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Lessons in six sigma viny

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Lessons in six sigma viny

  1. 1. Lessons in Six Sigma
  2. 2. Lessons in Six Sigma 72 Must-know Truths for Managers Debashis Sarkar Response Books A division of Sage Publications New Delhi l Thousand Oaks l London
  3. 3. Copyright © Debashis Sarkar, 2004 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. First published in 2004 by Response Books A division of Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd B-42, Panchsheel Enclave New Delhi 110 017 Sage Publications Inc Sage Publications Ltd 2455 Teller Road 1 Oliver’s Yard Thousand Oaks, 55 City Road California 91320 London EC1Y 1SP Published by Tejeshwar Singh for Response Books, typeset in 10.5 pts Palatino by Innovative Processors, New Delhi, and printed at Chaman Enterprises, New Delhi. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sarkar, Debashis. Lessons in Six Sigma: 72 must-know truths for managers/ Debashis Sarkar. p. cm. Includes index. 1. Total quality management. 2. Quality circles. 3. Six sigma (Quality control standard) 4. Project management—Qual-ity control. 5. Industrial management. I. Title. HD62.15.S26 2004 658.4¢013—dc22 2004003805 Six Sigma is a registered trademark of Motorola, Inc. ISBN: 0-7619–9843–8 (US-PB) 81–7829–367–6 (India-PB) Production Team: Roshni Basu, R.A.M. Brown and Santosh Rawat
  4. 4. In the memory of my late father Shri. Subhendu Sarkar Who led a life of Six Sigma Excellence. This book is dedicated to the following people who worked silently to make me a better human being Fr Joseph Lombart Dr R K Patel Mr Ashok Mittal
  5. 5. Contents Preface xvii Lesson 1 Six Sigma is a structured problem-solving methodology which is a powerful lever for business improvement 1 Lesson 2 It’s the CEO and only the CEO who can make Six Sigma successful in an organization 5 Lesson 3 Take the members of the senior management team on board with a champions workshop 8 Lesson 4 Precede Six Sigma deployment with an organizational assessment 11 Lesson 5 Create a deployment platoon for the execution of Six Sigma projects 14 Lesson 6 The responsibility for the success of Six Sigma projects lies with the champions 18
  6. 6. Lesson 7 Improvement with Six Sigma entails finding and working with critical X’s in a process 21 Lesson 8 Build solid infrastructure pillars to support Six Sigma in the organization 24 Lesson 9 Appoint a marketing manager for selling and marketing Six Sigma as a product to the employees of the company 28 Lesson 10 The quality council should drive Six Sigma Implementation across the organization 32 Lesson 11 Bolster Six Sigma projects with a solid Review Framework 35 Lesson 12 Becoming a master Black Belt requires a practical demonstration of adeptness in coaching, teaching, facilitation, consulting and mentoring 38 Lesson 13 When hiring a Consultant for Six Sigma deployment, ensure that all laid down criteria are met 42 Lesson 14 Beware of the Consultant who gives a Proposal to improve an Organizational viii LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  7. 7. Business Process all by itself, without the involvement of employees 46 Lesson 15 Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of Six Sigma teams 49 Lesson 16 The composition of the Six Sigma project team is critical to its success 52 Lesson 17 During the First Year of Six Sigma implementation, focus of deployment should be on Value and not Volume 56 Lesson 18 Appoint a Dashboard Manager who is entrusted with the responsibility of tracking process metrics 59 Lesson 19 Six sigma deployment should precede with the identification of Core Business Processes 62 Lesson 20 Do not take up Improvement Projects in the cafeteria during the early days of Six Sigma journey 65 Lesson 21 Black Belts should not carry out small improvement projects (read: Green Belt projects) in the garb of those being Black Belt projects 68 CONTENTS ix
  8. 8. Lesson 22 The project charter is a tool to manage, control and approve Six Sigma projects 70 Lesson 23 Scripting the problem statement right is vital to a Six Sigma project 72 Lesson 24 An effective Six Sigma deployment requires a holistic mechanism to capture the voice of the customers 75 Lesson 25 It is important to focus on the Right Measure to ascertain the efficacy of a process 79 Lesson 26 Together with Sigma levels keep an eye on the class of the process 82 Lesson 27 While executing DMAIC projects do not take short cuts. Follow all the steps 86 Lesson 28 It is imperative that all Six Sigma projects provide Real Time Savings 90 Lesson 29 Just by calculating the potential benefits in the beginning and accrual benefits at the end of a project, will not get the ‘wow’ from either the CFD or his team members 93 x LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  9. 9. Lesson 30 Six Sigma methodology is just not for manufacturing organizations. It can be deployed in service organizations as well 96 Lesson 31 Be on top of meetings. Let them be enablers to project improvements 99 Lesson 32 Before setting out to do a Six Sigma project ensure that it is scoped well 103 Lesson 33 The organization should have an effective methodology to ensure that there is a continuous flow of ideas 106 Lesson 34 All improvement ideas need not qualify as candidates for Six Sigma project 110 Lesson 35 Creating the right organizational structure is essential for Six Sigma deployment 112 Lesson 36 Before determining the sample size and sampling plan, ascertain if the data for measurement is from a moving process or is it from a stagnant population 115 Lesson 37 Understand the key terms and the steps involved in DPMO calculation 117 CONTENTS xi
  10. 10. Lesson 38 DPMO is a good concept but be alert about the confusions it can create. Mindlessly increasing the Opportunity Levels can Increase the Sigma Levels 123 Lesson 39 Do not be satisfied merely with Yields, commence with the calculation of a First Pass Yield 127 Lesson 40 You can unfurl the non-value added activities in your process from DPU levels by a measurement called the Rolled Throughput Yield 129 Lesson 41 Defects in a Six Sigma process without a shift is 2 Defects Per Billion and not 3.4 Defects Per Million opportunities 133 Lesson 42 Get a sense of whether Six Sigma is delivering value through the measurement of Quality Costs 136 Lesson 43 When a process capability is reported, ascertain if it is a long-term or short-term capability 140 Lesson 44 People at the top should have a gut feel of the happenings at Ground Zero 143 xii LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  11. 11. Lesson 45 As a Six Sigma change agent, master the art of conflict resolution 146 Lesson 46 A defect is one which does not meet the customer needs 148 Lesson 47 Do not wait for problems to occur to initiate improvements through Six Sigma projects. Proactively take actions when precursors and evidences to a problem are seen 150 Lesson 48 Look at processes end-to-end while taking up projects for improvement 153 Lesson 49 Do not launch Six Sigma with the sole idea of saving cost for your organization 156 Lesson 50 Select the best performers to take up Six Sigma projects 158 Lesson 51 Be extremely meticulous about the Book of Knowledge being followed by the trainers to prepare your Black Belts or Green Belts 161 Lesson 52 ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System serves as an excellent platform for Six Sigma deployment 165 CONTENTS xiii
