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Six Sigma and Change Management

Six Sigma and Change Management

No one enjoys change. While changes may be necessary, or unavoidable, they can be difficult for employees to accept. These changes may be as simple as reorganizing your office layout, or as complex as revamping a customary production process. Nonetheless, if your workforce avoids change, your organization as a whole is in jeopardy. Six Sigma focuses on finding new, innovative changes to bring into your organization to promote efficiency within processes. Likewise, Six Sigma cannot exist without change. However, simply implementing Six Sigma methodology alone will not guarantee a smooth transition with change. Sometimes, you need something more. To help integrate change with your new Six Sigma methodologies, we recommend implementing Change Management.

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What Is Change Management?

By definition, change management is the act of guiding change from the corporate to the individual level. It focuses preparing employees for change, equipping them with the resources they may need, and supporting their weaknesses. Change is only affective if you accept it. Likewise, it encourages change from within the organization. Depending on your organization’s structure, a professional change manager may be brought in to see the changes occur successfully. Otherwise, upper-level managers will oversee preparing and integrating the organization for change.

Types of Change Management

There are three areas where change occurs.

Individual

The first is at the individual level. This area focuses on each individual employee and predicting how they will adapt to the change. Although it may your employees’ instincts to resist change, offering personal guidance can do wonders. Individual change management happens by assessing and analyzing what each employee and group need for a success change. This may come in the form of extra training, a formal operations procedure, or simply asking questions. Since individual change management depends on many data sets, Green and Yellow Six Sigma Belt employees will oversee this data collection. Their tasks will include properly mining and organizing the data for upper-level management.

Organizational

The second type of change management is organizational. While it’s important to understand what each employee needs for a successful change integration, this can become extremely time consuming. To combat this, there’s organization change management. This focuses on assessing an entire process, project team, or organization and seeing where the change will be most apparent. Not every department will experience the same level of change as others. Because of this, it’s important to understand and recognize where change will be occurring, who will be affected, and how to mitigate this. For this, Six Sigma Black Belts and higher will oversee organizational change management. As natural leaders and project managers, these employees will have the most insight to change.

Enterprise

Last, there is enterprise change management. This type of change refers to the overall structure and culture of your organization. How easily and fluidly your organization adapts to change consistently is determined by enterprise change management. Unlike the other types, this type of change may not be as visible or apparent since it depends on the overall organization. However, with effective leadership and proper management, your organization will be more prepared for changes in the future.

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