mercredi 23 septembre 2009

What structure for Six Sigma organisation

We can say it 'Continuous developement' or any other but it should be the organisation who handles all the projects which related to change in any process ( Kaizen, 5S, TQM, Lean, Six Sigma or any other project related to process ( new or modification).

As we can imagine from the scope of these projects, it is better to be managed this structure under direct management/support of TOP level management.

As the projects are really related to all level processes, all the members of this structure (champion, master black belt, black belts) have important responsibility to maintain an equilivre bridge between priorities/strategy og TOP management and expectations/ideas of employess (including lean and green belts) that means both sides communication ( transversal role without any hierarcial authority).

mardi 28 octobre 2008

Difference between Lean and Six Sigma

The difference between Lean and Six Sigma can be summarized as follows:

Six Sigma = Reduced process variation
Lean = Improved process flow

Let's take a look at each.

What is "Lean :
The practice of "Lean" involves breaking down processes to the "bare bone essentials", hence the name "lean". The Lean approach to waste is that "Non-value added is waste". Hence, in practicing Lean, the goal is to segregate waste from value in processes, and eliminate the waste and non-value added.

The typical method for practicing Lean is to do the following:
1. Identify Value
2. Define Value Stream
3. Determine Flow
4. Define Pull
5. Improve Process

The focus of Lean is on Process flow. Tools used for the practice of Lean are oriented to visualization, and include tools like Microsoft Visio.

What is Six Sigma:
In the Six Sigma approach, the view on waste is that "Variation is waste".

In practicing Six Sigma, the DMAIC method is used:
1. Define
2. Measure
3. Analyze
4. Improve
5. Control

Six Sigma is a "Problem focused" methodology, and the primary toolset of Six Sigma is Math and Statistics.

vendredi 17 octobre 2008

Tools of Six Sigma

There is a big list of tools which are in use for different type of six sigma projects. Some of very common tools are as following :

  1. Project Chart
  2. SWOT
  3. Partners/Stakeholders analysis
  4. Planning
  5. VOC ( voice of client)
  6. Case and effect relationship
  7. Data collection program
  8. Brain Storming
  9. Risk Analysis Matrix
  10. AMDEC
  11. Priority Matrix
  12. Control Plan

In addition to these , there are also a nomber of statistical tools which are suppossed to be used by black belts in their six sigma projects.

vendredi 25 juillet 2008

Different levels of Six Sigma Experts

Six Sigma Structure :

Champions :
Senior management leaders--either heads of different businesses or their direct reports--who are responsible for the success of Six Sigma efforts, head the initiatives, and act as the bridge with the company's strategic needs. Champions approve projects, bankroll them, and smoothen out the policy- and infrastructural-roadblocks in the path of Six Sigma implementation. Up to them too is the task of monitoring the application of Six Sigma, and asking questions continuously to ensure that it is being used to best effect.
This form of leadership is important because of 2 reasons. First, applying Six Sigma often needs additional resources and management support, which may not have been anticipated up-front, requiring the Champions to make those resources available. And second, all too often, the demands of Six Sigma can confuse people about their operational priorities. That's when the Champions need to step, in and sort out the conflicts.
Master Black Belts :
Primarily teachers of the intricacies of Six Sigma and its techniques, they're drawn from the ranks of the early adepts who've gone on to acquire enough expertise to be able to mentor Black Belts, and conduct Six Sigma training-sessions for anyone in the company. Assigned full-time to Six Sigma, Master Black Belts provide all the technical and quantitative skills-building required by your people to apply the technique.
Black Belts:
These are the key people in the implementation process who lead the teams that measure, analyse, improve, and control the key processes that influence customer satisfaction. Assigned full-time to Six Sigma, they are the ones who guide other employees in the process of applying the technique, troubleshooting, problem-solving, and achieving breakthroughs.
Team Members (Green and/or Orange Belts):
The workers and managers who combine the application of Six Sigma with their regular responsibilities, these are the people who do the bread-and-butter tasks of process-mapping, analysing, planning and implementing improvements, and then, translating them into systems. Their Six Sigma work is fused with their everyday responsibilities since that is the only way in which the tool can become part of the fabric of all operations.

