Executive Leadership Role In Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Dec 5, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

Leaders contemplating starting a Lean Six Sigma program may ask, “What level of participation and involvement do we need from our executive leadership in deploying our initiative? and “What should their training consist of?”

First, executive leadership should create a vision for their organization for three years, five years, and ten years. They need to determine a strong rationale for why the business requires the Lean Six Sigma initiative. The explanation must be specific to the organization and tie directly to benefits everyone can understand. The vision should fit the strategy and goals cognisant of the current culture and history of the organization.

Second, executive leadership should plan and actively participate in the implementation. Executive leadership can’t hand this responsibility to a deployment champion, a Lean Six Sigma manager, or a consultant. Executive leadership needs to own the effort since they are the ones who’ll have to sell it and defend it. They need to change the plan as things change and the organization’s knowledge evolves. In addition, top management is best suited to balance the priorities and challenges of the business with the Lean Six Sigma process.

The plan and strategy should detail some of the following:

  • What are our first steps?
  • How much of the business should be involved?
  • What’s our budget?
  • How many people need training? To what level? How quickly?
  • What will our process be for identifying projects and ensuring they align to organizational strategy?
  • What will our certification and recertification process be for the various belts?
  • How will we monitor the progress of our initiative, and what metrics do we need to put in place?
  • What resources will be required to accelerate our deployment?
  • What will our communication strategy involve, and how best to roll it out?
  • What will be our recognition process look be for those that are successful?

A Lean Six Sigma Steering Committee comprising 6 – 10 executive members can address these questions. This committee is the engine for the initiative. They will determine the program metrics, deployment timing, the infrastructure required to sustain the effort, and any other questions. This group will most likely meet monthly for the first year, then potentially every quarter afterward.

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