Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quality Management In Contemporary Organizations: Launching and Implementing a Six Sigma Project Proposal

Final Project Paper: Launching and Implementing a Six Sigma Project Proposal by Mr. Valerian B-K. Masao II

Quality Management In Contemporary Organizations- Spring2012 APUS Instructor: Dr. Dr. Jerome Pionk. May 27, 2012

Table of Contents

1.                  Introduction, 
2.                  Problem Statement, 
3.                  Selected Six Sigma Project (s) - Review of Current Practices, 
4.                  Project Improvement - Strategic plan for change or creation of the anticipated change, 
5.                  Six Sigma Project Improvements - Strategic approach for implementation and Goals Statement, 
6.                  Final Recommendations – Six Sigma Project Improvement Evaluation 
7.                  Summary/Conclusions


I’m writing about the current state of affairs in my current organization, Vanderheyden Hall Inc., a not for profit organization located in the capital region of upstate New York. The organization’s mission is to is empower youth, individuals and families to build brighter futures; and its vision is to continue the work of providing life-changing care to the youth, individuals and families that it serve for another 178 years (Vanderheyden Hall, 2012). Hence, this final project research paper will focus on creating and implementing a Six Sigma System program here at Vanderheyden Hall Inc. addressing the problem statement below. 
I work as a program/house manager of group home, a New York State certified Individualized Residence Alternative (IRA). Its capacity is 6 individuals with all range of developmental disabilities, from minors, young adults and adults. As we all know, that the 2008 recession and the continuing financial turmoil cause by stagnant economy local, state and federal budgets have been slashed to the spending programs, mostly social programs, and Mental Health agencies are dramatically impacted. My agency was on a huge deficit because it depended heavily on counties and state budgets and all spending-cuts made things worse by either not getting paid for services it provides to the residents or not getting enough residents/students into its facilities to sustain the budgets. However, through organization restructuring, slashed benefits, lay-off and changing management, combined, somehow the organization’s fiscal nightmare is under control and now striving to emerge victorious.  However, in this final project research paper, I identified understaffing that is costly, employees’ exhaustion and burn out, employees-management disconnection by miscommunication, empty beds and seats in the group homes and school classes-resulting low revenue, and very low employee morale as the biggest problem that the organization is facing and that do qualify the creation and implementation of a Six Sigma System program to solve these underline problem that derail overall organizational production.

Problem Statement:

Let us find out first, what is Six Sigma System? According to Pande, Neuman and Cavanagh (2000), Six Sigma is a broad and comprehensive system that is used to build and withstand business and or an organizational performance, leadership and success by producing goods and services in most efficient and effective way that meet customer requirements (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000)
In this perspective, justifying creation and implementation of Six Sigma program in my organization/Vanderheyden Hall Inc. we will start by identifying the current problems facing my organization. First problem, almost notably my organization, service provider to people with variety developmental disabilities and their families is facing financial crisis due to slashed spending from the local and state government, the major sources of income to human/social services organization. Second problem, is understaffing, like domino effect, is increasingly costly. Third Problem, miscommunication, things happen and without proper way to handle/communicate them management and employees find themselves in the different direction contrary to organizational goal, mismanagement of messaging and policies. Fourth  problem, is employees’ exhaustion and burnout, caused by increased expectation of doing more with less (compressed job requirement) due to lay-off and budget cuts; something that affect the quality of care/services that the agency is obligated as expected in the reflection of its vision and mission statements. Overall, these problems has caught the agency off guard each happening like in a series, one after another like domino effect, because the agency was or is not prepared to the aftermath of each problem, solution often cause after-shock problem and in the long ran without a good prescription, problems become chronic and insolvable.

