We are starting a new series in the pages of the Softtek Nearshore Outsourcing blog that will speak with executives and business leaders focused on driving outsourced service excellence. Our first guest is Efraín T. González, a process improvement manager with Softtek, based on Monterrey.
One of your specialties at Softtek has been to develop and optimize the Process Improvement area. What are some of the big steps you have taken on this journey?
González: There are several steps to accomplish this, including:
To find real sound benefits for the organization inside this initiative that...
Convince top management of the importance and convenience of Process Improvement (PI) in order to...
Deploy a selectively Top-Down Strategy that enroll and train key people to..
Develop and deploy PI projects aligned with organization goals that deliver enough knowledge so we can...
Replicate these same projects, benefits and knowledge throughout the entire organization.
On the issue of ‘continuous improvement’ – how is that achieved in a software dev environment where new projects are coming and going all the time?
González: Good question! There is not a simple answer to that, but the best way to achieve continuous improvement in a software dev environment is partitioning dev projects into small portions that can easily be found in almost every Dev project. The overall goal is to apply improvement principles into these portions and try to generate best practices that can be replicated in future projects.
You have also been involved with Black Belt and Green Belt training. What has been the hardest part about training?
González: Contrary to what most people think about Six Sigma training, the hardest part of it has nothing to do with the training itself but with having a Six Sigma project assigned to the people who are taking the training. This enables those people to apply the concepts they have just learned and to achieve the right balance between theory and practice. Another challenge might be the availability of people assigned to operational projects, since their workload is not always easy to coordinate with Six Sigma training dates.
What part do your clients play in process improvements methodology?
González: Clients play the most important role, as we receive feedback from them and use that to plan the PI projects in order to achieve or surpass customer expectations.
What is your view on establishing and integrating lean principles into the workflow as a provider based in the Nearshore? How much does being based in Mexico impact the ability to rapidly adapt to six sigma requirements, for example?
González: Since we work very closely with the client to adapt the processes to their needs at the beginning of the engagement, and also during the whole life cycle of the project, it is here where we can work to apply lean principles into the workflow. Nearshore itself is a great advantage, and definitely not an inhibitor for Lean models.