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TQM: Towards Zero Defects

By: C. K. Karekatti


Success stories of QMS in automotive and electronic industries are well documented. Success of Indian
OEMs in automobile Component industry is largely attributed to TQM. However utility of these tools is often
questioned in apparel industry. Having worked as a key member in implementing TQM in apparel industry, I
am better placed to answer these anxieties. If low productivity, fire fighting, customer complaints, attrition,
are issues with your business, then your organization needs to either tighten the existing QMS or implement
one. In this paper an attempt is made to introduce and quantify practical utility of these tools in apparel

Are QMS Suitable for labour intensive industry like Textile and Apparel ?

The answer is abundantly yes. Operations heads in apparel industry often express their inability to
standardize the processes due to product variability, unpredictable market (fashion) trends etc. One of the
leading aerospace industry implementing TQM is an excellent example to refute these claims . The
company sources components from vendors located across the globe. It is subjected to far more market risk
compared to apparel industry, including design changes, interest rates, exchange rates, and commodity
prices. The company meets its delivery schedule where the cost of delay is catastrophic. Interestingly it is
not the process or product limitation but psychological factors that cause the reluctance among garment
professionals in implementing TQM.

History of QMS

In the early days quality was restricted to inspection. In the 1920’s statistical theory began to be applied
effectively to quality control. Work of Shewhart, Deming, Juran, Dodge and Romig lead the foundation of
statistical process control (SPC). In a paper given by Feigenbaum , the term “total quality” was used for the
first time, and referred to wider issues such as planning, organization and management responsibility.
Ishikawa gave a paper2 explaining how “total quality control” in Japan was different, it meaning, “company
wide quality control” and describing how all employees, from top management to the workers, must study
and participate in quality control.

QMS Defined

“A set of co-ordinated activities to direct and control an organization in order to continually improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of its performance.” 3

Each Quality management systems (TQM, ISO etc) and its elements (Statistical process control, (SPC),
Kaizen, Advance product quality planning and control (APQP), have a distinctive applicability. It is necessary
that the approach selected suits current and future needs of the organization. SPC works towards bringing
process under the influence of common causes alone by identifying & eliminating assignable causes. APQP
focuses mainly on new product development / project execution. ISO 9000 currently includes three quality
standards (ISO 9000:2005, ISO 9001:2000, and ISO 9004:2000). ISO 9001:2000 presents ISO's new quality
management system requirements, while ISO 9000:2005 and ISO 9004:2000

(Anon, Boeing knows lean,2002, [online], Available from (cited
March 2007.
(available from,
(Cited 19 March 2007))
(available from,
(cited 22 March 2007)
Present ISO's new quality management system guidelines. All of these are process standards & not product
standards and are developed by quality experts from around the world for use by companies that either want
to implement their own in-house quality systems or to ensure that suppliers have appropriate quality systems
in place.

Labour intensive industry like apparel can seize full benefit of QMS only if every individual (Operators and
Managers alike) contribute in its implementation. Going by my experience, the scale of employee
involvement brought by TQM, in achieving functional excellence (without the hassles of extensive
documentation), can hardly be matched by any other QMS.

What is TQM?

TQM Defined

TQM is a philosophy or approach to management that can be characterized by its principles, practices, and
techniques. Its three principles are customer focus, continuous improvement, and teamwork. Each principle
is implemented through a set of practices, which are simply activities such as collecting customer
information or analyzing processes. The practices are, in turn, supported by a wide array of techniques.
Dean and Bowen (1994)

Successful implementation of TQM requires commitment from top management. No QMS can bring
overnight improvements. It is sustained effort towards excellence at each level. Top management should
lead by example. This can be demonstrated by top management through active participation in TQM related
I have encountered managers who relate TQM with house keeping. TQM on the other hand is far wider in
concept. It aims to bring a cultural change in the way the organization works. TQM is managing the business
through knowledge based on facts rather than one’s hunch feeling or judgement drawn from experience.

