Okay I will probably anger a lot of people here, but Motorola did not start 6Sigma; what Motorola did was repackage the quality improvement tools into what we recognize as 6Sigma. For those of you who are die hard believers that Motorola started 6Sigma, I refer you to Alan Ramias’ article The Mists of Six Sigma. What 6Sigma really consists of is a culmination of quality improvement information over the last 50 years. The quality improvement industry got a start with the Ford Mass Production System, further established by Deming’s 14 points, Juran’s consulting expertise and carried forward with the Total Production System at Toyota. In a nutshell 6Sigma is at best repackaged knowledge, extremely useful knowledge, but repackaged nonetheless. Many consultants go through the trouble of making 6Sigma extremely complicated and my theory is that this is done because 6Sigma is not new. 6Sigma is relevant, it is not a fad and it is extremely useful-but complicated it is not.
What 6Sigma gives you is:
- An understanding of the root cause of your issue and how that issue ultimately affects your customers.
- How the way you run your business enables that issue and where you can make changes.
- The knowledge of what to measure, how to measure it and what the measurements mean.
First you need to understand that when 6Sigma was first becoming popular it was used for manufacturing and technical processes, because 6Sigma means six deviations from the standard mean, so many consultants have a tendency to make it extremely heavy with statistical graphs and formulas. Although the stats are important, basically 6Sigma is used to control defects (problems) in your process to create 99.997% efficiency. In most business processes you would be hard pressed to find someone who could identify the standard mean, it really isn’t something you think about even though you should. So how does this technical method work for you? Really the goal of 6Sigma is to produce the most value with the minimum amount of resources; something that every business can benefit from and that is how the average business should approach 6Sigma. The 6Sigma Lifecycle is something that every business can use to began the improvement process in their organization. The diagram below shows a visual representation of the 6Sigma Lifecycle.
Step 1. Draft a plan-identify the challenge areas, select a goal and brainstorm solutions.
Step 2. Divide the tasks- Select your improvement team and assign their roles and responsibilities. Once they are aware of the expectations, assign tasks.
Step 3. Enforce roles and Improve Performance-Once have been assigned, enforce those expectations and evaluate the performance for areas of improvement.
Step 4. Have a broader perspective- Most project managers have an attention span that ends the moment the project ends, 6Sigma requires that you see the big picture and what happens after the project ends.
Step 5. Maintain Standards-this is by far the hardest step because once you have reached your goals efforts by the staff and management have a tendency to relax their focus. 6Sigma requires you to be vigilant and effectively change the culture of your organization.
6Sigma is like most tools, it is only as complicated as you choose to make it. If you run across a consultant who brings out wonderfully complicated statistical charts, run! For 6Sigma to be effective you have to understand that it is not a quick fix and for it to be sustainable, you have to understand it.
Well in a nutshell, Six Sigma is a management methodology to correct a system or process within your organization. When you hear Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Change Management these are all improvements for processes. All of these are built around Deming’s PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle.
Plan– This step identifies the issues occurring, the desired goals and identifies any barriers to reaching these goals.
Do– This step is the verification of improvements within an system or process.
Check– This step will implement the new system with what I call a ‘Dummy Run’. This is where the new process goes on a trial run without any interference to determine the effectiveness of the changes and the realistic application of the proposed changes.
Act– This is the final phase and it is quite simply a decision from the stakeholders to adapt, accept or reject a new process.
Lean usually refers to providing the specific tool/skills to eliminate waste and reduce cycle time. Six Sigma usually tries to steer management towards root causes and understanding why the problem is happening and what areas of the process keep maintaining the problems. Once you have acquired the root cause, Six Sigma then seeks to reduce variation and defects as much as possible until the variation becomes a low level problem.
That is a nutshell is Six Sigma, a short introduction but more coming every week to cover the various topics of change management!
In this economy it’s easy to assume that all applicants are lucky to get interviewed, but when you carry that attitude into the hiring process it becomes a lightning rod for the talent you are trying to attract. There are certain fields where this is an exception, I can think of technical fields and the medical field where personality isn’t the most attractive trait, but for the rest of business there is something to be said for soft skills on the hiring end. Talented employees are generally looking for a company that mirrors their beliefs and values and treating them like they should be grateful they have the opportunity to work can send them right out the door. If you recruitment division is breaking any of these rules, maybe it’s time to decide what type of talent you are looking for.
You are not the best thing that has ever happened to them
I know it’s a rough economy and people are lucky to have jobs, but by that same token you are lucky to have employees. The fact that you are looking to hire someone for a position says that you need something too. Instead of treating potential applicants like they should be thanking you for the chance, try to focus on why they appeal to you. An employment relationship should be beneficial to both parties
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Are you scaring off potential talent? – National Small Business Insights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/small-business-insights-in-national/are-you-scaring-off-potential-talent#ixzz1FZ55g4Uz
As far as business is concerned you’ve hit the lottery. You have managed to lure the ‘rock star’ employee from the big boys and now you have your work cut out for you. How do you keep high earning employees happy? You know they are always looking for the next big thing, so how do you keep them loyal to your company? It’s fairly simple when you get down to why you hired them in the first place.
Let them be superstars
Many companies hire the ‘rock star’ for the glitz and the glamour and then want them to operate like everyone else in the company. You hired this person for a specific reason and what you are doing isn’t working for you. Let them do what you hired them to do. It may rub you wrong, it may create friction with other staff, but you hired them for a reason and trying to get them to behave any other way is contrary to their purpose.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: How do I keep high earning employees engaged? – National Small Business Insights | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/small-business-insights-in-national/how-do-i-keep-high-earning-employees-engaged#ixzz1FZ4UawAi
In January mobile VoIP giant Rebtel launched a new Blackberry Application aimed at reducing the enormous cost of international calls. Android users (like myself) shouldn’t feel left out, there is an international application for Android as well. The application does not need an active Wi-Fi connection to work; it works on a standard cellular network using local phone numbers and the user’s monthly local minutes.
Sounds great right? But what’s involved? I did a little research and found out how it will work for you.
- Get a Rebtel Account- You don’t pay anything upfront, but the calls are charged against your calling plan
Read the rest of the article at http://www.examiner.com/small-business-insights-in-national/mobile-voip-goes-international-review