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January 03, 2016

lean or six sigma

In conjuction with pma, I always asked myself why there should be a debate about implementing lean or six sigma, does it work better when the two approaches blending together?

Theoratically, of course the two approaches working together will yield a positive and expected result where lean focuses on waste elimination and six sigma focues on reducing variation. Both are scientificaly proved method in achieving process improvement and lean pathes the foundation where six sigma compliments and enhances lean. The idea is simple as in no companies would like to reduce variation on the waste, just like no one bother to conduct experiment on noise factors. Therefore, it is essential to identify and eliminate waste first and then work on reducing defects using six sigma. However the reality is cruel, there are big differences existing in two methodologies where always led to confusion among employees and a drain in resources. Some companies argue the lack of capital to initiate a proper lean six sigma project and some worries the involvement of lot of statistics and mathematics that front-line operater wont be able to handle. Some of them are out of the fear of unknow and failure.

But there is always a starting point called DMAIC which will not drain the capital or resources. No one ever reaches a final stage of learning and it is a continous journey. companies can always begin with the diagnose on the necessity to adopt lean six sigma, if the answer is yes and then start an experienment. if the anwser is no, make sure it is true to heart and not out of fear.

November 20, 2015

improving process is like a journey of losing weight

Six sigma has been launched all over the world and been witnessed overwhelming success like Motorola, General Electric, Honeywell, American Express. Therefore many companies started to embrace six sigma as a process improvement tool aiming to reduce production defects, and remove unnecessary process with an ultimate goal of saving cost.However, if company only want to reduce cost efficiency by adopting six sigma, it will definitely fall hard because it will become harder to explain ROI when reducing cost to the point that they become insignificant when the project itself is more costly than returns.

Using as a quality control system and aiming to improve process as primary objective might end better. But there still are company fail to yield the desired results. Why? They typitally kicked off well with ambitions, and the motivation from the successful living examples and inspring stories will keep them excited, progress well and generate results, but after a while, participants gradually lose motivation because the statistical nature of six sigma is really difficult for regular businessmen to understand and adopt, espectially when the external experts are no longer actively involved. What comes worse is that they will go back to the same old habits as before when experts are long gone.

For those having a weight problem, the cycle just sounds too familiar. Try and fail cycle is what i have been experiencing for a few year. I might have succeeded at some stages but it will always bounce back after a while becuase I fail to incorporate healthy lifestyle into my life and looked only for short-term gain with fatburn pills and starving myself to death.

Sixsigma is the "healthy lifestyle" in an organization that needs to be adopted in all aspects (quality, process, people, learning) throughout the organizaitonal life for a lasting impact, and only by incorporating this the organization will then be on the way to excellence.

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