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Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process -from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications.
A Six Sigma opportunity is then the total quantity of chances for a defect. Process sigma can easily be calculated using a Six Sigma calculator. The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma submethodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement.
Six Sigma Purpose and Origin Six Sigma (6 ) is a business-driven, multi-faceted approach to process improvement, reduced costs, and increased profits. With a fundamental principle to improve customer satisfaction by reducing defects, its ultimate performance target is virtually defect-free processes and products (3.4 or fewer defective parts per million (ppm)). The Six Sigma methodology, consisting of the steps "Define Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control," is the roadmap to achieving this goal. Within this improvement framework, it is the responsibility of the improvement team to identify the process, the definition of defect, and the corresponding measurements.
Calculating the Cost and Savings of Six Sigma Quality One of the most distinct differences between Six Sigma and other quality management systems is the link to business finances. Financial benefits of potential process improvement projects are quantified and used to help select and prioritize process improvement projects. Financial benefits are re-evaluated during the analyze phase to ensure that the cost of improvements suggested will be supported by the benefit of the project. And finally, the financial benefits are verified once the project enters the control (for DMAIC) and verify (for DMADV ) phases.
The rigor associated with linking Six Sigma projects to business financials helps connect everyone within the business -- not just the quality department and related personnel. The entire organization, including the CEO, CFO, line managers, employees, and shareholders, looks to Six Sigma to increase cost savings, productivity, and incremental revenue. It also helps differentiate substantial process improvements from insignificant 'fluff' projects that have little long-term benefit for the business.
The Differences of DMAIC and DMADV DMAIC and DMADV sound very similar, don't they? The acronyms even share the first three letters. But that's about where the similarities stop. DMAIC Define: Define the project goals and customer (internal and external) deliverables Measure: Measure the process to determine current performance Analyze: Analyze and determine the root cause's of the defects Improve: Improve the process by eliminating defects
Control: Control future process performance
When To Use DMAIC The DMAIC methodology, instead of the DMADV methodology, should be used when a product or process is in existence at your company but is not meeting customer specification or is not performing adequately. DMADV Define: Define the project goals and customer (internal and external) deliverables Measure:
Analyze: Analyze the process options to meet the customer needs Design: Design (detailed) the process to meet the customer needs Verify: Verify the design performance and ability to meet customer needs
When To Use DMADV
The DMADV methodology, instead of the DMAIC methodology, should be used when: A product or process is not in existence at your company and one needs to be developed. The existing product or process exists and has been optimized (using either DMAIC or not) and still doesn't meet the level of customer specification or six sigma level
SIX SIGMA & DESIGN FOR SIX SIGMA Improving the bottom line results in Manufacturing, Engineering, and Service Organizations through continuous improvement and the elimination of waste. Does your Six Sigma effort face these challenges: Trouble selecting projects or calculating their potential for financial success? Difficulties quantifying and forecasting the effects of variation in your new process or design? Inability to identify the key factors (CTQs) that drive uncertainty in your process? Problems optimizing your processes to improve efficiency and reduce waste?
Need to maximize the probability of meeting design elements without excessive testing costs? Trouble explaining the effects of variation in a clear, concise manner?
Six Sigma Organizational Architecture
Six Sigma is a quality methodology that can produce significant benefit to businesses and organizations. Not much text, however, has been written about the structure needed to successfully implement Six Sigma quality within the business or organization. This article will focus on roles and responsibilities, as well as required rewards and recognition for a successful Six Sigma quality program.
Roles and Responsibilities Quality Leader/Manager (QL/QM) – The quality leader's responsibility is to represent the needs of the customer and to improve the operational effectiveness of the organization. The Quality function is typically separated from the manufacturing or transactional processing functions in order to maintain impartiality. The quality manager sits on the CEO/President's staff, and has equal authority to all other direct reports.
Master Black Belt (MBB) – Master Black Belts are typically assigned to a specific area or function of a business or organization. It may be a functional area such as human resources or legal, or process specific area such as billing or tube rolling. MBBs work with the owners of the process to ensure that quality objectives and targets are set, plans are determined, progress is tracked, and education is provided. In the best Six Sigma organizations, process owners and MBBs work very closely and share information daily.
