The people who have
“The biggest single difference in this part of the journey from all the other continuous improvement efforts that I’ve made is having dedicated resources.”
—Lou Giuliano, CEO, ITT
The main weakness in those predecessors, as Giuliano indicates, was that they lacked infrastructure. There was no way to coordinate the results of diverse projects, to standardize methodologies in order to accelerate learning and improvement, to compare value-creation potential across diverse sections of your organization. Few people worked on improvement
The good news is that you don’t have to invent the infrastructure wheel. There are hundreds of companies out there deploying Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma, some of which are likely similar to yours, and all of which you can learn from. Use their lessons—whether they’ve succeeded or failed—to better
You’ve identified, selected, and trained Champions and Black Belts. You’ve communicated with the organization about what Lean Six Sigma is and how it will be used strategically. You’ve developed project
What it takes is constant attention . Every time I visit units we talk about this, in our business reviews we talk about these efforts. I go to the training classes, I go to the Best Practices symposiums, and I get other people talking about it.… You’ve got to have some other people in the organization who can pay attention to what’s really happening, figuring out who’s getting it and who’s not getting it, figuring out who’s backsliding and deciding, ‘Well, I’ll send people to training but I won’t let them work
full-time,’ and go out and confront those issues and get the process working.
—Lou Giuliano, CEO, ITT
That’s what this chapter is about: how you pay attention to your Lean Six Sigma deployment, and what you should be paying attention to.
Throughout this book, we’ve said that even though Lean means “cutting costs,” you shouldn’t equate that with “cutting people,” though there have been some companies who have had to use it for that purpose. To truly get to excellence, you have to capture the hearts and minds of every employee, as well as their hands. If you have to lay off people, do it before Lean Six Sigma is deployed. People will have to work harder and longer to compensate for the staff reductions, but finding they can often cut out 20–40% of their work (the non-value-add portion) is a great incentive for adopting Lean Six Sigma.
This issue is just one of several that can appear once your Lean Six Sigma is up and running, but that can be prevented or minimized by up-front planning. Let’s look at:
How to adjust to requiring less time to do the work (and perhaps fewer people)
What to do about rotating Black Belts into management
“You have to be careful because a lot of companies use value-added analysis as a rationale for laying people off,” says Mike Joyce of Lockheed Martin. “There are two sensibilities here. The first one is that is just pure business, and I think most people understand
“But that’s a completely separate issue from ‘I need people to help me get better,’” says Joyce. “The more distance you can put between those two realities, the better off you are. At Lockheed, we said, look, LM21 is definitely going to change the distribution of work and where people get deployed. It’s going to happen,
A similar issue was faced at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, though in the early
In other organizations, people freed up are used on
One tradition associated with Lean Six Sigma is that the people
The answer is yes. Caterpillar, for instance, went through a down cycle that started in the late 1980s and