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New product development process May 25, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Design for Six Sigma.

Tags: Product Development
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Six Sigma advocates a 5 stage process for new product development. The complete NPD process

includes the following stages:

1. Concept Study. This is done to uncover unknowns about the market and technology.
2. Feasibility investigations are done to determine the limitations of the concept.
3. Development of new product includes specifications, needs of customer, study of target
markets etc.
4. Maintenance activities following delivery.
5. Continous learning through status reports and evaluation.

Formula for creating winning products May 25, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Design for Six Sigma.
Tags: Product Development
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According to a old (1993) study, new products account for 40% of sales and 46% of profits. For every 7

to 11 new product ideas, only 1 becomes a successful product according to a study.

Here are some of the factors for creating winning products.

• Unique, superior product. Product should have value for customer

• Strong market orientation. Understanding for customers needs and wants.
• Predevelopment work. Up front activities like market analysis, technical assessment are vital
before development starts.
• Good product definition. Product and project should be completely defined before development
• Quality of execution through out the development process.
• Team effort including research & development, marketing, sales and operations.
• Proper project selection to provide adequate resources for good projects. Poor projects must
be killed.
• Good product launch ensures success.
• Top management leadership plays a vital role in product development process. They must
provide strategy, resources and leadership.
• Speed to market.
• Strong, established new product process to screen new products
• Attractive market makes it easier to have a successful project

Metrics Management May 12, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Service Delivery, Six Sigma.
Tags: Metrics Management, Solution Delivery

Benchmarking and analysis of KPI’s against best practices is critical to the success of any internal

service delivery organization. Almost every other organization has some sort of KPI’s of some sort in
place to measure and monitor performance. Metrics management is also key skills to successful

Solution Delivery role.

Six Sigma advocates three levels of metrics: business level metrics, operations level metrics and

process metrics. Some of the metrics Six Sigma suggests are here.

Business Level Metrics

These metrics are typically financial and operational summaries for shareholders and management.

Balanced scorecards is widely used for business level metrics. IT can be viewed either as a cost center

or a profit center in companies. Based on this financial management for solution delivery is responsible


• Estimating costs of projects accurately working with vendors, where necessary

• Costs of providing services and undertaking projects fall withing approved budgets
• Tracking expenses against allocated budgets
• Helping Senior Management understand the total cost of completing an initiative
• Plan IT costs for maintaining and improving ongoing services
• Charge back IT investments to business units, where applicable

Operations Level Metrics

These relate to cost, time and resource to produce products and maintain services. Examples specific

to IT include:

• Resource utilization metrics

• SLA Metrics
• Capacity Metrics
• Availably Metrics
• Service Continuity Metrics

Process Metrics

These are detailed metrics form process level. Examples include

• Agility in responding to a change

• Reduce total released defects, Total Containment Effectiveness (TCE)
• Fix defects closer to origin, Phase Containment Effectiveness (PCE)
• Compare implementations within company, Function Point Defects per KLOC
• Benchmark with other companies, Six Sigma that tracks Defects per Million Opportunities

Six Sigma Introduction and Goals May 11, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma goals.
Tags: CSSGB Blog, Passing Six Sigma Green belt, Six Sigma Basics
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I will attempt to introduce Six Sigma and various training programs available to get trained on Six

Sigma with a series of simple Q&A’s. Refer to my post for additional information on Six Sigma


What is Six Sigma ?

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that focusses on producing and delivering near perfect

products and services. Its a business improvement approach that seeks to find and eliminate causes of

mistakes or defects in business processes.

Six Sigma measures defects in million ‘opportunities’ and assigns ‘levels’. There are six such levels. An

organizations is said to be at 6 sigma level if it has 3.4 defects per million opportunities. This is the

highest level an organization can attain. Average American company is at 4 sigma level. That is

equivalent to 6,210 defects per million opportunities.

The six sigma steps for many organizations are described as DMAIC:

Define: Select responses/processes to be improved

Measure: Gather data to measure the process/response

Analyze: Identify the root causes for defects

Improve: Eliminate the cause

Control: Monitor the process/response to sustain improvements

Who developed it?