Process Owner (PO) - Process owners are exactly as the name sounds – they are the responsible individuals for a specific process. For instance, in the legal department there is usually one person in charge -- maybe the VP of Legal -- that's the process owner. There may be a chief marketing officer for your business -- that's the process owner for marketing. Depending on the size of your business and core activities, you may have process owners at lower levels of your organizational structure. If you are a credit card company with processes around billing, accounts receivable, audit, billing fraud, etc., you wouldn't just have the process owner be the chief financial officer, you would want to go much deeper into the organization where the work is being accomplished and you can make a big difference.
Black Belt (BB) – Black Belts are the heart and soul of the Six Sigma quality initiative. Their main purpose is to lead quality projects and work full time until they are complete. Black Belts can typically complete four to six projects per year with savings of approximately $230,000 per project . Black Belts also coach Green Belts on their projects, and while coaching may seem innocuous, it can require a significant amount of time and energy.
The Toyota Story about quality
Toyota started out in 1933 as the automobile department of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd., in Japan. In 1937 the Toyota Motor Company was founded, and by 1947 over 100,000 vehicles had been produced. The first Toyota arrived in the U.S. in 1957. Today more than half of the Toyotas sold in America are produced there. Over 80 million Toyota vehicles have been built, with vehicles currently marketed in North America through approximately 1,200 dealerships.
Back in 1957 Toyota brought two cars to America. And took them home again.
They were the best cars we had ever made. They had been best sellers in Japan. But how would they do in the big time - in America? We did not know, we could nor know, until we brought them here. We brought them in August, 1957. And showed them with great hope. And even greater fear. What
The Toyota Land Cruiser had its first deput in 1951 as a Japanese version of the Willys Jeep
We had to start all over
The message was painful and very clear: if we wanted to sell cars in a place like America, we had to started all over. And make a better car. So we started over. And worked very hard for many frustrating years. We stretched our technology farther than we had ever stretched it before. We tried out ideas that had never been tried before. We made every mistake that we could possibly make.
And one day we did it: we made a better car. And the rest, as they say, is history.
And now comes the future
Toyota is now, and has been for years, America’s leading auto import. But soon this import will be made right here. On May 5 we broke ground for new Toyota manufacturing plant in Kentucky. The plant will cost $800,000,000 and will employ 3,000 and will produce 200,000 cars years.
It is a major investment in the future of the American automobile industry, and in the future of the American economy. It is also a down payment on our debt. We owe a lot to America. America gave us chance when we were small and scared. It gave us a challenge that helped us become who we are. This is something we will never forget.
Toyota Motor Company
What began as the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works became the Toyota Motor Company in 1937. By 1957, Toyota began shipping vehicles to the U.S. Now over half of the Toyota models sold in the U.S. are produced in the U.S. Japan-based Toyota Motor made its mark by targeting the entry level consumer and flourishing in international markets. Japan's largest industrial company, Toyota has found the U.S. to be the top market for its economical Tercels, Camrys and Corollas and 4Runner light trucks. The battle for foreign success has been uphill for Toyota, not unlike the company's first U.S. entry, the Toyopet Crown – which couldn't make it up a steep incline to
a showroom in 1957. And, like its early cars, the solutions to Toyota's initial problems proved to be more power.
Moving up in the market
Sakichi Toyoda opened the doors to the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1926, four years before his death. With earnings from the loom company, his son, Kiichiro Toyoda entered the automotive business. The company changed its name to Toyota in the 1930s and implemented strategies to continue domination of the Japanese market. Its network of supplier companies have been roundly praised. Following the 1957 Crown debacle, the company scored a hit with the Corolla subcompact, the bestselling car of all time. Toyota flourished in the U.S.
market during the oil crisis - its cars were far more efficient than the behemoths being produced by Ford and General Motors. Toyota rode the wave of success from energy crisis days through the present. Currently, Toyota's Lexus line is one of the most critically acclaimed of the luxury auto market. The company conducts a large percentage of its manufacturing in the U.S. and exports about 70,000 vehicles annually from America.
