Six Sigma Deployment Strategy Guide

A Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy is one of the most exciting and daunting process initiatives that an organization can ever undertake. Well-planned Six Sigma initiatives can help reenergize an organization and achieve breakthrough results. A poorly executed Six Sigma implementation can demoralize key stakeholders in the organization.

Six Sigma is used by many of the largest companies around the globe. Six Sigma is more than just a methodology for process improvement. A well-planned Six Sigma implementation can have a huge impact on an organization. Six Sigma deployment errors result in a complete failure of deployment efforts and a waste of resources and time.

What is a lean six sigma deployment strategy process?
What is a lean six sigma deployment strategy process?

The Key Components of a Six Sigma Deployment

1. Planning and Strategy

A Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy that is well-planned will help align the program’s goals with the organization’s mission and vision. A sound Six Sigma plan and strategy will also enable the creation and implementation of a deployment and infrastructure plan for Six Sigma, as well as a management oversight mechanism and course correction if necessary.

Here are some of the main benefits that come from a well-planned strategy:

  • Senior management involvement and support.
  • Tailoring Six Sigma initiatives to organizational goals and objectives.
  • Identification of actions needed to achieve both short-term benefits and long-term Six Sigma.
  • Create a structured method to facilitate organizational transformation.
  • Management of Six Sigma initiatives that are effective and efficient.
  • Training and Development: Training and development helps the organization educate its associates about the Six Sigma philosophy, and improves the Six Sigma DNA in the organization. Six Sigma is an attitude that requires constant nurturing and support in order to maintain the enthusiasm for implementing this way of living within the organization. The application of Six Sigma is also enhanced by learning and development.

    Here are some of the main benefits that Six Sigma-centric measures can bring to your learning and development:
    • Six Sigma knowledge is deepened.
    • Leadership teams are more aware of Six Sigma.
    • Create a culture of learning within your organization.
    • The workforce has improved their analytical and comprehension skills.

2. Assessment and Selection of Projects

The assessment and selection of projects are two of the key components of any Six Sigma program. These activities are used to identify and prioritize the Six Sigma project based on the organization’s short- and long-term goals. The wrong project can be disastrous and cause the Six Sigma program to fail. The project assessment and selection process should ensure that selected Six Sigma projects are aligned with the business, financial, customers, and process improvement goals.

Below are the key benefits of a project assessment and selection that is accurate:

  • Ascertain that the correct projects are chosen according to organizational needs.
  • Close the project successfully.
  • Six Sigma Projects can be progressed more efficiently.
  • Assures increased support from key stakeholders
  • Project execution and coaching support: Project implementation and coaching support provide the necessary support for Green Belts and Black Belts to execute Six Sigma projects, and enable the organization to implement process improvement projects that are of strategic importance. The review of Six Sigma deliverables and signing off on project tollgates are key activities. Also, the organization must achieve breakthrough improvements in its core business processes. Coaching support is a critical component of a Six Sigma program. It helps to achieve a timely closure and implementation of the Six Sigma projects. Project delays are a common problem in many Six Sigma programs. Effective coaching support can help overcome these hindrances during the Six Sigma project cycle.

    Below are the key benefits of coaching and project execution.
    • Ability to better assess the voices of customers, businesses, and processes.
    • Motivated the workforce and improved project closure rates.
    • Process improvements can be achieved by reducing cycle times.
    • Best-in-class processes can be achieved.
    • Improvements in tracking, monitoring, and reporting Six Sigma progress within the organization.
    • Information is easily accessible.
    • Knowledge management is a powerful tool.
    • Reuse of best practices within the organization.

3. Management of Information

The management of information provides a framework for project governance, report generation, timely dissemination, and management. Tracking, monitoring, and reporting Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy progress is a key activity. Facilitating review meetings between Six Sigma program champions and senior executives to track progress and knowledge management are also important. Information management allows organizations to get real-time information on the Six Sigma initiative. It also helps them incorporate mid-course corrections into the Six Sigma deployment process and strategy. Information management is often overlooked by many organizations, and they struggle to keep track of the overall Six Sigma deployment.

Below are the key benefits of Information Management:

  • Improvements in tracking, monitoring, and reporting Six Sigma progress within the organization.
  • Information is easily accessible.
  • Knowledge management is a powerful tool.
  • Reuse of best practices within the organization.

