Six-Sigma 101A Motorola initiative to reduce variability in manufacturing and business processes. The premise; give belts (like Karate) to experts, and let them lead in initiatives to reduce cost.
|Define||Do a gap analysis; define where you are and where you want to be.|
|Measure||Have your Key Performance Metrics identified, and actually measure them.|
|Analyze||Look at your KPIs and where they apply in the gap. Model the process. Write it down. If you can write it down, and you can articulate it, you understand it.|
|Improve||If you can model a process, and you have some baseline metrics, you can do some step-wise improvements.|
|Control||The first step to reducing entropy; you can’t measure what you don’t control.|
Lean Manufacturing 101From Toyota, Lean is all about reducing fat, or waste, from a system. A value is attached to all aspects of a business process, and you root out low (or no) value tasks. Do more with less. Originally Toyota focused on their seven wastes. But this has grown to be a leadership doctrine, specifically a doctrine for Business Continuous Process Improvement (BCPI). The Toyota Production System (TPS, and it is not lost on me the TPS Report from Office Space) focused on BCI and team building.
|Challenge||Have a long term goal, and check points to measure those goals.|
|Kaizen||Perfection is not an end-state, it is an unreachable goal to work towards.|
|Genchi Genbutsu||Look at root cause. Go to the primary source of information. Spread|
the word and get consensus.
|Respect||Take all stakeholders seriously, and enable them with information.|
|Teamwork||Everyone needs to be involved at some point with a feeling of empowerment.|
As much as I would like to rant on about the failure of Team Building as it stresses leadership over management, these two schools feed so well into the objectives of Total Quality Management (TQM). The objectives of any quality plan are continual improvement, customer satisfaction, employee empowerment, integrating knowledge and value extraction. The tools are ones that capture ideas, meetings, analysis, modeling, and control information.
This is a great vision, if it has executive championship, and people have the authority to make-it-so. The biggest challenges in large organizations;
- fear of change - people just don’t like to change up the routine, in particular in large
companies where you have the security of unchallenged failure
- jacket syndrome - where the person checks-in, puts the jacket on the chair (and maybe the steaming mug of coffee), and checks-out
- politics - where job security and king-of-the-hill mentality can be formidable foes
to any initiative