HISTORY OF JAPAN'S QUALITY MOVEMENT
The quality movement in Japan began in 1946 with the U.S. Occupation Force's mission to revive and restructure Japan's communications equipment industry. General Douglas MacArthur was committed to public education through radio. Homer Sarasohn was recruited to spearhead the effort by repairing and installing equipment, making materials and parts available, restarting factories, establishing the equipment test laboratory (ETL), and setting rigid quality standards for products (Tsurumi 1990). Sarasohn recommended individuals for company presidencies, like Koji Kobayashi of NEC, and he established education for Japan's top executives in the management of quality. Furthermore, upon
Sarasohn's return to the United States, he recommended W. Edwards Deming to provide a seminar in Japan on statistical quality control (SQC). Deming's 1950 lecture notes provided the basis for a 30-day seminar sponsored by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) and provided the criteria for Japan's famed Deming Prize. The first Deming Prize was given to Koji Kobayashi in 1952. Within a decade, JUSE had trained nearly 20,000 engineers in SQC methods. Today Japan gives high rating to companies that win the Deming prize; they number about ten large companies per year. Deming's work has impacted industries such as those for radios and parts, transistors, cameras, binoculars, and sewing machines. In 1960, Deming
was recognized for his contribution to Japan's reindustrialization when the Prime Minister awarded him the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure. In 1954, Dr. Joseph M. Juran of the United States raised the level of quality management from the factory to the total organization. He stressed the importance of systems thinking that begins with product designs, prototype testing, proper equipment operations, and accurate process feedback. Juran's seminar also became a part of JUSE's educational programs. Juran provided the move from SQC to TQC (total quality control) in Japan. This included company-wide activities and education in quality control (QC), QC circles and audits, and promotion of quality management
principles. By 1968, Kaoru Ishikawa, one of the fathers of TQC in Japan, had outlined the elements of TQC management: •quality comes first, not short-term profits •the customer comes first, not the producer •customers are the next process with no organizational barriers •decisions are based on facts and data •management is participatory and respectful of all employees •management is driven by cross-functional committees covering product planning, product design, production planning, purchasing,
•manufacturing, sales, and distribution (Ishikawa 1985) By 1991, JUSE had registered over 331,000 quality circles with over 2.5 million participants in its activities. Today, JUSE continues to provide over 200 courses per year, including five executive management courses, ten management courses, and a full range of technical training programs. One of the innovative TQC methodologies developed in Japan is referred to as the "Ishikawa" or "causeand-effect" diagram. After collecting statistical data, Ishikawa found that dispersion came from four common causes, as shown in Figure
What can Six Sigma do Six Sigma performance is:
•3.4 defects per million opportunities or less. •Less than 5% of gross sales to correct defects. Defects include anything that is not perfect. Often the biggest opportunities are outside manufacturing. Some examples of defects: •Service that did not meet the customer's expectations. •Unanswered phone. •Invoice errors.
•Missed discounts. •Late or early delivery. •Overtime. •Scrap or waste. •Rework or recycle. •Typos. •Late filing of reports or applications. •Low yields. •etc.
Six Sigma – The New Industry Standard
What is Six Sigma? Continuous improvement in quality for increased customer satisfaction is the fundamental objective of Six Sigma. The term "sigma" is taken from a symbol in the Greek alphabet; this symbol is used in statistics as a measure of variation. Specifically, the sigma value estimates how often variations, or anything that dissatisfies a customer, are likely to occur. The higher the value of sigma, the less likely variation is expected to occur. "Six Sigma is a statistical measurement, allowing you to measure the quality of your products and services. A level of Six Sigma represents the apex of quality—the virtual
elimination of defects from every product and process in a company (about three defects out of every million). It is estimated that companies operating at three to four sigma (today's U.S. average) lose 10-15% of their total revenue due to defects." Along with Six Sigma is a Six Sigma Performance Challenge; this challenges committed companies to set short and long term goals for reaching the apex of highest quality. The short-term goal is to reach a one-sigma improvement within the next two years. Next, attain a two-sigma improvement after 4 years. Finally, reach the longterm goal of attaining Six Sigma by the end of the sixth year.
How can it improve your process? Today most companies currently operate at between two and three sigma. At two-sigma, an average company will generally lose 40% of sales revenue because of the cost of poor quality. At six-sigma the cost of poor quality will dramatically decline to around 10% of sales revenue. This is a huge savings in profit that can then be split among shareholders. Table 1 shows the statistical meaning of 3 sigma values and also gives an example of each.