Selected Six Sigma Project (s) and Review of Current Practices

Selecting a Six Sigma project that is beneficial to quality management approach requires review of current practices, committed and trained leadership, choosing sources for current project idea comparing with examining plan by external and external sources, understanding what will qualify a Six Sigma project improvement, defining criteria for project selection, and then implement the Six Sigma project by using Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC). In this case, the Six Sigma project in my organization is to improve the existing project. Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, (2000), illustrated considering use DMIC model to launch a Six Sigma improvement project would be suitable process (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000).
There are basic qualifications for this Six Sigma project improvement that I’m recommending to this organization as process improvement. First qualification is that there is a problem and opportunity in this Six Sigma Project because the organization needs to close communication gap, financial solutions, hire/have adequate staffs, and to address the underlying causes of the employees’ exhaustion and burnout and boost staff morale in order to gain a competitive advantaged environment in meeting customer requirement. The gap between current plan and desired plan is obvious and needs major improvement; no need of new plan. The new launched activities, Six Sigma project improvement, are as explained in the Goal Statement, financial, staffing, communication and staff morale (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000).
Second qualification, is that the cause of the problem is known because there is communication gap between management and employees/miscommunication, empty beds and seat/financial, inadequate staffing and not so motivated employees. The organization can increase salary and benefit attract new hire and staff morale, exploit employment by recommendation from staff-very effective, emphasize advertisement to fill the empty beds and seats, train, and launch an open door policy/ organizational wise, revamp employee rave/picnics/party to show that the organization care and acknowledge staff input. This plan/solution must be gradually implemented by segments otherwise it will blow-out the budget and cease to serve the best interest of the individuals, the organizational main focus goal. Email are great, but organization management should consider using face to face to communicate important information without licking personal or every important matters to the third party, open door policy will fix it. Also, the administration control on overtime is handicapping the ability of manager to best serve the individuals and satisfy employees, miscommunication. Administration solution, capping the overtime approval is like putting bandage on the problem waiting to fix it in the future and main cause of employee dissatisfaction (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000).
Third qualification, is that the solution of this Six Sigma project is predetermined and obvious because the increase of thorough and healthy open communications  as an open door policy can give the management good value data and information to close the communication gap; adequate staffing by launching a hiring process by employees’ referral and recommendations with reward system that employees who refer a new employee(s) will get a $200 is good source of hiring; revamping employee rave, picnics and party to show that the organization care and acknowledge staff input with the salary and benefits increase can attract new hire and staff morale; evaluating and fixing the financial crisis by filling up the empty beds in the group homes and empty seats in the organization’s school class rooms at main campus could increase revenue in the organization (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000).

Six Sigma Project Improvements - Strategic approach for implementation and Goals Statement,

The strategic plan for this process improvement will be the results of the Goal Statement that originated from the Problem Statement above which are also part of the framework and my recommendations on how this project should be used by the management and employees to achieve the targeted goals. This is the final consideration of identifying this Six Sigma project approach, whereby, we will adapt the process improvement through DMAIC model that will be done as incremental changes. At this stage, we will focus on the goal statement, team member, and responsibilities and initial project plan (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000).
The Goals Statement- this process is has three elements that are used to describe what is to be accomplished, measuring targets for desired results and put timeframe for results. In creating and implementing this Six Sigma program Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh (2000), is telling us that we will have to clearly understand the description of what is it this program need to accomplish, management to be able to set measurable desired result for the program and a deadline as time frame for management to achieve these set goals. Therefore, my organization’s Six Sigma program management will need to connect all the dots by doing the following: -
1.                  First, we will evaluate and fix the financial crisis by filling up the empty beds in the group homes and empty seats in the organization’s school class rooms at main campus. This process will also explore the advertisement, fund raising activities, evaluating our books and find waste, implanting Precision Care (online database services) that will cut time and office supplies and renegotiate some of expensive supplies and services contracts.
2.                  Second, add adequate staffing to meet the individuals’ demands and eliminating understaffing, employees’ exhaustion and burnout; empowering staff and invest in their high morale/productivity. To launch a hiring process by employees’ referral and recommendations with reward system that employees who refer a new employee(s) will get a $200 upon the sixth month of employment of the referred employee.  DeCenzo & Robbins (2010), on hiring by employee referrals, said that “employee referrals are an excellent means of locating potential employees for hard-to-fill positions”.
3.                  Third, increase thorough and healthy open communications/open-door policy that can give the management good value data and information that can effectively and efficiently meet the organizational goals by eliminating the existing miscommunication that compromise our services to the individuals we server, their families and our most valuable staff members.
4.                   Fourth, revamp employee rave/picnics/party to show that the organization care and acknowledge staff input; the increase salary and benefit to attract new hire and staff morale.
Team Member and Responsibilities- this Six Sigma program will be carried out as Team. Team members will be the following: -
1.         The President/Chairperson of Board;
2.         Chief Executive Officer (CEO);
3.         Division/Department Directors, (Business Services, Education Services, Community Services, Facilities, Quality Assurance, Information Systems and Marketing & Public Relations departments.);
4.         Each, one representative from Program Coordinators and program Managers; and
5.         Union Leader representing staff as per Union Contract.

