I prefer smaller projects!

Big Six Sigma projects can drag on forever. Smaller projects just work better. I know this is my opinion, but after years of working on projects I prefer to keep things small.

Bigger projects often fail

If you’ve worked with Six Sigma long enough, you know that some projects fail. It’s just a fact. Sometimes it’s because leadership isn’t committed, but more often it’s because the scope of the project was just to large. I’ve really learned to embrace smaller, leaner projects using Kaizen Events. They allow you to develop a small, nimble team of 6 to 8 people. Those people can then hyper-focus on one specific problem and fix it quickly! These small projects are usually just 5 days in length and can have an immediate impact on the organization. I’ve seen Kaizen events save a company millions of dollars by cutting waste.

One of the first Kaizen projects I worked on was for the US Air Force. During our 5-day sprint we identified an issue costing the military base over $14k dollars annually. It was something the base leadership was completely unaware of, and we were able to fix the issue at no additional cost. This was way back in 1999, and I happen to know the change is still in effect in 2021, over 22 years later. That means the project has saved the USAF over $308,000 dollars; You’re welcome taxpayers!

Small projects are just easier. They don’t require much convincing from leadership, it’s only a 5-day commitment. They don’t generally cost much money either. Usually a Six Sigma Black Belt will lead the kaizen since they have experience with tools like 5S and Fishbone diagrams.

It’s a good idea to get a Six Sigma Small Projects certification because they are effective at all levels of an organization. It doesn’t matter if you have an entry-level job, or you’re the company CEO. Having the ability to run a small project, Kaizen event, or project sprint is beneficial.
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