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  • Writer's picturejasoncardinal

10 Obstacles a Six Sigma Black Belt Must Overcome

10 Obstacles a Six Sigma Black Belt Must Overcome

Nobody said Lean Transformations or Six Sigma projects would be easy. Below is a collection of notes during my Six Sigma Black Belt training. I’m sure many of you would agree that these are obviously not only applicable to Black Belt or Master Black Belt, but on employees of all levels.

I’ve noticed throughout my career and in every office setting or work environment that the notes below regarding the psychology of change and resistance will greatly benefit anyone who takes the time to read, understand and assimilate.

1. Failure to finish

This happens because employees get tired and lost throughout the hectic year of meeting EBITDA targets. As a result, they do not go fast enough or far enough

Achieving success requires Champions to:

  1. Be in place to reinforce and encourage the first few times the seeds of the change are planted

  2. Applaud the first few steps in their walk of faith

  3. Monitor process and communicating individual and collective improvement

2. Failure to see

Is a function of entrenched, successful maps. The more successful they are, the more blinding they are. It takes high contrast and confrontation to break through and help employees conceive that the old right way is now wrong and to see the new vision

Heightening contrast and confrontations requires:

  1. Focusing on the core differences

  2. Juxtaposing their descriptions (or changing their minds)

  3. Repeating the message and putting people in inescapable experiences to force the contrast

3. Failure to move

Occurs because people are not motivated to go from doing the wrong thing well to doing the right thing poorly

It takes:

  1. Ensuring that the target is clear

  2. That the capabilities and tools are in place

  3. And that rewards are provided in order for employees to believe that they can go from doing the right thing poorly to doing it well

4. Failure to change

5. Failure to complete projects – moving onto a new project or priority before the Lean transformation has been embraced.

6. Failure to listen

7. Not having a plan b, alternate plan, or alternate hypothesis (Null hypothesis vs. Alternate hypothesis, if the p is low, the null must go!). Not recognizing alpha or beta risks in a key project or deliverable

8. Not following through with a lessons learned meeting or follow-up up to six months after an important product release.

9. Problem simplification – either over-simplifying a problem or not simplifying it enough.

10. Not recognizing the human potential of cross-functional teams – not exploiting the talent and getting people to do what they most enjoy doing and what they’re best at.

10 Obstacles a Six Sigma Black Belt Must Overcome

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