New Lean Six Sigma Black Belt helps shape up the Medical Research Council

By Hanli Mulholland

One of the latest Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belts we’ve produced, Khalipha Ramahlape from the Medical Research Council (MRC), is using her new expertise to set in motion a chain of far-reaching improvements in her organisation.

I know I’m not the only one who was proud and excited to see her receive her Black Belt certification recently – over 20 of her colleagues joined us at the ceremony to show their support for the MRC’s first LSS Black Belt graduate. Their attendance and enthusiasm reflected the organisation’s confidence in what they can achieve through applying the LSS tools.

Hanli and Khalipha

BMGI consultant Hanli Mulholland presents Khalipha Ramahlape from the Medical Research Council with her Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certificate at the graduation ceremony.

One of the first things the MRC would like to get right is to reduce turnaround times in its recruitment process. Bottlenecks here have various knock-on effects, one of the most serious being that it makes it difficult for the managers to realize their research milestones. The potential long-term effect of this could be a decline in investor confidence – and this is not something the organisation can afford, since it depends on state and private funds.

Bring on Lean Six Sigma! And that’s exactly what Khalipha did when she started to apply her learnings by setting into motion her “MRC Recruitment Six Sigma Project.” Applying the LSS principles and tools has already improved operations at the MRC by helping its employees to develop a more process-orientated mentality and skill set.

Getting to grips with the LSS concepts and tools while also implementing her project was a grueling journey for Khalipha. But she wasn’t alone – her project team was incredibly co-operative and supportive.

She was also backed by Prof Ali Dhansay, who was the MRC’s Acting President at the time of her training. Zukile Vokwana, Executive Director of Operations and HR, was Khalipha’s project sponsor and Achmat Noor, the Division Manager in Recruitment, served as the project’s process owner. And let’s not forget about Dan Ramahlape on the home front, who shone in his role as the supportive husband.

We at BMGI are so impressed to see the visionary thinking and determination within the MRC. It’s helping them to harness the full potential of LSS. For example, Khalipha and some of her colleagues have also started using the LSS tools extensively in other areas where they feel they can improve their processes.

We wish the MRC every success as they continue to apply the LSS magic throughout the organization. And remember, we’re always here to offer support and advice.

Click here  find out more about how the Lean Six Sigma course can turn you into an expert problem solver.

About Hanli Mulholland

Hanli is a Principal Consultant, Master Black Belt and a Lean and Six Sigma Trainer at BMGI South Africa. She focuses mainly on open enrolment training, but also assists with the training of engagement teams. Hanli also has experience in DFSS, Hoshin planning and change management.