Working it Out With Six Sigma

The Workout system can be combined with Six Sigma that can help reach out to those group of employees who are least exposed to Six Sigma tools and concepts. These members would generally be those who are in fact the ones closely related to that process.

Workout as a business improvement methodology was born at GE under Jack Welsh. TQM differs from Workout. Where TQM stresses on acting after study, Workout endorses action as soon a consensus on a simple solution is reached which leads to speed in action.

Workout tools are simple and ready to use tools for those who have a clear understanding of the problem and the statistical tools requiring analytical expertise.

The participants have the opportunity to express their opinion and provide personal commitment to act upon it.

Combining Six Sigma and Workout

-The combination of Six Sigma and Workout is seen as a strong change management tool. Six Sigma takes a fact-based approach to decision making related to process improvements.

It is based on data analysis and logic to overcome the hurdles to change. Workout is basically a psychological approach to change. It gives due consideration to the human trait of the need to be heard by those in power, and to be valued, supported and rewarded for making things better.

Workout provides those managers and employees who are not part of the core Six Sigma team with the opportunity to put their ideas into practice. Workout provides all employees a controlled format for translating ideas into action.

This is very helpful to achieve short-term results and quickly achieve involvement of all in the Six Sigma culture.

Keys to successful integration: The integration of Six Sigma and Workout is not difficult. It only requires effective assignment of roles and responsibilities:

-Make Workout an integral part of Six Sigma: It may seem difficult to achieve perfection in process performance, and that too with speed and self-confidence.

In an organization where integration is to be managed, it is necessary to appropriately use speed, simplicity and initiative where it can be fruitful and where it may be risky.

-Workout to complex problem resolution: Idea prioritization, brainstorming and action plan development are some of the workout tools that may be useful in making processes up to 95% defect free.

Workout teams can uncover systemic problems, and Green and Black Belts can put in extra effort where advanced tools need to be used.

-Deployment with acceleration: Workout can be useful particularly when the people are going to be affected to extent of having to change their daily routine.

Workout teams can help engage those people who will be directly affected with the solution.

-Engaging leaders: Workout events enable the alignment of leadership with priorities of Six Sigma deployment.

High level Workout can be useful to sort out commitment of resources. It also helps avoid mismatching problems to the tools.

Companies can combine Six Sigma and Workout to ramp up their process deployments and ensure employee engagement.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions – Six Sigma Online ( offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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