|Business Management Information|
The 6 Steps to Six Sigma
Get the proper level of Six Sigma expertise at the executive level of the company. If the top leaders don't understand the advanced six sigma principles, the company has no shot to attain total quality. This will probably require a hefty budget, entailing the hiring of several high-priced consultants for long periods of time. The consultants need to observe and gather data about the companies operations, and show the executives how to interpret the data.
Get the staff involved. The ones in the trenches are the most knowledgeable about the day-to-day operations, and the day to day's are where most costs are spent. This means getting people like the shop foreman, the line supervisor, and the office manager involved in the training. Not only do they need to understand the thinking behind six sigma, but they also need to buy into the benefits. Since they're the ones carrying out the orders and directing the vast majority of employees, if the trench-level staff isn't aligned with management, the company is sunk.
Measure the data - quantify the number of defects per unit. This applies not only to manufacturing, but to services as well. It's easier to measure defects on an assembly line. You just divide the number of defective units by total output (that's really simplified, but you get the point). Services are more vague.
This is why it is vital to get input from your customers. Ask them how things are going from their perspective. Is there anything they would like to see you improve on that would make their experience more favorable? You're looking to increase overall quality. Nobody knows your faults better than your customers.
Everything must be measured and quantified into actual numerical data. How long does it take the average customer order to ship? What percentage of customers is satisfied with your performance? What is the average employee break time? How long does it take the customer service department to answer the phone? Once enough data is gathered to answer questions like these, the six sigma process and the path to quality improvement can begin.
Now you must analyze all of the data that has been collected so far and identify the difference between perfection and your current operating efficiency level. The goal is to constantly close the gap between the two.Again, as stated in Step 2, staff buy-in is extremely important. If management does not show a link between "total quality improvement" and "workplace improvement," then all the data collection will go to waste. The staff will not willingly take the extra steps (which often require harder, more detailed work) if they are not being rewarded. Some companies use bonuses to provide incentive, other companies offer prizes for attaining goals or add employee perks based on improvement levels.
Now is the time for improvement. Changes in procedure and operations should have been in place, and more data should be collected to gauge the level of overall quality improvement. Either the hired consultants or an internal team of Six Sigma Black Belts should supervise the data collection. Again, this step will be expensive. Gathering the vast amount of data needed to accurately assess performance takes a great deal of time, resources, and capital. But without proper data and measurement, you will never know if the changes are working or not.
After improvement begins, the constant chore of ongoing control must be monitored. Unforeseen variables will arise. Employees may turn over, competitors might introduce new products, your facility may undergo changes, and many other things could happen which will impact the overall quality of your business. Top level Black Belts need to be constantly analyzing data to gauge the impact of any future changes, spot possible trends, and formulate actions to keep on the path of consistent and eternal improvement.
If you're truely interested in the Principles of Six Sigma, take a look at all the news, articles, and education provided at Six Sigma Principles
Make a Difference - Sweat the Small Stuff First
My background is in retail management - yes, running stores, from tiny ones you couldn't swing the proverbial cat around in, to huge three floor jobs. Yet there are some guiding principles which, like Giuliani did for New York, that make a difference on a smaller scale. Guiding principles which make a huge, possibly unseen difference to your customers and no less so to your employees.
Turnover is Not a Problem
"Ha!" you say. "For someone to make a statement like that, they obviously haven't worked in the real world and certainly have never had to run a company." Well, let me assure you. In my past I've not only run companies, but spent many years in one of the most notorious industries for turnover ? the restaurant industry.
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The Higher You Go
The higher you go, the cooler it becomes. Really? Let us begin from first principles. This is a maxim we learnt in geography about the weather. Having come a long way in our professions and careers, can we really say it has been cooler over the years as we ascended the corporate ladder? Even at that,, how can we sensibly apply the Higher You Go principle in the way we work, and the way we live?
The Dripping Faucet in Every Organization
Each day millions of workers spend 8 hours or more at their respective jobs with many contributing to the dripping faucet within every organization. This faucet much like the leaking kitchen or bathroom faucet's steadily waste drops of a previous resource ? water ? every minute of every day until fixed. Yet, the dripping faucet is considered a minor annoyance until the drips become steadier. During this time, thousands of gallons of water are wasted costing the owner probably more money than it took to correct the problem.
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How To Own A Business... Instead Of A Job
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The quickest way to cancel out all the thought, work, energy, time and expense you've poured into promoting your business is with indiscretions. I'm not talking about giving your clients' confidential materials to their competitors, though that certainly will kill your business I'm talking about the indiscretions that leak out of your mouth, such as:
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Data Visualization is Interactive
A Leadership Lesson: Two Guys With Guns
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In the Wizard of Oz, it was "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" Many organizations today are singing a slightly different tune: "Gossip and rumors and hearsay, oh why?"
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Make Them GLAD Youre Their Boss
Criticism has the power to do good when there is something that must be destroyed, dissolved or reduced, but it is capable only of harm when there is something to be built. --Carl Jung
Small Business Outsourcing: An Introduction
Outsourcing is the delegation of a business process to an external service provider. The service provider will then be responsible for the day-to-day running and maintenance of the delegated process.
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It is getting harder to run a business for a profit. Weare faced with rising costs, lowered demand etc. Ourbusinesses have to be super effective just to keep up.
Make the Most of Your Time - Focus on Strengths
Once working and focused in tune with what they do best, your people are freed up to deliver their very best performances. They encourage others to work to their strengths too. Thus, each is far more effective. By recognising this in each other, there is another benefit. Everyone realises the value that differences can bring to the team, business or organisation. And that is valued - people work together much more freely.
Making Change Work
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