While using Six Sigma is going to take a lot of the headache out of team management, that doesn’t mean its implementation will be a walk in the park. As a Six Sigma team leader, you will not be successful unless you have the buy-in and cooperation of team members. Thinking that you can manage it alone will make the road ahead long and hard.
Support from the top
Trying to implement Six Sigma in isolation in the midlevel ranks of an organization is yet another fatal error. Studies show that the businesses that have experienced the most success with Six Sigma are those that implemented it from the very top of the organizational structure.
When company leaders apply Six Sigma, they can feed the system’s principles down the organogram, making it possible for teams to use them too. With the leadership of the company wanting to use Six Sigma, it can make sure that any organizational stumbling blocks to its implementation and use are removed.
Furthermore, when the leadership uses the system, it shows others that they have the authority to implement it as well. To make using Six Sigma a resounding success, the organization’s goals should be realigned to make them compatible with the system’s principles.
Finding the company Black Belt
It is essential that before a business can spearhead the implementation of Six Sigma, its leaders should be capacitated on how it works and what to expect. Global Six Sigma training courses from 6sigma.us give managers the chance to immerse themselves in the system and learn about it before they put it into practice.
From the outset, the top management team should identify and recognize a Six Sigma Black Belt. This leader is the catalyst for the process and becomes the principal change agent to facilitate its implementation.
It helps to choose a Black Belt who has a significant chance of making a success of implementing Six Sigma. Among the characteristics of the ideal Black Belt are leadership experience working with multi-departmental teams, a sound understanding of process management, and a capacity for building and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships.
Characteristics of a great Black Belt
In the leadership of a team, the Black Belt must know how to assign tasks, delegate authority, recognize team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and understand team dynamics.
Understanding who they’re working with and what their team members bring to the table helps the Black Belt utilize everyone’s best attributes to achieve the organization’s goals using Six Sigma.
To be a great Six Sigma Black Belt, the leader must recognize and distinguish between leadership and mentorship. These terms are often used interchangeably but have different meanings. Each is a core function of management, but they are nowhere near the same.
Leadership requires direct involvement with the team and what it aims to achieve. It cuts through the company bureaucracy, allowing for swift implementation. Another reason the leader needs to be at the coalface of the project is that it provides them the chance to demonstrate how Six Sigma works.
Team members need to understand the new management approach, of which Six Sigma is a proponent. This includes being direct, proactive, and responsive to problems that cause setbacks.
Mentoring is essential for new team members so that they understand what is expected of them. It will make their contribution more efficient and beneficial to the team. Existing team members with the potential to lead should be mentored and shown the skills they need to hone for a future leadership role.
Continuous development of all team members to foster their strengths and support them as they work on improving their weaknesses are important roles of a productive Six Sigma Black Belt.