  12. 12. Lesson 53 Banish waste by enmeshing Lean Thinking with Six Sigma methodology 168 Lesson 54 Appoint a Chief Process Facilitator for all Six Sigma team processes in your company 171 Lesson 55 While focusing on primary metrics do not forget to keep the secondary metrics on the radar 174 Lesson 56 Six Sigma deployment may be a mirage for small sized companies but there are ways to go about it 177 Lesson 57 Do not get perturbed if data points in your Six Sigma project have a non-normal behaviour 181 Lesson 58 Deployment of Six Sigma does not come cheap. Keep this in mind before setting out on a Six Sigma journey 183 Lesson 59 Avoid pre-conceived solutions from getting Force-fitted into a Six Sigma methodology without any data analysis 187 xiv LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  13. 13. Lesson 60 The Human Resource Department cannot be a sleeping partner in Six Sigma deployment 190 Lesson 61 Six Sigma framework does not act at cross purposes in an organization’s journey towards achieving business excellence 193 Lesson 62 Once processes are improved using Six Sigma methodology, it is important to take an all encompassing approach to ensure that the improvements are sustained 197 Lesson 63 Process audits are an integral part of Six Sigma deployment 200 Lesson 64 Use Brown Bags to make your employees refresh their knowledge on Six Sigma tools and techniques 203 Lesson 65 Bolster your Six Sigma journey with a Solid Rewards and Recognition Scheme 206 Lesson 66 Remember to work on mistake-proofing when implementing Six Sigma solutions 214 CONTENTS xv
  14. 14. Lesson 67 Be ruthless if Six Sigma objectives are not met 217 Lesson 68 In case control charts are not being used by process team members, replace it with pre-control charts 220 Lesson 69 Six Sigma is not an off-the-shelf solution to organizational pains 223 Lesson 70 Statistical thinking should be a way of life in a company working towards Six Sigma deployment 226 Lesson 71 Six Sigma project team leaders need to have focus, good relationships, communication skills, ingenuity and excellent project management skills to translate the charter into results 229 Lesson 72 Do not be complacent if processes have reached at Six Sigma levels 232 Index 234 xvi LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  15. 15. Preface Six Sigma is probably one of the best methodologies to pervade the world of improvements. What differenti-ates Six Sigma from other quality methodologies is its measurements orientation, rigorous training scheme, process centricity and stakeholder involvement. The tools in Six Sigma are not new but its direct linkage to business objectives and priorities, makes it a powerful strategy in business. However there is a word of caution……. Six Sigma is a great methodology but often fails to deliver sustained benefits when we forget the small little things that make a large difference. This book unfurls some of those little things which are often lost and missed during Six Sigma implementation. The Lessons are essentially learnings captured during Six Sigma deployment. The lessons may be ‘common’ and mundane but are quite ‘uncommon’ in workplaces. As far as possible the book has been kept bereft of jargons so that it can be understood by all and just not Six Sigma professionals. A book like this does not happen easily without the help of people who work and support silently behind the scenes.
  16. 16. l Chapal Mehra (Managing Editor, Response) and Sunanda Ghosh (Head Marketing-Sage) for always acceding to my unreasonable requests. This is not my first book with Sage but I can just say its always a delight working with the team at Sage. l My mother, my wife Sudeshna and my little one Trisha who have borne with my selfish pursuits which is often at the cost of spending time with them Please note that the lessons in this book are as observed/experienced by me as a student of quality and Six Sigma. It is quite possible that you may not agree with some of them. Should you have any feedback please feel free to write to me at debashissarkar4@yahoo.com Debashis Sarkar xviii LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  17. 17. DEBASHIS SARKAR 1 Lesson 1 Six Sigma is a structured problem-solving methodology which is a powerful lever for busi-ness improvement Six Sigma is a data driven structured problem-solving methodology for solving chronic issues facing a business. It is a breakthrough management process that is used to improve a company’s performance by variation reduction. The method encompasses breaking down the customer’s requirements into steps to pinpoint pains in a process. This results in the reduction of defects and sustenance of process improvement. The Six Sigma methodology essentially has two elements which comprises the voice of the customer and voice of process. It essentially entails reducing the gap between the two voices and ensuring that they both match. What differentiates Six Sigma from other quality methodologies is that it can be used to solve key business pains. For the first time we have a methodology which can help quality professionals to add directly to the top line
  18. 18. or bottom line. Earlier quality professionals always faced a struggle because the impact of their work was often not felt in the company’s balance sheet. Six Sigma has changed all of this. This methodology can be leveraged to address issues which can be used in any part of the business. Traditionally quality tools have been used for solving only quality issues but this tool facilitates the resolution of pains beyond the domain of quality. Some areas where Six Sigma projects can be very effectively used are: Revenue Generation, Cost Avoidance, Productivity Improvement, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Retention and so on. This is just a partial list and can be further increased. Six Sigma gives an excellent project management framework wherein all power tools are packaged in such a manner that it helps in providing the best solution to a problem. Tools used are not new but the way they have been structured gives its power. Six Sigma uses a handful of powerful tools of statistics instead of getting lost in over 400 tools of Total Quality Management (TQM). The beauty of the method is in its ability to use these tools in a model known as DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control). Also, Six Sigma has added a component of financial accountability and demands a strong focus on measurement to constantly monitor the results of the improved state. The Six Sigma framework has also taken quality from the domain of quality professionals to others in the organization. This is probably the best thing to happen. Earlier there was always a struggle to ensure that quality seeps deep and wide in organizations. Despite 2 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  19. 19. all the efforts and various initiatives, progress was not as expected and it only ended with the jargon ‘quality is everyone’s business’. Six Sigma puts a stop to gut-based solutions and looks at all variables affecting a process. The solutions are validated statistically so that the chances of imple-menting a wrong solution goes down. It can be used for both service and manufacturing organizations. Earlier all quality tools had been manufacturing centric but now this power packed method has been success-fully used in service companies. What makes Six Sigma different is that it forces individuals to define customer satisfaction measures and use teams to improve it. So it uses customer-focused goals and measurements and drives continuous improvement at all levels of the enterprise. When effectively implemented, the Six Sigma technique can help to ensure that both internal and external customers voices are heard and efforts are made towards their improvement. The power of Six Sigma can be leveraged by setting attainable short-term goals while striving for long range objectives. It is imperative that the projects support the company and division goals that flow from top-level company objectives. For making Six Sigma a success, it should be treated as a business strategy and not just another quality programme. Remember, the ideal project should have a connection to strategic objectives, should be recognized as being important to the company, can be completed within a reasonable time period, has the support of the management and has an accurate evaluation framework to ascertain its effectiveness. DEBASHIS SARKAR 3