Motorola developed Six Sigma in 1987. Dr Mikel Harry is credited with the development of Six Sigma in


Does Six Sigma really work ?

Short answer is; yes it does !!. Here are some reported facts on how Six Sigma made a difference in

big corporations:

• Six Sigma is believed to have saved Morotola $940 million over 3 years.
• HoneyWell reported a estimated saving of $1.75 billion in year 1997
• GE reported a saving of $1.75 billion in 1998 and a accumulated savings of $2.5 billion in
Why does Six Sigma work ?

• Typically short project times (6-9) months

• It forces Senior Management involvement
• Clear definition of success and its measurement
• Defined processes for training individuals. (Green belts, black belts etc)

Who is using Six Sigma ? (Just to name a few..)

• Morotola (Not surprisingly)

• GE
• Sony
• Toshiba
• Johnson and Johnson

Does getting trained in Six Sigma make sense ?

An average black/green belt will save a company about $175k, if there are around 5 to 6 projects per

year. In big corp’s there is about one black belt per 100 employees. So plenty of opportunities there..

Which level of training is right for me ?

Everyone- Orientation Training

Green belt candidates – Green belt training

Supervisors – Overview

Black Belt candidates – Black belt training

Management – Executive training

Master black belts – Master black belt training

Senior management – Sponsorship training

When is it a good time to implement a improvement program like Six Sigma ?

When times are good and when times are bad. When times are bad, focus is on survival. At the same

time its important to realize that a company cannot loose money because of poor quality, especially at

bad times. When times are good, resources are typically dedicated to take advantage of the

opportunity.Improvement projects are typically last on list.However customers are not likely to to

repeat business with a company known for quality issues.

When is a company ready for Six Sigma ?

If performance of a company is low, its better to concentrate on basics. Apply cost management

techniques and engage with customer. When the performance is OK, set goals and monitor them.

Simplify processes. When performance is high, benchmark with other firms, develop and communicate

strategic plans and strive to continously improve.

What does Six Sigma measure ?

Six Sigma advocates a holistic view on metrics. After the metrics are established, project teams must

work to implementing them.

What should be a first project to implement Six Sigma ?

• Should be simple but not trivial

• Should last around 3-4 months
• Reasonable time and resource constraints
• Problem should be clearly defined
• Problem should be measurable

Six Sigma Certification May 11, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: CSSGB Blog, Passing Six Sigma Green belt, Six Sigma Green Belt
1 comment so far

I recently successfully completed my Six Sigma green belt certification (CSSGB) administered by ASQ.

While I did blog about some of the tools and techniques of Six Sigma in the past, I decided to do more

to help out any one aspiring to be a Six Sigma green belt. This and a next few posts are my attempts

to provide a comprehensive overview to anyone attempting the Six Sigma Green belt exam or to

anyone just simply trying to learn more about basics of Six Sigma.

The test is divided into 10 modules. Following are the topics in the exam with the % weight for the

topic in exam.

1. Six sigma goals 5%

2. Lean and DFSS 10%
3. Define – Teams & Customer 10%
4. Define – Tools, Projects and Results 15%
5. Measure – Data & Process Analysis 12%
6. Measure – Probability 10%
7. Measure – Capability & Measurement 8%
8. Analyze – 15%
9. Improvement Techniques – 7%
10. Control – 8%

(As I blog about these topics, I will edit this post to add the links)
CSSGB Primer is a must have reference to attempt this exam. This is the only book/material I reviewed

to prepare for the exam in addition attending a course at my local community college.

I swear by mindmapping technique. I used mind maps successfully to prepare for my PRINCE2


I repeated the technique for this certification too and here is the mindmap I created.

CSSGB Mindmap April 21, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Mindmap, Six Sigma Green Belt

Here is a good mindmap I created while preparing for my Six Sigma Green belt certification. This map

was created using Mindomo.

Descriptive Statistics October 7, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma Measure Phase.
Tags: Statistics
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Types are

• Central tendency
• Dispersion
• Probability Density
• Frequency Distribution
• Cumulative Distribution

Central Tendency:

Measures the central value of a collection of data.

