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Found 34 results

  1. Six Sigma is a powerful methodology that can be used to improve business processes. It is a structured approach to problem-solving that can be applied to any process - manufacturing, sales, marketing, IT, BPO, accounting, purchasing, you name it. All processes have variation. Variation is the cause of all evil - it leads to defects and customer dissatisfaction. Six Sigma methodology can be used to reduce variation from any source and thus improve costs, quality, and hence customer satisfaction. The standard methodology that is used to improve existing processes is called DMAIC. The acronym DMAIC stands for Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control. If you think about it - this methodology is common sense. Before we start working on a problem, we need to have a good definition of what is the problem, why we are working on it, where is the pain area, what is in the scope of the project etc. All of these are accomplished in the Define phase. Secondly, in the Measure phase, we are interested in ensuring that the data used for further analysis is free of measurement errors. Six Sigma is about making decisions based on facts & data. If the data is inaccurate, we would end up making the wrong decisions. Hence, the measured phase ensures good data. Before making any improvements, it is also important to establish a baseline so that we can clearly communicate the benefits obtained from our project to other key stakeholders. The next phase, Analyze, is all about making the hypothesis and using data to either prove or disprove our hypothesis. We make the hypothesis about what is causing the problem and then establish the real root causes. The fourth phase, Improve, focus on getting the best possible solution to solve the root cause of the problem. The solution is optimized and any potential failure modes are resolved before the solution is deployed in the real world. The last phase, Control, is all about ensuring that the solution is sustainable in the long run. Any financial benefits obtained from the project are also quantified. Finally, the improved process is transitioned over to the process owner. As we can see from this paragraph, any problem can be addressed using this structured approach. Here are some things that should come to your mind when people talk about Six Sigma: Business Process Improvement Methodology 3.4 defects per million opportunities Customer focused Uses facts & data Quantify financial benefits Structured improvement approach
  2. Lean Six Sigma learning can impact your future in several ways: Enhanced ability to make the right decisions - Professional and business success depends on this. Lean Six Sigma provides a set of world’s best decision approaches that have proved their worth in a wide variety of settings. It pays to learn these techniques. Personal worth - People who are able to solve key problems systematically are the most sought people in an organizational setting. Engaging others - It is possible for you to facilitate action based team learning if you gain this competence. Lean Six Sigma training is a kind of leadership training. Improvement expertise - You can succeed with process improvement initiatives (in any industry or function) if you begin with the right fundamentals and build up the blocks well over them. All the above result in career and business benefits. Please feel free to discuss this topic here.
  3. Dear All, Let us have a discussion on this one. One of the most publicized examples of Six Sigma in India is the Mumbai Dubbawallas. Do you think it is a good application example for Six Sigma? Why/ Why not? VK
  4. How is Six Sigma different from other project managment guidelines namely, ITIL, PMP and Prince 2 ? Kindly advice
  5. What does the colour of the six sigma belt signify ? found this picture informative...
  6. Most of the textbook definitions of Six Sigma talk about Six Sigma being a strategy, methodology, metric, philosophy etc. There is another definition that I use in my training programs frequently. Lean Six Sigma provides you with world best methods of data driven decision making. If you are working in an organization or running a business, it is inevitable that you shall need to use data in decision making. Some pointers that highlight the importance of data driven decision making are given below. Even if one uses brainstorming techniques with teams, one can generate and use data.The use of basic cause-effect approaches for analysis like fishbone diagram get strengthened only by effective use of data.All functions in an organization generate data of various kinds. It makes sense to learn correct methods and techniques that help in decision making for business success.Analysis of wastes in a process requires data (like cycle times, takt times, value added time, non value added time, productivity, etc)Finding whether internal/ customer requirements (or regulatory requirments) are met requires data driven techniques like hypothesis testing.Forecasting methods are essentially a set of data driven techniques.Comparison of two or more sets of data( for comparing vendors, technology, techniques, materials, processes, customer types, teams etc) is a common need.Market research or R&D makes us of data all the time.Problem Solving is strengthened by usage of data.Project Management requires data driven decisions.Performance management cannot be considered fair unless data is capured, analyzed and used properly.To get more ideas on how Lean Six Sigma is useful in a specific Industry or Functional area, please make use of tags present at the top right section (found after clicking on forum tab above).
  7. Vishwadeep Khatri

