All 4 entries tagged Six

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November 30, 2015

Success factors of six sigma

Six sigma can provide the following benegfits:

Continuous measurement

Cutting cost and reducing waste/defects

Better engagement and accountability - everyone can be clear about its role, responsibility and duty

Effective communication - both vertically and horizontally

Work as a team

Better customer satisfaction

Using the right tools: Pareto, Fishbone, Gantt chart

Clear direction and guidance of six sigma by leadership

Organisational learning and organisational culture

Education and training for the employees

Reward and recognition

(Antony, Krishan, Cullen, Kumar, 2012)


Although, I must admit that these are all subjective... it depends how six sigma has been applied in a company and whom they have been involved. In order to be successfull fully, they must use Deming's approach of PDSA, as well as, see and think as a system, reduce variation, learn and increase knowledge, respectively, being motivated to work towards the same goals.


November 24, 2015

PMI training

PDSA --> DMAIC --> 1. select priorities (define) 2. learn about the process (measure) 3. investigate sources of variation and waste (analyse) 4. test theories (improve) 5. study results (improve) 6. implement (improve) 7. standardize (control) 8. review (control)

1. select priorities: select strategic issues to address that impact the business (negative and positive) and select priorities (competition, demand, variation, improvement)

Investigate the causes of the problem - which issue has the biggest impact on the business?

Create a project charter executive team: team leader, project charter, project purpose, key players, scope, barriers ect..

Form a team who are committed to achieve common goals. Identify team rules in order to reach mutual trust and commitment.

Define SIPOC (suppliers, inputs, process, outputs, customers) What are the expectations?

Verify performance with data

Convert the charter into contract: clarify expectations, define responsibilities, identify barriers, agree on future review plans

Define the review process: why, what, when, who?

2. learn about the process (measure)

Flowchart the process: major activities, key people, purpose, relationship between customers and suppliers, inputs and outputs

5 S: sort, straighten, shine, standardise, sustain.

8 types of waste: defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilised talents, transportation, inventory, motion, excessive processing --> remove waste

We need to understand customers and where we can improve.

Select key measures: current performance, impact of process change, potential problem

Define data collection (qualitative and quantitative)

Listen to the voice of the process (run charts, histogram, control chart, process capability, cycle time, lead time)

3. Investigate sources of variation and waste (analyse)

Prioritise the root causes (Pareto diagram, cause and effect diagram = fishbone (environment, people, equipment, method, materials).

collect data to verify and address root causes (Scatter diagram)

Measurement variation - monitor and improve measurement process

5R: remove, reduce, replace, reorder, redeploy

Create flow and balance the work.

4. test theories (improve)

define possible solutions, select solutions to test, plan and carry out the test. develop a plan --> what we are trying to achieve? how will we know that the change is an improvement?

5. study results (improve)

Has the data given the results predicted? Is it clear which factors provide the key contribution to the improvement? How much of the variation has been eliminated? Can we meet the goal with these results or do we need to revisit other causes?

Outcome: Adopt, adapt or abandon.

6. implement (improve)

We need to understand the impementation environment and involve and engage all stakeholders. We need to develop and communicate a plan (Gantt chart)

7. standardize (control)

Standardize successful improvements and handover to process management, process flowchart, details of people involved in the process, responsibility and authority, data collection points, guidelines, training requirements, why the change is required and how to implement effectively

Mistake-proofing: prevent and detect

Visual management: easy to see, share information, control process operation, signal abnormalities, comply with standard operating procedures.

8. Review (control)

review conclusions and lessons learned

define generic learning fan-out

define future plans

benefits realized, what knowledge can be transferred to others, begin again with selecting new priorities.

I hope I concluded the essential points. We should do this all in practice.


November 20, 2015

6 sigma's marketing

The fundamental objective of six sigma is focusing on process improvement and variation reduction through the process of DMAIC or DMADV. But it is all about money, how companies can save money. For example, General Electric who implemented six sigma estimated around $10 billion benefit in the first five years of the implementation process. So companies are maximizing the customer satisfaction while they are minimizing costs. But how? Whatever it takes? Whatever it costs? By destroying teamwork, or without employee engagement, or without philosophy... I believe that six sigma is not enough in its own in an excellent organisation and it needs to work with something else (for example SOPK) in order to fulfill the requirements of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. However, it has great marketing value, if an organisation is certified with six sigma. Let's take into account an excellent organisation - most of the companies are implementing ISO standard first for the accreditation and if they would like to improve, they can use for instance the EFQM Model later. I think six sigma works like an ISO standard, it shows the way how our process can be improved, but in order to be excellent, it must work with something else as well (SOPK). So we can see, that everything is related to each other. One doesn't work without another. We just have to make sure that we are using the best of each models.


November 17, 2015

6 sigma and SOPK

Six sigma is a disciplined, project-oriented, data-driven approach to eliminate defects or reduce variation and to cut costs. It is a philosophy, a problem-solving methodology in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency of processes in an organization. With the application of six sigma, the process must produce less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Sigma measure compares the performance to the customer requirements. Six sigma could have the following advantages: cost reduction, defects elimination, sustainable success, innovation, value, development of new products & services, learning and positive change.

Deming's SOPK consists of 4 main elements: appreciation for a system - cooperation for better performance; knowledge of variation - common, special, cyclical, tampering; theory of knowledge - lerning to improve; psychology - to get to know what motivates people, to understand them.

These two approaches are strongly related to each other. First of all, we need to understand the system with the contribution of all employees. We need to set up business objectives. Where are we now and where we want to go? What we want to achieve? How can we improve? We need to define the opportunities and select prioroties. Then we need to measure our current performance and eliminate variations. We need to analyse the performance. What did we do right and wrong? With the right implementation of knowledge, we can improve the processes. And finally we control the processes, review and adjust new processes.


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