Minimally Invasive Lean Six Sigma Training

Minimally Invasive Lean Six Sigma Training

One big pharma company embraced a more Agile approach to implementing Lean Six Sigma and achieved quick results. How did they do it?

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was at the Lean Six Sigma conference for ASQ in Phoenix and Novartis gave a whole presentation about implementing Lean and Six Sigma around their sales process. It turns out they didn’t actually apply Lean and Six Sigma to the sales process, they simply optimized everything around it that supported their reps going out into the field and how the reps got paid, but they didn’t really do anything about the sales process. But they had an interesting idea, and they called it “Minimally Invasive Training.”

“I love that kind of talk from health care people: Minimally Invasive Training. What they did was instead of having big Green Belt and Yellow Belt and Black Belt and you name it classes, what they did was they said, “Ok, we have to make an improvement in a certain thing, so let’s do a little bit of training about how Six Sigma works and then let’s just throw them right into the improvement process on that particular thing.” So they were having a problem with (I think it was) getting samples to the reps in time for them to go out into the field to meet with doctors and do stuff like that, and so there was a failure in that particular process. So what they did was they did a little bit of training (about an hour, that’s about how much I do) to kind of get people involved and get them into the idea, and then guess what? They took them right into Improvement and then they figured out how to improve and reduce the delays involved in getting those samples to those reps who are going out to doctors and guess what? Sales went up.

“All right, so that’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Minimally Invasive Training. You do it right in the front of actually taking the team into an actual problem solving thing, and I have found based on my experience that they learn much more quickly, it sinks in… It sticks! Too easy… right? That’s just too easy.

“Let’s go out and improve something this week.”