Table 1. What is the difference between 3 and 6 sigma? Sigma % without flaws Example 3 sigma 93.32% 1.5 misspelled words per page in a book 4 sigma 99.38% 1 misspelled word per 30 pages in a book 6 sigma 99.99966% 1 misspelled word in all of the books in a small library
Currently it might seem that stopping at three or four sigma is more than adequate. Having a product that is of good quality 99.9% of the time seems pretty respectable doesn’t it? Not always. 99.9% seems pretty inadequate when you consider that with this kind of quality goal there are: 500 incorrect surgical procedures each week 2,000 lost articles of mail each hour 1 bad airplane landing in 1,000 By reducing variation in the processes to a value of six-sigma, waste is greatly reduced. Less is thrown away because less is needed to produce the same quantity of satisfactory product, and at the same time the quality of the product is increased as well.
Time and money spent on reworking and recycling nonconforming products is immediately reduced since the overall numbers of nonconforming products are reduced. In attaining Six Sigma production performance, most companies have noticed other perks than reduction of nonconforming products. Most companies have noticed they are now maximizing machinery use, optimizing production time and there is a faster response time for customer inquisitions. Along with reduced costs due to scraping and reworking products, cost management is also seen in the reduced cost due to the need for fewer inspections, less maintenance and smaller inventory. "Excess costs related to poor quality include excess
manufacturing steps, excess people to do the job, overtime and excess equipment," says Joseph A. DeFeo, executive VP and COO of the Juran Institute Inc., a management consulting and training firm in Wilton, Conn., which helped develop the Six Sigma concept. "By using Six Sigma to reduce those areas of waste, you can often reduce your total costs by 15 percent to 20 percent annually.“
Is Six Sigma right for your company? The six sigma quality standard is not worth the extra investment for all companies. For example, if you are a company that makes styrofoam packing peanuts, quality is not as important as having a low cost. Generally a customer is not too worried about whether every peanut has the perfect shape and color. Chances are they will perform the job as long as they are soft, absorb shock and will not scratch the product. The low cost will keep customers satisfied and thus drive the success of your packing peanuts, not the perfect color of every peanut ever made. So in this business, if to attain an extra two sigma’s in quality twice the capital cost is going to be needed, the higher quality does not outweigh the
higher production cost. This is just the opposite of a company making regulators for SCUBA diving equipment. Here, quality drives the success of the product and company. If 1 in every thousand of your regulators fail when diving down 150 feet below the surface of the water and people die, your company will not be in business for much after the nearest lawyer finds out about the incident. This is the same for a high tech company that makes computer chips for the space shuttle. In these cases the company can justify going to large expenses to reduce nonconforming parts by just a few percent. As has been seen, six sigma is not for every company. Yet for companies trying to keep ahead in the ever-increasing technological age, reaching six
sigma production standards may be the only way to stay competitive with the competitors. Six sigma can greatly cut down in unneeded expenses, loss of production time and cost of reworking due to nonconforming parts. Companies can also save capital costs by optimizing use of machines thus not needing to buy new equipment when increasing production. Unfortunately the cost of increasing quality to six sigma standards is expensive and not all production lines necessitate standards where only 3 in a million parts are nonconforming.
Six Sigma Versus Three Sigma
The traditional quality model of process capability differed from Six Sigma in two fundamental respects: 2. It was applied only to manufacturing processes, while Six Sigma is applied to all important business processes. 3. It stipulated that a "capable" process was one that had a process standard deviation of no more than one-sixth of the total allowable spread, where Six Sigma requires the process standard deviation be no more than one-twelfth of the total allowable spread.
These differences are far more profound than one might realize. By addressing all business processes, Six Sigma not only treats manufacturing as part of a larger system, it removes the narrow, inward focus of the traditional approach. Customers care about more than just how well a product is manufactured. Price, service, financing terms, style, availability, frequency of updates and enhancements, technical support, and a host of other items are also important. Also, Six Sigma benefits others besides customers. When operations become more costeffective and the product design cycle shortens, owners or investors benefit too. When employees become more productive their pay can be increased. Six Sigma's broad scope means that it provides benefits to all stakeholders in the organization.
