Leading Change & Innovation with Six Sigma -  By Marc St. James, CSSMBB

Clients expressed concerns that Six Sigma classroom training was too costly, and inconvenient to schedule. As Six Sigma Master Black Belt I needed to select and lead the team, and to advise this Six Sigma DMADV design project to create a new Six Sigma training process.

Actions: We used Change Management techniques and the Six Sigma DMADV design process to manage this strategic change and develop this new service.

Change management enables management and employees to learn, unlearn, and relearn at a pace consistent with the current rate of change. The eight-step method that I use for successful change management was developed by Kotter (1995):

  1. Establish sense of urgency:
    1. The Six Sigma Deployment Champion actively developed an internal awareness program to alert management and employees of the need for changes in the training process.
    2. Feedback was encouraged and obtained from external and internal customers (VOC).
  2. Form powerful guiding coalition:
    1. The Six Sigma Business Quality Council established a Steering Committee.
    2. The Steering Committee selected a Project Sponsor.
    3. The Project Sponsor accepted recommendations for Team Members and the Team Leader selected was a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
    4. The Project Sponsor established a weekly meeting with the Team Leader, to review and tollgate the team through each step of the DMADV process.
  3. Create a vision:
    1. The Project Sponsor created a vision for the DMADV process design project that focused on the future state and potential benefits to be derived after successful project conclusion.
    2. The vision focused on the potential benefits to:

                          i.      Customers.

                          ii.      Process.

                         iii.      Employees. 

  1. Communicate the vision:
    1. The Project Sponsor organized an internal awareness program.
    1. The program was branded with a logo for immediate recognition.
  1. Empower others to act on the vision:
    1. The Project Sponsor authorized the resources required by the DMADV team.
    2. The Project Sponsor created a Project Charter that included:

                        i.      Names of all DMADV Team Members, Leader, and Project Sponsor.

                        ii.      Problem Statement.

                        iii.      Goals.

                        iv.      Business Case.

                        v.      Scope.

                        vi.      Cost Benefit Projection (verified by a financial liaison from Controller’s Office).

                        vii.      Milestones

  1. Plan for and create short-term wins:
    1. The Team Leader created a recognition event for all team members after successful completion of each step of the DMADV process.
    2. The Team Leader and Team Members reviewed each team meeting prior to conclusion to determine:

                        i.      What went well during the meeting.

                        ii.      What needed improvement.

  1. Consolidate improvements and produce more change:
    1. After successful completion of the Verify stage of the DMADV process the Team issued a report that was posted to an internal company web page to document:

                       i.      Financial results verified by financial liaison.

                       ii.      Goal achievement verified by the steering committee.

                       iii.      DMADV Process  with Storyboards.

                       iv.      Six Sigma Tools used.

                       v.      What went well during the project.

                       vi.      What could have been done better.

                       vii.      Identify other areas within the company that may benefit from DMADV.

  1. Institutionalize the new approaches:
    1. The Business Quality Council created an event to celebrate the success of the DMADV design project, and provide the Team with recognition and rewards.
    2. Other employees and managers within the organization were inspired by the event and were encouraged to further their Six Sigma participation.

DMADV: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify:

  • Define: Specific, or broad problems, goal/change vision, scope and customer needs & requirements:

o       Project Charter. 

o       Create future state ideal high-level SIPOC Process Map.

o       Voice of the Customer (VOC) is gathered and displayed (Kano Model and CTQ Tree).

  • Measure: Effectiveness/efficiency performance to requirements, gather process data.

o       Establish measures based upon the VOC data collection:

§         Input measures

§         Process measures

§         Output measures

o       Determine “vital few” measures with funneling: FMEA.

o       Develop Data Collection Plan.

  • Analyze: Identify best-in-class practices, assess process design:

o       Value/Non-value added activities.

o       Bottlenecks/disconnects.

o       Alternate paths.

o       Refine requirements.

  • Design: Develop pilot/prototype, and beta test new process, structure and systems.
  • Verify: Establish metrics to maintain performance and improve new process over time.

Results: Successfully developed new live interactive online Six Sigma training process that offered our clients 3 choices: Live Interactive eLearning, Classroom, and/or a Blended Learning Architecture:

  • Increased client Six Sigma Green and Black Belt training
    effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Customer training costs were reduced up to 70% when compared to the costs associated with a traditional classroom.
  • Customer satisfaction was greatly improved.
  • Company management and employees were delighted with the new capability.


 Online Courses    I    About SSEI    I    Contact Us    I    Links     I    Articles


©2007 Six Sigma eLearning, LLC  856.574.4380