What is Six Sigma? 

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation. Some believe it can only be applied in manufacturing, but there are numerous opportunities to use Lean Six Sigma as a tool for change within marketing. More specifically, agencies.

While there are some caveats to implementing it fully due to limitations of data and the unique nature of each client, this shouldn’t be a deterrent. It’s possible to customize Lean Six Sigma, fitting it to your needs. Start by posing the following questions about your Six Sigma project:

  • Is there an existing process?
  • Is there a problem with the process?
  • Is the problem measurable?
  • Does the problem impact client satisfaction?
  • Does fixing the problem impact agency profits?
  • Is the root cause unknown?
  • Is the solution unknown?

Marketing agencies must identify value-added vs non-value added activities internally in order to understand the process in more detail. For example, highly manual, repetitive activities that create a bottleneck in day-to-day work.

For agency leaders that grapple with reducing communication gaps between departments, the Six Sigma case study below may help them better understand how Lean Six Sigma can help.

Mindgruve’s Six Sigma Case Study

Mindgruve conducted an audit to ascertain the effectiveness of its client onboarding process. We discovered that there was no single source of truth and some duplication when it came to process documentation. Additionally, our analytics team was often too siloed and lacked visibility on deliverables, project scope and the resources involved. This led to multiple communications to clarify the client’s needs’ and experience, and ultimately wasted time in the form of waiting, a misunderstanding of requirements and manual work.

How Mindgruve Used Lean Six Sigma as a Solution

  • Using Voice of the Customer (VOC) tools such as questionnaires to extract as much information as possible from the client on needs versus requirements
  • Building a universal Process Flow Matrix, which outlined key steps in the onboarding process and the key stakeholders involved
  • Creating a Gantt Diagram to time-track all activities, identify bottlenecks and address them efficiently

Agency Benefits

  1. Improved quality of work
  2. Reduced process time
  3. Greater visibility across internal teams

Client Benefits

  1. Faster delivery of campaigns
  2. Clearer understanding of deliverables, scope and resources

Lean Six Sigma is about change–using resources effectively and gleaning the most out of a process or service by eliminating unnecessary work. Is it possible to avoid “Band-Aid” solutions that become future problems? Nowadays, in the wake of the pandemic, many marketing agencies can benefit from this unique methodology to not only realize cost and time savings, but also create a more holistic atmosphere for employees and clients.

For more about integrating Six Sigma in your agency’s processes, please contact us.