Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Fail at Six Sigma?

People resist change and do not like getting out of their comfort zones. So, as a Six Sigma professional trying to implement change in organizations, failure is likely to come as is success. People are the main reason some otherwise successful planned six sigma projects can fail at some organizations. So, we need to learn from mistakes and accept this as a lesson part of a potent education.

Jeff Cole has an excellent article outlining the 10 ways to make Six Sigma change fail. Catchy title, uh? No, he is not proposing to set your projects to fail but rather to show why some projects fail and usually for reasons we might think made sense at the moment such as explaining everything without thinking about stopping for a moment to listen.

Here are the 10 ways to failure for your Six Sigma projects;
1. Don’t tell people the change is coming
2. Don’t listen - just keep talking
3. Don’t measure or govern the rollout
4. Don’t bother your sponsor
5. Ignore the culture
6. Allow multiple work-around solutions
7. Ignore resistance
8. Wing it
9. No consequence management
10. Ready or not — here it comes
Go ahead and read the article which explains in detail some of what is noted above. While the titles in most explain what the problem is, some in-depth explanation is always useful.
Remember, the workforce is who will be applying the changes and they are critical to the success of the project. Having a couple of meetings before the project start and explaining why changes are implemented goes a long way and make a lot of difference. Prove everything with data. You are not there to motivate people with your people's skills but always use your skills to prepare and adopt people to change.