  20. 20. Let me caution that Six Sigma is not a panacea for all ills plaguing a company. If there are events outside the organization’s control, Six Sigma cannot be of any benefit. For example, an economic crisis affecting the performance of a company cannot be solved by Six Sigma. It has been seen that with the change in the leadership of a company, the Six Sigma implementation can go to docks. It shall stay till there are leaders like Jack Welch who give it the required thrust and understand its power. Six Sigma Takeaway Six Sigma as a business strategy increases custo-mer responsiveness, builds customer relation-ships, improves organizational resilience to respond to market conditions and aligns people and processes behind agreed objectives. 4 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  21. 21. DEBASHIS SARKAR 5 Lesson 2 It’s the CEO and only the CEO who can make Six Sigma successful in an organization Six Sigma should not be launched if the CEO does not have the time for it or does not think it to be important. Six Sigma should also not be launched because the CEO feels it is the latest from the quality stable. It should only be launched when the CEO is convinced that it is the methodology that is required for his/her company. He/she should have a strong rationale on how Six Sigma can be a contributor to specific organizational objectives. I strongly believe that it’s only the CEO who can make a difference to a Six Sigma implementation. Internal experts such as Black Belts and Green Belts may implement Six Sigma projects, but it is the CEO who owns them. Whether it’s Bob Galvin at Motorola or Jack Welch at GE or Larry Bossidy at Allied Signal, it’s their personal commitment and belief in Six Sigma that made the difference. These leaders have given a new
  22. 22. definition to quality and proved that it can be a lever for business improvement. The CEO cannot just sign the cheque and take a back seat. He or she should understand what Six Sigma is all about and how it drives improvement to the organization. He or she has to provide leadership and create a vision, provide necessary resources, give time, review and communicate to all that Six Sigma is the improvement engine that will be the DNA of the organization. It is his/her responsibility to ensure that everyone gets involved in the implementation effort. The CEO has to provide visible support to Six Sigma. Remember, Six Sigma quality is more of a cultural imperative that changes the way decisions are made. The CEO has to walk the talk and manifest that he or she lives by the Six Sigma framework day in and day out. The culture that is built ultimately converts good strategy into effective execution. So what are the specific things a CEO should do to make Six Sigma successful: l Understand what Six Sigma is all about and how it can be enmeshed with the business strategy. l Create a shared vision that supports Six Sigma. l Be the biggest messiah and evangelist of Six Sigma in the company. l Establish clear long-term objectives at a business level wherein Six Sigma methodology can be leveraged (as 10X improvement in quality levels). 6 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  23. 23. l Lay down clear expectations from the senior management team on their deliverables from Six Sigma. l Hold oneself and the senior management team accountable to Six Sigma deployment. l Ensure that Six Sigma process improvement projects are directly aligned to organizational goals. l Review progress on a regular basis. l Set up a senior management team that oversees Six Sigma implementation. l Provide all required resources in terms of monies and infrastructure to make Six Sigma successful. Six Sigma Takeaway The CEO should not treat Six Sigma as a quality programme but should ensure that it becomes a cultural platform which changes the organiza-tional DEBASHIS SARKAR 7 fabric.
  24. 24. Lesson 3 Take the members of the senior management team on board with a champions workshop Recently I received a call from an executive who worked for a well known organization which had embarked on a Six Sigma journey. He asked me how to explain to senior management team (champions) that Six Sigma projects require specific steps to be followed and that projects cannot be completed in two–three weeks, as demanded by some of them. There were other champi-ons who doubted the effectiveness of Six Sigma and even said that it was another of those flavour of the month management concepts that the company had embarked upon. He also told me that such notions persist despite the fact that Six Sigma was driven by the CEO himself. On probing, I got to know that the organization had commenced with Six Sigma deploy-ment after the CEO had visited a few American companies which had reaped huge benefits from this methodology. Here was a case of an organization which had commenced with a Six Sigma journey without taking 8 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  25. 25. the buy in of the senior management team. Ideally, before embarking on a Six Sigma journey, the senior management team should be taken on board and must know what Six Sigma is, what rigour it requires and how it is different from other quality methodologies. This is why a senior management workshop or a champion’s workshop should be organized before commencing on a Six Sigma journey. Through this workshop the champions are taken on board on all that is required for successful Six Sigma deployment. Champions receive extensive training on the basics of Six Sigma, project selection, management of Black Belts and Green Belts, change management and so on. Such workshops could either be organized in-house or members could be sent to programmes outside the organization. The champion’s workshop is extremely vital as it sets the tone for Six Sigma implementation. Since champions are typically senior management staff such as business heads or functional heads, the programme should deliver the maximum value in the shortest possible time. It always helps to get an eminent Six Sigma practitioner for such a workshop. Remember, this is required because the attendees of this workshop are senior people in the organization and the workshop should convert them from cynics to Six Sigma advocates. If you are organizing a Champion’s Workshop or choosing one for them, please ensure that at least the following elements are covered: l What is Six Sigma? l Why Six Sigma? DEBASHIS SARKAR 9
  26. 26. l Success Stories. l Basic Statistics. l Basic Six Sigma Tools. l Why is measurement important? l Traits of an effective measurement system. l Introduction to Process Capability. l Introduction to Minitab. l How to go about Project Selection? l Infrastructure for Six Sigma deployment (Rewards and Recognition, Reviews, Com-munication framework, Project Management wherewithal etc.). l How to manage change? l Six Sigma and culture building. Do not increase the duration of a champion’s workshop beyond two days. The success of the champion’s workshop lies in converting senior management to Six Sigma advocates in the shortest possible time. It is the champions who drive Six Sigma and have the responsibility of making it a success. Six Sigma Takeaway Till Champions are not convinced with the power Six Sigma, it makes no sense to go ahead with deployment. 10 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  27. 27. DEBASHIS SARKAR 11 Lesson 4 Precede Six Sigma deployment with an organ-izational assessment After the CEO and the senior management have undergone a Six Sigma alignment workshop (also called: champion’s workshop), set up a core team which is vested with the responsibility of making Six Sigma an integral part of the organizational fabric. This team should comprise the functional heads, business heads (in case the company has a number of business units or profit centres) and the quality head (also called the quality leader). The first activity of this core group shall be to carry out an organizational assessment on the pointers mentioned below. This should be carried out by talking to key people in the company and interviewing key customers and suppliers. l Have processes been defined and mapped? l Are there process owners for the processes?
