Effectively Managing Information Becomes Strategic: An Approach – Part 2

Missing Piece The two core issues which need to be addressed for “Effectively Managing Information Becomes Strategic” are how to effectively educate organizations on the strategic value of information and devising a well-defined career path for information management (IM) professionals.

As I thought about an approach to addressing the two core issues I wanted to look for an existing successful model to emulate.

Then it hit me…Six Sigma!

I looked back at the amazing transformation that has occurred over the last 20+ years around improving business processes and the success and popularity of Six Sigma and now Lean Manufacturing. Six Sigma was pioneered at Motorola over 20 years ago and was brought into mainstream business culture by GE and Honeywell. According to GE, “Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps us focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.”

Key Concepts of Six Sigma

Critical to Quality: Attributes most important to the customer
Defect: Failing to deliver what the customer wants
Process Capability: What your process can deliver
Variation: What the customer sees and feels
Stable Operations: Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels
Design for Six Sigma:

Designing to meet customer needs and process capability

Lean Manufacturing is a generic process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS) but also from other sources. Its success is based on reduction of the original Toyota ‘seven wastes’ in order to improve overall customer value. Core to the philosophy is the elimination of waste (streamlining processes where possible) and continuous improvement.

One Six Sigma feature that appealed to me in designing a new model for addressing the effective management of information was the establishment of rigorous training for Six Sigma practitioners. The fact that there are defined levels of competence; Green Belt for initial training, Black Belt for more advanced training and certification and then Master Black Belt, is very attractive. Another reason this model appealed to me was the broad recognition of the methodology and the perceived strategic importance of implementing Six Sigma programs and having Six Sigma professionals in the organization.

In my next post I will describe my proposed model.

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