Six Sigma is often positioned as a project-based approach. Certainly using identifiable and well-defined projects aligns well with approaches to managing change, and change management can be an important aspect in spreading the use of data within a company. But insofar as Visual Six Sigma makes data analysis lean, it has an important role to play within companies whose operations and organizations do not or cannot support the traditional project infrastructure, as well as for projects that by their nature do not require a formal structure. This scenario looks at one such project set in one such company.
Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical firm that markets drugs addressing several therapeutic areas. Rick Fincham is a recently hired sales manager who is responsible for U.K. operations. Although Rick is very experienced in sales, he is still learning about how Pharma Inc.'s sales operations run and perform.
Executive management perceives that Pharma Inc. has lost ground recently. Consequently, Rick has been asked to look into the recent performance of his sales force. Specifically, Rick has been asked to:
Verify the claims of the marketing group that a limited promotion for Pharma Inc.'s major product, run from May through December 2008, was very successful.
Determine whether there are regional differences in performance relative to sales of Pharma Inc.'s major product.
However, Rick also sees this as an opportunity to learn more ...