Many companies around the world have adopted Six Sigma methods and achieved great results. Many Non-Profit organizations around the world are also now looking to adopt these strategies in their processes. There are many challenges faced while applying the principles of Six Sigma to Non –Profits. There is a widespread belief that these principles cannot be applied to them as the objectives of such organizations is entirely different. But this is an inaccuracy. Let us look at this in detail.
Why Nonprofits Need Lean Six Sigma?
Six Sigma started out as being applicable to only manufacturing firms. This theory has been disproven as many other industries have adopted these methods and achieved great results. The fact is that any organization that uses a repetitive process to achieve its objectives can effectively use Six Sigma. The routine processes of Non-Profts can be streamlines using Lean Six Sigma.
Some examples include:
• Managing case files and updating them
• Inventory maintenance at shelters
• Maintaining the flow of resources for disaster relief
• Conducting community educational programs
• Maintaining financial records
Most Non Profits already possess an organizational culture that is well established. The employees of such an organization are loyal to the cause they support and are dedicated towards its success. Therefore implementing changes in the work culture that is more focused on efficiency and principles may be faced with resistance. They are devoted to improving the lives of people around them and make this their highest priority.
However, such a dedicated workforce may create a driven and motivated organization which has the potential for great results. They soon are able to acknowledge the savings and productivity that Lean Six Sigma can create, thereby helping them impact more people with the resources available.
With such an understanding they will be able to accept Six Sigma and adopt them to advance their vision.
Practicing Lean Six Sigma:
Six Sigma is not composed of hard and fast rules that can be implemented in one way only. The Non Profits will be required to try out various strategies to find the best suitable one. This is a process of continuous improvement that Six Sigma prescribes.
The organization and its goals are analyzed to develop a clear picture of what is expected of the organization and the current status of the needs being served. Its mission and objectives are taken into account to derive the expected outcome or the goal. Then its processes are aligned to it to help make a difference in the area where it is needed the most.
Benefits of Lean Six Sigma for Nonprofits:
• Increased Efficiency:
Most often Non-Profits are required to operate on small budgets and minimum staff. Therefore Lean Six Sigma gets the work done with a greater impact on the same amount of resources and manpower.
• Improved Service:
There are measurable benefits even in Non-Profits as with any other company. Helping more people, streamlines systems, the reduced time is taken, better planning of programs are all visible results of applying Six Sigma principles in Non-Profits.