Using performance excellence tools to implement change

Becoming a Performance Excellence Organization:

The Take Baby Steps Method

You have determined that your SMB or non-profit organization isn’t ready for the sea change in its culture that performance excellence can require.  You can still use the quality tools to solve problems or better yet use them to change the culture with baby steps.  We will look at the organization that chooses to use the tools to fix some problems as a starting point instead seeking the sea change. 

To use the Baby Step Method, you need to do the following.

  1. First you need to figure out who will support you, who will hinder you, and who you need to impress/win over to be successful. 
  2. Make certain that you have the resources you will need to be successful.  You will need personnel, time, a clearly defined scope and a communication plan to start with. 
    1. You need to have the following types available for your team to be successful; a team leader, process owner (the individual who manages the process), subject matter experts, and a Six Sigma Green Belt or higher.  Don’t have a Six Sigma belt?  No problem, you can find a consultant that fits the bill.  Warm bodies are not the personnel you need. 
    2. You have to be able to get the time commitment to work on the project.  This is not someone or their boss giving you 5% of their time.  You need a real time commitment.  You need a minimum commitment of 25%.  
    3. Create a charter in which it lays out what is and is not within the scope of the project.  In other words clearly define what you are going to deliver and what you will not work on.  Watch out for scope creep, it is the number one killer of a project.
    4. Create a communication plan that provides the essential information to the team and to those that need to know, e.g. sponsors, bosses, etc.
    5. And with all of the above, you need to know how you are going to pay for it all.
    6. Select the project you want to work on (to be discussed in a subsequent posting).
    7. Complete the project and broadcast your success.  Demonstrate to management and those that have been naysayers the results in measurable ways.  How much waste have you cut out of the process, how much money have you saved, how much faster you can now deliver services, etc.
    8. Build on the success by doing additional projects, gaining converts along the way. 

One word of advice, in the beginning, do not rush out and train people in the processes such as Six Sigma Green Belt, Black Belt or Lean.  Do this as your success grows and the internal need for these resources can be justified.