Where the rubber meets the road.
Here’s where the Six Sigma project team starts identifying and implementing solutions. The solution should significantly reduce the influence of the main causes identified in the Analyze phase. Along with the improvements, the team creates a plan to evaluate the solution(s) and monitor ongoing performance.
I – Improve
Once again, it is important to involve all the departments that use or are affected by the process improvement. The extended team, consisting of the original Six Sigma project core team and SMEs (subject matter experts) from the various departments involved, will decide whether to implement the improvement as a pilot or roll out the full-blown version.
Whatever the initial implementation method, the core team needs to document the improved process, establish a training plan for users and communicate all the details of improvement to stakeholders. This phase is crucial to any successful implementation; take the time to do it right!
The core team will focus on confirming and sharing early results and begin developing a plan to control the new process.
Some key tools for Improve are:
- DOE (Design of Experiment)
- Regression analysis
- Defining the optimum
- Implementation plan
- Training plan
- Stakeholder analysis + communications plan
- Pugh matrix