Three measures are mean,mode and median.

1. Mean: Sum of all divided by number of data points

2. Mode: Most frequently occurring number in the data set
3. Median: Middle value when data is arranges in ascending order or descending order

Measures of dispersion

Uses to describe the spread or dispersion.

Four measures are range, variance standard deviation & COV

1. Range: Difference between largest and smallest values

2. Variance
3. Standard Deviation
4. Coefficient of Variation

Probabilty Density

Describes behavior of random variable.

Data Analysis October 7, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma Measure Phase.
Tags: Data
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Types of data:

1. Attribute data : Integers, discrete, less complex skill levels, less storage, less desirable
o E.g:Defects, scratches etc
2. Variable data: Real numbers, continuous, more complex skill levels, more storage, more
o E.g: Inches, PSI, Total scratch length etc
3. Locational data

Measurement scales (In increasing scale of desirability) :

• Nominal : No ordering possible

• Ordinal: Data is arranged in order but meaningless order
• Interval: Data is in order and differences can be found. But no starting or end points.
• Ratio: Has starting and end point.

Data collection methods

• Automatic
• Manual

Data coding:
• Add, Subtract, Multiply coding
• Coding by substitution
• Coding by truncation

Relational Matrices October 7, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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This tool can aid with the prioritisation of key process input variables.

• Key process output variables are listed horizontally

• Key process input variables are listed vertically.
• For each output variable, assign a priority number
• Within the matrix a number is entered for the effect that each input variable has on the output
• Multiply the process output priority by effect value
• Sum the results from above step

This shows which of the input variables have greatest effect on output variables.

SIPOC October 7, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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It enables all team members to view the process in the same light.

Advantages are:

1. Display of cross-functional activities in a single, simple diagram

2. Big picture perspective with scope to add details
3. Framework applicable to either large organizations or smaller processes

Steps for creating a SIPOC:

1. Create a process map

2. List outputs of process
3. List customers of outputs
4. List inputs of process
5. List suppliers of process

FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis October 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: FMEA, Six Sigma Tools
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FMEA is a technique for elimination of any type of failure in products or services.

FMEA is defined as a group of activities to

• Recognize and evaluate the potential failure of a product/process and effects of that failure
• Identify the actions that eliminate or reduce the failure
• Document the entire process

FMEA’s are used for new designs and technologies and modification for existing process or design. It

can be used in conjunction with Pareto Analysis, which is used to prioritize potential failure modes.

Steps for FMEA are:

• Decide on process
• Study process
• Identify potential failure modes
• Rate severity, occurance and detection levels
• Compute risk priority number and prioritize (RPN)
• Implement corrective actions and re-evaluate RPN”s
• Update the table


1. Improved product/service functions

2. Lowered warranty costs
3. Reduced manufacturing problems
4. Increased customer satisfaction

Types of FMEA:

• System: Deals with systems, sub-systems and components

• Design: DFMEA will reduce risk of failures. Focus is on failures caused by design deficiencies.
• Process: PFMEA focuses on manufacturing and assembly process.
• Service FMEA: Investigate services before they reach customer. Covers financial, legal, health-
care industries etc. Heath care has its own customized version.

QFD October 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: QFD, Six Sigma Tools
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QFD transforms customer needs (the voice of the customer) into engineering characteristics (and

appropriate test methods) of a product or service, prioritizing each product/service characteristic while

simultaneously setting development targets for product or service development

Also referred as “Voice of Customer” or “House of Quality”. Its a group decision making technique

used in product or service development.

Organizational readiness to deploy DFSS October 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DFSS
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The following steps help determine organizations readiness to deploy DFSS:

• Monitor Sigma levels

• Written schedule of prioritized project ideas
• Remain aware of marketplace changes
• Gauge the organizations capability for success with DFSS

DMADV October 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DFSS, DMADV, Product Development
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Its a five step process for Six Sigma design for new products. Its useful when product or process is not

in existence and one needs to be developed.