mardi 24 juin 2008

The Six Sigma Methodology – Five-Step Problem Solving Model

One of the more common models used in process improvement is the DMAIC model (see Figure ). The DMAIC model stands for “define, measure, analyze, improve and control.” Within every step, there is a variety of tools used to ensure you are working toward the best improvement recommendation(s). Generally, after the completion of each step, the information is reviewed with the sponsor of the project.
Specifically, what are you trying to improve? In the Define step, you must identify your key performance indicators. Every team should have one or two key measures. These are measures which are important as seen through the customer’s eyes. Customers generally want things done correctly and on time. If something is broken, they want it fixed quickly. Key measures are all about what is important to the customer. Supporting process measures should also be identified. The path to improving the key measures is through the process measures. Process measures can be viewed as “sub-measures. For example, if a key measure is overall cycle time, process measures might include the various interval times within the overall process. In addition, the team should spend time on operational definitions so everyone knows exactly what is to be measured.
The Measure step requires spending time improving the accuracy of the measurement system. Verifying the data is a true depiction of what is actually happening in the process is essential. Unfortunately, this is a step that is often skipped or taken for granted. Remember, if the data is questioned or is unreliable, the credibility of the team’s recommendations is at stake. Data is then gathered on each of the measures identified in the Define step. Trend charts should be created for each metric using either daily or weekly data. These charts show how the process is performing over time.
In the Analyze step, the team uses various statistical tools to help discover clues for improvement, thus reducing potential distracting emotional bias. In this step, root cause analysis is conducted on outlier points. Data is sliced, diced and segmented to pinpoint areas of concern.
Analysis is performed to determine what drives results. Essentially, the team is looking for clues in this step, clues which will help the team focus on the areas most important to improving results. Also at this stage, a determination is made on the capability of the current process. In other words, are results good enough? Is it worth the time and resources for the team to continue?
The purpose of the Improve step is to verify what changes will actually improve results before you implement those changes. The key here is that you have sound statistical evidence of improvement. This can be achieved through the use of various statistical tools and experiments. During the Improve stage, the team will brainstorm ideas for improvement based on the clues learned from previous steps and then test those ideas to make sure they indeed help.
Improvements are thus believable and can easily be conveyed to your stakeholders. A common mistake teams make is implementing ideas they “think... will improve results without supporting data to verify those ideas truly will make things better. Implementing improvement ideas based on “assumptions ... can best be categorized as random acts of hope. This is a hard concept for professionals and managers to grasp. But, most processes are quite complex and are influenced by a multitude of variables. For example, if a team identifies just ten process changes, this would result in 1,024 different possible combinations of those new ideas. Twenty ideas results in 1,048,576 combinations. Again, even if people think they know the optimum combination of ideas, the odds are against them. It goes without saying that it is generally hard to improve results. Obviously, the use of sound statistics to verify what indeed will improve results (i.e. move the key measures) is imperative in the Improve step.
The Control step ensures improvements are sustained once the team disengages. Maintaining the gains, by building monitor and control plans, ensure long term success. The Control step is vital. There is a tendency for people to go back to doing things they way they’ve always done them so a proper control plan is essential. Training, tracking, and effective communication plans are all aspects of the Control step. A memo from a VP declaring that everyone will “follow the new process.. is not good enough. The team must plan for monitoring and tracking of adherence to the new procedures on a going forward basis. Often times not enough emphasis is placed on the control aspects of process improvement and this is a main reason why gains are not maintained. Notice there was no emphasis on “improving.. things in the first three steps. It is extremely important to move through each step, in order, before changing the process or implementing new ideas. A classic mistake teams often make is trying to “improve.. results right from the start. If it was so easy to improve, there would be little need for teams.
Finally, a good idea for any team to consider is to utilize the available resources of an internal process improvement consultant. A “third party.. process improvement consultant, trained in the DMAIC methodology, can offer an objective point of view and can help a team move through the Six Sigma steps quickly and correctly, thus greatly improving the odds of team success. Most teams have identified roles and team members including: Team Sponsor, Team Leader, Project Manager, Team Members, Systems Support Manager, etc. Adding a trained Six Sigma expert to the essential list of team members is something every project manager should consider going forward.
The proper application of Six Sigma tools, in conjunction with proven Project Management techniques, can be a powerful combination for any Project Manager.