How to implement TQM?

TQM is a Journey not destination. TQM aim’s at zero defects in each functional areas viz. operations,
quality, marketing, utility, service, etc. As shown in fig 1.0, as the organization progresses from 5- Standards
(5-S) - Daily Work Management (DWM)- -Six sigma for each functional area, the possibility of defect rate is
reduced to almost zero (3.4 Defects per million opportunities DPMO).

Following are the phases of TQM implementation

1) 5-S-(Sort, set in order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain)-Foundation Phase
2) DWM (Daily Work Management) -Sustenance Phase
a) Total Productive maintenance(TPM) -Maximize plant up time
b) Measurement system Analysis (MSA) -Instrument & system
3) Six Sigma- -Break through Improvement

Phase –I Foundation Phase-5-S

5-S Defined- Total work culture that develops organization’s ability to the fullest capacity to enhance
creativity and eliminate waste.

Conceptually 5-S is aimed at developing a work culture where by all employees including operators,
supervisors and managers participate in problem solving process.

Sort (1-S) - this is initiated by identifying the abnormalities at the work area. Abnormalities are highlighted by
unique identification tag also known as red tag. This ensures every employee participates in identifying the
abnormality in respective work area. It is observed that putting red tag improves awareness regarding the
abnormality, it also triggers a reaction among employees to think for ways for avoiding the reoccurrence of

Set in Order (2-s) - Efforts are then directed towards resolving the tags. Objective is to find permanent
solution to problem. Day to day quality related problems such as label mixing, trims mixing (thread, label
wrongly attached) can be completely eliminated through 5-S. Ideally stores should stack trims segregated
buyer wise, order wise etc with location marking done for each storage area. This will avoid the instances of
wrong trims being issued, even if storekeeping personnel are not available (eliminating human dependency).
Secondly segregation of trims on sewing floor/finishing floor size wise, color wise and sizes wise in specially
designed boxes, trays with location marked for each, will eliminate any possibility of trim mixing. Not only this
(implementing 5-s at stores) reduces the unproductive time (time lost in trims searching) at stores level, but
also helps in saving time and improving quality of immediate customers (Sewing Floor). At 2-S Stage (Set in
order) it is mandatory to define the inventory level at each stage, this not only applies to stores, but also to
sewing, finishing, washing and packing inventory. Defining and controlling WIP has shown marked reduction
in stains related rejections, apart from reduction in through put time. It is observed that one basic reason of
higher WIP is higher level of rework and alterations. With respect to WIP management aim should be to
move towards lean manufacturing with single piece flow. Replenishment of WIP/inventory should be Pull
driven rather than push driven.

Shine (3-s) –3-S ensures improved house keeping by planning, cleaning & Inspection schedules that
include floor (Brooming, mopping, vacuum), over headlamps, racks etc. The cleaning schedules should be
designed such that it should mention how, when, where, regarding the cleaning activity. It should state the
person responsible and accountable for implementing the schedules.

Standardize (4-s)-This refers to standardizing the departmental activities. Here the cleaning schedules,
master index (indicating location marked for hard and soft copies/registers), tool list (stating location and
quantity) are displayed on notice board. This way human dependency in accessing the records and
tools/equipment can be eliminated. Apart from this operational norms for each department are developed. It
includes list of incoming material for each department, its desired mode of packing /packaging, packing
details, desired mode of transportation of incoming material, material handling equipment for in house
movement etc. These requirements are forwarded to supplier as voice of customer. In addition inventory
level for each incoming item with storage locations is planned.

Generally waste (Shaping waste, Empty cones, Threads, Spring cones, polythene, Paper, bamboo etc) is
segregated at centralized scrap yard. However ideal method is to segregate the waste at source of
generation. To start with, waste can be categorized into organic (Thread, Fabric) and inorganic waste
(Polybags, plastic cones etc). Color-coding for dustbins should be done and training imparted to employees
to dispose the waste in right dustbin. Depending on the nature of waste generated by the activity, color
coded dustbin is provided at convenient location. Collection of waste from dustbin and disposal of waste to
scrap yard should be done by means of similarly colored carts. Method for recovering recyclable waste
should also be designed.

