Ways to deal with organizational Roadblocks to Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma—a revolutionary QM concept, has placed many companies on the threshold of superior success. However, it comes packaged with several organizational roadblocks that prevent companies from adopting the same to full capacity. These roadblocks impact customer driven organization and traditional organizations alike. Take a quick look at the differences between these two kinds of organizations before moving ahead. 

Differences between Traditional and Customer Driven Organizations

  • Customer driven organizations have long-term focus and follow the techniques related to preventive management. On the other hand, traditional organizations have short-term focus and follow reactionary management techniques.

  • Customer driven organizations measure performance on the basis of CSAT while traditional organizations aim at fast ROI.

  • Customer driven organizations consider customers as king while traditional organizations look towards customers as being hostile.

  • Customer driven organizations adopt defect and error prevention strategies while traditional organizations adopt defect and error reduction tools.

  • Now, take a look at diverse organizational roadblocks that organizations witness with respect to Six Sigma.

Statistical Nature of Lean Six Sigma

Expressed by both leaders and employees, this roadblock generally arises after the basics of Lean and Six Sigma approaches have been implemented. The statistical rich solutions provided by Six Sigma are often difficult to comprehend and leave many in the organization totally baffled. Here, many employees boasting of the Six Sigma Black Belt go a long way in helping businesses emerge from this resistance topic. They do this by offering explanations about different statistical tools to all those parties that are affected adversely. 

Lean Six Sigma is but a Fad

In general, top leaders linked to a project or an organization harbor this view. This roadblock tends to arise in the initial stages of the adoption of Six Sigma and other lean principles. Under the circumstances, it is the responsibility of project manager to underline the various advantages of Lean Six Sigma certification to the organization’s decision makers. They also need to elaborate upon the effective role of this technology with respect to quality management; and convince the management to implement lean Six Sigma in full capacity.

Employee Non-cooperation 

Non-cooperation from employees can be  effectively handled by adopting various strategies like building of trust in all departments, assuring employees that they won’t be penalized for their past mistakes, giving air to the Move Ahead philosophy, making one and all believe that they are an integral part of designing/setting up of new processes, and so forth. Lean Six Sigma certified leaders need to convince employees to go along with the flow, and not resist any changes. Proper communication tactics come in handy at this stage and help employees imbibe Six Sigma processes well; rather than rejecting them outright. 

Why should Change be Adopted?

This challenging organizational roadblock is often faced by organizations waiting to implement Six Sigma; this is because it brings about various changes to the culture existing in any given work environment. It’s imperative that there will be a section of employees who will be hesitant in adopting the changes brought about by Six Sigma principles. Once again, certified professionals must explain some transformations that the organization may have witnessed across the years of its operations, and cite instances of the more successful ones. It’s important that leaders as well as employees are totally convinced about the financial rewards in store, and the fact that Six Sigma is all set to place the organization far ahead of all competition. 

Inappropriate Team Members

A great deal of understanding and observation should go into the selection of appropriate team members. Six Sigma certified professionals can easily overcome this organizational roadblock in traditional as well as customer driven companies by forming efficient and capable teams. Their selection of team members should address the four essential factors – Creativity, Willingness, Capability, and Ability.

Dealing with Six Sigma Organizational Roadblocks

The many advantages of Six Sigma include the abilities to adopt the same and ensure adherence to certain facts for dealing with organizational roadblocks in better ways. Some tips for handling such roadblocks include:

  • The benefits of change have to be communicated top down—from the management to project managers and all employees.

  • It’s important to identify and implement incentives and reward schemes. These have to be communicated to the top management and employees effectively, and then implemented the right way. 

  • Effective communication and transparency among all employees is essential too

Last Word

Six Sigma organizational roadblocks are easy to identify and deal with. Here, managers need to understand the importance of proper training and the ways in which Six Sigma certified professionals may impact their organization positively. Proper training modules remove all doubts persisting in the minds of the management and employees; empower team members with the right skills; and help them perform to optimum levels. This in turn, enhances all productivity and profitability metrics of the organization.
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Maria Thomas