Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Six Sigma Training and Implementation

                   Different groups within your organization should receive different levels of Six Sigma training, but all have a role to play. Senior management (including the CEO, CIO, CFO and others) must begin by incorporating Sigma Six business objectives into their company plans - for example, deciding what percentage of employees will be trained in Six Sigma methodology by a set date and how many fewer defects should be present in processes that the customers are able to observe.

               For the senior management, Six Sigma training would probably include an overview of the program, discussion of the financial and business benefits of implementing the program, and examples of successful program deployments from actual businesses, and the training and tools that will be necessary for them to implement Six Sigma in their own company. If they have time available and an interest in the details of Six Sigma, it is recommended that they receive Black Belt training - which would permit them to train other employees in the program in the future.

                 Next, functional and process managers, who report directly to the senior management, might come from areas including finance, training, human resources, call center, production and assembly. Within Six Sigma, they are often called "champions" or "sponsors" because their role is championing the program within their organization. They receive more detailed training than the senior management, including information on the Six Sigma concept and methodology, along with the requirements and tools to help them successfully implement the program in their company. Black Belt training is also recommended for this group.

                   Quality leaders/managers should take Master Black Belt roles. They ought to help the functional and process managers set up and lead the implementation process in their areas, and coach them as necessary. Their role is to keep rolled-up budgets, track the cost savings of the business, make sure that training goals are met, review the projects whenever a milestone is hit, share stories of best practices, and make sure that methodologies and tools are used appropriately.

                    They receive detailed Six Sigma training in the areas of tools, methodology and concept. They also receive extensive statistics and computer analysis tool training. This training might last as long as three or four weeks.

                  Project leaders will take Black Belt roles. They are the ones who actually implement Six Sigma tools and methodology within the company. They lead projects, both inter- and intra-function, determine which is the appropriate tool to use in certain situations, perform certain analyses, and serve as the central contact point for projects to improve specific processes.

                  They also receive detailed information about Six Sigma tools, concept and methodology. Training for project leaders may last from two to four weeks, as well as at least one more week training between sections. Although they receive statistics training, it is not as detailed as that which the quality leaders undergo.

                  Employees will take a Green Belt role. They may, however, also take Six Sigma training courses which were specifically created for project leaders. Although it is shorter in duration and less detailed, the employees' training is similar to that which the Black Belts receive; if they have more complex questions, however, they are told to ask a Black Belt for help.

                  In order to implement Six Sigma, it is necessary for company to take certain steps. Some experts organize the required changes into the DMAIC form that makes up such an important part of the Six Sigma methodology. First, the business must define what they wish to accomplish with a Six Sigma program, and all workers should receive training.

              By the time they begin the program, they must have timetables for deployment and clear knowledge about what they will be expected to contribute. Next, they must measure progress as the program proceeds. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should include at least the number of Belts who need training, dollar-target benefits, and performance goals for individuals.

               Training and improvement should continue even after deployment - for example, all Black Belts should receive training in Lean Six Sigma. Furthermore, it is important for workers to be careful about what projects they select. Project selection must be based on solid opportunity and projected benefit rather than "gut feeling."

                  The team that works on the project should be carefully selected - three to six workers, including at the least, a process owner, an expert in the field and a process operator. A financial representative ought to have full understanding of all the developments in the project. It is also important for the organization to analyze the projects and the data that they bring in.

                  Implementing Six Sigma can provide your company with a whole new look at the production and service process. It is a very valuable tool for your business.


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