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Lean Six Sigma Implementation Basics

Lean Six Sigma methodologies are a combination of standard 6-Sigma quality improvement techniques and lean manufacturing principles that are used for speeding up business processes. 6-Sigma methodologies focus on reducing defects in business processes, whereas Lean 6 Sigma does not only eliminate defects but also improves the speed of a process and reduces waste by eliminating non-value added steps in a business process. Combining 6-Sigma and lean manufacturing principles is like combining the contents of two different toolboxes that help companies to improve quality and efficiency.

Compatibility

Depending on the type of methodologies used by an organization, Lean Six Sigma is often referred to as Lean Service, Lean Manufacturing, and Lean Enterprise. These concepts are compatible with standard Six Sigma methodologies and can be applied to every type of business processes. Both the concepts use similar strategies and methods and focus on improving business processes that serve customer needs. Both focus on identifying and eliminating sources of waste and processes that do not add value for maximizing output, efficiency, and throughput. They emphasize providing requisite training for enabling employees of an organization to understand the tools and processes of the methodology. Both concepts encourage the involvement of senior managers and key mentors within an organization for ensuring that quality improvement projects are executed without affecting the day-to-day operations.

Lean 6 Sigma uses different techniques for reducing costs, reducing production cycle times, expanding capacity, and improving productivity. It uses “value stream mapping” for identifying improvement opportunities. However, Lean Six Sigma concepts may sometimes prove inadequate in solving some of the more complex problems that call for advanced analysis.

Benefits

Standard 6-Sigma methodologies follow a disciplined, data driven approach and use statistical tools for analyzing quality at every stage of the production process. When combined with Lean manufacturing principles, it helps in identifying and resolving quality issues. Its successful implementation is important in reaping quick results and enabling employees and plant managers to harness better work patterns on plant floors. Lean Six Sigma programs are executed under the guidance of 6-Sigma Champions and Black Belts for enhancing the efficacy of quality improvement initiatives. It is necessary to deploy lean manufacturing techniques during the Six Sigma implementation process for ensuring that the improvement process includes a standard problem-solving approach.

Lean Six Sigma focuses on adding value to manufactured goods or services rendered by eliminating defects in every business process. This helps in building customer loyalty, as customers often prefer products and services that offer consistent quality. The matrices used in Six Sigma help in identifying customer needs, manufacturing quality products and rendering quality services.

Lean Six Sigma concepts and methodologies are based on a highly sustainable approach that gets easily integrated with the existing work processes within an organization. It requires the involvement of employees at all levels within an organization. The deployment of 6-Sigma programs can initiate a culture shift within an organization that helps in eliminating waste within the production process.

Lean Six Sigma helps in ensuring future success of an organization by radically improving quality and reducing waste. It also allows employees within an organization to design and develop new business processes that will help in making drastic improvements to the organization’s performance.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution’s Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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Five Basics of the Goal Setting Theory

Dr. Edwin Locke was a pioneer in the study and research of the connection between setting goals and motivation. He formed the basic goal setting theory when he reached the conclusion that clear goals and subsequent feedback could motivate the employees greatly. They were enthused by the idea of collectively working towards the achievement of goals and it went a long way to improve their performance too. He also discovered that people were more ignited by goals that were challenging and specific as compared to goals that were easy and vague.

Dr. Edwin Locke, in the later stages, worked with Dr. Gary Latham, who had done independent studies to corroborate Locke’s findings. In the late 20th Century, they identified the five main characteristics that were essential to the success of goal setting. In random order these characteristics are clarity, commitment, feedback, challenge and task complexity.  

Clarity & Challenge

An important characteristic of the goal setting theory is that the best goals are those that are productive, clear-cut, and measurable. Once the goal is explicit and a clear deadline has been set, there is less misunderstanding on what is expected of the employees. A vague goal has very little motivational value. At the same time, the goal has to pose sufficient challenge to the employees. If the difficulty level is too less, your employee may end up feeling like his potential isn’t being exploited well enough by the company.

