Quality Progress - December 2017 - 63

loan approval, loan administration and IT, for
example).
The steering team of six to eight senior managers reports to the executive sponsor and usually
meets for one to two hours monthly to review
improvement team progress. Steering team
members also should participate in improvement
training.
+ Defining which process (customer service, new
product development, sales, facilities maintenance, underwriting or hospital admission, for
example) presents improvement challenges or
problems. Sponsors also should define what the
desired improvement is (and is not), and why it is a
strategic bottleneck.
The label "software process improvement," for
example, is not specific. But saying, "Our software
engineering process slows down development of
new products essential for us to compete," can
be defined using examples from recent business
successes and failures that show what to improve
(customer desire for new software offerings)
and what not to improve (investing in outdated
products).
+ Choosing people with two or more years of experience in all aspects of the process to be improved
as core process improvement team members.
Also advise sponsors on the selection of functional
managers as steering team members. In addition
to core team members' roles as process experts,
those with appropriate skills may perform such
ideal roles as:
+ Rocket scientist-a team member with
spreadsheet and data analysis skills who can
lead a metrics and data analysis sub-team.
+ Plate breaker-a respected team member who

knows the process problems and can use humor to point out
unpleasant truths other team members may prefer to ignore.
The plate breaker helps focus on the team's objective and
creates peer pressure that prevents whining, blaming and
excuses.
+ Sergeant major-a team member the steering team
members and process workforce trust who can get things
done. Sergeant majors often lead corrective, quick-hit
process improvements while the core team designs a better
future end-to-end process. A sergeant major also may guide
pilot testing and train the workforce to deploy the improved
process.
+ Guest or consultant-specialized experts who participate in
team meetings as needed.
+ Team trainer, coach or facilitator-usually lean or Six Sigma
process improvement specialists from the quality function or
HR who can train and advise the team, its executive sponsor
and the steering team.
Other than each member's process expertise, a sponsor
never should identify which team members are chosen for
which ideal role. Don't worry if the available team members can't fill all these ideal roles. If an experienced process
quality improvement trainer or coach supports the team and
its leader, work with the people you have and fill in gaps as
needed with just-in-time training and coaching. Sponsors and
their quality professional advisors should:
+ Address new team members' concerns up front. Answer team
members' "me" questions: Why am I on this team? What's in
it for me? What will happen to me? How do I know I can trust
you?
+ Use a structured process improvement approach and take
steps one at a time while respecting all team members' points
of view. Gradually build the capability of new team members by working on small and medium-sized processes first.
After one to three process improvement projects, some or all
team members may join teams that work to improve larger

qualityprogress.com ❘ December 2017

QP 63


http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - December 2017

Seen and Heard
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Expert Answers
Career Coach
The Next Rung
Titles and Take-Home
Certification Certainty
Six Sigma Satisfaction
Stay the Course
Maintenance Makeover
Confronting Confusion
Standard Issues
Statistics Spotlight
Marketplace
Footnotes
Try This Today
Quality Progress - December 2017 - intro
Quality Progress - December 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - December 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 9
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 10
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 12
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 15
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 18
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - December 2017 - The Next Rung
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 22
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 26
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 28
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Titles and Take-Home
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 34
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Certification Certainty
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 40
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 42
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Six Sigma Satisfaction
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Stay the Course
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 50
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 51
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 52
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Maintenance Makeover
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 56
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 57
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 58
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 59
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Confronting Confusion
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 61
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 62
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 63
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 64
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 65
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 67
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 68
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 69
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 71
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 72
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 73
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 75
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 77
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 78
Quality Progress - December 2017 - 79
Quality Progress - December 2017 - Try This Today
Quality Progress - December 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - December 2017 - cover4
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