1. Design : Define project goals and deliverables

2. Measure : Measure customer needs and specifications
3. Analyze : Analyze process options to meet customer needs.
4. Design : Develop process details to meet customer needs
5. Verify: Verify the design performance and ability to meet customer needs.

IDOV October 3, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DFSS, IDOV, Product Development
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With DMAIC the six sigma analyst takes an existing process and follows a series of steps to improve its

current state.

IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize and Validate) quantifies the steps necessary to achieve six sigma

quality in new products and processes.

Four step IDOV Model:

• Identify: Overall product requirements are identified. Quantified customer information
(customer feedback) becomes first set for CTQ. Technical requirements, performance targets
and specifications (Use a team charter, QFD, FMEA and Benchmarking)
• Design:Overall layout and geometry of product is developed. Tools used typically are
o DOE (Design of Experiments)
o PQS (Product Quality Scorecards) are defined
o Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
o Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
o Statistical Inference (ANOVA)
• Optimize: Capability analysis for each component and sub-component.
• Validate: Test and validate the design.

Types of new products October 3, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Design for Six Sigma.
Tags: Product Development
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In the area of new product development, here are some commonly accepted new product terms

1. New-to-world products : These are inventions and discoveries such as laser printers etc.
2. New category products : These are products that are not new to the world, but to the
3. Additions to product lines : These are extensions to the company’s existing product line like
diet coke.
4. Product improvements : Improvements to existing products.
5. Repositioning’ s : Products that are re targeted for new use. Baking soda as a deodorant
6. Cost Reductions: New products replacing exisitng one’s, with lower cost.

Theory Of Constraints October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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Process of removing bottlenecks that limit production or throughput.

TOC Concepts

1. Resources are bottlenecks

2. Balance the flow thru a plant
3. Bottleneck will restrain the entire throughput

Steps of TOC

1. Identify System constraints

2. Decide how to exploit systems constraints
3. Looks for ways to reduce effects of constraints
4. Elevate systems constraints
5. Back to step 1

Kaizen October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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Stands for Kai ~ change and Zen ~ good. It accomplishes improvements at little or no expense without

purchase of expensive equipment. It involves

1. Management maintains and improves operating conditions

2. Progress improvement is key
3. PDCA is used
4. Quality is highest priority
5. Problems are solved with hard data

TPM October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) promotes group actives for greater euipment effectiveness with

operators sharing responsibility for routine machine inspection, cleaning and maintenenace.

It aims to stem 6 big losses that contribute negatively to equipment effectiveness:

1. Equipment Failure
2. Setup and adjustments
3. Idling and minor stoppages
4. Reduced speed
5. Process defects
6. Reduced yields

Kanban October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Tools
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Kanban is “Sign” in Japaneese. It originates from Toyota. It provides for material control for the factory


Kanban is intended to provide a product to customer with shortest possible lead time. Inventory and

lead times are reduced thru leveling of production. Kanban’s are generally cards to provide some

indication of parts, time of delivery etc. Cards control flow of production and inventory.

Kanban is not suited for one-of-a-kind production operations.

October 1, 2007
Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
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Takt time= Available Production time / Rate of customer demand

Balanced Scorecard October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Metrics Management, Six Sigma Tools
Balanced scorecard is a system that translates a company’s vision and strategy to meaningful

measures. Balanced scorecard focuses company’s attention on four perspectives of vision and


1. Financial : How will we appear to shareholders ? ~ ROI, Cash Flow, Sales backlog
2. Internal Business Process: What business process should we excel at ? ~ Reduce Rework,
Cycle time, Setup times
3. Learning and growth: How will we sustain our ability to change and improve ? ~Employee
surveys, Employee suggestions, training budgets.
4. Customers: How should we appear to our customers ? ~ Customer surveys, complaints logged,
Market Share.