Sustain- (5-s): regular internal and external audits are scheduled to overcome the shortcoming. Time based
action plan with responsibility for resolving the abnormality is made.

As the departmental team matures in the problem solving methodology, it is elevated to form Quality circles.
Emphasis is to find permanent solution to problem at the work level itself, without elevating the problem to
higher level. Sooner the day today issues are resolved at Work area level and managers are free to think
regarding improvements. As a rule Managers should spend 80% of his time on improvements. Though the
picture is not quite rosy in the garment industry, where managers are busy fire fighting, the situation can be
improved through the implementation of Daily work management.

Phase –II Sustenance Phase- Daily Work management

How TQM view manufacturing processes

TQM defines manufacturing process as collection of activity.

For controlling the out put characteristic (Fy), 3 areas need to be defined

1) Set up instructions-This is a checklist indicating to do list during style change including precautions
to be taken for new style. This should include the machine requirement, attachments, changes in
machine settings for the new style etc. This should also include method of cleaning the line after
style change. Objective is to hand over the line complete in all respect at minimum possible time.
2) Operation instructions-These are work instructions/SOP for carrying out the job. Ex. standard
Operating Procedures (SOP) for sewing/Fusing etc, describing the best method of carrying out the
operation with quality requirements and target production rates. It should also specify the
recommended process parameters like, SPI, fusing temp, time etc.
3) Inspection checklist–checklist should be provided at each checkpoint viz. Fabric inspection,
spreading, cutting, line in, in line, end line, audit etc. It should state what to check, how, when
(frequency), how much (Sample size), tolerance, and abnormality handling procedures in case of

For any given process by controlling the input parameters (checklist for trim/cut part availability, quality
requirement etc) and standardizing the process parameters (work instructions, work standards, SOP,
inspection checklists, process audits), the output characteristic can be controlled. (Ref Fig 2.0)

Daily work management (DWM)-Defined

Consciously and consistently carryout all activities which must be performed daily (or regularly) to efficiently
achieve the aims of each department. In principle, these activities aim to maintain the current status,
although activities to improve the situation are also included.
As demonstrated in Fig 3.0 daily management aims at maintaining the current status, (ex. plans for
achieving targeted daily sewing out put). While policy management aims at achieving revised targets,
through policy decisions like capacity addition, technological up gradation, machine utilization etc. This can
be achieved only when each employee participates in improvement related activity. Ideally top management
should devote 80% of time on improvement-related activities, Middle management 50% and Operators 20%.
(Ref fig 4.0)

Stages for developing daily work management

As shown in table 1.0 first step is to objectively define parameters regarding purpose, deliverables etc for
each department. It may not be possible to detail each stage of DWM implementation, following is the broad
guideline for steps involved in DWM implementation.

Table 1.0 Stages of implementation of DWM


1 Define process, Clarity regarding function of the Dept, clearly
scope and defined boundaries, objectively defined
accountability deliverables in terms of PQCD S& M *

2 Define process Key performance Indicators (KPI) defined on the

goals - managing basis of internal/external customers requirements
points (KPI) and organizational goals (derived from PQCD
S&M*-Ex. Productivity, Rejections, Cost/SMV,
OTIF, Compliance, Attrition, Absenteeism etc)
3 In consultation with Understanding and quantifying current status,
the internal/external Performance levels (Baseline).
customers state the
current status.
4 Set targets for all Assigning targets based on customer requirements
managing points and business goals. It shows quality of

5 Define means to Set up action plan to bridge the gap between

achieve these actual against target KPI.
6 Develop Step by step activity chart, for each process
management defining work instructions, SOP, reference
systems chart standards & check points for each activity.

