The Secret Formula for Managing Change

You can have the best process in the world but if the humans who need to follow that process don’t do so, you’ve wasted your time, says columnist Jeff Cole. For those readers that may just be starting out on their Lean Six Sigma journeys, here are a few tips when it comes to managing the human side of your Six Sigma project.

The Secret Formula

For years now there has been a simple formula floating around the process improvement world that helps illustrate why you should get interested in change management.

The formula?

Q x A = E  or more formally Quality x Acceptance = Excellence.

Quality is a code word for you following a process improvement method like Six Sigma.  Excellence is all about you improving your process on time and on budget with the results you anticipated.  The A in the formula is the most important – Acceptance is all about the humans impacted by your process change engaging and following the new process.  I’ve written this before but it bears repeating – you can have the best process in the world but if the humans who need to follow that process don’t do so, you’ve wasted your time.  Many people will tell you that the “A” part of the formula is by far the most difficult part of the

A Mismatch?

There are over 400 books in print about Six Sigma and countless classes one can take.  If you crack open a dozen or so six sigma books and look at the ratio of content about the technical side of process improvement (tools and statistics) versus how to change the behavior of those impacted by the process change, you would see the technical side far outweighs the human side.  However, when process improvement efforts fail, it’s typically not because of an error on the technical side but due to a failure in fostering acceptance of the change.  Change management in and of itself is a broad and deep body of knowledge rivaling that of six sigma.  More needs to be done to even up the distribution of training materials, but what can one do today?

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About Jos
Winston Churchill once said: Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. - That's me building an online business.

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