Vishwadeep Khatri interviewed Dr. J. Pattanaik , currently working as Manager Operations with Apollo Health Hiway who has undergone Green Belt training from Benchmark Six Sigma.
BSS : Can you share with us details of your career journey till now?
Dr. Pattanaik: Yes surely. I am a Medical Graduate with Masters in Health Administration. I was always interested in Quality in Healthcare and developed liking for Six Sigma early. I knew that Six Sigma is the most organized tool for Quality Management. I came across Benchmark Six Sigma while doing a web search during my Masters.
BSS : Was there something that can be considered as an important decision in your career (which you can regard as the turning point of your career?)
Dr. Pattanaik: Six Sigma, undoubtedly. It has completely changed my thought process. I can feel everyday that my way of thinking is so different from others. I have a very methodical and systematic approach and it shows in my practice and results.
BSS: Which phase do you find as the most challenging in a Six Sigma project?
Dr. Pattanaik: Change Management is the big challenge. Generally sporadic improvements are seen initially at most projects. If good monitoring and controls are not put in place, there is a real chance of losing the benefits.
BSS: How has Six Sigma impacted your personal and professional life?
Dr. Pattanaik: I got my first job primarily due to exposure to Quality tools and Six Sigma. I had undergone my Benchmark Six Sigma Green Belt in April 2006 and I joined here as a business analyst in 2007.
This company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo and works on Health Information System products and tools. I have been promoted 9 months ago to Manager Operations. Currently, I have 10 people in operations, 4 in development, 2 in testing, and 2 Business Analysts reporting to me.
I report to Senior Manager, COO and CEO of the company.
BSS : What kind of Six Sigma projects have you been working on? Are there any projects which you would like to mention?
Dr. Pattanaik: The first project I carried out while I was a student of MHA was on efficiency of Executive Health Check at Apollo Hospitals. This project was successful and was appreciated. The recent work I did was on online pre-authorisation and claim settlement process. This project is more of DMADV and is under monitoring (verification stages)
BSS : You have undergone training from Benchmark. How was your experience?
Dr. Pattanaik: It was wonderful training. International recognition and international participation makes it even more impressive.
BSS: Which Six Sigma tools have you applied more often?
Dr. Pattanaik: I have been using QFD, Z short term, Z long term, capability indices, control charts, DFMEA. Major metric for us is time. So we do use some lean tools also.
BSS: What kind of benefits have you derived due to Six Sigma knowledge? How has your job profile been impacted by Six Sigma expertise?
Dr. Pattanaik: I have personally introduced Six Sigma in this small organization. I am pleased to say that I am introducing Six Sigma thinking and concepts on a regular basis.
BSS:- What career direction do you see for yourself in the coming period?
Dr. Pattanaik: I plan to undergo Black Belt training soon. I had planned some time with Green Belt techniques to generate working confidence. I am happy to see how my career is progressing and as it seems now, it shall be Six Sigma all the way for me.
BSS:- Thank you for your time, Pattanaik. I had not forgotten your comprehensive project report. It is good to know about your career progress. My best wishes for your further career journey. I look forward to your active participation on the forum.
Dr. Pattanaik: It was nice speaking to you. I look forward to meeting you again.