Welcome to the Change Management Tutorial Series
Six Sigma and Change Management: Beyond Black Belt
by Jeff Hiatt, co-author of Change Management: the people side of change
If you are right in the middle of a Six Sigma project and experiencing employee resistance or a lack of management support, you are not alone. One common thread with nearly all change initiatives is resistance to change. The Six Sigma tools and processes, including DMAIC and DFSS, can provide direction for the change, but alone they cannot ensure that you will succeed. Why? Too often, Six Sigma professionals lack change management competency -- that ability to manage the people side of change. Val Larson and Mike Carnell (president of Six Sigma Applications) summarize the issue well in their article, Developing Black Belt Change Agents:
Exactly. But, is this a common view? Is managing the people side of change and securing management support an issue that others face as well?
What does that mean for Six Sigma professionals? It means Black Belt certification is not the end of the road in terms of certification and learning; it is simply your ticket to begin the journey. The next most significant hurdle will be mastery of change management and the people side of change.
How to start
1. Build awareness and desire for change management competency within your team of Six Sigma professionals. Given the months of time you have invested in your Six Sigma certification, spending more time in training may not be the highest priority. You must, therefore, begin by listing the reasons that change management competency is necessary for your success. Here are a few:
2. Develop your knowledge of change leadership and change management. Once you have established awareness and desire to create change management skills, your next step is to begin the learning process. Your options include reading free tutorials, buying books priced from $20 to $400, or attending certification training in change management.
3. Become proficient at the practical application of tools and processes for managing change. No amount of knowledge will substitute for practice, especially when managing the people side of change. Just when you think your abilities have reached the "master" change agent level, you will run across yet another situation where executive support, culture, history or any number of variables throws you a curve. Developing your ability to manage change will take time. You will also need to stay current with best practices and the latest tips.
4. Reinforce change management competency with your team. To ensure that you sustain this change, reward and reinforce change leadership behavior and skills within your team. Celebrating successes is a key part of cementing new skills and behaviors. Moreover, it is critical to reward success and recognize the valuable contributions of team members.
Ultimately, your goal is to deploy your Six Sigma projects effectively. Change management will be the most important companion-discipline to make this goal a reality. Certainly, the people side of change will challenge even the best Black Belt on your team, and the ambiguity of managing change may test their patience. Developing change management skills will reduce the personal stress associated with leading projects and make your investment in Six Sigma produce greater returns.
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Change Management Toolkit: a comprehensive change management process, including templates, worksheets, assessments, checklists and guidelines - a must have for change management team members and consultants. Includes specific sections on developing a sponsor model, preparing sponsors and creating a sponsor roadmap with key action steps.
Best Practices in Change Management: 426 companies share experiences in managing change and lesson on how to build great executive sponsorship. Includes success factors, methodology, role of top management, communications, team structure and more. The report makes it easy to learn change management best practices and discover the mistakes to avoid when creating executive sponsorship.a Prosci analyst or call 970-203-9332 for more information.
Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors: a guide specifically designed for managers and supervisors dealing with change - complete with team and individual coaching activities, best practices findings and frequently asked questions.
Developing Black Belt Change Agents, http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020812a.asp
Ask the Expert, http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/ask-07.asp
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