    A Cause Analysis Question

    Here is a story followed by a multiple choice question for everyone to opine and discuss: You might have heard this story of a Washington Monument where erosion had reached worrisome levels. The erosion at this specific monument was much faster as compared to other similar monuments. Cause analysis showed that a strong chemical was needed to clean pigeon poops and there was no alternative. This cleaning chemical was leading to erosion. The reason for the presence of pigeons in large numbers was next analyzed. It was found that Pigeons like Spiders. Spiders were present in large numbers. As the focus shifted to spiders, it was found that spiders were around due to Gnats (a type of insect) as Spiders prey on Gnats. Gnats reached the monument daily as they are attracted to artificial light at the time of dusk. Lights at this monument were usually turned on before dusk. So, it was thought that in turning lights on only after dusk should work effectively, so that Gnats do not appear to attract Spiders, absence of whom shall keep Pigeons away, that leads to no Pigeon poops so that the chemical and therefore erosion is avoided. This solution of turning the lights on only after dusk was implemented. It was found that the Pigeon poops stopped appearing on the monument and the cleaning chemicals was no more required. Observations over a period of time showed that the Monument's erosion patterns now matched those of other similar monuments and the experts concluded that the problem is completely solved. QUESTION - When we do root cause analysis, the causes can be of two types: Necessary cause(s): In absence of such cause, the event cannot happen. Sufficient cause(s): If this cause is present, the event shall surely occur. In the above stated Monument's example of problem-solving, which set of the following causes do you think to meet both the criteria (of being necessary and sufficient), for the next event? Please refer to the figure above to answer this question. A, B, C, D, and E A, B, C, D, and F A, B, D, E, and F A, C, D, E, and F B, C, D, E, and F All A, B, C, D, E, and F ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please log in to reply to this post. Please note: login is easy. You can even use facebook or google account to login.
  8. With respect to complex process improvement projects - One argument goes like this - "Most of the times, it is not difficult to find a solution to a problem. The most difficult part is nailing the root cause. If the root cause is unclear or misunderstood, the attempts at solution do not work; it just seems that the solution is so hard to find. However, if the root cause is understood precisely, the solution shall just come and sit on your lap. (or you will know soon that there is no solution if the root cause is absolutely out of your span of control)". Another argument goes like this - "In most projects, the root cause of problems are found spending lesser time and effort. It is the sustainable solution that is tough to find. One needs to try various alternative solutions and this means some sort of trials/ pilots/ benchmarking/ brainstorming/ simulations are needed. More energy therefore needs to spent in evaluating alternative solutions so that we choose nothing but the best" If you dig into your experience and think hard on this, which point of view would you support over the other?
  9. There are several places from which ideas for Six Sigma projects can be obtained. VOC (Voice of the Customer) We can listen to the "pain" the customers are experiencing and then launch Six Sigma project to attack these pain areas. The "pain" areas can usually be classified as related to product/service features, quality, timeliness, cost, and service. By solving these problems our customers will be more satisfied with our products / services. It is a lot easier and cheaper to sell products / services to existing customers than to constantly seek out new customers. VOB (Voice of the Business) We can talk to senior managers in the company about what problems / issues keep them awake at night! These "pain" areas are usually related to growth, cost of products / services, cost of quality (rework / scrap / warranty), financial issues such as profitability, cost of capital, carrying cost of inventory, accounts receivables, payables, employee retention issues, new product introduction times, and a host of other issues! By focusing Six Sigma project on these issues, we will enable the company to effectively compete in the global marketplace. VOP (Voice of the Process) We can also get Six Sigma project ideas by mapping the current business processes and looking for areas which are clearly non value added from either the customer's or business's point of view. Sometimes, there is no point asking customers or business managers what is the problem, when it is clear what the issues are just by mapping the process. Hopefully, when we use the above sources, we get several ideas to pursue. We need some mechanism to rank and prioritize the projects so that only the best projects are selected for launch. In one of the subsequent posts, we will discuss a project selection matrix.
  10. Dear All, The most common question we have faced while training 15000 plus professionals over the years has been - How will Six Sigma help me in my job/profile? OR Will it be useful in such and such profile? My answer is -" If you consider yourself as an improvement oriented person, Six Sigma is for you. Interestingly, this holds true irrespective of your job profile" Let us try to understand this better. Each job profile has its challenges (more commonly called "problems"). Most of these problems or challenges can be addressed if world best techniques are used. Techniques that are timeless, universally applicable, logically sound, and conceptually very powerful. These techniques can solve small and big problems in a job profile, can address improvements in a department, and have a potential of turning around a company from brink of closure to epitome of success. I am sure you can visualize that these techniques can not be the outcome of special effort of an individual, or a department or an organization, or even an era of global development. These techniques are compiled from global wisdom across industries, across centuries, across continents. When such classic approaches come together in a single road map, no problem remains too big, no challenge is insurmountable. These improvement techniques are covered in three levels of courses conducted by Benchmark Six Sigma - Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt. As in Karate, the belts relate to levels of mastery achieved in the domain. Now coming back to the question - How will Six Sigma help me in my job/profile? Let me ask some questions to help you answer your question - 1. Do you face problems and challenges in you profile? If not, do you wish to ensure that your way of doing things is "the best practice"? 2. Do you have an opportunity of leading/ initiating/ recommending changes that would deliver results, results that are more consistent and better than ever before? 3. In your profile, do you think involving others in an improvement journey shall require a structured approach? 4. Do you want to learn techniques that you can apply yourself in the current profile to measure, analyze and improve processes? 5. Do you think you would like to be referred as a "positive change agent" or an "improvement oriented person" or may be "an improvement expert"? If the answer to all the above is yes, you can surely benefit by applying Six Sigma in your current profile.There are two types of people who can not benefit from Six Sigma - 1. Those who do not find any "problems" or "opportunities for improvement" and 2. Those who do not wish to take up the best available approaches to tackle them.
  11. Have a look at the links below to view topics of your interest. You can participate in any of these discussions. If you do not find the topic that you were looking for, please feel free to start a new topic on the community. Best Regards, VK
  12. Viswanathan_Muthu