  28. 28. l What sort of measurement system exists to ascertain effectiveness and efficiency? l Are the customers, suppliers, inputs and outputs of key processes identified and known? l Is the voice of the final customer/end user (or consumer) captured? l Are consumers asked what is important for them? l What sort of corrective actions exist, when there are consumer issues? l What sort of competitive information do we have ? l Does everyone in the organization know who his/her customer is? l What sort of rewards and recognition mecha-nism is in place for quality improvement/con-sumer issues? l How are conflicts handled? l Is the organization person dependant or process dependant? l How are decisions taken ? Who takes them and are they fact based? l Are people aware of the organizational objec-tives and plan? l How is training and development decided upon? The objective of the exercise is to ascertain business units which would be votaries of Six Sigma and businesses which would face resistance. It shall also throw up business units where Six Sigma should be piloted or taken up. For example, process improvement 12 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  29. 29. through DMAIC rigour cannot be carried out if processes are not well defined (This has been discussed in detail in some other Lesson). The organizational assessment helps in scripting a deployment strategy and unfurling the underlying culture. Companies who have tried to imitate Six Sigma driven companies without considering their underlying culture have met with disastrous results. If the company’s culture is not conducive to Six Sigma, the culture must be changed before a Six Sigma programme can succeed. Six Sigma Takeaway The culture of a company should provide a milieu which encourages problem solving, excellence and continuous improvement through Six Sigma deployment. DEBASHIS SARKAR 13
  30. 30. Lesson 5 Create a deployment platoon for the execution of Six Sigma projects While setting out on a Six Sigma journey, it is important that a deployment platoon of Six Sigma experts is created within an organization. This is required as these experts are responsible for driving change across the company. Unlike the other quality frameworks, the biggest achievement of Six Sigma has been that it has moved improvement out of the domain of quality function and taken it all across the company. The hurdles faced by the earlier methodologies were that improvement was primarily driven by the quality group as a result of which there were often issues of ownership during implementation. In case of Six Sigma this has been overcome as it has been treated as a strategy for business improvement and not just quality improvement. In Six Sigma, what happens is that the improvement tools are handed over to people outside the quality function. 14 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  31. 31. It has been seen that the structure given below has been most commonly followed in Six Sigma deployment: DEBASHIS SARKAR 15 Champions He or she is a senior manager who oversees the Six Sigma projects. The person is mainly responsible for providing direction on project scope and takes the onus of ensuring that the project is successful. The role of a champion is discussed in detail in another Lesson. Master Black Belts (MBBs) They act as internal coaches to Black Belts and are responsible for a set of Black Belts to reach their project goals. He/she must have successfully completed a number of Black Belt projects. He or she is generally a statistical and change management expert who regularly deals with resistance to change and resolves team conflicts. They often serve as change management consultants to the senior management. They not only have the knowledge of advanced tools and business but also leadership training. A primary MBB role responsibility is training and mentoring new BBs in the organization. Certification as an MBB requires 20 successful projects, about half of which are as a Black Belt and half while mentoring BBs.
  32. 32. Black Belts (BBs) They are full-time quality positions responsible for leading Six Sigma projects. They are project leaders who are selected with different experience and academic qualifications. Black Belts should typically be fast trackers who have a credential for accomplishments. A Black Belt assignment should typically last for two years during which the BBs lead 10–12 projects. BB receive exhaustive training which lasts from anywhere between 10 days to 20 days. To get certified as a BB a candidate needs to complete the classroom training (spread over three to four months), clear an examination and complete a project mentored by a MBB. Green Belts (GBs) They are employees who carry on with improvements together with their regular work. They are project team members and do not spend all their time on projects. They receive training on participation similar to that of BBs, but possibly for lesser time. In some companies GBs work on small projects (called Green Belt projects) that are directly related to their work. Irrespective of the organization, the champion is a must in Six Sigma deployment. The deployment hierarchies of Master Black Belt, Black Belts and Green Belts are based on company requirements. In some organizations, Master Black Belts are not there and Black Belts are part-time roles. Some companies even have 16 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  33. 33. Yellow Belts or White Belts. Also, the certification requirements may vary from company to company. The above is just a suggested model. I would recommend that a deployment hierarchy is created on the basis of company requirements. Remember, the term Blackbelt has been copyrighted by the Six Sigma Academy. So many organizations use titles such as Leaders, Grandmaster, Champion or Paragons to signify similar training. Six Sigma Takeaway Black Belts can come from any function. When trained adequately and given support, they can become change facilitators in the organization. DEBASHIS SARKAR 17
  34. 34. Lesson 6 The responsibility for the success of Six Sigma projects lies with the Champions Who is a Champion? They are usually people who are working at a level or two below the CEO. They are typically Profit Center Heads, Business Unit Heads and functional heads such as Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer etc. They lead Six Sigma efforts in their group and are responsible for its execution. If the CEO lays the seeds of Six Sigma, the champion acts as a propellant in his/her group. He/she acts as the gel around whom the Six Sigma initiative is anchored. They leverage the Six Sigma infrastructure created by the corporate quality cell or the Quality Council, to ensure flawless execution. The pillars of this infrastructure are things such as Rewards and Recogni-tion, Communication Plan, Review Mechanism, Project Tracking Mechanism etc. These have been discussed in detail in some other Lesson. The champions facilitate the selection and prioritization of right projects and are 18 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  35. 35. answerable on Six Sigma progress to the CEO or the top management. They are also responsible for increasing the internal capabilities to carry out Six Sigma projects. Most important, they plan the deploy-ment so that no part of the system becomes over-burdened as the strategy unfurls, this is especially with respect to data mining. The Champions are expected to play the following specific roles in Six Sigma deployment: l Own all the projects happening his/her business group or function. l Create an overall plan for Six Sigma deploy-ment. l Ensure that all projects taken up make a business case and are aligned with the overall organization strategy. l Set specific Six Sigma deliverables from team members. l Hold team members accountable. l Remove hurdles to implementation. l Deploy the best people on Six Sigma projects. l Review progress on a regular basis. l Communicate with Black Belts on a regular basis. l Develop synergy between Black Belts and ensure that they are brought together on a regular basis. l Personally approve all Six Sigma projects. l Ensure that improvements are sustained once the projects get over. DEBASHIS SARKAR 19
  36. 36. l Continually increase the Six Sigma capability by increasing the number of certified Green Belts or Black Belts. Remember, champions are the key element in the success of Six Sigma implementation. Before anybody else, they should be the first one to be taken through an awareness workshop which demystifies the Six Sigma and explains how it can be used for business improvement. Six Sigma Takeaway The champions should leverage opportunities of each Six Sigma project to ensure that the impact is maximized. 20 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  37. 37. DEBASHIS SARKAR 21 Lesson 7 Improvement with Six Sigma entails finding and working with critical X’s in a process Solving problems using Six Sigma methodology can best be described by the following relationship: Y = f (X1, X2, X3 … Xn) Where Y is the dependant output variable or the process output, X1, X2, X3 … Xn are called the independant variable or process predictors, ‘f’ is the function that defines the relationship between the process output (Y) and the process predictor variables (Xs). Y is the effect or the symptom which is caused by the Xs (i.e. X1, X2, X3 … Xn). Output Y is a function of Xs. Six Sigma is all about finding the critical Xs which affect the Y or the output of a process. Traditionally quality professionals have looked at Ys and have tried to work around with it. Six Sigma gives a structure to unfurl the Xs which result in Y. Xs are also called the Key Process Input Variables while Ys are called Key Process Output Variables.
