Six Sigma Team : Types of Members and Tips for Selection

Team is the most essential element to ensure the Six Sigma projects are progressing well. On the previous post, we have discussed on the roles and responsible in Six Sigma team and in this post we will discuss more on the Six Sigma Team Member : Types and Tips for Selection.

When putting teams together, organizations should remember that three basic team member types exist with relation to a Six Sigma project. First, there are the regular team members. These individuals participate in all activities of the team and attend all or almost all of the team’s meetings.

Regular team members include project leaders, process owners and experts, and identified subject matter experts who the team or executives feel would be critical components of their group.

Second, ad hoc team members provide expertise on an as-needed basis. Usually, these are subject matter experts or employees who work directly with the proces

s. You don’t want to take these employees from their job functions for every single team event, as that would negatively impact the state of current production. Instead, these employees are included in team meetings as needed when additional information or assistance is required.

Finally, resource team members are only included when the project team leader feels they are needed in a meeting or team event to provide expert information, counsel, or help in accessing resources. Resource team members are usually members of ancillary departments such as accounting, human resources, or compliance. Resource team members might also be ma

nagers or leaders in departments that are related to the process being improved. For example, if a team is seeking to improve a customer service department, they might need help with inputs from the marketing department; someone from the marketing department could be added as a resource team member.

Most Six Sigma process improvement teams are relatively small: five regular team members is considered a good number on average. Adding too many regular team members can create communication problems, make it difficult to manage brainstorming sessions, and cause burnout.

Tips for Team Member Selection

When all of a company’s Six Sigma teams are large, there’s a good chance that team members are serving on multiple projects. While ad hoc or resource team members can serve several projects and handle their own work on a daily basis, regular team members should not be asked to serve on more than one team and handle daily workloads. In fact, organizational leaders might want to consider reducing work requirements for team members who are serving as full-time members on a project.

Other tips for selecting team members include:

  1. Choosing employees who are knowledgeable about the customer, product, or process related to the project.
  2. Choosing employees who have shown a willingness and ability to work toward improvement ina team environment.
  3. Selecting employees who have access to and an understanding of the data required to learn about and measure the process or problem.
  4. Picking employees who can provide at least five hours of work per week to the team.
  5. Matching the skills of employees to the projects at hand; if a project is likely to include all technical improvements, you would be less likely to add a team member who is skilled in marketing.
  6. Removing political obstacles through team selection; if a specific person in an organization is likely to be an obstacle to a team, sometimes putting that person on the team can increase the chance that they will buy into the process.