3 Common mistakes when implementing Six Sigma

When you implement Six Sigma, you usually do so expecting to help your company, trying to improve the manufacturing process as much as possible so it can have better results and the quality of your products reaches much better standards. And you are probably right, as Six Sigma is a really balanced system and it usually gives amazing results, but let’s not lie to ourselves it may fail sometimes. As any other system it has it flaws and if not managed properly the system may simply fail, not because of the system but due to it being badly implemented. We like discussing Six Sigma and other programs in this blog and so we want to help you understand better how to make Six Sigma work in your company. Today we will discuss some common mistakes that may occur while trying to implement Six Sigma, as well as solutions to these mistakes. This way you will be able to prevent some of these and make your Six Sigma process as fruitful as possible.  

1  . Focus on Certification and Training

It is really important for you and your team to remember the goal, so it is important to keep working to make the Six Sigma process advance. Training is also important, but if your team focuses more in training instead of continuing the Six Sigma process, it will lead to a bad ending. It is important to have a balance between the two of them, training will allow you process to be more refined and do better overall, and working will allow you to use that knowledge learned through the training to help the project advance and get finished.

Solution: You should always try to focus on working in the projects, as it is what will give the company what it is looking for and will help it reach its goals. This should be your priority as it will give the company the monetary gain and will improve greatly its infrastructure thanks to the Six Sigma process. To make sure you do not deviate from the goal, the more experienced members of the team should keep following the process carefully and if it starts to deviate they should reevaluate the process and get it back on track and keep the balance between both working on the project and training.

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2. Leaders not getting involved

Like we have said before, teamwork is really important when developing a Six Sigma project and it can lead to the process showing amazing results while a bad teamwork will lead to the process being sloppy. An important member of this team should always be the leader, not only the team leader or coach, but the leader of the company. This leadership will be as important as resources and planning and should really at least be taken into account.

Solution: The coach or team leader should try to keep the company leader interested and engaged in the process, as well as making sure both the company and the leader are informed of how the Six Sigma projects are doing and stress the fact that this will improve the overall performance of the company. By doing so he will make sure that the company supports the process completely and this will help the success of the project.

3. Bad strategy for  deployment

It is important to have a carefully develop plan when you are going to start you Six Sigma process, this plan or strategy will help achieve the desired results and keep the project organized so it develops better. Not having or having a bad strategy will lead to the team not working properly and this may delay the deployment process a lot, as the people involved in project will not be well informed about the value of the project and this will lead to a bad understanding of it, causing it to be delayed.

Solution: To fix this, you should take into account both the interests of the company as well as the expected results of the project when making the strategy. This strategy must be clear and encompass all the steps and sub-processes necessary in the project, some of these steps include coaching, Six Sigma training and learning in the company, communication and flow of information during the project and overall project organization. Constant evaluation of the process is necessary and after having the results of the evaluation, you should analyze the information to see what is working and what is not. This will lead to the project having results faster and this will give the company confidence in the Six Sigma project.

So remember to take these common mistakes into account when planning or developing your own Six Sigma project, if you want to read more articles by David Kiger like this one you should check the rest of this blog. We recommend this article on the differences between Lean and Six Sigma.


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