All entries for Sunday 06 December 2015

December 06, 2015

Six Sigma Case Study

On Friday we were talking about a case study of warranty at TRW Automotive. We had to find advantages and disadvantages of the company's DMAIC storyboard. First of all, in the define part we realized that the company gives us a holistic view and we can understand the overall project with visualization, however there was a lack of information and it was hard to see the links between the different parts of the project. We could understand the customer requirements and we saw a clear process flow, however, there was no project contract mentioned at all. In terms of Measure, the data was inconsistent, although the process was detailed and visualized. In the Analysis part, the root cause of the problems was mentioned, but the data wasn't reliable, there was no process capability and it was difficult to understand the voice of the process. In case of Improve, the benefits of brainstorm must be emphasized with cross-sections (different people from different departments), but there was no prioritization. In the control part, we didn't see a clear review of the process and we couldn't tell if the project was successful or not.

Six Sigma Deployment:

1. Keep the pipeline full: communication, motivation, reward system, creating an organisational culture by bringing the process, people and technology together.

2. Choose important rather than pet project: we need to understand the company's goals and objectives. Six sigma needs to be built into the company's strategy.

3. Avoid solo working: Teamwork, better quality

4. Fits projects into everyday business: prioritize, we need to find an area of our passion

5. Timing of training: efficient use of the HR in time

6. Try to stop people jumping to solutions (too soon): we can save lots of costs by suggesting better solutions, but first we need to find the root cause of the problems.

7. Coordinate & Management: measures of performance, key performance indicators - what are the benefits?

8. Keep the momentum going: keep people interested and engaged, build the idea into the mission and vision of the company, people should be valued and recognized and be able to progress in their career.

9. Not be too prescriptive: don't treat DMAIC as a constraint, know what tools to use.

Blackbelt project

It usually takes 1.5 year to become a black belt expert and get a certificate by fulfilling the requirements of the training course and completing 3 projects. Black belts have wide range of knowledge about six sigma principles and understand all aspects of the DMAIC model. They are able to use specific tools in order to improve the process, solve problems, make good decisions and get effective and sustainable results. Six Sigma is powerful - it can improve the process, it can save lots of money for the company, and it can bring the people together.

It is important to mention that there are stages of six sigma which are inevitable. For example, we always need to select priorities, what our aims are, what we would like to achieve, which problem needs to be sorted out first that has the biggest impact on the company. We need to create a project charter with our purpose, business case, key players, scope, enablers and barriers. We need to form the team. We need to create a SIPOC in order to be able to see the process more clearly. We need to collect as much data as possible so as to be able to learn about the process. We need to review the process, so we can find solutions to different problems. After the data collection, we can use control charts, histogram, or cause and effect diagram to diagnose the problems of the process. We can run experiments to see which solution would be the best option to sort out one specific problem. We can take actions, implement solutions and review the process again.

A successful six sigma project has lots of benefits: achieved goals, reduced costs and waste, improved process, team empowerment, motivation and rewards.

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