Vishwadeep Khatri from Benchmark Six Sigma recently interviewed Vivek Madaan, who is in a Six Sigma leadership role as an AVP at one of the largest multinational BPO organizations to find out how Six Sigma has been shaping careers and organizations.
BSS: Vivek, can you share with us some details of your career journey?
Vivek Madan: I got lucky as my first job after Engineering and MBA was an ICICI bank assignment in Six Sigma. After couple of stints in banks, I joined a large multinational BPO and got into an MBB role with seven BBs with qualifications from premier Institutes reporting to me.
BSS: Having reached a senior position in a small time frame and having been in an MBB role, what is your future plan?
Vivek Madan: Having completed two and a half years exposure as MBB, my next assignment may be in global quality leadership or in consulting & training.
BSS: You have undergone Six Sigma training from Benchmark. How was your experience?
Vivek Madan: I found Benchmark Six Sigma Black Belt among the best programs available today.
1. The training was highly structured
2. All important concepts were delivered powerfully.
I have personally attended three black belt programs (two external and one internal) and I found Benchmark Six Sigma as best of the three. I refer people regularly to Benchmark Six Sigma programs as it delivers very high value for money.
BSS: What kind of benefits have you derived due to Six Sigma knowledge?
Vivek Madan: Good number of benefits including the following -
- Ability to deliver business benefits brought me closer to leadership sooner than others.
- Ability to see complete picture from a business perspective very early.
- I was able to interact with leaders of various businesses internally. So access to people and visibility was always very good.
- I was able to learn how processes behave.
- Carrying a Six Sigma toolkit with me always helped in day to day professional situations even outside the projects.
- Six Sigma language and jargon helped me to get the message across quickly (especially because leadership here knows six sigma terminology very well)
BSS: If you had to select one person in your Six Sigma team and your choice was imited to the following, whom would you select?
1. A person having an unmatched statistical expertise but no project management, change management exposure or skills.
2. A person having wonderful people skills and change leadership abilities but little statistical knowledge.
Vivek Madan: In my current organisation where good Six Sigma leadership and competence exists, I would select the person with change and project management ability with soft skills as these are difficult to inculcate. I shall also check the analytical ability to get the confidence that learning ability for Six Sigma exists.
BSS: Continuing our discussion related to statistics, if you had to approve one project among the two, which one would you approve?
1. A project has delivered benefits, but is lacking in the statistical rigour. Only some basic techniques have been used.
2. Another project has delivered much lesser benefits but the statistical tools have been used very well.
Vivek Madan: I would approve project number 2. It is important to understand here that in project 2, a visible change may be due to market conditions or due to a lurking variable. A real sustainable change in a critical controllable factor may not have taken place. This type of improvement may not be sustainable.
In project 1, the impact of specific factors must have been established, and controls would be in place to sustain the benefits.
BSS: During your Banking and BPO experiences, what would you consider as the biggest challenge in Six Sigma implementation?
Vivek Madan: I think the biggest Six Sigma challenges lie in define phase. Getting the right people, approval of right resources, doing the stakeholder analysis properly are the big challenge areas.
Another important challenge lies in project management. I have found good number of people lacking in project management skills. We may not need ability to work with MS project but we do need project implementation ability which includes
- Expertise in scoping and re-scoping of projects
- Skill sets to ensure that work is done within timelines
- Ensuring effectiveness of meetings
- Incorporating timely changes (even in metric if required) as per the situation
BSS: Thank you for your feedback and time & willingness to share your experiences with the Six Sigma community.