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November 25, 2015

The Soft Side

Often when implementing Six Sigma or DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) cycle, we tend to neglect the human factor. On the edges, process improvement sound like it has only to do with numbers and data. This is not true, in fact 80% of the projects trying to accomplish this improvement fail due to various soft issues. Teamwork, transparency, collaboration and effective communication are important factors that should be present in order to improve the process since "people are the process." Most of the time, the problems are due to time, growth and changes in the environment of the office and the people should not be blamed.

In order for a process to be implemented successfully, it is important to consider the following:

1. Motivation: The employee should have the right motivation to perform a certain task at a certain standard rather than temporary motivation factors that could create issues at a later time.

2. Know the process: It is very important for each Project team member to understand the process completely. At the same time it is important for the employees to understand why a new system is being implemented and understand the company's vision.

3. Active participation: Lastly, everyone depends on each other to complete a process and it would be wise for each person to feel responsible for their part of the work.

In the end however, there is one aspect that needs careful consideration and comes in the branch of the office environment that is "office politics." This factor could affect the performance and motivation levels of a person and should be measured and analysed in order to make it a minimum. It is very important to consider the socio-emotional factors and what effect do they have on the process in order to minimise the resistance during change and have a smooth transition.


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