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E-Learning: Gaining Business Value Through Six Sigma
The Six Sigma methodology ensures that the combination of business needs and customer requirements drive decisions around measurement and reporting by identifying the things that are important to both the customer and the business. This occurs by first ascertaining what Six Sigma calls output process indicators or measurable requirement for the process. For the harassment-training example, those indicators would be:
- 3,000 students trained.
- All students trained in 30 days.
- Course length of one hour or less.
Using Six Sigma methodology, the customer requirements are identified as the voice of the customer (VOC), and the business requirements are known as the voice of the business (VOB). See Figure 2.
The Voice of the Customer
The end-user perspective or voice of the customer (VOC) may come from a variety of sources, including phone calls, written complaints, surveys or, what training professionals like the most, level-one evaluations. The VOC is then converted or categorized into to key customer issues, which are in turn converted to critical customer requirements (CCR) or specific measurable targets. For example, complaints that e-learning programs are too long might be categorized with other similar complaints and put into a category called time. This voice then becomes the critical customer issue. Customers might then be surveyed in order to identify (from the customer perspective) how long the programs should be. That metric then becomes an output indicator that must be measured. Scores meeting or exceeding customer requirements are strengths, and conversely, scores falling short of customer specifications become areas of opportunity.
The Voice of the Business
The same process is used to identify metrics from the perspective of the business. The voice of the business (VOB) is captured from interviews with business stakeholders, corporate initiatives, regulatory requirements, etc. These factors are then categorized into business issues that are in turn converted into measurables or what Six Sigma calls “critical business requirements” (CBR).
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