E6S-038 Why Lean Six Sigma Projects Fail

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your source for expert advice on Lean, Six Sigma, and performance improvement methods. In this episode number 38 we have an open dialog around the failure modes of projects. From our experience, it really comes down to Project Management.  Here we go.

***Why Lean Six Sigma Projects Fail!***                                                      

I            Top Reasons for Failure

a.       Priorities change,

i.      Flavor or the month or Pain of the moment

b.      Poor Project Management

i.      People lose interest

ii.      Stakeholders not engaged

iii.      Long-term project needs changes over time

iv.      Poor communication

c.       Unclear goal.

i.      A lofty, uncertain vision without  SMART Goal

d.      Not due to the “harder” tools

i.      Statistics, FMEA, or more technical tools that are taught

II         What does failure look like?

a.       Slow death, just fades, & people forget

b.      Going too long and not reaching the goal

c.       Data doesn’t support the goal            

III      PM isn’t a core curriculum in LSS or University Programs

a.       LSS Training off-balance between technical tools vs. project management skills development.

i.      90%+ of curriculum focused on technical tools

b.      Seems to be an assumption that most Black Belts or engineers are automatically competent at project management (Alpha Risk), which is demonstrating to be untrue.

IV      When to projects usually fail?

a.       Usually Improve Phase

i.      “Fun Part” over “Do” part starts, and where the challenges really come up

ii.      Those process owners/stakeholders who were never engaged gain their leverage


Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 38 of the E6S-Methods Podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 39, where Jacob and I introduce the project management tool, Work Breakdown Structure, for use in Lean Six Sigma. Subscribe to past and future episodes on iTunes or stream us live on-demand with Stitcher Radio. Have an idea for an episode? Contact us!  Follow us on twitter @e6sindustries. Join a discussion on LinkedIn. Find outlines and graphics for all shows and more at www.E6S-Methods.com. “Journey Through Success”