Commitment

If the employees are to see the goals through, commitment to it is extremely important. Employees are committed to the goal if they feel they have been active participants in its creation. Most companies encourage participative management which believes in involving the employees in the process of goal setting and decision making. Another factor that makes employees more committed towards attaining the goal is its difficulty level. If the goal is harder and more challenging, employees gain drive and inspiration from it, and show more commitment towards achieving it.

Feedback

The feedback process is crucial to goal setting. At regular intervals, you need to get together with your team and check on their progress. What have they achieved? Are they on the right direction? Did they face any problems? If yes, how did they solve them? Do they need any clarifications or additional resources to complete their goals? These are important questions that need to be answered every now and then. This activity will not only help you see where your team stands, but they will also be able to evaluate their own position.

Task Complexity

Task Complexity is that last characteristic in the goal setting theory. If your goals are extremely complex, you need to make sure that your employees aren’t feeling too overwhelmed. If the task becomes too overwhelming for them, there are chances that your employees may feel a little bewildered or demoralized. Once that happens, the goal may seem frustrating and they may develop resistance towards attaining it. To avoid this, ensure that your team or employee is given a reasonable amount of time to achieve the target. It would also be a good idea to arrange for trainings or learning sessions where you can equip the employee with necessary skills and knowledge to tackle the task at hand.

Victor Ghebre is the editor of Settinggoals101.com where you get practical tips and information on goal Setting, motivation, leadership and more.

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The Basics Of Six Sigma Implementation

Identifying Areas Of Improvement


Six Sigma is not easy to implement and requires a lot of effort on part of the organization to make it a success. It makes sense to implement 6 Sigma concepts only in areas where the potential for reducing costs are quite immense. The best way of identifying the areas of improvement is to utilize statistical tools and techniques that help in measuring the existing value provided by a business process and also the potential benefits that can be derived by implementing Six Sigma. Statistical tools and techniques also help in assessing the cost of the implementations, which allows the senior management to select only the most cost-effective implementation projects.


Utilizing The Services Of 6 Sigma Professionals


For ensuring the success of Six Sigma implementations, it is necessary to utilize the know-how and expertise offered by 6 Sigma professionals such as Black Belts, Master Black Belts, Six Sigma Champions and others. Most of these professionals have live experience in executing 6 Sigma implementation projects and provide multi-level support during the implementation process. The only problem is that Six Sigma professionals charge top-dollars for their services, which can create financial problems, especially for organizations that are already facing a resource crunch.


Since it is quite difficult to implement 6 Sigma concepts without the guidance and support of Six Sigma professionals, the best option for these organizations is to train their existing employees. Depending on implementation needs, organizations can choose from a wide range of certification courses for their employees. By transforming existing employees into 6 Sigma professionals, organizations will be able to harness their existing organizational knowledge and the expertise that they develop during the training. Another benefit is that such organizations will never have to deal with expenses related with hiring Six Sigma professionals from outside because most of the skills and expertise will be available in-house.


Leadership Support And Guidance


For timely and effective implementations, it is necessary for top-rung management to provide continuous support and guidance to 6 Sigma implementation teams as and when needed. The senior management can provide valuable insights during the implementations and can define the specific roles of implementation team members in order to avoid the potential occurrence of conflict and confusion.


The actual execution of Six Sigma implementation projects is quite similar to the execution of any other management-related project undertaken by an organization. The aims and objectives of the projects may differ widely, but the managerial tools and techniques employed for executing the projects are more or less the same. We can thus conclude that the basic management principles apply to 6 Sigma implementations in the same way as they apply to any other management initiative.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution’s Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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Goal Setting Theory – Five Basics Of The Goal Setting Theory

Goal Setting Theory

Dr. Edwin Locke was a pioneer in the prediction and research of the connection between setting goals and motivation. He transfered the basic goal setting theory when he reached the finish that clear goals and subsequent feedback are able to force the workforces greatly. They got enthused by the underlying thought of collectively working towards the success of goals and it went a for a long while way to appreciate their performance too. He additionally discovered overly people got more ignited by goals that were challenging and exact as compared to goals too got easy and vague. Goal Setting Theory

Dr. Edwin Locke, in the later stages, worked with Dr. Gary Latham, who had done independent studies to corroborate Locke’s findings. In the late 20th Century, they identified the five main characteristics that were essential to the success of goal setting. In random order these characteristics are clarity, commitment, feedback, challenge and task complexity.

