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Process Owners Lean Six Sigma

Posted by kyle toppazzini on Thu, Jul 26, 2012

Lean Six Sigma, Sigma, Lean, Process, AssessmentWhen completing your Lean Six Project the new processes may undergo changes in the beginning as the process is stabilized.  This blog discusses the steps to take to make these changes successfully.

If there are changes required to be made to a business process or a new process required to be added, the following steps should take place:

  1. The Process Owner must first hold a meeting with all parties impacted by the change.  The Process Owner should discuss why the change must occur and engage in a discussion to determine who will be impacted and how. 
  2. With the support from other people who are or will be involved in the process, the Process Owner must conduct an assessment of the impact of the change(s) and how the impact will be absorbed.  The impact assessment  should include the following:
  • The increase/decrease in work effort resulting from the change – The increase or decrease should be quantitative and be backed by analysis.  For example, an impact statement could be “Adding a new reporting requirement will take one person an extra one day per week to produce, which is a 20% increase in work effort or a new pressure of $12,000/year”.
  • Alternatives to absorb the change – If the change leads to an increase of work effort, there should be an assessment of alternative options to absorb this increase.
  • People impacted – This should describe who (e.g. employees, clients and stakeholders) will be impacted by the change.
  • Communication and training strategy – This should be a high level description of the ways in which people will be informed about the change and any training that will be required.
  • Dependencies –This should describe any dependencies that must be considered in making the change.
  • Risks and Risk Mitigation – This should describe any risks in making the change and strategies to mitigate the risk.
  • Decision – The decision requires to implement the change.

The template below can be used to present the impact assessment.

Impact Assessment for Business Process Change - Template

Impact Assessment

Process Owner  Name:


Description of Change Requested:

Impact on work effort or budget


Alternatives considered to absorb change


People and areas impacted


Communication and training strategy




Risks and Risk Mitigation





  1. The Process Owner must sign off on the decision once the impact assessment has been reviewed and accepted by all parties involved in the process.
  2. The Process Owner should assign a resource to revise the standard business processes through a consultative process with stakeholders.  The changed maps will then be saved to a repository where all process maps are located.  The process maps must clearly state the name of the process, the Process Owner, Operating Manager, date of the change, and author. 
  3. The Process Owner should assign a resource to make changes to the standard operating procedures (SOP).  The SOP should be signed off by the Process Owner and Operating Managers, and the SOP should include the date of the revision, the person making the revision, and the revision that was made.
  4. Develop the training and communication material – Process Owner should assign a resource to develop all necessary training and communication material in accordance with the corresponding strategy. 
  5. Develop the training and communication plan – A plan should be developed to determine when the change will be communicated, how and when and what types of training will be provided. 
  6. Train internal employees – Train all employees who will be directly impacted by the change.  Ensure that they read and understand the SOP and all their questions should be addressed.
  7. Communicate with stakeholders – Inform stakeholders of the change, e.g. what the change will mean, why the change occurred, when the change will take effect.
  8. Implement and monitor – Implement the new process and ensure that people follow it through monitoring.

Concluding Thoughts

As a process owner your real work starts when the Lean Six Sigma is complete.  I have outlined procedures for process owners to use when your new/refined process under goes changes.  Next time you undertake a Lean Six Sigma project include our procedures to ensure process changes are managed properly.


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Valuable Resources

The following URLs provide great additional information on Lean 6 Sigma

Toppazzini and Lee Consulting Lean 6 Sigma Consulting  at -Lean Six Sigma Consulting

Linkedin Six Sigma Group at

ISixSigma web site at

ASQ web site at



Topics: Change Management, sigma, lean, Lean Six Sigma, Assessment, process owner, process