Six Sigma Project Reviews – Assessing Success through Employees

There is a lot to be said for a quality Six Sigma Process. However, when it comes to controlling that process after implementation, there are many different tools to consider. One way to gauge the success of Six Sigma Projects is to perform employee assessments, and here are the questions that you need to be asking.

Six Sigma Projects all dictate a need for continuous improvement and control. Otherwise, the efforts that are made to improve things would be fruitless because they will not simply stay perfect for the rest of the business’s life. In order to truly succeed, you need to stop measuring and reviewing the processes and start checking out the employees to ensure that they are getting the things that they need from the completed Six Sigma Projects. Using employee assessments will allow you to see where everyone stands once a project has been dutifully completed.

You need a setting for this assessment that is formal enough to elicit real feedback from the employees that are being interviewed. Once you have the information, you can then turn to comparing the metrics to the goal so that you can see where things stand and where they are headed. There are many different questions and topics that employees can be consulted about in these interviews to ensure that they get the best results, and here is a sampling of some things that you should be asking:

-Did Six Sigma reduce the workload?
-Did Six Sigma improve the working climate or environment?
-Process time reductions because of Six Sigma? (perception-based)
-Have they noticed work saved because of fewer defects?
-Did Six Sigma improve the organization’s position? (opinion question)

Once these questions have been answered by all of the appropriate parties, the answers can be compiled and compared against the goals that were set to make sure that things are on track. In the event that answers show there are some things missing, a Kaizen event may need to take place to get things back to where they should be. Employee assessment is a great tool for measuring the success of Six Sigma Projects, and is not always a tool used only for downsizing, like many people think.

In order to get an accurate assessment of where things stand after a completed Six Sigma Process, team members must be able to have an unbiased approach and to elicit truthful answers from employees without scaring them into thinking that their job is at stake. For most people, the intimidation of an assessment interview will cause them to feel like they have to answer correctly to save their job, which might not elicit the answers that are honest in the survey because they are trying to answer how they think you want them to.

Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.