Halden Zimmermann on Teamwork and Continuous Improvement
In today’s business world, we have to work together for maximum gain.
When we gather people from all parts of the process and different departments and use data, facts and process knowledge, we can get at the root causes of problems faster. Formal Lean Six Sigma teams are just part of the picture. We also need an environment that encourages us to work together every day.
Alcan has trained employees in LSS problem-solving methodologies so they can train others to help increase profitability throughout the organization. The most experienced trainers, Master Black Belts, train and teach throughout the company. Black Belts are change agents who help facilitate improvement throughout the organization. Green Belts receive focused training on a toolbox to help them in their ongoing projects and to provide a resource in quality and Lean improvement efforts. White Belts and Yellow Belts are trained to understand CI and have a framework to work on day-to-day improvement goals.
Employees throughout the company are learning and using Lean Six Sigma methodologies to meet CI goals. We don’t have to be a Black Belt to work on a project. All of us can help identify and tackle needed improvements with the LSS toolsets available to us.
Data and Facts
Data and facts form a true foundation for Lean Six Sigma. Who are our customers and what do they want? How do our processes vary? What defects can we identify? We need to base our decisions on fact, not guess work.
LSS concepts are also extremely powerful when we use them to improve the quality and speed of transactional processes, including those found in our marketing, human resources, finance, sales, order processing and pricing departments. LSS projects should occur in these transactional processes because they support our manufacturing processes, which, in turn, support our customers.