    Dpmo Vs Dppm

    Often I get confused between DPMO (Defects per Million Opportunities) and DPPM (Defective Parts Per Million) ... can you pls clarify and explain when to use what...
  13. Vishwadeep Khatri

    Career Cycle

    I urge you to see the online presentation here and post a comment to the following question starting with a Yes or a No! Have you seen people into this kind of career cycle?
  14. Leon Yeap

    Why 1.5 Sigma Shift

    Hi All, I just newly joined this discussion topic. Can anybody share with me why Motorola wants to use 1.5 sigma shift to replace original statistical concept of 6 sigma is based on plus and minus 3 sigma ? I read few sigma books but not really mentioning on why and is it valid with such a shift. What is the rationale with such a shift and it is stastical proven based on the Gausian Distribution Leon
  15. Dears, Can we attain 6 Sigma level in any process without using known philosophies/approach like DMAIC, DMADV, Lean, 5S etc. ??
  16. Suresh Jayaram

    Six Sigma Applicability

    Sometimes people ask us "Is Six Sigma only for manufacturing?" Six Sigma can be applied to all areas. The methodology and tools used are not specific to manufacturing. Anywhere there is a product or process, there is bound to be variation. When, there is variation, there is bound to be defects and dissatisfied customers. When there is variation, Six Sigma can be used to minimize variation and thus improve customer satisfaction. Six Sigma has been successfully applied to all types of industries: IT, ITES, BPO, KPO, Healthcare, Financial Sector, and other service industries.
  17. Exactly what is Six Sigma? It is a method for business process improvement. The main goal of this methodology is to decrease the number of defects to below 3.4 defects per million opportunities in a business process. This Six Sigma methodology can be applied to any type of businesses. Even it can be used on developing new product business. What was the term Six Sigma stands for? It’s a term refers to the property of the normal distribution curve in the study of statistics. The sigma symbol is used to identify the standard deviation which is a measure of variability in a data set. If there is a widely variable result in a business then there will be a large number of defects in the business process. Six Sigma methodologies are specially designed to produce low proportion of defects in the business process. For this reason the six sigma methodology has been applied to many businesses and found it successful. Is Six Sigma methodologies suits for services? Yes. Six sigma will be suitable for any types of businesses whether it was a manufacturing company or a service providing company. In manufacturing processes the source of the defects will be identified and gives a solution to rectify the defects to meet the customer satisfactions. The same thing goes for services oriented businesses in which the defect can be broadly defined to meets the customer requirements. Six sigma methodologies can help any business to improve. Is Lean Six Sigma different from regular Six Sigma? Six sigma methodologies help to identify the defects in a process and Lean helps to optimizing the flow of the process and increase the speed of work. In the past both Lean and Six Sigma were considered as competing methods. But both were proved as the complementary tools for the businesses through which a business can improve quality and efficiency at the same time. How to implement six sigma in a business? To get started, the DMAIC method can be considered for the primary Six Sigma or Lean Six sigma. DMAIC means for Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling. Professionals who were trained in specific methods as commonly known as Green Belts, Black Belts and Master Black Belts depending on their mastery levels.
  18. AbhishekMitra

