10 tips for managing Six Sigma

The implementation of Six Sigma alone doesn’t guarantee better results. How can organisations retain the best Six Sigma processes in order to achieve better results? Here, we give you 10 tips for managing Six Sigma.

1. Involvement

The involvement of higher management is essential. In order to ensure this, it’s necessary to first train all members. Such training must at least include an introduction to Six Sigma, i.e. its tools and techniques and the roles and responsibilities of management at Champion level.

It is important for everyone to be convinced of the benefits of Six Sigma. Additionally, the below points must be in order:

  • Goals of the organisation are in line with Six Sigma projects
  • Wastes have been eliminated
  • An individual has been selected to lead the projects and has received Black Belt training

2. Six Sigma Champions

All managers must be trained as Six Sigma Champions. This training takes two days and is especially intended for management. You’ll learn how to ask the right questions and how to inspire and support Green and Black Belts in the execution of projects.

3. Scheduling

For best results, the Six Sigma schedule must correspond to the organisation schedule. Make sure that Six Sigma projects form part of the year-start schedule.

4. Training

Make sure that you receive training from the very best Lean Six Sigma consultants. Our instructors are all (Master) Black Belts with vast experience in Lean Six Sigma projects. This means that you’re guaranteed to be trained to the right level.

5. ROTI

Try to ensure a Return On Training Investment of at least 20. You can do this by accurately defining projects and by placing strong people in the right positions. Calculate the ROTI using the following formula:

Value of benefits : cost of training x 100 = ROTI

6. Six Sigma throughout all layers

For Six Sigma to perform best, it is important to implement the methodology throughout all layers of the organisation. Assigning projects to a number of Green Belts and Black Belts works well, but train all employees for best results. Yellow Belt training, for instance, is ideal for this. It creates more involvement and everyone is aware of what the organisation is working towards.

7. Certification

Put together a programme that focuses on certification. You could, for example, award certificates to everyone who successfully completes a process. Think big, but make sure that such certificates are worthwhile and only issue them if Lean Six Sigma tools have been applied correctly.

8. Support

Design processes with good support in mind. This is necessary in order to plot the right course for all projects so that they can be completed in time.

9. Finances

Finances must be verified. Everything must be checked constantly. This responsibility can be handed to the project manager, or to the process owner upon being assigned by the project manager.

10. The right manager

Do not hand responsibility for Six Sigma projects to the quality manager. The role of the quality manager is vastly different and he will not be in a position to manage the Six Sigma process on behalf of the entire organisation.