Selecting Effective Team Leaders for your Process Improvement Projects

by Michael Reames and Gabriel Kemeny - ProcessGPS on February 1, 2010

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  ProcessGPS_-_Selecting_Effective_Team_Leaders_for_your_Process_Improvement_Projects.pdf (249.7 KiB)

While there are many Critical Success Factors in implementing a successful Lean Six Sigma program, organizations may end up spinning their wheels by failing to consider carefully who should lead their process improvement efforts. In ProcessGPS’ experience, clients will sometimes populate a Black Belt training class with:


  • An individual who is between jobs
  • An outstanding analytical person with no project management experience
  • A “problem” employee – one who doesn’t fit well in his current position
  • A highly motivated individual who has very limited ability to interpret data


This suggests that there are – or should be – certain skills or characteristics that increase the likelihood of success in selecting a team leader. Many of our clients have created customized lists of criteria; others don’t know which way to proceed and ask for guidance in selecting their team leaders.  In extraordinary cases, an enlightened leadership may recognize that there are no employees with the requisite skills; so they choose to select external candidates. This makes it even more imperative to know what skills the organization desires in a prospective team leader.
The stakes are too high, the investment too dear to pick ineffective team leaders. A well-trained and high-performing Black Belt is worth $1 Million or more on an annual basis. The moral:


  • Pick your team leaders wisely!
  • Support them and reward them for their efforts!
  • Nurture them and provide them the resources they need to get the job done!

ProcessGPS has created the following set of skills and characteristics that greatly enhances the likelihood of selecting a BB candidate with the background to make him or her successful in Process Improvement. We base this list on 20+ years of experience in helping organizations to implement their programs effectively.

Project Leader (Black Belt)

Suggested Selection Criteria


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