The second point also has implications that are not obvious. Six Sigma is, basically, a process quality goal, where sigma is a statistical measure of variability in a process (see Chapter 7). As such it falls into the category of a process capability technique. The traditional quality paradigm defined a process as capable if the process natural spread, plus and minus Three Sigma, was less than the engineering tolerance. Under the assumption of normality, this Three Sigma quality level translates to a process yield of 99.73%. A later refinement considered the process location as well as its spread and tightened the minimum acceptance criterion so that the process mean was at least four sigma from the nearest engineering requirement.
Six Sigma requires that processes operate such that the nearest engineering requirement is at least Six Sigma from the process mean. Six Sigma also applies to attribute data, such as counts of things gone wrong. This is accomplished by converting the Six Sigma requirement to equivalent conformance levels, as illustrated in Figure
One of Motorola's most significant contributions was to change the discussion of quality from one where quality levels were measured in percent (parts-perhundred), to a discussion of parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion. Motorola correctly pointed out that modern technology was so complex that old ideas about "acceptable quality levels" could no longer be tolerated. Modern business requires near perfect quality levels. One puzzling aspect of the "official" Six Sigma literature is that it states that a process operating at Six Sigma will produce 3.4 parts-per-million (PPM) non-conformances. However, if a special normal distribution table is consulted (very few go out to Six Sigma) one finds that the expected non-
conformances are 0.002 PPM (2 parts-per-billion, or PPB). The difference occurs because Motorola presumes that the process mean can drift 1.5 sigma in either direction. The area of a normal distribution beyond 4.5 sigma from the mean is indeed 3.4 PPM. Since control charts will easily detect any process shift of this magnitude in a single sample, the 3.4 PPM represents a very conservative upper bound on the non-conformance rate. In contrast to Six Sigma quality, the old Three Sigma quality standard of 99.73% translates to 2,700 PPM failures, even if we assume zero drift. For processes with a series of steps, the overall yield is the product of the yields of the different steps. For example, if we had a simple two step process where step #1 had
a yield of 80% and step #2 had a yield of 90%, then the overall yield would be 0.8 x 0.9 = 0.72 = 72%. Note that the overall yield from processes involving a series of steps is always less than the yield of the step with the lowest yield. If Three Sigma quality levels (99.97% yield) are obtained from every step in a ten step process, the quality level at the end of the process will contain 26,674 defects per million! Considering that the complexity of modern processes is usually far greater than ten steps, it is easy to see that Six Sigma quality isn't optional; it's required if the organization is to remain viable.
The requirement of extremely high quality is not limited to multiple-stage manufacturing processes. Consider what Three Sigma quality would mean if applied to other processes: •Virtually no modern computer would function. •10,800,000 healthcare claims would be mishandled each year. •18,900 US Savings bonds would be lost every month. •54,000 checks would be lost each night by a single large bank.
•4,050 invoices would be sent out incorrectly each month by a modest-sized telecommunications company. •540,000 erroneous call details would be recorded each day from a regional telecommunications company. •270,000,000 (270 million) erroneous credit card transactions would be recorded each year in the United States. With numbers like these, it's easy to see that the modern world demands extremely high levels of error free performance. Six Sigma arose in response to this realization.
Learning to Think Lean: Six Steps with Review Points Organizations can profit from learning to think in terms of Lean, a philosophy that aims to eliminate waste (in Japan, where Lean was developed, the term is muda). Lean attacks waste mainly by shortening the time between the customer order and shipment. Based on a customer-focused view, six steps can provide a strong foundation for any organization that wants to incorporate Lean into its operating philosophy. These steps in Lean thinking can be best evaluated at the producer end by verifying and reviewing each step one at a time.
1. Value 2. Value Stream 3. Flow 4. Pull 5. Perfection 6. Replication Lean thinking can best start by giving due consideration to value, which ultimately is the customer's requirement. The value of any product (goods or services) is defined by customer needs and not by any non-value-added activity at the supplier or producer end. That is, the customer is prepared to pay for operations by producers or their suppliers that transform the product in a way that is meaningful to the customer. Customers do not want
to pay for waste at the producer end.