Steps for building a balanced scorecard are:

• Gather information for scorecard through interviews with senior management

• Prepare a rough draft and refine with other levels of management
• Develop vision, objectives and measures for the scorecard
• Develop an implementation plan
• Review balanced scorecard periodically

Six Sigma Metrics October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Metrics Management, Six Sigma Goals

Organizational performance goals and metrics:


• Stockholder value
• Capital investments
• Personnel costs
• Sales
• Profit Margins

Cycle Times:

• Existing cycle times

• Internal Benchmarks
• External Benchmarks
• Reduction in cycle times

Marketplace Response:

• Market Survey
• Analysis of returns
• New product development
• Customer retention
• Customer Losses
• Facilities Rating


• Cost of poor quality

• Variation reduction
• Percent defects
• Process capability studies
• ROI Projects
• Number of improvement projects

Metrics Do and Don’t's:

• “Vital Few” : No more than 20 business level metrics

• Metrics should have past,present and future
• Metrics should be linked to meet needs of shareholders, customers and strategies
• Business level metrics to link to shareholder needs
• Operational level metrics to link to operations needs
• Process level metrics to link to employee needs
• Metrics should be consistent across the organization
• Metrics should evolve with strategy
• Metrics should have targets or goals

When is a company ready for Six Sigma ? October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Basics
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Ernst & Young measured 500 companies in 1992, on three categories: Profitability, Productivity &

Quality. They concluded that Six Sigma approach achieves best results if implemented by high-

performance organizations. Medium and Low performance companies should consider some building

block steps first.

• Low Performance: Concentrate on basics, Problem Solving, Cost Mgmt, Customer innovation
• Medium Performance : Set goals & monitor, Process simplification, Department improvement
teams, involve middle management.
• High Performance: Benchmark against other firms, empower employees, Communicate
strategic plans, continuously improve.

Six Sigma may not be right if:

• Company has strong process improvement efforts in place

• Current changes are overwhelming company people and resources
• Potential gains are not sufficient to finance investment to support Six Sigma.

Six Sigma Goals October 1, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Basics
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Average American company is at level four of six sigma. This is equivalent to 0.6% defective or 6.210

defects per million.

Six sigma can be defined as “Business improvement approach that seeks to find and eliminate causes

of mistakes or defects in business processes by focusing on outputs that are of critical importance to


In Six Sigma, failure rate is defined as defects per opportunity (DPO) or Defects per million

opportunities (DPM).

Defect Levels:

• 6 Sigma 3.4 ppm

• 5 Sigma 233 ppm
• 4 Sigma 6,210 ppm

Six Sigma strategy should consist of the following eight elements:

• R Recognize true state of business

• D Define what plans are in place to realize improvement of each state
• M Measure the business systems that support the plans
• A Analyse the gaps in system performance benchmarks
• I Improve system
• C Control system-level chars
• S Standardize the systems
• I Integrate systems

Business successes from Six Sigma:

1. Cost reductions
2. Market-share growth
3. Defect reductions
4. Culture changes
5. Productivity improvements
6. Customer relations imporvements
7. Product & service improvements
8. Cycle-time reductions

Motorola credits Six-Sigma to savings of $940 M over 3 years. It discovered a 10 to 1 payback for Six

Sigma training investments.

Levels of training required:

1. Sr Mgmt : Sponsorship Training

2. Master Black Belt: Black Belt training
3. Management : Executive Training
4. Supervisors: Overview
5. Everyone: Six Sigma Orientation
6. Green Belts: Green Belt Training.

Root cause analysis techniques September 28, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DMAIC, Problem Solving, Six Sigma Tools

5 Why Technique

Simplest technique to indentify the root cause of a problem. You ask “Why ?” for 5 times (can vary) to

get to the bottom of a problem. When you have answer to a question, you can frame the answer into

another “Why” Question. Its one of the most simplest techniques to identify a root for a problem. For

this technique to work, questions should be concise and focussed. Its effective for solving problems

involving human factors.

Fish Bone Analysis (Ishikawa Diagram)

Can be used when you have a complex problem having multiple causes and when you need to

brainstorm to identify possible causes. First step is to frame a Why question stating the problem and

place it at the head. Draw a horizontal line leading to the head and vertical lines leading to the main

line. Label vertical lines with categories or departments where the problem may have originated.

