Apply DMAIC to Your Job Search

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Apply DMAIC to Your Job Search

BPG Regional Director Beverly Motley always urges her Lean Six Sigma (LSS) students to immediately find a project to practice the tools and strategies they’ve learned.

But what if you don’t have a job-related or volunteer project?  Several BPG graduates have used the DMAIC process and LSS tools in their job search. While there are many variables you can’t control or even be aware of during a job search, you can control your search process.  Here are a few suggestions for applying DMAIC:

Define and Measure

First, Define an aspect of the job search you want to address.  Want to broaden your network? Identify more target companies? Increase the number of job offers you get after a job interview? All of the above?

In the Measure phase, you can fine tune your task using a SWOT Analysis to identify areas for improvement. Choose one specific goal to begin. Identify what you want to achieve. Then determine how you will measure your success.  For some this may be relatively simple.  You may find you need to increase the number of meetings with contacts at your target companies each week by 10%.  For others, it may be more involved.  After completing his SWOT analysis, one BPG alumnus realized that to achieve his goal to switch careers, he needed to earn some specialized certifications. Don’t be discouraged. That alumnus did achieve his goal in less than a year.  

Analyze your current situation. Use the 5 WHys and keep asking “Why don’t I …” until you feel you have identified the root cause (or causes) of a problem.  Some root causes may be painfully obvious.  I’m not making phone calls; hence no contacts.  Others may require you ask for and listen to the Voices of your Customers.  Get feedback on your resume and interview presence.  Read all your performance reviews to see if feedback on past performance is relevant to your current challenge.  You can use a Pareto chart to prioritize the reasons you’ve identified for not hitting your job search goal.

Now, how do you act on your data and Improve your results? Use an Impact/Effort matrix to prioritize solutions.  Apply DOE (Design of Experiment) concepts by testing different approaches.  For example, you might try different versions of  resumes and approach letters.  Apply what you learn. Transition this first LSS project into the Control phase by documenting your changes, monitoring your results, and making adjustments when needed.  Move onto the next job search challenge.  Soon you’ll find thinking Lean Six Sigma comes naturally to you.

Share Your Experience

If you’d like to share your LSS experiences with other BPG alumni, contact