7 Define job To define responsibilities in order to carry out job

descriptions operations in a smooth manner.

8 Define/Deploy To minimize product and process variation. It

control points defines the process monitoring and control
methods to be used during regular production runs
to control characteristic.

9 Define operation To ensure the product meets the specifications by

standards controlling process parameters against standards.
Ex. Heat setting temperature, washing cycles. etc.

10 Review product To cater to changing customer requirements, bring

standards innovation, technological development and cater
market changes.
11 Review raw material Ensure input material Characteristic meet the
standards technological, process & quality requirements. To
review raw material standards for technological
changes, process changes, market changes,
expansions etc.
12 Review inspection To ensue standards are updated in accordance to
standards customer requirement and industry requirements
13 Define people skill Identify human skill/knowledge required to carry
requirements out manufacturing, production, inspection, activities
14 Assess people skill Human skill/knowledge available to carry out
matrix manufacturing, inspection, etc activities
16 Develop people Bridging the gap between the skill/knowledge
capability available and required for carrying out various
17 Assess compliance. Ensure compliance to set procedures, processes
through audits etc.
18 Take corrective and Make time bound action plan for abnormalities
preventive with responsibility clearly defined to bridge the
measures short comings
19 Make improvements Deploy the action plan and monitor the process for
20 Quality Control To ensure product quality at each process stage,
Process Chart (Focus is on check and Act. It is meant for
(QCPC) - also Supervisors and QA)
called Control Plan
21 Standard Operating For Simplifying work instructions, with sketches,
Procedure (SOP) - guidance, and supervision. Defines the best
Also called Work method for carrying out the job, Can help new
instructions workers in knowing the correct methods. (Focus is
on plan and Do). Preliminary meant for
22 FMEA (Failure It helps to identify all possible problems in the
mode effect process, the potential impact of each problem, and
analysis) how to deal with each problem. It collects
information in a systematic process and in a
specific format. It helps to find , RPN (risk priority
number), by finding ways the process can fail,
Severity of the failure, Causes of failure, controls to
prevent these failure.(Ref Table 3)

* Productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety & Moral

Identifying the Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators for each department are derived from the customer requirement (Internal and
external), and business goals. Following are few examples of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for garment
industry, Fabric consumption, Sewing Efficiency, Marker Efficiency, Work in process, absenteeism, attrition
rate, Over time, Internal Rejection, Rework, Standard Minute Value (SMV) improvement, Customer
complaints, power consumption, cost per SMV, lead time etc. It is better to graphically display KPI charts as
shown in Chart 1 & 2. Monthly review meetings should be conducted to access the performance against the
target & action plan made to bridge the gap between target and actual. KPI should be defined from top to
lowest levels for each departmental. This helps in assigning responsibility and accountability at each level.
Achieving KPI at each level, will ensure the process owners and ultimately business managers achieve their
KPI, and hence the organizational goals. As shown in fig. 5, to achieve each of his Managing point,
Production manager needs to manage control point pertaining to each KPI. In general, Control point of
Production manager becomes managing point of his subordinate and so forth. (Ref Fig 5 for further
understanding the relationship between managing and control points). Daily meetings are scheduled on floor
to discuss KPI (rejection rate, efficiency etc) against target for the day. Causes for non-conformance like
non-availability of cut parts, trims, shortage of required skill set etc. are analyzed to find the root cause of the
problem and corrective actions planned to avoid them in future. Causes identified from root cause analysis
are used to update and revise work instructions or checklists/checkpoints to avoid their reoccurrence.

Concept of Process Ownership

I often come across process owners, who blame operators for low productivity, rejections etc. What they fail
to understand is the concept of process ownership.