samedi 3 mai 2008

Project Management & Six Sigma

What is the ultimate purpose of a project? Think about it for a minute. Why does some business leader, some organization, want you to work on a project? It’s simple really. Your efforts on any project you are managing should result in some kind of improvement for the business: reduced costs, increased sales, better productivity, less errors, reduced cycle time. The list goes on and on. You and your teams are doing a lot of work so an important aspect of the business gets better. Yet, so often, teams fail to realize improvement is their purpose. They get lost in the minutia and documentation of project management: scope documents, meeting minutes, action item lists, jeopardy logs, and meeting due dates. Or worse, teams often boast of tremendous improvement through such flimsy analysis that they risk losing total credibility with their clients, thus jeopardizing the hard work of the team. People simply miss the big picture: add value. The point is, if you, as a project manager, cannot effectively relate how what your team is doing results in some kind of business improvement, well, you are not doing a complete job as a project manager. More importantly, you could easily be viewed as not adding value to the organization. Is the perception of not adding value a risk you are willing to take in this time of uncertainty?

Let’s face it; project managers have a tough job. They have to manage people who don’t report to them while convincing multiple organizations to do things which are most likely different than what they are currently doing. Translation: resistance. To make matters worse, if things go as planned, well, someone else usually takes the credit. And if things don’t go as planned, you can bet it will be the fault of the project manager. But hey, that’s the nature of the game, right? So, what can a project manager do to more effectively manage projects which result in verifiable improvement? Easy. Incorporate the Six Sigma methodology into every project.

Six Sigma refers to a methodology that provides a powerful means to define and realize strategic objectives. It is a management strategy that incorporates statistical and systems thinking to improve decision-making. The tools of Six Sigma can, and should, be used by project managers. Essentially, the basic concept behind Six Sigma is that managing the process, not the results, will lead to improvement. At the core of Six Sigma is the utilization of the five improvement steps, also known as DMAIC. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. These five steps provide an easy-to-understand framework which will help projects move along quickly and successfully.

Evolution of Six Sigma

This is a timeline of the people and events that played critical roles in the evolution of Six Sigma:

  • Frederick W. Taylor in the 1890s and early 1900s;

  • Taylor’s systematic study of the use of time and motion by workers prefigured Walter Shewhart’s application of statistical methods to the control of manufacturing quality in the 1920s;

  • World War II;

  • The application of mathematics to problems of production and quality control helped decrease failure rate and customer standards;

  • Business managers and executives became interested in continuing quality control programs after the war;

  • W.E. Deming and Joseph Juran took quality control to Japan in 1953, and the 1960s saw a surge in the growth of quality in Japan; and

  • In the 1980s, the NBC White Paper “If Japan Can…Why Can’t We?” spurred an increased interest in quality and total quality management.

Six Sigma actually began at Motorola in the mid-1980s. Motorola discovered that products with high first-pass yield (the amount of product that made it through defect free) seldom failed in use. They focused on creating strategies to reduce defects in all of their products. By adopting and applying the Malcolm Baldrige criteria, Motorola won this prestigious national quality award in 1988. Motorola joined forces with companies such as IBM, ABB (Asea, Brown, Boveri), Texas Instruments, AlliedSignal and Kodak to found “Six Sigma Research Institute.”
In the late 1990s, GE Capital CEO Jack Welch successfully led the application of Six Sigma techniques to a non-manufacturing environment. The methodology remains popular partly due to the publicity regarding Jack Welch’s commitment to, and success with, achieving Six Sigma capability.