E6S-156 Balancing Black Belt Project Portfolios - iSixSigma article

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Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your weekly dose of tips and tricks to achieve excellent performance in your business and career.  Join us as we explore deeper into the practical worlds of Lean, Six Sigma, Project Management and Design Thinking.  In this episode number 156, we clean house a bit with a review of an old iSixSigma article called, " Black Belts Should Create Balanced Project Portfolios," by William Rushing.  If you're just tuning in for the first time, find all our back episodes on our podcast table of contents at e6s-methods.com. If you like this episode, be sure to click the "like" link in the show notes.  It's easy.  Just tap our logo, click and you're done. Tap-click-done!  Here we go. http://bit.ly/E6S-156 Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes


I            iSixSigma article. 2008-ish - Black Belts Should Create Balanced Project Portfolios - William Rushing; McKesson

a.       https://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/black-belts-should-create-balanced-project-portfolios/

II         Key Questions asked/answered in article (Let's debate)

a.       Question 1: Should I spend all my time working on projects that save money for my organization by reducing costs or expenses?

i.      Answer: No. Your organization is only one of many customers you service as a Black Belt. Do not forget about external customers (those who supply you raw materials or those who buy your products and/or services).

b.      Question 2: If I scope out projects that will save my organization money, will it help foster Six Sigma in my organization?

i.      Answer: Not always. If you only look to save money, you might miss out on adding value to your organization. For example, it might be tempting to scope out a project that addresses employee attrition. It might take you three months to finish the project that reduces attrition by 25 percent. Attrition, however, might not be a big concern of the production supervisor, who is suffering a long-term problem of increasing amounts of scrap metal that is compounded by the increasing costs of metal.

c.       Question 3: Do my external customers really care about Six Sigma?

i.      Answer: They might not be familiar with Six Sigma, but they are concerned about product quality, costs and associated delivery of said product. They might not care if you use total quality management, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma or theory of constraints. They just want the best from your organization at a low price.

III      Aaron's key opinions on key points

a.       Grand assumption that BBs are picking their own projects, which is anti- what most programs profess should be done (but is too common). Also grand assumption of significant autonomy on the part ofthe BB.

b.      Find the prioritization of "Six Sigma Propagation" over "Corporation's Bottom line" interesting.

i.      I definitely have taken the longer, less profitable, but politically pallitable path to promote program propagation.

c.       Don't agree with the timeframe maturity levels outlined in Figure 2

i.      10 years in LSS is actually still very adolescent in my opinion. Personally believe 30 horizon closer to high maturity

ii.      Maturity cannot be judged by age... (as I am living proof), but by behaviors

d.      Opinions about figure 3?  Should we NOT have projects outside the sphere of influence/control?

i.      how do we know unless we try?  Influence is on a continuum and dynamic over time.

ii.      In what universe does the BB have the "Power to Change" anything?  Not as a hired gun for projects.  Always someone else actually in charge.  

Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 156 of the E6S-Methods podcast.  Stay tuned for episode 157 for another recorded presentation from NEQC, this time on "Simple Measures of Lean Six Sigma Maturity." Don't forget to click "like" or "dislike" for this episode in the show notes. Tap-click-done!  If you have a question, comment or advice, leave a note in the comments section or contact us directly. Feel free to email me "Aaron", aaron@e6s-methods.com, or on our website, we reply to all messages.  If you heard something you like, then Clammr and share it.  Don't forget you can find notes and graphics for all shows and more at www.E6S-Methods.com. "Journey Through Success. If you're not climbing up, you're falling down."    Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes


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