Before describing process ownership, it is necessary to understand what a process is? In general, a process
uses resources to transform inputs into outputs. In every case, inputs are turned into outputs because some
kind of work, activity, or function is carried out. Processes can be administrative, industrial, chemical,
mechanical, electrical, and so on. Following are some Ex of processes purchasing process, Production
process, Product design process, Document control process. Internal audit process, planning process,
Training process etc. The authority responsible and accountable for the achieving deliverables of the
process is a process owner.
It will be interesting to know that the operators are responsible for not more than 6% of abnormalities. I
substantiate this by Deming’s (Plan, Do, Check Act) PDCA cycle (Ref. fig.6.0). For any process managers
carry out the PLAN (planning, scheduling, prioritizing, target setting, etc), CHECK (setting control points,
standards, monitoring procedures etc) and ACT (making corrections, & corrective action on abnormalities)
function. This contributes to 75% of the PDCA cycle (3 quarters of circles). The Do function again has its
own PDCA cycle, leaving only ACT (What operator actually does) function with the operators. This leaves
94% of task with managers and 6% with operators (One quarter contributes to 25% of the entire PDCA
cycle, the Act function in the smaller PDCA cycle again contributes to 25%, that gives 25% of a quarter
contributing to 6.25%. How many managers are aware that the operators are legitimate customers for
receiving correct work instructions regarding-what to do, how to do, when to do, what to check, when to
check, against what standards to check, acceptable tolerances etc? How much effort has gone into training
the employees on the same? I have seen organizations putting lot of efforts in reducing waste. However
waste reduction is largely restricted to blue collar waste (Process waste), hardly any efforts are made to
quantify white-collar waste. (Poor planning, poor coordination etc).

As a process owner, managers are entirely responsible for deliverables of his process. His prime focus
should be designing a f00l proof process, (by developing process control charts, process standards,
checkpoints, work instructions etc), that will produce the right product first time. He needs to identify
potential bottlenecks & facilitate the team in finding permanent solutions to the problems. Further he should
identify training needs of his team and train them on the same.

PDCA-Plan Do Check Act

Total productive maintenance

The basic purpose of TPM is to increase plant and machine uptime. It is implemented in 3 phases,
1) Autonomous maintenance.
2) Preventive maintenance
3) Predictive maintenance.

Maintenance engineers often complain regarding machine being tampered by operators owing to various
reasons. The purpose of autonomous maintenance is to install a sense of machine ownership among the
operators. Operator fills up a general check sheet, at the start and end of the shift to ensure that the
machine is received in OK condition. The operator as per the checklist carries out basic machine cleaning,
inspect Oil level, needle number, abnormal vibrations, SPI. Skip stitches etc. This ensures that the output is
right first time, every time. Preventive maintenance is planned periodic maintenance derived from manuals
and past experience. Machine history cards are maintained to identify root causes of recurring breakdown.
Based on the analysis of history card, preventive maintenance checklist is modified to suit the in house
working conditions (Temp. /humidity, etc). Key performance indicators for Maintenance can be Mean time to
repair (MTTR), mean time between breakdowns (MTBB), and plant up time. Utility department should
include humidifiers, trolleys, stackers, machine lifters etc in preventive maintenance schedule. Trolleys being
dragged with non-functioning /noisy wheels is a common sight in many factories. This can be avoided by
including them in preventive maintenance schedule.

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of overall capacity utilization of particular equipment.
OEE takes into consideration two factors,
1) Availability: how much time the equipment can be potentially operational after considering the down
2) Performance efficiency: the machine’s actual throughput time when it is operating compared to its
designed maximum capacity

Ex OEE= Availability x performance Efficiency (Target OEE is 100%)

OEE analysis can bring forward many factors where by considerable improvements can be brought like,
unnecessary equipment breakdown, high Set up time (ex style change necessitating M/C change),
stoppages for lack of raw materials/trims, operation below maximum design speed due to poor operating
efficiency, maintenance constrains, defects that required reprocessing etc.

Tracking OEE is helpful in identifying bottlenecks, for making capital investment decisions, monitoring the
effectiveness of programme and to increase machine productivity.

