Call it What You Like, but Success is Spelled DMAIC

We are running a series of sorts on different companies that have implemented Six Sigma into their company culture, and in turn have achieved monumental success. Today we will talk about The Vanguard Group. They are an investment management company based out of Malvern, Pennsylvania, and they have over $4 trillion dollars in assets under their management.

We are talking about trillions of dollars, not millions or billions…so let’s see what they are doing!

First of all, when you log onto their website, they tell you their strategy. “Our Long Term Strategy? Put Clients First.” What the phrase lacks in sophistication, it more than makes up for in intent, and of course their ultimate success.

How Six Sigma is a Living, Breathing Way of Life at Vanguard

Vanguard has literally institutionalized Six Sigma into the entire Vanguard group organization. This was shared as a talk at the Vanguard Group WCBF 2nd Annual Conference Six Sigma for Financial Services in New York, back on May 11th 2006.

Now fast forward to present day and they have assets in the trillions, so obviously implementing Six Sigma to the entire organization has its benefits and rewards.

Vanguard’s Everyday Approach to Excellence

DMAIC, which stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control, is the template that Vanguard uses everyday. Let’s see how well you can spot each acronym in their company process for excellence.

The jargon is different but process is Six Sigma. They use a dashboard, which is created by the team for the team to clarify exactly how the individual performance impacts the team, the department and ultimately the entire company.

Voice of the Crew: Here the crew members are encouraged to suggest what can be done to improve performances among fellow staff; this also helps identify and track suggestions made to supervisors. Crew led forums are done on a weekly basis for constant improvements as well as to maintain recent changes.

Broken Windows: These are seen as opportunities to improve; these are also seen as having an obvious root cause followed by an obvious solution. These would be quick fixes with quick wins that would have an immediate impact on the client or department and would become part of the improved process. Since the crew is encouraged to be proactive, morale is usually increased after this process.

Crew Development: This is what Vanguard calls the growth of crew members to become effective leaders.

Back to Basics: This is Vanguard’s program that focuses on people management. This program entails one-on-ones, personal performance measures, training, rewards and recognitions.

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