November 29, 2009

Aeroplane production———Practice in six sigma

The whole process is about producing a model plane strictly subjecting to customers' satisfaction. There are four roles in a production team: operation, observation, quality control and time watching. In operation, each member on the stream is assigned a different task to finish a part of a aeroplane until it is completed at step 7. Apart from the operation positions, observors are asked to count the time that each step takes. Through the practice, I start to realise that it is a good example leading me to experience how six-sigma process improves the efficiency of production and controls variations occouring during production.

In the first experimental test, we experienced a serious shock after we made huge efforts on making a plane. Our outcome is just weigh out of what customers are looking for, even we still make gross profits on sales. The defects that we've had are quite disappointed which is below 1.5 in term of six sigma. I found that it is quite obvious that we have got some problems there, mainly because the tutor deliberately created some . mistakes for us  to make. The reason for that is simply because we need to make mistakes to fit ourselves into reality, find the problem and solve the problem. The ultimate goal for the action is, using DMAIC process, to reduce influence of variation on the production, control the variation level drop into the tolerant limits so that customers' satisfaction will finally achieved.

With the failure of meeting customers' expectation in the previous test, we were assigned an improvement task to do a "find it, fix it" action. As a result, we improved the production with two different outcomes. Apart from the results that we have, more importantly, we have the overviewing understanding of how to use Six Sigma to control the variation and minimise the impact of it.


November 27, 2009

DMAIC, PDSA AND THE SYSTEM OF PROFOUND KNOWLEDGE

SIX SIGMA IS AN EXCELLENT WIDE-APPLIED METHODOLOGY HELPING MANGEMENT TEAMS TO CONTROL VARIATIONS THAT ARE EXISTING OR COULD COME ACROSS WITHIN ORGANISATIONS. THE PROCESS OF APPLYING SIX SIGMA IS TO IMPROVE THE ORGANISATIONS ON A FUNDEMENTAL BASIS, IT HELPS TO FIND VARIATIONS AND FIX THEM IN A EFFECTIVE WAY.

WITHIN THE SIX SIGMA FRAMEWORK, DMAIC IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL AND CRITICAL PART OF IT. IT IS A SET OF DETAILED SPECIFIC PROCEDURES ALL THE WAY FROM DEFINE PROBLEMS/VARIATIONS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS AND IMPROVE THE CURRENT SITUATION. THE FIVE WORD OF DMAIC STAND FOR DEFINE, MEASURE, ANALYSE, IMPROVE AND CONTROL. THE STRUCTURE AND BASIC OBJECTIVE OF DMAIC ARE PRETTY SIMILAR WITH PDSA WHICH IS DEVELOPED BY DR. DEMING AND FAMOUS. IN MY POINT OF VIEW, PDSA IS A CONCEPTIONAL TOOL THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN TOO MUCH PARTICULAR METHODS TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE OF AN ORGANISATION, IT INTRODUCES A SELF-IMPROVEMENT WHICH COULD BE USED ON A DAILY BASIS. ON THE OTHER HAND, DMAIC ACTUALLY PLAYS THE SAME ROLE AS PDSA. HOWEVER, IT PROVIDES MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS WHILE IT ALSO SET ASIDE LARGE SPACE FOR ORGANISATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THEIR OWN METHODS ACCORDING TO THEIR SPECIFIC SITUATIONS AND FIELDS.

PROFOUND KNOWLDGE IS A CORE PART OF DEMING'S PHILOSOPHY, WHICH PROVIDES FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN ORDER TO DRIVE AN ORGANISATION TO EXCELLENCE. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN APPORVED THAT WHETHER PDSA OR DMAIC COULD NOT BE APPLIES EFFECTIVELY WHEN SOPK IS NOT BEING ENTIRELY APPRECIATED. WITHIN THE SOPK, THERE ARE FOUR POINTS WHICH HAVE BEEN HIGHLIGHTED: APPRECIATION FOR A SYSTEM, KNOWLEDGE ABOUT VARIATION, THEORY  OF KNOWLDGE AND PSYCHOLOGY.


November 01, 2009

Deming's effect on management

During the 1950's, Dr Deming's phylosophy helped Japanese industries recover from a whole destruction with a quick pace. Why did it work impressively well? Is Japanese smarter than the others? Is the theory the best above all the others? I have a different thought. I've been thinking over Deming's "Profound Knowledge" a lot. The one thing I realise is that it summaries the key elements in management

Appreciation for a system

knowledge about variation

theory of knowledge

psychonology

Unlike some excelence models, Deming's theories do not have specific requirements. However, it does point  out key elements which could affect a company and bring it towards either positive or negative ways, it depends on how a company performs in these area.

the Concept of system: excellent performance in single department is not enough to bring a company to excellence, sometimes it could be a disadvantage for a company when it couldn't cooperate with the other deparments as a whole;

Variation: changes is everywhere in business, conciousness of variation and solution for problems resulting from variations could help a company breakthrough troubles;

Knowledge: keep updating own knowledge with every effort can create more opportunities for a company to dominating in a market as well as innovating in a new market;

People: as a basic element in a company, people is brain, body, actually, people is everything of a company. Good managemnt of people is a basis to create success in a business because people run the business.

There might someone say that Deming's theory is out of date for business in 21 Century. Look at the famous excellence models at present deep inside, and you will find that his theories is everywhere in those models. ISO, EFQM, Baldrige etc all respect Deming's theories as a basis.


Practice in leadership

To be a leader takes one moment as long as being successfully voted. To be a GOOD leader however will be involved in lots of time and oppotunities to practise akills, improve on drawbacks and acquire experience etc. The most important thing in my point of view is that having a good chance to practise leadership in a safe environment. Luckily within the module, we have been given such a proper learning environment to actually practise as  a leader.

Time management is critical in business activites. I am likely to chase perfection, however, it is really dangerous to do so in reality. However good the products or services is based on what if they could be prepared on time. A good time management might not lead to perfection, but the target reached within deadline is more important. The improvement on skills and efficiency could be discussed later on.

As a leader when you have a target, the most important thing is to think and make a plan to reach the target. How many steps are we going to take? how many resources shall be allocate in each step? how much time should be spend respectively? etc. These questions in a plan are more like framework or rail which clarify where to go and how to do.

Communication is an important interpersonal skill, it is evalued much more in business environment. A leader should have a great communication skill and a respective attitude. Knowing thoughts and ideas in a team through communication could make a more friendly environment and upgrade the efficiency of working, finally it helps to facilitate decisionmaking.

To be a good leader, I found a huge gap to be filled with. Mainwhile I do realise the importance of a leader to an organisation.  I'm willing to be a good leader in the future, I will make every effort on what I have learnt in the course.

Let's fight, let's win.


October 26, 2009

late start

Starting bloging after 3 weeks after the beginning is awfully frustrating while someone else has done their loads. To me, bloging is a new thing that I have never touched intentionally so far. Therefore, when the course leader, Paul Roberts, told that bloging will be a part of grades, I felt a little bit confused with the true meaning of using a blog and forum. After 3-week study, now I start to realise the benefits: learning environment, communication etc. We actually are organised as an entity, a business model, and we practise in this business environment. Teamwork, communication, hardwork, punctuality, concentration, innovation etc are being required in any leading business entities. We are lucky that such experience is merged into the whole study process. What a Univestiy, what a course.

I will enjoy the course, enjoy the experience and eventually benefit from what I will have from it.


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