Realizing Six Sigma Success

Interaction Associates equips a high-tech leader with superior facilitation skills, for sustained Six Sigma success.


A global high-tech company found itself at a crossroads. It had plenty of money in the bank, and its products and services were considered to be among the finest in the industry. However, the tech bubble posed a danger, and the organization was feeling its impact: share prices were declining, revenues were disappointing, and competition was fierce. The organization set “Execution” as its highest priority. Recognizing that it had difficulty measuring the scope of its problems and the effectiveness of its solutions – and that addressing this difficulty could dramatically improve its success – the organization launched a Six Sigma initiative.

How Interaction Associates Helped

At the outset of its Six Sigma initiative, the company set three high-level goals:

  • To improve business processes.
  • To create a more customer-centric organization.
  • To incorporate data collection and analysis into decision making processes.

Within nine months of establishing these objectives, the company had built a project-definition and problem solving methodology, started promoting the importance of the Six Sigma initiative, and identified development requirements. To successfully lead a Six Sigma project team, the company’s Green, Black, and Master Black Belts had to be trained in Six Sigma methodology and change management methodology. The company created a curriculum and began training Green, Black, and Master Black Belts in these areas.

But before long, the company became aware of a significant gap in the Six Sigma curriculum. Like many organizations, they were experiencing problems in executing Six Sigma – things like increased project cycle time, sub-optimal solutions, and ineffective project leadership.

Since Six Sigma work relies heavily on what happens in cross-functional teams, it became clear Belts would require group problem solving and group process management skills to make their teams work. The company realized it must equip Green, Black, and Master Black Belts with a full collaboration toolkit to reach its aggressive goals.

The company identified Interaction Associates as the best partner to train project team leaders in this critical skill set, and selected Interaction Associates’ Essential Facilitation© workshop as the preferred delivery method.

Return on Involvement

One of the most useful collaborative problem solving methods participants learn in the Essential Facilitation© workshop is the “open, narrow, close” process. This tool provides a framework for guiding the group through the phases of perception, definition, and analysis of problems. It also helps teams generate alternative solutions to a problem, evaluate them, and decide which solution to implement. The training has helped Six Sigma experts to scope projects and measure results more effectively. They are moving forward more productively, and managing change better, too. The program has improved members’ skills in problem identification: they know how to facilitate drilling down to what the problem is, before jumping to a solution.

Finally, Essential Facilitation© skills help the teams encourage and drive employee willingness to implement the teams’ solutions. Much of a project’s success is based on employees accepting the solution. If an idea can be built out of acceptance, there is a better chance for successful implementation.

IA Services Provided

  • Essential Facilitation©.

Project at a Glance

Interaction Associates equips a high-tech leader to overcome increased project cycle time, sub-optimal solutions, and ineffective project leadership, using the tools of Six Sigma.