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Communication Strategies For Six Sigma Initiatives
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Written by Tony Jacowski   

It is true that Six Sigma is based on scientific theories, but you should not forget that a lot more depends on the employees who are entrusted with the task of implementing Six Sigma. You need to realize that Six Sigma project implementations require regular communications between the implementation team, middle and top management, as well as other stakeholders associated with the project; and as such, you need to develop effective communication strategies that will help in carrying out the implementation exactly as planned.

Explained below are some factors that you need to consider while devising communication strategies for Six Sigma initiatives in your organization.

Determining Target Audiences

Each employee in a given organization has a different level of understanding about Six Sigma concepts and methodologies. Therefore, it would be a complete waste of time and resources if same levels of introduction and training were provided to everyone. The solution is to segregate the organization into different groups based on their level of understanding and then develop a suitable communication plan for each of these groups.

Determining What To Communicate

How much employees understand about Six Sigma concepts and methodologies is critical to the success of Six Sigma implementations. It is necessary to communicate to them the various aspects of it such as need, vision, scope and importance. To make the communications more effective, you can devise different communication plans for different target groups based on their relative understanding of the subject.

Determining When To Communicate

Selecting the right time for communicating is even more important than the actual communication itself, because it determines how well an employee interprets the communication. The best results are derived when communications are made at a time when all the parties involved are free from external pulls and pressures. Communicating through seminars and training sessions is a better option than communicating at a time when the employees are performing their daily routines.

Determining Communication Media

Selecting an appropriate communication media is also necessary because different target groups react differently to different forms of communication. It all depends on the level of understanding and this is why it is not surprising when some individuals say that they prefer textual communications whereas others may state that they are more comfortable with audio/video communications. To gauge the general mood of a target group, you can use questionnaires or conduct sample interviews. The target audience will then be able to get the communication media of their choice, making it easier for them to make more sense of what is being communicated.

If you give due consideration to all the factors stated above, you will be able to devise effective communication strategies, which in turn will help you in carrying out the implementations far more easily and effectively. Another benefit is that once all the confusion is removed through proper communication, your employees will naturally feel more motivated to work towards achieving organizational goals and objectives, making the task much easier for you.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online, http://www.sixsigmaonline.org, offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

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