The proven model for deploying a successful process improvement initiative is to drive it from the top. The challenge is that top leadership may have already picked their list of important programs and Lean Six Sigma may not be on the plate. In addition, you may have autonomous business units with a consensus driven culture. What now?
Deployments can happen from the bottom up starting in one business area and spreading out laterally. It is not easy, it takes longer, and the odds of success are not favorable, but it can be done. How do you involve suppliers and contract companies in Lean Six Sigma when you have a grass root deployment? It is not appropriate to dictate continuous improvement when it is not well understood within your own walls.
This is the case history of how the Chevron Global Upstream division implemented Lean Six Sigma program beginning with a grass roots initiative. The success factors for an employee driven deployment will be covered as well as lessons learned. Attention will also be given to the timing and protocol of how to engage supply chain companies in continuous improvement.