All entries for December 2013

December 01, 2013

Green Belt and Rugby activity

Writing about web page PIUSS, Six Sigma, MBE, Green Belt

After Angie's guest lecture, I was left seriously considering doing a green belt six sigma course. I had not been convinced that getting a green belt certification was absolutely necessary prior to her lecture. However after Friday's class, I am certainly giving it a serious consideration.

I learned many things throughout the week. But Thursday and Friday were very interesting. First the lecture from the GE six sigma director was very enlightening. We had a great engaging activity that got all of us thinking. Within 20 minutes, I was able to decipher many real life implications the "passing the rugby ball" activity has. Communication got harder as the activity progressed. Without a direct, clear organsied channel for communication it is hard to come up with efficient solutions to certain problems.

Another important thing I realised is that sometimes when a new policy or strategy is implemented people are not patient when the first results come in. When we tried a different way of passing the rugby ball around and got a slower time, almost everyone assumed that it was a worse plan. However they didn't consider the learning curve that would be in effect since no one was used to this new technique yet. We tend to react quickly and irrationally when we don't wait and study the results.

Another thing I realised was that when it comes to processes, we do not always have to stick to the status quo or the norm. It took us a while to figure out that we didnt necessarilly have to move the ball, but rather keep the ball still and we all just touch it. This was thinking "outside the box." It is important to keep in mind that processes can always be improved. Just because there is currently one way to do a certain activity doesnt mean there are not alternative ways of doing the same activity. I think this lesson doesn't necessarily apply to processes but to life in general. Challenge the norm, think differently and act diligently.


Plane Production Simulation

Writing about web page PIUSS, Six Sigma, MBE

The plane simulation was a great way to emphasize how important in applying six sigma principles within an organization. Although it was hard to use all the tools that six sigma requires us to use during the simulation, it was still very helpful using a few important ones to help implement some changes.

One important thing that I learned during the simulation was that the GIBB model about team work is accurate. Many of the problems that arose was how members of the team felt. Although we were lucky to not have any serious conflicts, communication throughout the team was quite difficult at times. It was so difficult to communicate sometimes that my suggestions to help improve commnication went unheard. Ironic. I now understand the paramount importance of having a facilitiator and a leader. Although I think selecting a facilitator in the begining is a little more important than selecting a leader. However having a leader is still important to steer the direction of the team to a common goal. But the reason I think it is more important to select a facilitator is because a facilitator will improve communication, which is the most important thing in working in a team. Besides, leaders usually naturally emerge within teams.

Another thing I learned was how waste can have adverse effects throughout production. I initially I thought that if an operator was not working constantly then the system was creating waste. However this is not true. To be truly lean, you must not build up inventory. Cash and materials get tied up in inventory which leads to difficulties later. It is important to manage operating working capital.


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