2. Value (Specifying)
Value is determined by the customers who want to buy the right product with the right capabilities at the right price. That is, the product must be "right" every time – from design to manufacture, from delivery to error-free operation. Lean companies work on making their processes right by eliminating waste – something no customer wants to pay for. While linking the term "value" generally with customer requirements, the following questions can be asked to review the value for the customer as it relates to any specific product issue:
•What is the problem that impacts the customer? •What is the problem that the team is going to take action on? •Why is the project so important that the organization should address it? •Why is the project being done? •Do all the stakeholders understand and agree to the problem and its impact on business? Do they all agree that fixing it is critical for the business? Do they all support the project? •Are the roles and responsibilities of the project team members clearly defined?
•Are the needs of the customers clearly identified? •What's in it for the customers? How do they benefit? •What's in it for the business? How does the business benefit? •Were the key parameters or the most important thing to be fixed identified? •Does everyone describe what will be measured in the same way? •Can the primary metric be manipulated? How does it drive the right behavior? •What can go worse as a result of the project?
•Where does the problem occur? Did the team identify it correctly? Did the team work on this particular issue to completion? •What does success look like? How will success be quantified?
2. Value Stream Mapping (Identifying)
Once value is specified by the customers, the next Lean step is to identify the right process – a process that only adds value to the product, in other words, a waste-free process. The value stream for a product has three categories of activities: 1. Process steps that definitely create value: In any manufacturing process, the steps that are actually transforming the fit, form or function of the raw material, and bring it a step closer to the finished product. 2. Process steps that create no value but are necessary, due to current state of the system: In any manufacturing process, activities like inspection,
waiting and some transportation steps. 3. Process steps that create no value and can be eliminated: Any activity that does not fall into the above two categories. While the parts of a process that create no value should be eliminated, any action or activity that is recognized as non-value-added but currently necessary should be targeted for improvement. At this point a detailed process flow diagram should be generated for each product or product category. To ascertain which steps in the process are unnecessary, an intense questioning and reexamining method (Japanese term is kaikeku) is applied to every aspect of the process under consideration.
The review points at this stage are: •Does the team understand how the whole process works? •Did the team manage to complete a detailed process flow diagram at this stage? •Did the team identify the waste in the process? •Did the team follow kaikeku – the radical improvement approach? •Were there any particular processes that did not support the customer need? •Did the team make use of the knowledge and experience within the business to establish this?
The review points at this stage are: •Does the team understand how the whole process works? •Did the team manage to complete a detailed process flow diagram at this stage? •Did the team identify the waste in the process? •Did the team follow kaikeku – the radical improvement approach? •Were there any particular processes that did not support the customer need? •Did the team make use of the knowledge and experience within the business to establish this?
•What constraints/flow problems exist in the process that are hurting the business? •Can the team quantify any difference in people, shifts and days causing hidden constraints/flow problems? •Does the team know the causes of the constraints/flow problems? •What impact on the business and customers are these constraints/flow problems causing? •When will the team have enough information/data about the issues that could be causing the problem?
•Does the information reveal anything new about the problem? •Did the team understand the type of problem that is being faced? •Can the team state what the current performance of the process is? •Is it clear yet what the business entitlement is from the process? •Is there a need to go back and refine or change what was learned in the two value steps?
3. Flow This Lean step focuses on rapid product flow (RPF). The specific process waste is identified at each stage of process flow and is eliminated. The team involved in Lean will physically walk the process and write down the distance the product travels during its process flow. The non-value-added distances are eliminated by physical layout change, which involves both human and machine. Factory floors are laid out in cells rather than in functional groupings, which reduces the distance the parts travel in the process flow. It is at this point that the Lean enterprise implements 5S, a tool developed for reducing the slack hidden in manufacturing processes. 5S is the basis for Lean
manufacturing and the foundation for a disciplined approach to the clean workplace. The five steps of 5S are (in Japanese and English): • Seiri/Sort: Meaning sorting or segregating through the contents of the workplace and removing all unnecessary items. 2. Seiton/Straighten: Meaning putting or arranging the necessary items in their place and providing easy access by clear identification. 3. Seiso/Shine: Meaning cleaning everything, keeping it clean and using cleaning to inspect the workplace and equipment for defects.
4. Seiketsu/Standardize: Meaning creating visual controls and guidelines for keeping the workplace organized, orderly and clean, in other words, maintaining the seiso, or shine. 5. Shitsuke/Sustain: Meaning instituting training and discipline to ensure that everyone follows the 5S standards.
