Companies can realize significant, measureable results, by reducing variability and eliminating waste in their processes through Lean-Six Sigma initiatives. Change is implemented to help meet the company’s strategic objectives, but the success of any process improvement or design effort hinges on maintaining a focus on managing the change appropriately. Effective organizational change management in a Lean or Six Sigma project greatly increases the probability of success. While this concept is critical, it is not revolutionary. Change management is mentioned in many of the Six Sigma and Lean reference materials, though sporadically. This blog provides an introduction to an attached white paper, titled The “People Side” of Lean-Six Sigma Initiatives. The white paper highlights the critical change management activities within the Lean-Six Sigma methodology, while emphasizing the necessity of incorporating change management into a successful process engineering initiative.

Change Management can be leveraged in Lean-Six Sigma projects in the following ways:

  • Managing Leadership Communication: overcoming the common errors made my managers and focusing on the communication from leadership, so it can be leveraged in a way that creates an organization that is ‘soft-wired’ for change
  • Analyzing Stakeholders and Leveraging Sponsors: managing the many stakeholders on a project so that positive influences are exposed and negative influences are handled appropriately, while creating ‘change agents’ out of Sponsors and key stakeholders
  • Measuring Readiness and Using the Balanced Scorecard: using specific change management tools to measure the environment in order to anticipate resistance and support for change
  • Implementing Improvements: standing up the necessary infrastructure to support the improvements and increase the rate of change adoption
  • Controlling and Sustaining Improvements: measuring the success of the change and transitioning the business towards ownership of the improvement

I suggest that you read the attached white paper for additional details, including specific change management tools and deliverables. Additionally, the paper highlights specific examples where leveraging change management during process improvement initiatives has led to success.