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Four Signs of Effective Six Sigma Program

Elizabeth Marks

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Before we address running an effective program, let's talk about what a successful program looks like. Success is a subjective term depending on any number of things: to one company success might be the number of projects done within a certain period of time, another company may say having all employees trained, and still another company may define success in pure hard dollar savings. Therefore, in order to have an effective program, you need to define what success is for your organization. Once that's clear and everyone understands what it takes to be successful, the employees will be much more likely to participate enthusiastically.

There are a few tell tale signs of an effective Six Sigma Program. This article was written to share the experience of a California based Computer Electronics company to provide some helpful hints at running your own program effectively.

1. Management follow through is critical to the success of any Six Sigma Program. If management doesn't get behind the initiative with specific participation, it's pointless. Management can not stand in front of the organization tout how great Six Sigma is to the company and then not attend the monthly review meetings. It just won't work.

2. Identify your influencers. Who in your organization is best suited for Quality Expert roles? Who believes in the methodology? Pair them up with struggling project leaders to act as mentors and coaches. Leverage them to infiltrate the rest of the organization.

3. Don't tell me, show me. Before employees embrace Six Sigma they need to see example projects demonstrating the effectiveness of the program. Identify your organizations best projects and present them. Showcase the best projects, so others can learn from them.

4. Recognize employee efforts. Celebrate on a quarterly basis the achievements of your employees. Praise them for their project work. Provide opportunities for project leaders to present projects in a large forum. Not only will the project leader become a better presenter, but everyone who hears will learn a little more about Six Sigma methodologies.

Take it from me, a certified Master Black Belt these are just a few traits of a well run Six Sigma Program. Start with a clear definition of success and educate everyone on what success means to your company. Get management participation. Know and use your key influencers to reach all employees. Show them don't tell them by highlight best practices projects. Lastly, recognize employees’ project effort.

© Elizabeth Marks has 20 years business experience in sales, marketing, operations, Six Sigma project management, and business planning areas. She enjoys sharing her knowledge to benefit others’ development and growth. For more business articles visit For devotions or bible studies visit today.


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