Six Sigma: Change Management and Its Impact on Business

There are several processes that help to define the philosophy that is Six Sigma, namely, Change Management, Quality Management, Project Selection and Tracking. Of these, change management is likely the most important as it is always a fundamental part of commercial success in the modern world.

Consumers change and businesses structures and platforms see various forms of transition as well. Unless a commercial entity is ready to radically alter its operations and methodologies, it can neither succeed nor remain successful in the face of new interests and new ways of getting things done without change in some form.

In ideal instances, all that is required for implementing different changes to an operation is a solid and cohesive plan. People must know why their current methods for getting things done are not working and how they can be made better. They can be given clear directives and a time frame for moving forward. Unfortunately, however, this is rarely how it works in practice as humans (aka employees) are inherently reticent to change.

This is because a key inhibitor exists in nearly every company. This is fear. People are often afraid to try new things out. Although they might not be succeeding in what they are currently doing, they can convince themselves of minor victories simply because their present efforts have not caused them to fail. Encouraging people to overcome their fear of change is therefore one major part of Six Sigma; change management.

Implementing processes that are entirely new cannot be done at a whim or without proper planning. More importantly, depending upon the nature of a business and its industry, it could be necessary to facilitate transition in a gradual fashion. There could be budgetary concerns or potential issues that the existing customer base might have with radical and overnight differences in products and or services.

For these and other reasons, planning according to feasible goals is vital. This is where data analysis comes in. Companies must collect evidence that shows which areas are most in need of restructuring. This data can be compiled in such a way that it creates the base for a time frame. Thus, team leaders and others within the organization can gradually start this process.

Making sure that the implemented program is effective in the long term is vital as well. This too is accomplished through diligence in data analysis. Commercial entities must know the results they are producing in order to determine whether certain efforts are worthwhile. Thus, they will continually track and record their processes and the differences that change has made on the company as time goes by.

One very vital point to understand, however, is that this is not a limited process. It does not occur for a short period of time and then stop once a desired end is achieved. The entire methodology of Six Sigma is based on the belief that companies can work continually toward perfect and that the ideal state can never truly be reached, simply because all things related to people and business are in a continual state of flux.

With a thorough review of business practices and the philosophy behind this program, it is clear to see that there are several very important elements of Six Sigma: Change management being the most important of these. This is due to the simple fact that it helps to ensure that people are always effectively moving in the right direction. Given that perfect is always a step ahead, this is an ongoing process.