership potential among the Belts you have developed, those meeting criteria are admitted to the “talent pool”. More accurately, they are target for rapid development – an “acceleration pool”. The beauty of such a pool is that it provides flexibility and eventually greater organisational self-sufficiency for current and future talent needs. The pool becomes the first in mind when high-value roles need to be filled and special assignments emerge.

Senior Management supported by HR take personal ownership of the “talent pool”. I.e. they request  realistic assessment of readiness and focused development for pool members. And, they keep regular, thoughtful communication with the pool. The communication should make clear that being part of this pool is an opportunity but not a guarantee for promotion.

Step 4: Assessing the Readiness of Belts for Leadership Transitions

How do you minimise the risk of promotions when the pace of business means that you often need to test people in untried roles with new responsibilities? Using Lean Six Sigma projects provide assessment information of your potential leaders and hence helps in the selection decisions. Additionally, the following approaches may be considered:

a)  Individual Readiness

There are many assessment tools available. They have different strengths and need to be applied appropriately to help you and other stakeholders make better talent decisions. Tools such as Performance Feedback, Personality Inventories, etc.

COE’s approach to assessment using 360 Degree Survey (360ELP) complement with coaching/mentoring, focus on others’ perceptions of performance in a current role is a powerful diagnostic for development.

b)  Organisational Readiness or “Talent Pulse-Rate”

Increasingly, decisions about strategic direction and organisational structure (or restructuring), mean decisions about talent. Which talent ‘you want on the bus’ (Jim Collins: Good to Great) impacts not only your ability to execute but also your stakeholders’ confidence in that ability, which can amount to the same thing. A thorough review or audit of what you’ve got and how far it’s likely to be able to take you in your chosen direction – the Talent Pulse Rate[v] brings visible assurance to stakeholders. It provides a solid basis for decisions on restructuring, talent redeployment and development, whatever might ensure decisions around placement.

Step 5: Developing and Driving Performance

After the assessment, it is essential that the participant is given thoughtful feedback and has the opportunity to buy-in and agree on development priorities. They focus on individual growth areas or strengths that match what the business needs of its leaders, their own role requirements, personal goals, aspirations and objectives.

Besides undertaking real business projects that require using Lean Six Sigma methodologies, development can be in the context of a new job assignment, or in structured training for fundamental leadership skills.

Set of Belt Competencies

Set of Belt Competencies

Executive Development will likely be more individualised, where action learning can meet the needs. The figure shows COE’s perspective on the set of Process Excellence Leader Competencies. There are four roles process excellence leaders will grow into over time: Business Advocate, Process Excellence Expert, Integrator and Change Agent. However, this cannot be achieved by doing one project and leading a team to successful completion.

In any context, though you need rigor in how development is executed. Effective development requires a blend of activities including mentoring, classroom learning, coaching, action learning, etc.

Conclusion

Belt selection is a critical step in ensuring a Lean Six Sigma initiative contributes to the business as intended. Belts are your talent pool, who has proven to be able to perform in their job and whom you would like to see growing in your organisation. They need to have interest – or you need to enkindle this interest respectively. Additionally, they need to have some basic people skills. And, they need to be open for discovering new ways of looking at problems. All these requirements are basics for leaders.

Use Lean Six Sigma to develop your next generation of leaders – and communicate this carefully. If someone fails to deliver, give him/her another chance. If this person fails again, you know that he/she may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

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BPR Case Study: Preparation for ERP Purchase & Implementation

An Australian construction equipment rental & leasing firm had decided to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning system in 12 months. During this 12 month period there was an expectation that all front-end services including Sales, Customer Service, Receivables, Payables, would be re-designed to achieve streamlining and simplification prior to ERP implementation.

Operations spanned 18 cities across Australia with many more small ‘re-sellers’ located in the Australian interior or ‘outback’ as it is locally known. Compounding a normal organisational and operational setup was the fact that this firm grew a substantial portion of its business through the acquisition route thus effectively incorporating myriad systems and practices. There were 5 Receivables systems, 4 Payables systems and a decentralized customer service database (more than 200 input platforms) which needed to be tied together to make the ERP implementation work.
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SMED Case Study: Steel Tools Manufacturer

After a Lean programme for inventory was instituted the production facility struggled with getting a good product mix out to the finished goods inventory due to relatively long change-over times for cutting dies. Steel tool (final product) cutting dies need to be replaced after every 4 Kanban batch runs of 225 pieces each.

This frequent changeover, occurring once every hour of work is necessary to maintain and re-sharpen the cutting die’s cutting edges. Current changeover time for the cutting die was approximately 60 minutes and included the use of a single 10 ton forklift though the die weight was 5 tons. Nearly 50% of a working day was ‘wasted’ on changeovers not including the impact of the ‘inability’ to achieve a high vol-ume of product mix for agility to meet with product demand requirements of a Lean pro-gramme.
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Leadership Development Case Study

Our client, a leading world authority in microelectronics development and research, appointed a senior research fellow to head its entire research and development division. Could the company’s top scientist and academic researcher, who had never managed a staff of more than twenty, make the transition to effectively manage hundreds of people in his division?
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Team Effectiveness Development Case Study

Our client, a US-based IT manufacturing MNC, needed to align the efforts of its seven separate IT divisions and help division leaders think of themselves as part of one culture – one body – one department. Until this point, each leader and unit had been functioning as a separate department. The firm called on COE to help with team effectiveness development.
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People Development – The Smart Way

A couple of years ago, I was meeting the President of an Asian multi-national mid-sized service company for a Six Sigma Training on Saipan, a nice sunny pacific island south-east of Japan. Together with a colleague we were sitting at the beach, wearing swimming suits and preparing the next days session whilst getting sun-tanned. When the President arrived – he was in shorts and ugly slippers! – we had a casual briefing for the Leadership Team session and the Staff Awareness Sessions we were about to run during that week.

Measure The Success of Your Journey – A Lean Six Sigma Meter

Some well-known companies have been “doing Six Sigma” for years. They keep doing improvement projects in all kinds of business and support processes, rolling it out in Sales and R&D. They are extending the application of Six Sigma to the entire value chain – suppliers and customers – in their drive for sustained performance improvement. They are successful in building the Six Sigma principles into their daily business life and using this powerful approach as a vehicle to drive cultural change.

Other companies pilot improvement initiatives like Six Sigma by running a couple of improvement projects, then recognise that the journey toward improved business results will be a long and difficult one that requires a turn-around in the mindset of managers. A post-mortem analysis of a failed Six Sigma effort usually points to the lack of management commitment and lack of attention to the business and cultural investment needed to reach and sustain new levels of performance. What practical steps can be taken to maintain the focus and drive needed to reap the full benefits that Six Sigma offers?

Six Sigma – Show Me The Money

Globalisation and instant access to information, products and services continue to change the way our customers conduct business.
Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. We must delight our customers and relentlessly look for new ways to exceed their expectations. This is why Six Sigma Quality has become a part of our culture. Jack Welch, GE

What is Six Sigma?

First, what it is not. It is not a secret society, a slogan or a cliche. Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps all kinds of companies focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.

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