Pivotal Resources’ approach to business change and Lean Six Sigma implementation is based on the premise that each organization is unique. Whether your company is launching a brand-new Lean initiative, wants to “jump start” a tired Quality program with Six Sigma, or is trying to expand a successful change process, our goal is to help you focus on three critical questions:
- Where are we today?
- Where do we want to take our improvement or Six Sigma capability?
- How do we best plan to get there – and achieve results on the way?
Pivotal’s consultants – who have experience with numerous Lean Six Sigma initiatives—work side-by-side with your leadership team and key staff to help you optimize returns, build short- and long-term success and align your efforts with current challenges and past change or quality programs. We apply an effective but flexible Deployment Model that guides our work with each client. This path emphasizes effective up-front preparation and continual refinement; in practice it often becomes a cycle, as your efforts move from pilot to broader organizational implementation. These phases work as a guide to anything from a small-scale pilot to a large corporate-wide Lean Six Sigma roll-out.
The following is a description of the rationale and typical activities in the Orient, Diagnose, Plan and Integrate phases of the deployment model, where the ultimate success is usually determined.
This involves a two-way learning process where we provide your leaders and implementation team with a clearer understanding of the benefits, challenges and options of a Lean Six Sigma initiative, while we gain knowledge of your organization, objectives, business issues and opportunities, etc. A key objective is to confirm leadership commitment and align the organization on the rationale and scope of the initiative. Common activities include:
- Interviews with leaders and key stakeholders to assess current perspectives and expectations/goals.
- Executive Workshop/working session to provide deeper understanding of the Lean Six Sigma system, options and keys to success.
- Consulting support for implementation team on engaging leaders and evaluating potential opportunities (see Diagnose below)
- A “Go/No Go” decision by senior management on the initiative.
Concurrently with Orient activities, we help you assess the potential of process change and assess readiness of the organization. Diagnose efforts provide valuable input to defining the vision and building a realistic plan to successfully introduce Lean Six Sigma principles and practices. Typically consulting activities in the diagnose phase include:
- Interviews of key personnel responsible for and involved with targeted processes.
- Analysis of data, including dashboards, process maps and Voice of Customer data.
- Creation of high-level process maps of the business processes and value-streams included in the scope of work.
- Identification of improvement opportunities with estimated impact on the business.
Developing the deployment plan can be a simple or extensive effort, depending on the scale of the initiative. Our focus is to ensure you establish a strong foundation for a sustained change capability aligned with the vision and goals established by your executives. A representative list of deliverables from the planning phase includes:
- Key deployment elements, such as:
- Project portfolio management plan
- Decisions around IT support requirements (e.g., process mapping and project tracking software, dashboard tools, statistical analysis software etc.)
- Communications plan
- Program assessment plan (methods to measure results and organizational indicators of improved skills/change capability)
- Training curriculum plan to provide awareness and skills to appropriate
- Stakeholder analysis and change management activities to develop needed buy-in
- A list of initial improvement projects, prioritized by factors such as financial impact, customer impact, ease of implementation etc.
- Initial project plans for selected projects (including the identification of potential team members).
Once the deployment has begun, it’s important for leaders to monitor and leverage results as well as take action to address issues that inhibit success. Pivotal in particular helps you seek ways make Lean Six Sigma practices part of your organization’s and your leaders’ “way of life” – which is where the most lasting benefit arises. Program assessment sessions take a formal approach to examining the strengths and weaknesses of the efforts to date. Project results, infrastructure effectiveness, team dynamics and cultural acceptance are all addressed to ensure the organization is optimizing its investment in the improvement initiative. Integration activities typically include:
- Quarterly meetings with the deployment team and steering committee.
- Publication of results including lessons learned, successes, individual achievements.
- Refinement of deployment strategy based on results and learnings to-date.
- Further development of process infrastructure, including more robust measurement systems and project portfolio management techniques.
- Expansion of efforts into new departments, divisions and/or business units.
- Expansion of efforts to include suppliers and/or customers.