Managing the Deployment of Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Jun 3, 2009 in Uncategorized | 1 comment


In order to change the culture and make Six Sigma the way we work, the organization’s top talent should be chosen as BB’s and potential MBB’s.  These people are going to be the future leaders of the organization and will be instrumental in making change happen.  Typically a person might work as a BB or MBB full time for 3 to 4 years and then be promoted to a management position in the company.  MBB’s are the coaches and mentors to the BB’s and their teams.  BB’s are the project leaders. 

Key attributes to look for in considering someone for a Black Belt position are:

  • Respected by the organization
  • Analytical skills
  • Computer literate
  • Comfortable with statistics and basic algebra
  • Able to lead and coach teams
  • Skilled at project management
  • Positive, can-do attitude
  • Good communicator 

Thought must be given to the career progression for BB’s and MBB’s.  These people will be highly trained and sought after by many industries.  Too often, I’ve seen where a person is made a MBB and shortly leaves to work at another company for higher pay.  A commitment needs to be made by both the employee and employer to keep talent within the organization, whether that is a promotion or an increase to a higher pay level.

An effective project selection process needs to be implemented.  Projects should be selected that support the strategies of the company and should be chosen by top management.  These can include those related to quality, cost, cash, and growth.  BB’s should be assigned to those projects where they can make the most impact and should not be allowed to pick their own projects. 

A project review process should be instituted by each project sponsor where they review each project in their area at least every two weeks.  This ensures that progress is being made by the BB and their team, any problems get resolved quickly, and any course corrections get made if need be.  It also keeps the sponsor actively engaged in the team’s efforts. 

Communication of project successes, certifications, internal awards, etc. is key to a successful implementation.  This communication can be made in company newsletters, email distributions, etc.  New BB’s and MBB’s should be recognized by upper management in company and department meetings.

A process for team reward and recognition should be investigated.  Although it is not feasible to reward every project team, a yearly award could be given to the team that saves the most money or has a significant contribution to a plant or function.

One Response to “Managing the Deployment of Lean Six Sigma”

  1. The deployment of talent is absolutely necessary for people who are going to be the future leaders of any organization.

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