Recipe for Success with Six Sigma in Healthcare
Posted: 01/19/2009 5:54:00 PM EST | 6
Successful Six Sigma Implementation: Key Ingredients
There are some key ingredients to making bread such as flour, yeast, oil and water. Some key ingredients to be successful in Six Sigma implementation are: commitment, adequate resource allocation, working on the right projects, communication and accountability. For bread making, as for Six Sigma, the ingredients need to be added at the right time, in the right quantity and under the right conditions.
Corporate Leadership and Corporate Culture for Six Sigma
For successful implementation of Six Sigma, there needs to be commitment to business process change or business process improvement from the senior leadership. The top management commitment to this business change should be apparent in the culture of continuous improvement mentality in the organization (as opposed to a culture of blame), an environment for learning, training and empowering employees to be change agents, clear goals and resources to achieve goals. Leadership commitment also means that the leaders are active listeners and ask insightful questions to tackle the right issues. Good leaders should be able to remove bottlenecks such as lack of buy-in from middle managers, eliminating the silo mentality of the functional groups and providing resources to ensure success. The senior leaders should show unrelenting obsession with failure, elimination of waste, inefficiencies, work around and non-value added activities.
Project Selection for Six Sigma
Project selection is vital for sustaining the Six Sigma program. Early on in Six Sigma implementation, it is very important that the projects are selected to succeed. Scope the Six Sigma project appropriately to ensure it is completed in a short time frame (one to three months) rather than a multi-year Six Sigma project. Using facts and a data-driven process will help in prioritizing Six Sigma projects with a high linkage to strategic goals and the voice of the customer. It is also important to have a process to track the project(s) progress and to document the learning to improve the Six Sigma project selection process.
Communication for Six Sigma
Communication is often overlooked in Six Sigma implementation. I have not come across a Six Sigma project yet that identified over-communication as an issue. The common theme in “what we can do better for the next project” is usually “need more communication or need to communicate earlier.” It is important to communicate early, and often, to provide updates (weekly, daily) regarding facts, progress and next steps.
Time Frame for Six Sigma
Six Sigma implementation does not happen overnight, and it takes time to imbibe the structured problem solving in the work place culture at all levels. Usually organizations struggle with Six Sigma if it is used to fix short-term issues.
Additional Ingredients for Six Sigma Implementation Success
There are several other factors that are important, such as execution of the plan, alignment to strategic goals, customer centricity, benchmarking, skills, data-based decision making, training, education, project management skills and incentives to name a few.
Six Sigma implementation does not happen overnight. It takes time to imbibe the structured problem solving in the work place culture at all levels. Usually organizations struggle with Six Sigma if it is used to fix short-term issues. The full benefits of Six Sigma are obtained by applying a rigorous, unwavering in the intermediate to long term.
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i will like to learn the six sigma from yellow belt gradually to other levels.pls can somebody help me out,is there any difference btw sigma courses and prince 2?.Actually, i read chemical engineering in my first degree and change to Msc Computing and information system as my second degree.I researched on the methodology and like it.please can sigma certifications help me with my job carrer especially in oil company and many more.thanks
I would like to learn more practically about the six sigma ,
Thanks for bringing forward critical issues that need to be addressed to deliver service / product that provides results. and meet the expectations of Receivers [ patient / family ], Provider [ Doctor, Staff ] Stake holders [ Admin, Support infra structures ],
You did address the analytics and tools that have been used.
HOWEVER success rate of RESULTS still remains issues for Delivering the products / service to achieve the goals.
It seems process, products, procedures, personnel do not meets the
VALUE PERCIEVED as well as delivered RESULTS that is required to fulfill
I have seen this in Products as well as Service providers’ world.
Critical factors required for a success of purpose are not addressed / identified as the partnership between provider, receiver and stakeholders in a SCALABLE / MESURABLE PERFORMANCE
It is very good we have the tools and analytics.
What is required is simple, repeatable and measurable process, procedures that
ASSURES OF ADOPTION BY ALL STAKE HOLDER. [ Culture Change, Education, reduction of threat of obsolescence ].
I believe this could be lot more effective with some diagram approach.
Relationship diagrams to drive the message home.
[ In beginning . Patient is information provider tells the symptoms]
Doctor is receiver of data and need to get to Root Cause to determines the process, solution, actions
NOW the roles are exchanged.
Doctor deliverer communicating in a simple terms that Patient understand and can implement to achieve the efficient results ]
Mahendra Shah, Lean,V-6Sigma Evangelist, mashahs@6SigVSOP.com
This article is really good and my experience rings the bell with the comment that six sigma implementation does not happen overnight. I have seen the difference it makes when an organization fix short-term issues and dont invest into long term solutions. Anantha your article is really good!!