MSA: Measurement system analysis

The output characteristics of any running process show some variation. These variations are mainly due to
two causes, firstly because there are variation in any process, and secondly there are variations in any
measurement system. If the variation is due to process it is necessary to use statistical tools such as, root
cause analysis, brain storming etc to identify the root cause of the variation. SPC analysis can then be used
to find if the variations are normal to the process. But before doing SPC analysis, it is necessary to find the
extent of variations caused by measurement system. Measurement system errors are due to accuracy and
precision. Accuracy refers to the difference between recorded measurement and actual values of the parts
measured. Precision refers to the variation in measurement when a device is used to measure the same part
repeatedly. Concept of accuracy consists of 3 components –stability (it is the freedom from special cause
variation over time), Bias (it is the influence of any factor that causes the sample data to appear different
from what it actually is), and linearity (it is the statistical consistency in measurement over the full range of
expected values). Concept of precision consists of 2 component reproducibility (it is the variation due to
measurement system. It is the variation when different operator measures different parts using the same
device), and repeatability (it is the variation due to the measuring device when the same operator measures
the same part with the same device repeatedly.

MSA ensures that the testing method and instruments (physical/ optical/ etc) are calibrated and work at
defined level of accuracy and precision. This is preliminary required to ensure that all members in the supply
chain (internal and external customers) speak a common language. In apparel Industry fabric GSM testing,
Spectrophotometer (Shade testing), shrinkage testing, spirality testing, Cover factor testing, meterage, etc
are areas where MSA needs to be carried out. Garment industry is a peculiar example where inspection and
re inspection has become integral part of process flow. For example Fabric shade testing, this inspection is
done at fabric dyeing, processing, & finished fabric inspection, followed by fabric inspection at garmenting
stage, in line inspection, end line and final audit. In spite of all the check points there are numerous
instances of rejection due to shade variations at garment audit stage. This clearly demonstrates that testing
methods/instruments are not standardized and calibrated to give reproducibility and reliability at each stage.
Ideally there should be only single inspection (preferably at source of production), eliminating all-subsequent
inspections. Every inspection is non-value-added activity for which the customer does not pay. Process has
to be standardized to produce right quality first time, every time. How ever this cannot be achieved unless
the inspection system and instruments are calibrated through MSA.
Six Sigma – Break Through Improvements

Six sigma defined: Six sigma is a statistical measure of performance of a process or a product. It anticipates
that some defects are bound to happen but at 3.4 defects per million opportunities, the probability of defects
is almost negligible.

Six sigma is a systematic methodology for breakthrough improvements. It starts with identifying the causes
of variation in the process, and then eliminating that variation to minimize that defect. Six-sigma
methodology uses numerous statistical and problem solving tools. At six-sigma level the possibility of defect
is reduced to 3.4 DPMO, (≅ Zero). Though no published data of sigma level of for apparel industry is
available, majority of them operate at a sigma level of 1.5 to 2.5 σ. For apparel Industry, it is recommended
to initiate six sigma program with a “project-based approach” rather than business transformation approach.
This will help to concentrate the efforts on the selected areas of business importance. Top management at
the level of CEO should select the project based on business goals, and customer requirement. It is
recommended that the organization have sustained improvements in 5-S and DWM before initiating six-
sigma project. Due to interdependency of activities in the apparel industry, it is better to form cross-functional
team with team members drawn from each working area of the selected project. The six-sigma methodology
is so comprehensive, that scientific tools for improving and sustaining the improvements are built in the

TQM & Six-sigma approach relies on data. I have seen many quality checkers filling the inspection sheets
after the shift hours. Analysis and corrective action based on unauthentic data will not yield favorable results.
Secondly team members at all levels should play active role in problem solving. Tools such as Supplier Input
Process Out Put Customer (SIPOC-Ref table 2) can go long way in standardizing the input and process
parameters. Systematic analyses of potential failure modes by Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) will
eliminate/reduce contingencies (Ref Table 3). Tools such as FMEA helps to study all possible problems in a
process, the potential impact of each problem, and how to deal with each problem. In short it is a method for
mistake proofing the process against potential failure mode. It may not be possible to enlist entire scope of
Six sigma Process, only a brief steps in implementing six-sigma project are listed (Ref Table 4.0.) Pls. note
that the templates of KPI, SIPOC, FMEA are meant to serve as examples and are based on hypothetical

Does TQM kill creativity/innovation?