Some standard categories for service industries are : Policies, procedures, people and strategies.

Three steps to complete a fishbone are:

1. Brainstorming
2. Prioritizing
3. Action plans

4M version of the plan has Manpower, Material, Method, Machine. 5M and E has measurement and

Environment exra.

Critical To Quality (CTQ) September 28, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DMAIC, Six Sigma Tools
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CTQ focuses on key metrics of customer satisfaction. Success or failure of a product depends on the

ability of a company to identify CTQ’s and translate them into product specifications. Typically used to

baseline existing products.

Development of CTQ tree involves the following steps:

1. Identify the customer E.g: Customer at fast food chain
2. Identify Customers needs E.g: Customer is hungry and orders food
3. Identify basic requirements of the customer E.g: Promptness of delivery, price, taste etc.
4. Progress further with more levels as needed E.g: Taste should be good, Price economical etc.
5. Validate the requirements with customer
6. Translate needs into drivers for improvement
7. Calculate measurable outcomes for improving product

Customers & Quality September 28, 2007

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• Customer is the ultimate judge of quality

• Customers can be internal or external
• Cost of acquiring new customers is typically 5-6 times more than the cost of retaining existing
• Only about4% of customers ever express their dissatisfaction explicitly. Rest simply switch
• Customers may not always use the product for its intended purpose. E.g: A customer may be
using PDA for only voice as the data connectivity is poor.


• CTQ (Critical to Quality) characteristics of a product are the key quantifiable characteristics
that should be met to meet customer satisfaction.
• CTQ’s ideally have upper and lower limits and come from qualitative feedback that come from
• Value-added features of a product are add-ons that may not be perceived as critical to quality.

Factors governing customer satisfaction:

• Performance : Tyically measures in speed, accessibility, savings in cost & labor etc.
• Features
• Reliability : Perform at an expected level without breakdown
• Conformance : Conform to pre-established quality standards.
• Durability: Lenght in time a product should perfor, before it deteriorates in quality
• Servicability: Ease, Speed and convenience of service and courtesy of service personnel
• Aesthetics : Look & feel. Smell, sound and taste where applicable
• Perceived value: Created in customers mind based on product desciption and advertised

Process Improvement Project Charter September 27, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Project Charter
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1. Statement of work
2. Statement of resources
3. Statement of expected benefits

Statement of work

• Defines scope of project

• Select the process to be improved
• Reasons of selecting the process over others
• Tasks in project
• Steps
• Reporting Milestones
• Information to be collected to report progress of project
• Schedule

Statement of resources

Has both human and physical resources.

Human resources include:

• Identifies people involved

• Project start date
• Duration of involvement of people and reporting relationships
• Identify any training they require

Physical resources include:

• Identify work location

• Six Sigma tools and equipment needed

Statement of expected benefits

It should have the estimates of resource consumption and resource saving. This helps set expectations

and helps set a comparable limit of a projects outcome. It defines sucess level.

Common expectations are:

• Incerased sales
• Higher quality
• Quicker turn-around of product
• Increased customer satisfaction
• Higher employee productivity and morale

Project team September 27, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six sigma teams
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Six Sigma project team has:

1. Champion
2. Quality Leader
3. Black Belt
4. Process Owner
5. Green belts

All functions of role should be present and defined if all the members of team are not present.

Champion: Is the project sponsor. Typically CEO or VP in most companies.

Selection of champion:

1. Familiarity with cross-functional issues.

2. Understanding of Six Sigma

3. Capable of communicating Six Sigma initiatives at every opportunity

4. Department heads are not good candidates as they may not be familiar with cross-functional


5. Important attributes:

• Authoritative to make resources available to the projects

• Open-minded to view dis-agreements
• Persuasive to increase buy-in by employees and support from Management

6. Responsibilities:

• Foster training for the Six-Sigma team

• Mediation and road-block removal
• Project Selection, funds estimation & approval
• Confrontation resolution
• Budget allocation
• Results measurement

Quality Leader: Responsible for customer needs and improving efficiency.

