Teamwork has always been a critical component in completing a Lean Six Sigma Project, so why is it often overlooked?
When teams are successful, it is generally attributed to the following reasons:
- Strong leadership
- Well-defined goals
- Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
- Effective meetings
- Action plans
There are two Lean Six Sigma tenets that pull everything together to help teams succeed with their projects. The first is to overemphasize communication – with team members, other teams, Champion and leaders. The second is for the team to always strive for the best possible results, while learning from their mistakes.
The combination of different Lean Six Sigma tools not only help in fostering the communication central to successful teamwork but also encourage fact-based decision making, cross-team collaboration, and a relentless focus on quality and efficiency of their work.
These tools include:
- Project Charters & Reporting
- Communication Plan
- Voice of the Customer, Business and Process
- Change Management Tools
- Value Stream Mapping
- Visual Mapping
- Data Collection Plans
- Gemba Walks and many other tools …
The team model is like a wheel, with the hub as the goal and the spokes representing links with various team members. The model will work when the action items are broken down for individual team members. A Communication Plan is a living document that outlines and lists how to achieve the project goals and objectives. A successful Communication Plan requires strategy, planning, and coordination. Brainstorming ideas with the whole team can help develop a plan. A well-composed Communication Plan gives a consistent message, outline the approach and answers the question(s) of “What?, Where? and Why?” we are launching this initiative.
When considering successful teams, it’s clear that the key component of good teamwork is collaboration. Many Lean Six Sigma projects are complex and require significant collaboration. The improvement goal is usually high, about 50 percent, which requires cross-functional expertise, new ideas and innovative solutions. Everyone benefits from the success of these projects. Team members must be very involved, and therefore, must collaborate.
When a project team is formed, the team leader must create an environment for collaboration to ensure full connectivity, mutual expectation and accountability, personal involvement and pride, and interest in and commitment to the project.
A combination of Lean Six Sigma and a handful of project management technologies not only help in fostering the communication central to successful teamwork but also encourage fact-based decision making, cross-team collaboration, and a relentless focus on quality and efficiency of their work.