• Philippa Dengler

Six Sigma, Lean, Agile and Scrum

The foundations for my structured approach to Change Management were laid right at the beginning of my career at General Electric (GE). At that time all future leaders at GE needed to gain expertise in Six Sigma.


A key differentiator of projects using the Six Sigma approach is the clarity around what the problem really is and what the root causes of the problem are before rushing to implement solutions that in some cases previously had only made things worse. Another aspect that has always appealed to me is the focus on improving the process and the whole system rather than pointing a blaming finger at any individual.


For the certification as Master Black Belt (MBB) I attended a total of 4 weeks of Six Sigma training at GE's internal university in Stanford, completed 2 large projects (one in IT and one in Marketing) applying the Six Sigma methodology, coached 10 Black Belts (from all organisational levels) to complete their projects and passed a written exam and oral presentation.


Whilst Six Sigma places a lot of emphasis on understanding the process data, the variation in the data and the root causes of that variation it acknowledges that the "people factor" in processes plays a central role. Perhaps some of the most useful skills I learnt as an MBB coach can from the Six Sigma Change Acceleration Process (CAP) which addresses the key elements of successful change management, project team-building and workshop facilitation.


In later years, elements of Lean Management were introduced which particularly for service organisations was a great enrichment to the Six Sigma methodology. With Lean Six Sigma we were able to get insights faster which led to significant improvements for customers and the organisation itself.


More recently I have further developed my toolbox with Agile Project Management through my studies and Scrum by becoming a certified Scrum Master with Scrum Alliance.


The best bit about have 20 years Change Management experience is being able to select the right tools and methods based on the situation, combine them and use them to achieve pragmatic solutions to real life problems.

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