    Green Belt Vs Black Belt

    Dear All, I have always wondered what could be the differentiators for Green Belt and a Black Belt Project. I am aware that a Six Sigma project always revolves around a chronic problem/issue, and the entire objective of the project is to find the causes and the solutions for the same. However, if I come across a chronic issue at my workplace, for eg. FCR, and if I have to improve FCR from 56% (current month) to 80% in 3 months, I have to use Six Sigma methodologies (Green Belt and Black Belt alike). My question is- Is my project on FCR a Green Belt project or a Black Belt project? AM.
  19. What exactly is the nature of Master Black Belt in context of Six Sigma? Are they a change agent, resource person, project owners or a knowledge bank?
  20. Six Sigma has a hierarchical structure similar to Martial arts. There are white belts, green belts, black belts, and master black belts. The white belts go through a very high level overview training about Six Sigma (typically 4 hours) so they understand some basic terminology about Six Sigma. All employees in the company are usually trained as white belts. White belts may help Green Belts or Black Belts with some data collection etc. The next level is the Green Belts who go through the Six Sigma training at the next level of details. Green Belts may go through few days to up to two weeks worth of Six Sigma training. Green Belts are expected to work on projects within their own functional areas. Green Belts are usually not exposed to advanced Six Sigma concepts, so they are not equipped to solve really tough problems. The third level is Black Belts who go through a more detailed version of the Six Sigma training. The typical duration of training varies from a week to four weeks worth of training. Black Belts are expected to work on more complex cross-functional projects that are strategically important for the company. Finally, the last level is the Master Black Belts. The Master Black Belts are responsible for coaching and training Green Belts and Black Belts. They may also work on large company wide projects. Sometimes people ask us if there is any minimum financial benefits that Green Belt and Black Belt projects need to deliver. There is no hard and fast rule about minimum savings that these projects need to deliver. The amount of benefits will also depend on the size of the company turnover, number of employees, opportunities for improvements etc. Some companies may have a target for Green Belt and Black Belt savings - but these are usually applied as an average across several projects rather than for individual projects.
  21. Certain tried and tested management concepts form the core thinking in lean six sigma. These differentiate LSS learning from others. A few of them are - Emphasis on data driven decision making – Lean Six Sigma learning provides application oriented learning on decision methods that use data. The primary focus is to avoid gut feel decision making. Project by project approach to improvements. Team leaders learn how to engage others in improvement projects and ensure success. Focus on areas that affect customers and business most. Leadership involvement and customer orientation lead to the identification of powerful projects well supported within the company. While many other programs highlight “What to improve, Lean Six Sigma learning provides more comprehensive skill-set with a lot of learning on. How to bring improvements. Please feel free to discuss more on this subject here.
  22. Suresh Jayaram

    Who Is Using Six Sigma?

    Six Sigma has been around for over a decade and as such it has been deployed at lots of companies around the world. More than 75% of the fortune 500 companies have deployed Six Sigma in one form or another. Some companies have chosen not to call it Six Sigma due to copyright or other issues. They have a similar approach but may call it by a different name (such as STRIVE, MEDIC, etc). Some of the more famous companies who are using Six Sigma are: General ElectricMotorolaCaterpillarMicrosoftHome DepotPhilipsAllied SignalXeroxChevronDellWIPRO Feel free to add other companies to the list by responding to this message.
  23. Parul Guptadun

    Benefit Of Six Sigma

    Hi everyone, I would like to know how Six sigma will be helpful for me in career Growth? I am pursuing PGDBA (Finance) using distance education facility, having 5.8 yrs of working experiece in BPO sector (in payroll), however resigned from the position of team leader and would like to start up with the new heights. Please advise how the course will benefit me, what are the requirements of the course, fees, duration of course etc.? thanks in advance Parul
  24. Dear Shraddha, I would like to know that what is the difference between green belt trained and green belt certified?
  25. Here are some reasons why we should be using Six Sigma to make process improvements: It is a structured approach - if we follow the process, people will not forget any important steps along the way before they implement the solution. It helps quantify the benefits and thus make it easier to sell the improvements to senior managers in the company. It uses facts & data and the rigor of statistical testing to arrive at the right root cause instead of fixing symptoms or putting band-aids. There is a greater likelihood of the solution being sustainable if we follow the Six Sigma process. Six Sigma focuses on solving the right problems using the project selection matrix. It has proven itself in a large number of deployments. Frankly, there is no better tool out there to make process improvements - especially when the root cause or the solution is not known.
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