Process Owner: Responsible for individual processes

Black belts/ Greenbelts : Technical owners for Six Sigma. Black Belts work full time on six sigma.

Green Belts work on regular projects too.

DMAIC September 27, 2007

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Stands for:

• Define: State the goals. Can include customer requirements, available resources, benefits,
process maps etc.
• Measure : Measure the impact t of the problem in terms of defects, missed opportunities and
affected areas.
• Analyze: Analyze the data using data analysis tools like Histograms, Pareto charts etc
• Improve: Test various solutions to improve the root cause of the problem. Plan for full scale
implementation if pilots show positive effect on the root cause.
• Control: Create detailed control plans to maintain the levels of quality achieved in impr0ve
phase. Communicate the results.

DMAIC is used when a problem can be resolved by improving and existing process or when you need a

new process.

Good Problem September 27, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: DMAIC, Problem Solving
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Characteristcs of a good problem:

• Clearly defined
• Impact measured in terms of time to fix and delay it causes to product delivery
• Can be resolved by applying common quality mgmt techniques
• Resolving the problem should have visible impact on customer satisfaction

Kano Analysis February 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Business Analysis, Six Sigma.
Tags: DMAIC, Kano, Six Sigma Tools
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Kano analysis is a tool which can be used to classify and prioritize customer needs. Its named after its

developer Noriaki Kano.

Kano analysis is a quality measurement tool used to prioritize customer requirements based on their

impact to customer satisfaction.Kano analysis is a quality measurement tool which is used to

determine which requirements are important. All identified requirements may not be of equal

importance to all customers. Kano analysis can help you rank requirements for different customers to

determine which have the highest priority.

This is useful because customer needs are not all of the same kind, not all have the same importance,

and are different for different populations. The results can be used to prioritize your effort in satisfying

different customers.

Note that the Kano model can be used to help identify customer segments, based on the relative

priority of each segment’s requirements. Once segments have been defined, using both needs analysis

and more tradition criteria such as gender, company size, etc., the Kano model can be re-applied to

each segment to further defined the segment’s priorities.

Kano Analysis Model groups customer requirements into three basic categories:

• Dissatisfiers ~ Basic Requirements ~ Threshold ~ “Must be’s”

• Satisfiers ~ Variable Requirements ~ Performance ~ “More is better”
• Delighters ~ Hidden requirements ~ Excitement

A successful product should have

• All dissatisfiers
• Maximum Satisfiers
• As many delighters as possible within marketable cost of product

Dissatisfiers: Attributes of a product that customers take for granted. Customer will not buy a product

if it doesn’t have this basic features. E:g Picture and sound in a TV

Satisfiers: Customers uses these to rate a product against its competition. E.g: Price of a TV

Delighters: Going beyond customer expectations. Delighters are typically provided free or with limited

cost. Delighters introduce novelty to the product. E.g: A TV with games etc.

Six Sigma Basics February 11, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
Tags: Six Sigma Basics
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Six Sigma:
Six Sigma methodology provides the techniques and tools to improve the capability and reduce the

defects in any process. It was started in Motorola, in its manufacturing division, where millions of parts

are made using the same process repeatedly

Six Sigma methodology improves any existing business process by constantly reviewing and re-tuning

the process. To achieve this, Six Sigma uses a methodology known as DMAIC (Define opportunities,

Measure performance, Analyze opportunity, Improve performance, Control performance).

Six Sigma Strives for perfection.It allows for only 3.4 defects per million opportunities for each product

or service transaction.

Six Sigma experts (Green Belts and Black Belts) evaluate a business process and determine ways to

improve upon the existing process. Six Sigma experts can also design a brand new business process

using DFSS (Design For Six Sigma) principles.


Six Sigma improves the process performance, decreases variation and maintains consistent quality of

the process output. This leads to defect reduction and improvement in profits, product quality and

customer satisfaction

The three key elements of Six Sigma are:

Customer Satisfaction

Defining Processes and defining Metrics and Measures for Processes

Using and understanding Data and Systems

Setting Goals for Improvement

Team Building and Involving Employees