  38. 38. In Six Sigma, we discover both the controllable and uncontrollable Xs which affect the process output Y. However, the focus is not on all the process variables (or Xs) but to use various tools to identify the few critical Xs and work with them. To elucidate the concept of Xs, let us look at the manufacturing process of ice creams. The diagram below mentions the various Xs which affect the Ys. 22 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  39. 39. Mapping the process during a Six Sigma project helps to identify not only the flow of events in the process but also the inputs (Xs) and outputs (Ys) in each step. So when a Six Sigma project is done, it is imperative not only to capture the Ys but also the corresponding Ys. When one commences with a Six Sigma project there are many input variables. But as the project progresses through the steps, it is found that only few of the variables contribute to the variation in Y. At the beginning of a process, it is a must to list all possible Xs. But the rigour of Six Sigma is such that by the end of the project only a few critical Xs get prioritized which are then worked with. This is aptly explained by the diagram below: MEASURE # 30 – 50 inputs ANALYZE # 8 – 12 Xs IMPROVE # 6 – 8 Xs CONTROL # 3 – 6 Xs Six Sigma Takeaway Most variations in Ys (outputs) are affected by initial few Xs. DEBASHIS SARKAR 23
  40. 40. Lesson 8 Build solid infrastructure pillars to support Six Sigma in the organization An effective Six Sigma deployment requires the following pillars which keep the wheels of a Six Sigma moving. It comprises the following: A. Operational pillars These refer to the paraphernalia required for effective execution of all Six Sigma projects. t A.1. Roles of People Involved in Six Sigma—This refers to the roles that people have to play in Six Sigma improvement teams. This has been discussed in detail in another Lesson. t A.2. Project tracking and monitoring Implementa-tion— This is the mechanism to track and monitor projects under execution. 24 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  41. 41. t A.3. Review Architecture—This is the review of projects that are underway both for timeline and Six Sigma rigour. t A.4. Helpdesk—Six Sigma on Call—As teams commence with projects it makes great sense to institute a help-desk which takes care of all queries of Six Sigma teams. This helpdesk should be manned by Master Black Belts who have prior proficiency in this field. t A.5. Rewards and Recognition—Rewards and Recognition should bolster Six Sigma deploy-ment by recognizing achievements and rein-forcement of behaviours that drive Six Sigma. t A.6. Framework for Effective Meetings—As meetings are an integral part of all projects it is necessary to put in place a framework for effective meetings. All project leaders should be trained on running effective meetings. t A.7. Benefits Tracking—This refers to putting in place a mechanism to track benefits accrued from each project. What is required is a corporate guideline on Six Sigma benefits calculations. B. Fundamental pillars These are the essentials for driving Six Sigma as an organizational initiative. t B.1. Communication—A organization-wide communication strategy should support Six DEBASHIS SARKAR 25
  42. 42. Sigma deployment to ensure it seeps deep and wide within an organization. t B.2. Senior Management Review—This refers to the CEO’s review with business leaders or business heads or functional heads or a CEO’s direct reportee; to ascertain progress. This is to gauge the Six Sigma penetration and improve-ments within a business or functional unit. t B.3. Nurture Project Sources—It is important that your organization should have a continued source of potential projects. This could be achieved by project selection workshops, brainstorming, suggestion schemes, and improvement ideas received in the Knowledge Management page. t B.4. Leverage the Learning through a Knowledge Management Platform—The learnings of each project should be shared with the rest of the members in the company. t B.5. Capability Building through BB/GB program-mes— This refers to the ongoing initiative to increase the breed of Black Belt and Green Belt within the organization. t B.6. Create a Process Council—This is required to identify processes that are taken up for improvement. This council comprises operating managers from various functions within a business. t B.7. Process Audits—This is required to ascertain the health of the improvements and to see if they have sustained after project completion. t B.8. Dashboards—The organization should regularly get an overview on the status of 26 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  43. 43. various projects through dashboards. It may be a good idea to appoint a Dashboard Manager for this purpose. t B.9. Create a Quality Council—This is the coun-cil of senior management who oversee the implementation of Six Sigma. The responsibil-ity of the success of Six Sigma depends on this DEBASHIS SARKAR 27 group. Without the above pillars, setting out on a Six Sigma journey may not be effective. It is important that a high powered team led by an MBB or Head–Six Sigma is made responsible for infrastructure creation. The progress of pillar creation is reviewed on a regular basis by the Quality Council. If the foundation of the pillars are weak, Six Sigma implementation will get derailed. Six Sigma Takeaway The infrastructural pillars are the foundation on which Six Sigma implementation is set on sail.
