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Identifying Compliance Reporting Problems and Streamlining Process with a Six Sigma Approach


A routine training completion audit showed five cases where learning compliance was out of tolerance, despite efforts to ensure accurate training assignments, and were escalated to the Compliance Board for review. The Global Payments Company did not know if these cases were caused by data entry, technology, or process errors as employees were being onboarded. The errors were impacting the onboarding experience and initial impression of employees as they started at this company. The business sought to engage a partner that could leverage Six Sigma methodology to identify the root causes of the inherent problems and recommend solutions to remedy and streamline processes.

Six Sigma methodology used to identify problems and streamline processes.


The learning team at the company had tried different solutions, but the errors kept occurring and they needed to determine the cause. GP Strategies consultants used the Six Sigma DMAIC process to determine what was causing the errors and what controls could be implemented to improve the assignment process. In the Define phase, GP Strategies consultants conducted an intent clarity workshop with a cross-functional team of HR, Learning, and Compliance team members to align on the problem and the reason why it was important to find a resolution. The intent clarity document served as the foundation of the project.


Through the Define phase, the team identified five distinct employee use cases, all with unique processes, to further investigate:

  1. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A)
  2. Contingent workers
  3. Full-time employees with a location change
  4. New full-time employee hire
  5. Contingent worker to full-time employee conversion

In the Measure phase, GP Strategies consultants conducted focus group sessions to document a high-level process flow to depict the current state of processes and data flows across all teams involved. GP Strategies brought together multiple teams from the company including HR, Compliance, and Learning to provide input at each step from their unique perspectives and systems views. These teams had been working in independent siloes, so this exercise enabled both GP Strategies and the Global Payments Company to fully understand the current end-toend state of their systems and processes. It also provided insight into where most errors were coming from and which areas of the process required further analysis to identify the root causes of the issue. The high-level process discussions were followed up with additional focus group sessions to complete several Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Consumer (SIPOC) charts to better understand and map out handoffs and components at each step of the process. The data-gathering effort included an examination of five employee use cases with four to five employees within each use case to trace how their data traveled through each system and pinpoint where the error occurred in their training assignments.

Significant losses across teams and departments were brought to light through the analysis.

Once the data was gathered, GP Strategies consultants conducted a thorough analysis (the Analyze phase) to determine the root causes of the problem. Through this analysis, GP Strategies discovered six different root causes responsible for the vast amount of assignment errors occurring in the LMS; the errors were directly attributable to incomplete or inaccurate data flowing downstream from the HR system. GP Strategies also uncovered the percentage of errors attributed to each use case category and the cost that researching and fixing the errors has on the business. The report and presentation included recommendations and solution options for the organization to implement in order to reduce errors.


Through a cost-of-error analysis, GP Strategies found that the company was losing the full-time equivalent (FTE) of 15.6 weeks of work each year correcting errors and conducting repeat work. The company’s business leaders said, “The numbers in the analysis were … shocking,” and concluded the potential dollar value of the loss was $40,000 per year.

Additionally, the impact of the current situation brought to light losses across teams and departments, including compliance, learning and development, and HR.

As a result, the project leaders at the company presented the results to the board to move forward in correcting the issues outlined in GP Strategies’ analysis.

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