How to Choose the Right Six Sigma Consultant

POST on Process Improvement by Jamie Johnson

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Choosing to implement Six Sigma into your business is not a task for the faint of heart. Implementing Six Sigma is a huge undertaking and the reality is, most Six Sigma projects will fail to meet their objectives. That’s why it can be a good idea to hire a Six Sigma consultant to work with your company.

A Six Sigma consultant is someone who is specially trained not only in Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma but in helping other companies implement Six Sigma in their businesses.

When it comes to hiring a Six Sigma consultant, you will definitely have your pick – there are thousands of consultants out there willing to work for you. Not every Six Six Sigma consultant will be a good fit for your or your organization, however. You’ll need to put some thought into finding the consultant that is right for your business.

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Why Should I Hire a Six Sigma Consultant?

As a business owner, it can be hard to delegate certain responsibilities. One of the most important decisions many business owners will make is knowing when it is time to hand over certain responsibilities to other people.

You may feel like you have the power to implement change within your organization but is there someone who could do it a little bit better? Here are three reasons you should consider hiring a Six Sigma consultant:

Lack of Bias

Let’s face it, it’s impossible for you to be completely objective about any challenges that your company faces.

When you are implementing Six Sigma, you are implementing an entirely new set of tools and way of running your business.

It can be helpful to have an unbiased, fresh perspective on the challenges that your company faces.

Six Sigma Knowledge

The right Six Sigma consultant has already successfully implemented Six Sigma in other organizations.

By outsourcing this task to someone who knows more about Six Sigma than you do, you free yourself up to focus on the more business important tasks that only you can do.

Willing to Take the Fall

When mistakes (both large and small) happen they can lead to a lot of fallout and finger pointing within an organization.

And when you are implementing Six Sigma, some mistakes are bound to happen along the way. Sometimes it is easier to have a Six Sigma consultant to blame rather than dealing with a lot of company in-fighting.

How to Choose the Right Six Sigma Consultant

It is important to choose the right Six Sigma consultant the first time around as choosing the wrong person can be a costly mistake. Not only will it cost you time and money but it could cause your employees to lose faith in you.

On the opposite end, choosing the right Six Sigma consultant could help you transform your business and save you thousands of dollars in the process.

As we’ve mentioned before, consultants are removed from the office politics of an organization. This means they can approach problems with a fresh outsider’s perspective that can be helpful.

It is possible for business owners to implement changes within their organization but the right Six Sigma consultant may be the best person to lead this effort. Here are four suggestions for choosing the right Six Sigma consultant:

Define the Criteria

This may sound like obvious advice, but if you don’t know what you are looking for then you are unlikely to find it. On the flip side, you may end up with someone who is the opposite of what you were looking for.

Before you begin to interview Six Sigma consultants really take some time to think about what specific needs your company has. What qualities are you looking for in a Six Sigma consultant?

Culture Fit Matters

A good professional relationship should be based on shared values and mutual respect.

For that reason, it is important that you choose someone who can fit in well with your company’s culture. Employees are often very resistant to change so it is a good idea to hire a consultant who will be able to relate to them.

Find out what that person’s general strategies are to solving problems and approaching employee resistance. It is important to choose someone with good communication skills who will be able to effectively communicate what they are doing and why it is important.

Interview a Variety of People

It is important to point out that this should not turn into a fishing expedition or an excuse to procrastinate.

You don’t need to interview hundreds of Six Sigma consultants and it should not take years to find the right person. You’re choosing Six Sigma consultant to maximize your time, not waste more of it so try to search smarter, not harder.

That being said, you should interview a variety of people until you have a sense of who will be the right person for your company.

Ask for References

The best way to get an idea of who someone is is to talk to other people they have worked with. Talk to other business owners that person has worked with and get their feedback. If enough other respected professionals feel that that person is reliable, honest, and trustworthy then you can probably feel good about hiring them.

Photos by perzonseo  

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