Steve Ormsby, vice president organizational excellence, Lortz Manufacturing Co.
Steven R. Ormsby, president and chairman of the board, Alpha-Omega Change Engineering Inc.
Steven R. Ormsby, an ASQ member for about a year and a half, is president and chairman of the board for Alpha-Omega Change Engineering Inc. in Hampton, VA. Alpha-Omega Change Engineering Inc. is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. Additionally, Ormsby serves as the organization’s director of training and quality, company cofounder and senior company principal.
Ormsby has more than 35 years of work experience and has earned two associate degrees. Additionally, he is a lean Six Sigma Black Belt, military-certified instructor and instructor trainer/certifier, and instructional systems developer and trainer.
Ormsby recently answered questions about the importance of Six Sigma and provided valuable advice for those new to quality.
What do you think is most important in implementing a Six Sigma project?
- Leadership understanding, support and involvement.
- Accurately defining goals and planning the steps to achieve them.
- Participation from all levels of the workforce, customers and suppliers.
- Effectively selecting and adapting the method and tools to the specific activity.
- Common sense to know that measurement is essential, but measuring processes with a micrometer (excessive time and effort spent) will often produce negative human interaction and acceptance results rather than positive outcomes. People want to see results, not be stuck in an endless measurement activity.
- Constant communication with all internal and external stakeholders.
- Tying all change effort results back to quantifiable terms: money, customer satisfaction and employee morale.
Why do you think Six Sigma is important?
As an indicator of performance and as a measure, it’s a structured standardized method that can be tailored to any environment to produce valid and reliable data that can used to objectively evaluate conditions, methods and outcomes associated with any process.
Why do you think quality is important?
Lack of quality results in ineffective and inefficient activities that can destroy credibility and support from the customer and workforce.
What's your favorite benefit of quality?
The excitement of team members when they see that their ideas will create a better workflow and working environment.
Why did you choose to go into the quality field?
All people—not just workers, managers and leaders—are in the quality field, because all activities—whether formal or informal, personal or professional—by their very existence exist across the continuum of poor to outstanding quality performance. I choose to practice quality planning, design, analysis and improvement because I firmly believe that we all have an obligation to make things better. And I enjoy the hell out of being able to make that happen.
What's your best advice to someone new to quality?
Learn all of the definitions and concepts, read books and case studies, talk to as many experts as you can and wade into countless projects. The knowledge and experience will make you more effective with each new addition. But, remember that define, measure, analyze, improve and control and all of the other design, assessment and adaptation methods and tools are just that—methods and tools. They are not checklists intended to be used the same way every time. They are not tools that always chisel out identical statues from every piece of rock. Like an artisan, craftsman, engineer or doctor, you must know how to effectively and efficiently pick the right blend of methods, select the right tools and be willing to adapt your approach for each environment and specific event so that you will consistently produce positive, lasting results.