In fact TQM encourages and promotes innovation. TQM works on the premise of continues improvement. It
encourages identifying bottleneck areas, catching Voice of customer, planning for improvement, identifying
training needs for the new method and preparing time bound action plan for execution. Companies
employing TQM are not worried of competition adapting/imitating their systems/policies, since the theory of
continuous improvement ensures that the current methods/processes/are revised and improved constantly.

Conclusive statement

Manufacturing companies have redefined quality standards by implementing TQM. It is now for the apparel
industry to aim for zero defects. We wish them all the best.
Quality has to be caused & not controlled …Philips Crosby.

(available from (cited on 18 Feb 2007))
Table 4.0 Stages for Six sigma project implementation

SN Activity Purpose Tools Used

Define Objectively define project title with
Phase quantifiable goals and time frame for
1 completion. (Ex. To reduce sewing rework
from 5% to 2% by 19th Aug 2005.
Select champion (Strategic team leader)
& identify the process owner. Create
project charter.

1.a Team Select team. Ideal size of the team is 5-6

Selection members. Cross-functional team is
necessary. Green Belt is the tactical team
leader. Black belt work full time on six-
sigma project .It is expected that the
green belt devote 25% of time on the
project. He is an employee who has
experience and who knows the process.
Other members can be employees who
are working in the selected process.
Problem Quantify the problem, objectively
statement specifically and concisely.
1. b It should also provide base line, set
improvement goals, indicate approach for
resolving the problem with time frame,
benefits and financial savings.
1.c Purpose is to identify and quantify all the
Business potential benefits of committing time and
case other resources.
To modify the problematic processes.
1.d Project To define the boundaries within which the Pareto Chart, to
scope six-sigma team works. Project scope decide how
should have sharp start and end point much it can
Black belt & champion with the help of handle with the
Master Black Belt decide what the team project (Ref fig
should be doing and what it should not be 7.)
1.e Training Should start as soon as charter is Tool &
approved. It should be techniques that
Provided as needed and just in time for are required for
the steps outlined in the plan. the steps
Initially training should be provided by planned for that
Master black belt along with specific project.
implementation partner.
1.f Project To define Steps, deliverables, and goals
plan for five phases (DMAIC). Plan should
include check sheet for tools from six-
sigma kit to be used for each task.
It should also include communication
plan. Regarding what, who, when whom,
how where, and why to communicate.
1.g Identify Voice of customer is quantified to find CTQ tree,
Critical to CTQ based on customer’s requirements. Cause & effect
quality Make cause and effect matrix to link matrix
customers CTQ to process input and
identify area of focus for failure modes &
effect analysis for initial factors for design
of experiment.
1.h Critical to To convert the data collected from House of
process CTQ/Customer requirement into form quality (matrix
suitable to be used as process input. used to convert
Voice of
customers into
Voice of
1.i SIPOC SIPOC (Supplier Input process out put
with customer) is matrix aimed at
indicators Identifying all process input (with source),
process (with sub processes),
& Out put (with customers), each
parameter showing the indicator of
Quality requirement. (Ref Table 3)
1.j Top down This details the process (Process mapped
chart between project start & end point) further
to activity level.
1.k FDM Here order of the steps and contents of
(Function job is described. This is mapped for
Deployme project start and end point.
nt map) Identify the role and relation of own job
against other department by step.
The related departments of each step of
own job is described.
1.l Quick win Parameter (Xs) that will bring Process walk
analysis improvements in output Ys are identified through
These are parameters that are very much Brain storming
evident to bring improvement & do not Quick win
require design of experiment, data selection and
gathering or data analysis. implementation
Selected Quick wins should be cheap, matrix.
easy, fast and reversible to implement.
2. Measure Objective is to ensure that the data that is Measurement
phase being used for the project is validated system analysis
using specific tools. (MSA)
Purpose of this phase is to define one or Process
more CTQ characteristic, map the mapping
process in details, evaluate measurement YX diagrams
system, access the current level of FMEA
process performance to establish the Capability
baseline capability, find the short and long Analysis,
term process sigma capabilities and
quantify problem.
2.a Process It is statistical measure of the ability of a
capability process to produce output that Meets the
( CP & customer’s specifications. It is measured
CPK) by finding Capability indices CP and
CPK. CP tells us how nearly we can
repeat Product characteristic. CPK in
addition also tells how close the average
Value is to the target value.
3 Analysis Histogram,
Phase The purpose of analyze phase is to Box Plots, Dot
evaluate and reduce the variables, using Plots, interval
graphical analysis and hypothesis testing Plots, Scatter
and to identify the vital few factors in Plots,
order to identify the root cause of the Regression,
defect. The team members examine the time series
processes that affect the CTQs and plots,
decide which X factors are vital few that Multivariate
must be controlled to result in desired analysis,
improvement in Ys. hypothesis
Analysis of