4. Digitalization and Enablers

Digitalization and enablers refer to the digitization and automation of Six Sigma processes, products, and groups in order to facilitate an efficient and smooth Six Sigma implementation within the organization. Classroom training can be prohibitively expensive and cause logistical problems, especially in large companies. The problem becomes even more serious when it comes to global organizations. Online access to Six Sigma can be a great way to train people on a large scale and provide a simple tracking system for the program. Six Sigma portals are a cost-effective way to disseminate information and knowledge. Digitization helps to track the progress of Six Sigma Projects in real time and ensures timely corrective actions. Process mapping and data analytics tools can help Green Belts and Black Belts acquire new skills, and facilitate the closure of projects.

Below is a list of the key benefits and enablers of digitalization.

  • The deployment speed is improved.
  • Reduces the cost of certification and training.
  • The learning experience for users is improved.
  • Six Sigma Projects can be tracked and monitored better.
What are the key components of a lean six sigma deployment strategy process?
What are the key components of a lean six sigma deployment strategy process?

5 Common Six Sigma Deployment Mistakes & Solutions

1. Leaders are indifferent

Leadership should provide a holistic approach to Six Sigma within an organization. The leadership’s commitment and support will be a major factor in the success of Six Sigma. Even at smaller gatherings, such as meetings, forums, and discussions, senior leadership should emphasize the importance of Six Sigma. Leadership should support this initiative in a unanimous manner. Not only should senior leadership support it, but so should leaders at all levels of the organization. No amount of effort, resources or good intentions can help you if there is not sustained leadership support.

Solution: It is important to maintain the unity of the leadership throughout the Six Sigma journey. Senior management must continually emphasize the importance of Six Sigma and its connection to the business strategy. It is important that Six Sigma be an agenda for every event.

2. Incorrect Six Sigma Deployment Strategy

Six Sigma is supported by an organization when it has a proper Six Sigma implementation strategy. When Six Sigma is not deployed correctly, it can lead to confusion and delays in the deployment of Six Sigma within an organization.

Solution: Six Sigma implementation strategies must align with the enterprise’s business objectives to avoid this error. It is important to develop a holistic strategy that includes planning, learning, development, project management, information management, and more. The teams must evaluate each strategy and determine the impact on the business.

3. Six Sigma Certification and Training: Too much stress?

For any successful deployment of a framework/methodology, training and certification of the workforce are crucial, as it builds competency within the organization. But enterprises often overdo this and do not support the actual execution of projects. Without proper coaching and mentoring after their training, regardless of how many Green Belts or Black Belts are in an organization, critical business projects will be delayed, or selected projects may just be extended to meet certification targets.

Solution: Six Sigma deployers should be more focused on the business objectives of the organization and lay the foundation for Six Sigma project selection, along with the proper mentoring that will bring tangible benefits to an organization. Senior management must review the business results and Lean Six Sigma deployment strategies, such as certification and training process, to ensure success.

4. Selecting the wrong project

When an inappropriate/incorrect project is selected to deploy Six Sigma, to begin with, it will lead to projects that lack sufficient data and focus or projects that are completely outside the control of Green Belts and Black Belts. This type of project selection leads to projects being delayed or scrapped completely, and key personnel losing faith in Six Sigma.

Solution: Teams involved in Lean Six Sigma deployment strategy process must ensure that the projects selected are data-driven, and are based on financial, business, and customer goals. These goals should be prioritized to meet them. Deployment Teams should hold regular workshops in order to identify the best project. They should also ensure that all projects have a project sponsor, who will be responsible for tracking the business benefits. The organization should monitor closely the progress of the Six Sigma project and adjust it if the business goals aren’t being met.

5. When you don’t segregate the effort

Six Sigma is a tool that can be used by all employees in an organization to improve the growth of their company. Often, however, the deployment teams do not communicate to key stakeholders what benefits Six Sigma brings. It is they alone who set formal goals for Six Sigma results, leaving a significant gap within an organization.

Solution: Deployment Teams should connect the organization’s goals with Six Sigma goals and personal goals to show the rest of their workforce how they are all related. This will help to gain support from other associates outside the deployment teams as well as senior management. Management should showcase deployment results regularly and explain how they can help their career. Deployment teams should also create a Six Sigma Road Map for the entire company to ensure that Six Sigma is fully integrated into the culture of the organization.

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