  44. 44. Lesson 9 Appoint a marketing manager for selling and marketing Six Sigma as a product to the employees of the company It may sound quite radical that a marketing manager for an improvement initiative as Six Sigma is being proposed! To some this may appear strange as marketing managers are required for selling products to consumers and not for selling Six Sigma to an organisation. It may be further suggested that if the CEO is committed and drives Six Sigma; things shall happen and a marketing resource should not be squandered. Although there is no substitute for the CEO’s commitment in an organization’s Six Sigma journey, the marketing manager is needed for a different objective. While the CEO sets the vision for Six Sigma implementation, the marketing manager sells the concept of Six Sigma to employees. He will do so like selling a product to consumer. The marketing would take the message of Six Sigma across the firm. 28 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  45. 45. By CEO’s mandation Six Sigma projects will happen but for Six Sigma to become an integral part of organizational DNA, it should be moved by the hearts and conviction of people. This shall happen when someone sells and continuously communicates the benefits of Six Sigma to the organization. The marketing manager of Six Sigma should be mandated to sell the brand Six Sigma to all within the firm. You may say that the Head—Quality or Head—Six Sigma, can take up this position. Yes, it can be done. But the problem is that typically, the Head—Quality or Head—Six Sigma is not a person who has the required marketing skills. What I am suggesting is a person from the marketing or selling function, who has prior marketing/selling experience in selling products/ services. This is because he/she will have the required skills of marketing a product (Six Sigma here) which a quality/Six Sigma professional may not possess. Yes, for the long-term success of Six Sigma, it has to be sold as any other goods are sold to the customers. So what should you do after picking up a bright person from the marketing or sales function is to train him or her on Six Sigma. The best thing would be to make the individual undergo a Black Belt or Green Belt training programme, ensure that he or she completes a projects and gets certified as a Green Belt or a Black Belt. This is required because if we want the person to sell quality, he or she should know what it is all about and what it takes for execution. The job essentially encompasses selling and institutionalizing Six Sigma across the Six Sigma. This person could report to the Head—Quality/Head—Six Sigma and be entrusted with the following headline responsibilities: DEBASHIS SARKAR 29
  46. 46. l Establish and communicate the key distinctive benefits of Six Sigma deployment. l Create presentation and promotional materials for Six Sigma. l Design various kinds of publicity programmes to promote the cause of Six Sigma in the company. l Do personal selling on what is Six Sigma and how it can be a lever for business improvement. l Use the telephone, e mail, internet and knowl-edge management platform; to communicate directly with employees. l Identify influential individuals within employ-ees (such as the union leader) and devote extra time with them on the power of Six Sigma. l Work towards developing word-of-mouth referral channels so that people look forward to get associated with Six Sigma projects. l Create awareness on Six Sigma among employ-ees through ‘Six Sigma Awareness Workshops’ which should be made compulsory for each employee. l Share success stories of Six Sigma deployment within and outside the company. The following is a list of common communication platform that an organization can use for Six Sigma deployment: F Brochures, F Booklets, F Posters, 30 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  47. 47. F Leaflets, F Billboards, F Audio-visual material, F Videotapes, F Contests, F Quizzes, F Exhibits, F Seminars, F Publications, F Events, F Presentations, F Six Sigma query meetings. Six Sigma Takeaway To make the communication of your Six Sigma marketing manager effective, ensure that the individual qualifies as a Black Belt or Green Belt before taking up this assignment. Remember, communication is going to be considered effective where the source is believed to have expertise. DEBASHIS SARKAR 31
  48. 48. Lesson 10 The quality council should drive Six Sigma implementation across the organization Set up a Quality Council that comprises the Chief Executive and the top management team who can oversee Six Sigma implementation across the organ-ization. The quality council should meet on a regular basis to guide, review and plan for Six Sigma implemen-tation. Also called the Leadership Council or Six Steering Committee, the main responsibilities of this group are to define and prioritize the quality improve-ment objectives and to maintain the correct rate of implementation. The following is a list of roles which should be played by a Quality Council in a Six Sigma journey: l Establish a vision and script an overall Six Sigma implementation roadmap. l Select specific processes for improvement. l Remove barriers to implementation. l Ascertain and address cultural issues in imple-mentation. 32 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  49. 49. l Ensure that the best people are selected for Six Sigma projects. l Define Six Sigma objectives for the entire organization which includes people at the senior level. l Ensure that improvements are quantified and determine how they impact bottom-line. l Support and commit the assignment of resources. l Assess the performance of Six Sigma projects to ensure its continuing suitability and effective-ness in ensuring customer satisfaction. l Review progress of current projects and the findings of internal audits of closed projects. l Review quality costs and where Six Sigma can be used for betterment. l Select process owners for core processes. l Ensure measurements are established for all completed projects. l Demand solid results. l Resolve and remove escalations and conflicts. l Ensure that the Six Sigma capability of the entire organization increases. l Ensure that the basic infrastructure is in place before Six Sigma implementation. l Involve suppliers in Six Sigma implementation and collaborate with them. l Show constancy of purpose. If you promise something, then deliver it. l All members of the Quality Council must walk the talk, and maintain the vision, drive and passion. DEBASHIS SARKAR 33
  50. 50. If your organization has multiple business units, it would be a good idea to have a Quality Councils both at the apex level of the company and within each business unit. Please do not undermine the role of the Quality Council in Six Sigma implementation. They play a critical role in identifying the right projects and ascertaining the best ways to roll out the initiative to maximize impact. In certain organizations the Quality Council also functions as a Process Council which has been discussed in another Lesson. Six Sigma Takeaway The Quality Council should work towards creating a culture that nurtures Six Sigma implementation. 34 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  51. 51. DEBASHIS SARKAR 35 Lesson 11 Bolster Six Sigma projects with a solid Review Framework Reviews are an integral part of Six Sigma imple-mentation. The main objective of reviews is to check achievement against plan, check timelines and decide actions to meet gaps. Other objectives include ensuring that earlier committed actions have been carried out and have delivered results. It is an opportunity to understand and support cross-functional activity in Six Sigma projects and to unfurl barriers to implementation. Reviews also play a critical role in Six Sigma Project Management. The following are the types of reviews commonly used during Six Sigma projects: l Regular Reviews (Timeline Reviews) These reviews are to be done by the Champion with the objective of ascertaining adherence to timelines and barriers to implementation. These reviews should not
  52. 52. take more than 15 minutes and should be centered around determining the progress against a Gantt chart that shows progress. These reviews should be extremely efficient and discussed in minimal detail. In certain organizations these are referred to as stand-up meetings, stressing that they serve as updates and are short in duration. These reviews typically happen on a weekly basis. l Tollgate Reviews These reviews are targeted in ascertaining the DMAIC rigour being followed in Six Sigma projects. The Master Black Belts typically chain these reviews. In case an organization has commenced its Six Sigma journey, it may hire external consultants (read: Six Sigma experts) who facilitate these reviews. The review is also an opportunity for the Black Belts/Green Belts to address their queries on statistical tools and concepts. It would be a great idea if the Champion is also present in these meetings. The Black Belt or Green Belt should not be allowed to continue onto the next phase until approval for the same has been received from the Master Black Belt and the Champion. These reviews ensure that the Six Sigma methodology is followed and the appropriate technical tool is used. In technical reviews there is a set of process questions after each step which need to be addressed. The Tollgates are an opportunity for Managers, Champions and Master Black Belts to listen to the teams, ask questions to ensure that the team is focused on strategic objectives and guide the team on tools and techniques. Tollgate Reviews are also called Technical Reviews. 36 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  53. 53. The above are typically used during project execution. However, the status of improvement is subsequently reviewed during monthly quality reviews held on a regular basis. In these reviews the trends of key process metrics and audit findings for completed projects are reviewed. Remember, these reviews are not Tollgate Reviews or Timeline Reviews, as discussed above. These are quality reviews that are held to ascertain the state of quality in an organization and Six Sigma projects are a part of it. Other agenda items of such reviews are Customer Complaints, Quality Management System Compliances, Audit Findings etc. Six Sigma Takeaway Six Sigma projects should not be allowed to continue to the next phase until Tollgate Reviews have been completed. DEBASHIS SARKAR 37