3.a Qualitative All process stages in FDM are analyzed

analysis for value adding and non value adding
activities .

All non-value adding activities should be

critically analyzed for elimination/
4. Improve The team is ready to develop, test, and Correlation &
phase implement solution to improve the regression
process by reducing the variation in the analysis, DOE
critical out put variables caused by vital Planning,
few input variables. Both full
factorial and
Team members generate ideas for Fractional
improving the process, analyze and factorial
Evaluate those ideas, select and test the
best possible solution, plan & implement
the solution, and then validate the
results with data & statistical analysis.
4.a Six hat Objective is to arrive at potential solution
thinking to problem while taking into account
capability, resources, risks etc.
Each team member virtually wear
different color hat, each hat signifies
particular behavior. (Red-initiative, white-
informative, yellow- constructive, blue
reflective, green–creative, black
5. Control Objective is to establish the required Control charts.
phase action plan that reflects the finding from Operational
the improve phase and to drive controls standards
to sustain the improved performance. Control plan
The new process conditions are has 5 elements
documented and then monitored via 1. Training
statistical process control methods. plan,
Developing operational standards. 2.
These can be work instructions, SOP Documentation
derived from the improve phase. plan,
Mistake proofing (Poka-yoke), the 3. Monitoring
methodology involves, complete plan,
understanding of the cause and effect Response
relationship and identification of the plan,
simplest relationship that can be applied Institutionali
to eliminate that particular error in future. zation
6. Sigma Calculate the sigma level after all
Level controls are in place.
7. Final FDM The outcome of the control & improve
phase may make it necessary to
change/eliminate certain
process/activities these are updated in
8. Final FMEA Revise FMEA as per the new Function
deployment map to find out RPN.
9. (MSC) Work standards and managing points
Manageme derived from improve and control phases
nt system are included in the revised FDM.
10. Abnormality It shows set of procedure in case of 5 why analysis,
handling deviation wrt. Quality, productivity, etc. Root cause
report Basically meant to identify root cause of analysis
abnormality/deviation. Brain Storming
The output of 5-Why analysis and root
cause analysis should either go as
check point in MSC or form ref standard
(SOP), to prevent the reoccurring of
similar kind of abnormality.

Table 4.0 Stages for Six sigma project implementation. Contd.


Dean J W and Bowen D E., 1994, Management Theory and Total Quality: Improving Research and Practice
through Theory Development, The Academy of Management Review 19, (3) PP 392-418.

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