Questions to be asked at this point are: •How is the impact of customer demand on the process being translated or understood? •Did the team physically visit the process to realize the process steps? •Did the team identify the non-value-added distances traveled by parts? •Did the team identify the movements and transportations? •Have the hot spot(s) that are constraining the process been identified? •What steps have been initiated to stabilize the constraints before the main improvement is made?
•Has the Lean team done enough to build 5S culture in the organization? •Has the team taken the right steps to close the loop of each 5S step?
The benefits of Lean Steps 1, 2 and 3 allow a company to produce more than before and in a way that value is added at every step in the production process. The fourth Lean step can be directed toward either removing excess capacity (inventory) or increasing the rate of pull. Lean, which identifies the seven deadly wastes as defects, over-production, transportations, waiting, inventory, motion and processing (or the acronym, DOTWIMP), lists inventory as a source of waste. Hence, producing anything that is not sold immediately and is waiting at any point of time for delivery is waste. A pull system, which on the production side is making a product at the same rate
at which it is being sold, also is a waste-eliminating step. On the supply side, a pull system is flowing resources into a production process by replacing only what has been consumed. The review points here are: •Did the Lean team define the sequence of operation? •Did the team manage to achieve the balance of operation times? •What can be put in place to support the customer supply needs? •How will this be managed through the business? •How will the internal inventory needs be managed?
5. Perfection This Lean step emphasizes that continuous improvement has to be a part of the organization and is always possible. This is the desired state of any change in any environment. The organization should always try to achieve what is the perfect system for that kind of operation and should aim at continuously improving the present system. The word for this in Japanese is kaizen.
Questions to be asked here are: •Have all stakeholders acknowledged and accepted that the process has been improved? •What process will be put in place to further improve the process? •What risk is there that these causes will come back and disturb the process again? •Did the team document the project in a form that anyone can understand? •Has the team identified the next stage of continuous improvement?
6. Replicate (Repeat or reproduce)
This Lean step is a confirmation of the system implemented and improvements achieved, and determining that these same system procedures, tools and techniques can be deployed anywhere in the operation or in any business process. The main benefit of this step is that any time spent in analysis is reduced. Now is the time to ask these questions: •How will the team ensure that the business learns from its experience?
•Can this process improvement be replicated in other parts of the business? •Is the control set true enough for a similar type of operation?
strategic planning & goal setting.
Strategic planning and goal setting can move the organization to world class performance. Strategic planning, facilitated by Adams Associates, is done by organizational leadership. Strategic planning is a process that determines the future of an organization. Goal setting determines resource allocations needed. Having a well-proven process for strategic planning and goal setting makes the effort more efficient. It assures that a strategic plan will provide a frame that will shape an organization's future.
Well organized strategic planning and goal setting involve distinct steps. Agreement among the leadership on the values and beliefs that are the foundation of the strategic plan. Understanding current conditions both inside and outside an organization. Some assessments may be appropriate before starting formal strategic planning. Visualizing the future, as you want it. Setting goals you must achieve and having a goal achievement process for those goals. Implementing the strategic plan.
Six Sigma Plus starts and ends with the CUSTOMER. Key to the success of an organization is customer satisfaction. Before we can satisfy customers we need to ask ourselves: •Who is the customer •What does the customer really want To meet customer requirements you need to define and control the influences on the business process (people, raw materials, supplies, waste, incidents, etc)
•What is the current performance? •What are the proven causes for dissatisfaction? •What are the few simple solutions that will generate lasting results?
Decision making can be a simple process when based on reliable data. Measuring alone is not enough. It is important to analyze the data and to identify the real causes of problems. This will bring a focus to the decision making and enables a selection of the vital projects and solutions. This focus on key projects and solutions will result in an efficient and effective route to customer satisfaction. Decision making with Six Sigma means: •Working on the real and few vital causes •Getting away from politics, hobbies and old
Adams Six Sigma
Adams Associates using six sigma plus specializes in synergistic combination of strategic planning, leadership and total quality management (tqm) so clients achieve more goals more often. Six sigma plus is a planned use of strategy, total quality management (tqm) and leadership development. It is the plus in six sigma plus that cause people to align for goal accomplishment. This is a major difference between six sigma plus and a statistical approach or a teaching of total quality management (tqm) tools. The plus is often the catalyst that allows all other concepts to be a success.