  54. 54. Lesson 12 Becoming a Master Black Belt requires a practical demonstration of adeptness in coaching, teaching, facilitation, consulting and mentoring The other day I was talking to the Deputy Managing Director of a manufacturing organization. He men-tioned that his organization had commenced with Six Sigma implementation. Further he shared that they had appointed their Director-Operations as a Master Black Belt (MBB) who would oversee the implementation. While there was nothing wrong with the Director- Operations being an MBB, what appeared queer was how could a person who did not have prior experience in Six Sigma become an MBB. Also, this reflected that the organization had not understood the roles and responsibilities of a Master Black Belt. So who are these Master Black Belts? They are super Black Belts whose depth with Six Sigma methodology and strong leadership skills make them Master Black Belts. They are technical specialists 38 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  55. 55. who train, coach, facilitate, consult and mentor other Black Belts. They are one of the prime drivers of the Six Sigma implementation and coordinate mega projects which run across the functions in an organization. So what are the key roles of a Master Black Belt? l Create infrastructure to facilitate Six Sigma deployment across the organization. l Help business leaders and Champions to develop a list of projects in their respective business groups. l Coach, train and mentor Black Belts on their projects, tools and conflict resolution. They play a stellar rule in helping BBs to interpret results. l Together with the dashboard manager, MBBs help in setting up a measurement system on projects and organizational performance measures. l They coordinate mega projects and facilitate the technical review of all Black Belt projects. l The MBBs run a project management infra-structure to monitor the progress of Six Sigma DEBASHIS SARKAR 39 projects. l Do training and workshops for Champions, Black Belts and Green Belts. l Work closely with Champions on deployment tactics. l Communicate the firm’s strategic potential from Six Sigma deployment to the top management. The selection of a Master Black Belt commences with the Black Belt Training programme and continues
  56. 56. through the execution of the subsequent projects. Do not be hasty in selecting MBBs. Please ascertain if he/ she has the relevant skills and aptitude. Also, determine if his/her career move as an MBB is aligned to his/her long-term career goals. So what does it require to become a Master Black Belt? It has been discussed in an earlier lesson but let me re-emphasize that a certification as an MBB requires 20 successful projects, about half of which are as a Black Belt and half while mentoring BBs. They should have achieved mastery on advanced statistical tools such as Design of Experiments, Quality Function Deployment, Failure Mode Effect Analysis, Analysis of Variance and so on. They should have excellent communication, facilitation and inter-personal skills; and should manifest the ability to work across functional boundaries. They should have experience in training Black Belts and should have conducted workshops for them. After selection of a candidate for the position of a MBB, he/she has to undergo a two weeks programme which prepares candidates for the role of a MBB. Remember, a MBB should not only possess technical skills but should also be a good leader to make Six Sigma an integral part of the organizational fabric. So do not undermine the leadership skills while focusing on technical abilities. When an organization sets out on a Six Sigma implementation it may not have a Master Black Belt so it is recommended that a Six Sigma expert or a consultant is hired. 40 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  57. 57. Six Sigma Takeaway Master Black Belts should work with Champions to increase the DNA of Six Sigma experts. DEBASHIS SARKAR 41
  58. 58. Lesson 13 When hiring a Consultant for Six Sigma deployment, ensure that all laid down criteria are met When Six Sigma is new in your organization, hire a consultant who will assist in the roadmap, train employees, help in project selection, advise on deployment infrastructure and partner implementation. As with all consultant selection, be extremely careful and do a thorough homework. I would recommend that there is a laid down criteria which is used whenever a Six Sigma consultant has to be hired. For a Six Sigma consultant you should ensure that the quality council comprising the company’s top management team is involved in the selection. The following is a list of areas that you should look at whenever you go out to hire a consultant: o Reputation/References: Ask for references and enquire on the companies he/she has asked for. Validate the claims by calling up a few companies 42 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  59. 59. that he/she has consulted for. The sample should represent a cross section of the industry. You would also require to check if there are any specific industry that the individual specializes in. o Credentials: Ascertain credentials such as educa-tional achievements, association memberships, or professional certifications. Is the person familiar with the processes that operate in your industry and has he or she been involved with quality improvement in your kind of industry. Does the consultant possess the desired listening and observation skills. This is because a consultant needs to gather information through listening and observing. o Knowledge of Six Sigma Fundamentals: This is a very important criteria in the process of selecting a consultant for Six Sigma. Ascertain the knowledge possessed by the consultants on Six Sigma tools and techniques. Specifically look for information on how they have used these tools in Six Sigma projects in other organizations. Probe on their knowledge of advanced tools as Design of Experiments, Multiple Environment Over Stress Testing, Quality Function Deployment, Benchmarking, Value Engineering, Mistake Proofing, Control Plans, Multivariate Analysis etc. Also, find out the number of Master Black Belts and Black Belts in the group who have had real life experience beyond consulting as team leaders on Six Sigma projects. If the consultants are also going to act as trainers, what is the content of their book of knowledge? What are the various topics covered and how are the corresponding simulated exercises? Six Sigma is also about managing change. DEBASHIS SARKAR 43
  60. 60. Please look into their past exposure in bringing about change. Do not hire a consultant who is only a statistician and not a Six Sigma practitioner. o Package: To fully evaluate a consultant’s capabilities you would require an assessment of implementation strategy. This should include methodology and a time plan for detailed implementation of the project for which he or she has to be hired, specifically the implementation structure and template that has to be followed. Also, it must be decided whether the consultant is just a trainer or someone who is going to partner with all elements of Six Sigma deployment. o Flexibility: Does the consultant have a repertoire of providing flexibility, which should include the ability to change the plan without losing sight of the ultimate objective. He or she should be able to complete tasks and achieve milestones without disrupting the normal course of the business and should blend in with the employees without affecting their work. o Costs: Establish how many on-site days will be required to complete individual tasks. What costs would be incurred and what is the expected ROI? Do not hasten while deciding on a consultant for Six Sigma. If it means spending a few more days and a little more money, go for the consultant who meets all the above criteria. Remember, the consultants are going to create the foundation on which the build-ing of Six Sigma is going to be built. So do not com-promise. Go for the best. 44 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  61. 61. Six Sigma Takeaway Consultant selection is like finding a wife for yourself, be extremely meticulous and careful in its selection. DEBASHIS SARKAR 45