Team leader will be the President/Chairperson of Board of Directors assisted by the CEO; all members will need to be fully committed to this Six Sigma program and responsibly supporting improvement of the existing process. The ultimatum goal of this Six Sigma program will be to achieve the above Goal Statement as part of the organizational goal stated in the mission, to empower youth, individuals and families by building brighter futures and the vision to continue the work of providing life-changing care to the youth, individuals and families that we serve for another 178 years (Vanderheyden Hall, 2012).

Implementation of this Six Sigma Improvement Project:

Fitz-Enz (1997), said that “the secret code for keeping the organization operating at the highest possible level is to build into the system a set of energizing beliefs and disciplines”. This improvement project mode will be implemented based on the principle that effective Voice Of Customers (VOC) system is constantly the priority by defining and focusing to customer requirements while avoiding squeaky wheel syndrome (Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh, 2000). In this manner, the strategic approach for implementation of this Six Sigma improvement project will be launched and carried out in such spirit as follows:
1.                  First, we will start with training the project members about the Six Sigma Project itself. Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh (2000), recommend that implementing a Six Sigma project, training should be emphasized on skills and methods that are needed most in fulfilling their roles in the organization.
2.                  Second, the team will need to have an understanding and agreement on the problems that the organization is facing, as outline above on the Problem Statement paragraph.
3.                  Third, we will look at the above Goal Statement and have agreement on how to implement improvements and recommended changes.
4.                  Fourth, we will train the manager on how to implement these recommended improvements and how to incorporate them in their daily activities. Fitz-Enz (1997), said that “beginning by training the people who will be conducting benchmarking or other forms of performance as assessment and evaluation”.
5.                  Fifth and last, then we will train staff and continue to have managers retrain staff that need help whenever such help needed. This is the last step and Six Sigma Project will be incorporated as organizational operation culture that is desired to maximize efficiency and  effectiveness of the care and services we provide to meet the organizational goals.

Final Recommendations – Six Sigma Project Improvement Evaluation

We will evaluate this improvement project by measuring the achievement of the Goal Statement above comparing with number of decrease problems as per Problem Statement. Evaluation will give us clear view of how successful the improvement project is and whether some more adjustments needed or not and where. 
Furthermore, we will evaluate this Six Sigma improvement project based on Fitz-Enz (1997), evaluation principle that he described as five indies change or improvement i.e. time, cost, quality, human reaction and error rates which are applicable into productivity, service and quality of our project. First, we will measure performance by looking at cost effective, time consumed, quality improvement, errors occurred and human reaction to our cares and services. Second, we will measure customer satisfaction by looking at services, its quality and how productive it is. Third, we will evaluate our competitiveness by value the price, organizational performance and ratio. Forth, then we will evaluate our financial value by measuring our return on assets, our market share value, drown margins, profit returns, and sales/services fee charges (Fitz-Enz, 1997).


This is a perfect Six Sigma improvement project and I’m recommending it to the board of directors and CEO for evaluation. This improvement project meets my agencies business benefits, it’s feasible and it certainly has an organizational impact as it incorporate project goals and organizational goal as one, it is simple and clear, and it introduces better improvement models. However, to best generate and sustain short-term and long-term goals, the selected Six Sigma Team need to be committed to this project as basic strategy that builds an institution. My analysis is that this agency needs to become successful as Six Sigma System process and therefore leadership, management and staffing, all, have to be fully committed, accountable and answerable to this Six Sigma Project in order for it to achieve its maximum desired outcome (Fitz-Enz, 1997).


DeCenzo, D. A., & Robbins, S. P. (2010).  Fundamentals of human resource management (10th ed.).  Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley and Sons.
Fitz-Enz, J. (1997). The 8 practices of exceptional companies: How great organizations make the most of their human assets. New York, AMACOM.
Pande, N. a. C. (2000). The six sigma way: How GE, Motorola, and other top companies are honing their performance McGrow-Hill.
Vanderheyden Hall Inc., Health and human services, Capital region New York,

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