Clarity & Challenge

An important characteristic of the goal setting theory is that the best goals are those that are productive, clear-cut, and measurable. Once the goal is explicit and a clear deadline has been set, there is less misunderstanding on what is expected of the employees. A vague goal has very little motivational value. At the same time, the goal has to pose sufficient challenge to the employees. If the difficulty level is too less, your employee may end up feeling like his potential isn’t being exploited well enough by the company. Goal Setting Theory

Commitment

If the employees are to see the goals through, commitment to it is extremely important. Employees are committed to the goal if they feel they have been active participants in its creation. Most companies encourage participative management which believes in involving the employees in the process of goal setting and decision making. Another factor that makes employees more committed towards attaining the goal is its difficulty level. If the goal is harder and more challenging, employees gain drive and inspiration from it, and show more commitment towards achieving it. Goal Setting Theory

Feedback

The feedback process is crucial to goal setting. At regular intervals, you need to get together with your team and check on their progress. What have they achieved? Are they on the right direction? Did they face any problems? If yes, how did they solve them? Do they need any clarifications or additional resources to complete their goals? These are important questions that need to be answered every now and then. This activity will not only help you see where your team stands, but they will also be able to evaluate their own position. Always want to have a successful life? Kick the LOSER out of your life by getting the Internet #1 Goal Setting Theory  Now!

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Six Sigma Training Basics

The need for Six Sigma training has arisen following two reasons. One, the demands of industry could not be met with the existing limited quality assurance methods and two, the tremendous financial opportunities for corporations that the 6 sigma methodology is creating of late.

Many well-known organizations have developed their own Six Sigma training institutes, for in house training of their employees. Realizing the demand that could not be met by companies by themselves, many training institutes and universities have come forward and developed basic Six Sigma training courses.

Differences In Six Sigma Training Basics

A quick look at the Six Sigma training course contents of various institutes immediately shows that they vary widely in their central focus, while still keeping the fundamentals of Six Sigma training content intact. However, this is hardly surprising when one realizes that corporations devise courses for training their own employees for more flexibility. However, the Six Sigma training curricula prepared by independent training institutes and universities closely resemble each other, brining credence and uniformity to all Six Sigma training.

The Basics Of Six Sigma Training

Differences notwithstanding, the central theme of Six Sigma training required for certification must remain same. These are the six core basic elements of Six Sigma training:

1. A thorough and complete training on the DMAIC process and 6 sigma methodology: This involves familiarizing trainees on statistics and its applications, the five key elements of the DMAIC process, and the implementation of this methodology.

2. The roles of each key person: Each person in the organization plays a critical role in the implementation of 6 sigma. Thus, Six Sigma training needs to focus on understanding the key elements of every person’s role and the skill to communicate with key players across the organization.

3. Developing abilities to define and work on projects: In Six Sigma training, the emphasis is placed on the streamlining of processes, focusing on the core competencies of each of these. Six Sigma training also focuses on identifying and developing breakthrough processes, products and/or services. As a result, root cause analysis and crisis management abilities become the key to developing versatile management abilities.

4. Cross training necessity: The deployment of Six Sigma methodologies puts the emphasis on a team-based approach. Naturally, qualities such as interpersonal skills, ability to communicate effectively, and ability to transfer knowledge and clarify issues are also important. Sharing of knowledge across the organization is crucial for to the success of 6 sigma implementation.

5. Problem Solving Tools: In Six Sigma methodologies, problem-solving tools are statistical. Six Sigma training essentially teaches all those involved in the implementation how to use statistical tools in order to analyze a problem and solve it. Six Sigma training techniques assume that all candidates do not necessarily have formal training in statistics.

6. Presentation and closing techniques: In Six Sigma training, everyone is taught how to make presentations to management and other decision-makers. Six Sigma training also focuses on how to make the transition to closing projects after their conclusion or abandonment.

All Six Sigma training objectives are tied to a quality-first policy. In a nutshell, Six Sigma training instructs students on how to dissect information, analyze it, validate the results, and implement.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.