Successful businesses function off of more than just great ideas and useful product offerings. To operate a profitable and sustainable business, you need to have the right procedures and best practices in place. Six Sigma is a world-renowned set of methodologies for process improvement. Businesses of all sizes can use these teachings to streamline their efforts and focus on high-value activities that will improve the longevity and success of the organization. Here’s how you can use the core Six Sigma principles for business success.
Make Decisions Based On The Customer
Firstly, every business decision you make should be made with the end-user in mind. Go beyond the mindset that the customer is always right and identify what they truly desire. Remember that you aren’t selling a service or product – you’re selling a solution to a perceived problem.
Use research and data to procure valuable insights about your customers’ motivations and behaviors. When you make decisions within your business, visualize your customer avatar, and consider how each choice will impact their experience.
Understand The Workflow
You should never make changes for the sake of making changes. Instead, look at the current workflow and dig deep to develop a profound understanding of how it works. What aspects are working well within your workflow? Where do the issues arise? What’s the opportunity for improvement? Taking a deep dive into your workflow will give you a better perspective when evaluating operations from a high level. Only then will you be able to make strategic changes that improve the efficiency of your operations.
Improve And Streamline Your Process Flow
Once you have invested time in understanding how your organization works, you can make strategic improvements. Everything in your business is process-driven, from innovation to customer delivery to billing. Determine what’s causing hang-ups or bottlenecks in your process flow and drill down to the root cause. Use a simple approach, like the 5 Whys, to identify what your business needs to do first. That way, you can improve your overall processes.
Reduce And Remove Low-Value Tasks
Additionally, every task completed in the organization should have value, especially those that have human capital attached. Automation and artificial intelligence are playing a significant role in the modern business world. Identify what tasks can be automated and simplified so that your hired talent can focus on value-added tasks, like generating more revenue. Use the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to define, measure, analyze, improve, control, and synergize to find variables within your processes that can thwart your productivity.
Remove The Variables
Once the variables in your processes are identified using the DMAIC methodology, strive toward removing them. Remove any steps that cause waste or fail to add value to your current processes. Use the Six Sigma Root Cause Analyzer to get a better understanding of each variant and how it can be reduced.
Create An Engaged Team
To make your business a success, you must cultivate a company culture that shares your values and beliefs. You need people who believe in collaboration and working together toward a common goal in congruence with the Six Sigma mindset.
“Hiring Six Sigma team members must be done carefully,” says Peter Peterka, Founder and CEO of Global Six Sigma, “You have to find that person who has the passion, drive and skill sets to deliver a final product and embody the standards throughout the organization.”
Make Outcome-Based Improvements
The work isn’t done when you’ve implemented strategic changes. Afterward, you need to measure the results and adjust accordingly. While careful planning is the key to success, analyzing and trusting the data science is how you refine your approach. Identify key performance metrics and use them to evaluate the effects of the changes you make. Use those metrics to identify if there is room for more improvement and to shape strategies for the future.
Communicate New Standards Clearly
Moreover, the Six Sigma Principles encourage managers to communicate new standards clearly. For some companies, clear communication means using various six sigma training methods. By using multiple methods, you ensure that all types of learners can acquire the knowledge they need to follow new processes properly. If you fear that your communication methods are still ineffective, ask employees for feedback. They might be able to show you a better way to communicate standards effectively. Use this advice to take advantage of the Six Sigma Principles in business.
Establish A Control System
Finally, if you want to achieve business success through the Six Sigma Principles, you need to establish a control system as well. Control is one of the six phases of this sigma methodology. The principles explain that in order to gain and maintain control of your business, you need to put a control system in place. Your system’s main purpose should be to monitor performance after you improve your processes. Establish a system specific to your company’s goals. That way, you can succeed in your particular industry and use the principles effectively.
By implementing the core components of the Six Sigma approach to business, you’ll make data-driven decisions that will help your business excel now and in the future.