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How to Get Your Six Sigma Project Back on Track

Most Six Sigma projects will follow a linear, structured flow. An executive or senior manager overlooks the progress being made, advises where changes will benefit, and instructs project managers how to maintain the process. However, every project runs the chance of having errors, mistakes, and setbacks. Regardless of your Lean Six Sigma training, your consulting experience, or your Six Sigma certification, mistakes are bound to happen. Most project mistakes are human error, yet, machines and automated processes will fail at some point. Every part of your business processes has limitations and, when reached, will result in errors.

How to Get Your Six Sigma Project Back on Track

When mishaps occur, it’s easy to become frustrated. However, as a Six Sigma professional, it’s your responsibility to get the project back on track as quickly as possible. To better prepare you for the unavoidable future, here are a few tips you can use when mistakes arise.

Prepare

The best way to resolve production errors is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Six Sigma is a business process improvement method that focuses on reducing waste and removing unnecessary components. For most Six Sigma Projects, this methodology will automatically reduce the chance for errors. Although, mistakes are still not completely avoidable. Before beginning a project, ensure your employees have thorough training and understand the Six Sigma methodology completely. A comprehensive understanding with adequate practice is the best way to prevent errors from occurring.

Damage Control

However, when errors do occur, the first thing you should do is remind yourself and your team that you are human. Mistakes will happen and while perfection is a goal, it’s not necessarily achievable. Likewise, when mistakes happen, assess where and when the error occurred. Using your Six Sigma Toolkits, such as Root Cause Analysis, you can locate and correct the production error and get back on track. Additionally, you can also integrate the Kaizen methodology to maintain a clear workspace, revisit locations of errors, and reorganize your components. While you may lose time when a production error occurs, it’s crucial to take the time needed to locate and correct what exactly went wrong.

Getting Back on Track

Whether you have just finished fixing a production error or are practicing prevention methods, getting back on track with your project should always be the end goal. Getting back and staying on track requires discipline, obedience, and a strong management team to motivate their employees. When management communicates effectively with other employees, it’s easier to maintain a proper business process and Six Sigma project. Additionally, practice is always key. If you want to avoid errors from occurring, practice the Six Sigma methodology in all of your business processes when available.

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