QUESTION:What do you do if midway during a project there are certain changes in the process and the Sponsor does not want to continue with Six Sigma project? How do you avoid loss of effort wasted up to the Analyze phase?
This is unfortunate but it’s better to “kill” the project then to continue through the Improve phase, where a significant amount of the effort usually happens.
Killing projects can be a good thing because it can be a tough decision at times and leaders don’t always make the tough decision in a timely manner. They can drag their feet and ending up wasting more time. I actually see this happen more often than killing projects in Analyze. Don’t associate killing projects as a bad thing.
Organizations recognize that employees’ have too much on their plates and they want to reduce the workload. I wish leaders would do more of that!
QUESTION:I have heard that people will do A3 but do not collect data. How does that achieve anything with showing performance?
I think it’s very important to collect some level of data to show improvement, otherwise people just use anecdotal data. Data collection can be hard and even time-consuming, but if we always remember to make it meaningful and manageable, we can usually figure out some happy medium for data collection. It could be as easy as counting the number of process steps before and after the improvement!
QUESTION:Do these successes, bloopers and blunders apply to DMADV as well?
Yes, they definitely could, especially the blunders in how people approach the project. Selecting DMADV projects can have its own sets of challenges.
QUESTION:What do you do when the End Gamer is the Project Sponsor?
This can be a tough thing to do, but the bottom line is that they may not yet see the value in doing root cause analysis. Tell them whats in it for them if you do the root cause analysis. Everyone loves to tune into WIIFM radio! That stands for “What’s In It For Me?”
QUESTION:I’ve seen a lot of Blunder #5, the End Gamers, with the organization simply trying to improve. How can you get everyone to really understand that it is important to lead up to this if you want to go about it correctly?
Great question! The best generic answer I can give you without knowing more about your organization is:
- Start to showcase the projects that have been successful finding a root cause and implementing a solution that was different than the solution that what was going to be originally implemented. For example, most people just do training, IT automation, or creating standard work, but these are favorite solutions that don’t always resolve a problem.
- Start sharing success stories about wrong solutions being avoided because of root cause analysis.
In some organizations, Lean Six Sigma resources take it a step further and quantify how much the mistake would have cost them if the wrong solution was implemented.
QUESTION:Are there any plans to expand GoLeanSixSigma.com training into ITIL, CMMI, PMP, Scrum / Agile or similar Certifications? The GoLeanSixSigma.com approach of making the complex understandable could go a long way with those other certifications that federal customers are looking for in their contractors.
Thank you! We are glad you think our approach is good! At this point in time, we are only looking at Lean Six Sigma products with no long-term plans to expand into other types of training.
QUESTION:What if you are asked to take on a Lean Six Sigma project in an area where the leaders within that department already have a solution in mind and they don’t want to go through the “hassle” of Lean Six Sigma?
This probably happens more than we would like to see as Lean Six Sigma practitioners. I would say, let them do it. Tell them that if they’ve already found the solution and if there are plans already under way to implement it, then they don’t need DMAIC. This is more of a “Just-Do-It” then a DMAIC project.
In this case, DMAIC would be a waste of time since they’re going to move forward with implementation anyway. Don’t waste their time and if you’re a Lean Six Sigma resource, don’t waste your time!
QUESTION:After acting as a Lone Wolf, how can we involve the people we should have involved before, without making them feel unimportant?
This can be really hard to do after the fact because not only were these people disrespected to a degree, or blown off, if you will.
The Lone Wolf has lost trust and you have to get that back. So, starting with trust is probably the first step. How do you do that? With an admission of making a mistake…admitting that maybe that approach wasn’t the best, that you want to do things differently and move forward with involving people. Then, ask for feedback and input on how things could be different with the project, or what could have been done differently. You can also ask what could be done moving forward and follow-up on the feedback.
QUESTION:Will you be attending the Lean Summit in San Antonio next week?
Unfortunately not this one. We have attended other Lean Summits and I think they are wonderful. Let us know how it goes!