Issues are selected for special attention as six sigma plus projects. Projects with significant importance are assigned to Black Belts as six sigma projects. Thus each six sigma plus project is assigned a leader trained in six sigma and total quality management (tqm) tools. These Six Sigma Plus Black Belts' duties include teaching other members of the six sigma plus project team appropriate total quality management (tqm) philosophy, interfacing with management, coaching, leadership skills, teaching total quality management (tqm) tools and changing systems to sustain six sigma plus projects improvements.
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Senior Leadership is responsible for the strategic plan, and selecting potential six sigma plus project areas. Once a six sigma plus project is understood using total quality management (tqm) tools, total quality management (tqm) techniques generate alternatives. Improvements are then implemented. Six sigma plus projects maintain improvements using control tools of total quality management (tqm). This is the define, measure, analyze, improve and control sequence (DMAIC) of six sigma. Six sigma training is recommended for the management and champions as well as for any six sigma black belt or green belt.
DMAIC is define measure analyze improve and control in the six sigma approach to projects. DMAIC six sigma approach. The six sigma approach for projects is DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control). These steps are the most common six sigma approach to project work. Some organizations omit the D in DMAIC because it is really management work. With the D dropped from DMAIC the Black Belt is charged with MAIC only in that six sigma approach. We believe define is too important be left out and sometimes management does not do an adequate job of defining a project. Our six sigma approach is the full DMAIC.
Define is the first step in our six sigma approach of DMAIC. DMAIC first asks leaders to define our core processes. It is important to define the selected project scope, expectations, resources and timelines. The definition step in the six sigma approach identifies specifically what is part of the project and what is not, and explains the scope of the project. Many times the first passes at process documentation are at a general level. Additional work is often required to adequately understand and correctly document the processes. As the saying goes “The devil is in the details.”
Measure (DMAIC). Many think when they start a journey the most important thing to know is where they are going. While we agree knowing where you want to go is very important, we believe some of the first information you need before starting any journey is your current location. The six sigma approach asks the Black Belt project manager to quantify and benchmark the process using actual data. At a minimum consider the mean or average performance and some estimate of the dispersion or variation (maybe even calculate the standard deviation). Trends and cycles can also be very revealing. The two data points and extrapolate to infinity is not a six sigma approach. Process
capabilities can be calculated once there is performance data,
Once the project is understood and the baseline performance documented and verified that there is real opportunity, it is time with the six sigma approach to do an analysis of the process. In this step, the six sigma approach applies statistical tools to validate root causes of problems. Any number of tools and tests can be used. The objective is to understand the process at a level sufficient to be able to formulate options for improvement. We should be able to compare the various options with each other to determine the most promising alternatives. As with many activities, balance must be achieved. Superficial analysis and understanding will lead to unproductive options being selected,
forcing recycle through the process to make improvements. At the other extreme is the paralysis of analysis. Striking the appropriate balance is what makes the six sigma Black Belt highly valuable.
During the improve step of the six sigma approach ideas and solutions are put to work. The six sigma Black Belt has discovered and validated all known root causes for the existing opportunity. The six sigma approach requires Black Belts to identify solutions. Few ideas or opportunities are so good that all are an instant success. As part of the six sigma approach there must be checks to assure that the desired results are being achieved. Some experiments and trials may be required in order to find the best solution. When making trials and experiments it is important that all project associates understand that these are trials and really are part of the six sigma approach.
Many people believe the best performance you can ever get from a process is at the very beginning. Over time there is an expectancy that slowly things will get a little worse until finally it is time for another major effort towards improvement. Contrasted with this is the Kaizen approach that seeks to make everything incrementally better on a continuous basis. The sum of all these incremental improvements can be quite large. As part of the six sigma approach performance tracking mechanisms and measurements are in place to assure, at a minimum, that the gains made in the project are not lost over a period of time. As part of the control step we encourage sharing with others in the
organization. With this the six sigma approach really starts to create phenomenal returns, ideas and projects in one part of the organization are translated in a very rapid fashion to implementation in another part of the organization.