  62. 62. Lesson 14 Beware of the Consultant who gives a Proposal to improve an Organizational Business Process all by itself, without the involvement of employees Many companies in India are hiring consultants to help them in their Six Sigma journey. While consultants are required, I have discomfort with consultants who are trying to make the quick buck due to the ignorance of the industry. Companies such as Motorola and GE, while implementing Six Sigma, also hired consultants. But they went for the right people who could steer the entire organization towards institutionalizing Six Sigma. Quality stalwarts such as Mike Harry and Keki Bothe were associated with their implementation. The results of their contributions are before us and hence Six Sigma is an integral part of the organizational fabric. It is not that India does not have Six Sigma experts in our country. But companies are hiring Six Sigma preachers who may talk elaborately but lack depth. Organizations get swayed by the gift of the gab and 46 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  63. 63. laptops, without probing deep on their previous work. I am also amazed to see that consultants who were earlier preaching ISO and then graduated to TQM, are now evangelizing Six Sigma. My advice to all organ-izations is to look at the credential of the consultants before hiring them. I know of a consultancy firm, which deputes fresh business graduates into implementing Six Sigma projects. The client organizations are hardly aware of this or are ignorant of the fact that imple-mentation of Six Sigma requires specific skill sets. Before hiring a Six Sigma consultant, a referral check with organizations has to be done, to validate the consultant’s claim. Find out if they have helped companies to eradicate chronic problems or how many projects they have worked on, which facilitate the achievement of strategic objectives. Ascertain the consultant’s familiarity with all advanced Six Sigma tools. This is important to know because some problems may require advanced statistical tools such as Design of Experiments (DOE), where simple problem-solving tools may not be of help. Be careful of consultants who try to sell the ‘Simple Problem Solving’ methodology under the garb of Six Sigma or consultants who have tied up with some non-descript foreign Six Sigma consultants. The criteria that you should follow for consultant selection has been discussed in detail in an earlier lesson. A few companies have set out on a Six Sigma journey by allowing consultants to improve their processes. Participation of employees is either cosmetic or is absent during the improvement process. As a result, the improvement does happen but rolls back to the original state after the project is over. Please avoid such consultants who run Six Sigma projects without the DEBASHIS SARKAR 47
  64. 64. involvement of employees. Instead of building internal capability, such consultants are silently letting organizations to be parasitic to external consultants. To institutionalize Six Sigma in your company, use consultants as facilitators and not as people who are running projects. Six Sigma Takeaway The consultants should act as facilitators and not as people who are running Six Sigma projects. 48 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  65. 65. DEBASHIS SARKAR 49 Lesson 15 Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of Six Sigma teams As teams set out on Six Sigma projects ascertain if they are effective enough to deliver the desired results. You may have the brightest of people on the projects but if their energies are not channelized well, they will soon get squandered without delivering the required results. Just knowing the best tools is not adequate, what is required is a team which can keep the engine of the project moving. Proactively ascertain the effectiveness of Six Sigma teams. What are the traits of an effective team for Six Sigma project? l The team has clearly defined objectives and a mission. l The team’s objective has a clear alignment with the organizational strategy of the company.
  66. 66. l All members of the team are aware of the problem being addressed, project goal and reason why the project is being done. l The teams have a Champion who regularly reviews progress. l All team members have received training on basics of Six Sigma and team dynamics. l There is open communication among all team members. l Members take critique and feedback positively. l The team members are aware of the specific roles that each one is supposed to play. l Decisions are not based on gut and hunches but on data. l Team members are aware of suppliers, inputs, customers and outputs of the process under improvement. l Team members are empowered and have the authority to take decisions. l The team achieves all the pre-decided timelines. l The team members spend adequate and required time on the project. l Credit is given to contributions of all team members. Effective teams are required for successful Six Sigma deployment. It is the responsibility of the management to understand how to make teams effective. The management has to keep the teams positively active to produce desired results. Effective teams are only 50 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  67. 67. possible when there is unstained focus and lot of hard work on the part of management. Six Sigma Takeaway If tools are the sails of a Six Sigma boat, the teams are its engine. DEBASHIS SARKAR 51
  68. 68. Lesson 16 The composition of the Six Sigma project team is critical to its success Every Six Sigma team should have an effective leader who not only provides directions but also understands the team dynamics. The team leader should not only possess technical knowledge but also behavioural and leadership skills to actively engage the members of the group. The Six Sigma improvement team should definitely comprise the following members: l Sponsor He or she is the person who proposes a project for execution. They have the budgetary authority and pay for the expenses for a successful project execution. In some organizations the role of a sponsor and champion can often merge. l Champions The champions are responsible for the success of a Six Sigma project. His/her role has been discussed in detail in an earlier Lesson. 52 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  69. 69. l Six Sigma Project Leader This is the person who leads the Six Sigma project. They are typically Black Belt or Green Belts who are adept in the methodology of improvement. l Process Owner He or she is the person who owns the process from the beginning to the end. The person is responsible for holding and sustaining the gains from the project execution. Process owners are assisted by process operators who work on the process. Core or key processes could even cut across functional boundaries and departments. Depending on the level of management, the ownership of processes shall vary. Core processes are typically owned by senior managers while sub process ownership could rest with the middle management or junior management. l Process Operator They are the people who work on the process and are responsible for ensuring that process para-meters are maintained as desired. Process operators play a major role in ensuring that the gains are sustained. The effective training of operators is a must, in order to ensure that operators manage the process as per the process control plan. The participation of critical operators is a must in the Six Sigma project so that they can own the improvements. l Process Expert He or she is a person who has an expertise on the process. The person may or may not be a part of DEBASHIS SARKAR 53
  70. 70. process, but is typically a subject matter expert who brings in all the theoretical and practical insights of a process. He or she is the knowledge bank among the Six Sigma team members. l Information Technology (IT) expert He or she is a person who gives the technology support to the project team. In quite a few occasions, improvements require information technology solution and this is where the IT expert plays the role. His or her involvement should be from the beginning of the project to ensure that the right IT solution is effectively designed. l Representative from the CFO’s office This is the person from the office of the Chief Financial Officer who guides and ascertains the benefits of an improvement project. The role of the CFO’s office in the improvement project has been delved in detail in another lesson. The above team members are required for the effective execution of the project. For all group level exercises such as brainstorming, FMEA (Failure Mode Effect Analysis), Process Mapping etc., all members must participate. Remember, the larger the participation of the team members in Six Sigma project, the easier is the implementation. I have observed in a few organ-izations that Six Sigma projects typically remain the baby of the Six Sigma project leader (i.e. Black Belt or Green Belt) and there is cosmetic participation of the teams. Remember, this is a recipe for disaster. 54 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  71. 71. Six Sigma Takeaway The project leaders should never attempt to do everything himself or herself. DEBASHIS SARKAR 55
  72. 72. Lesson 17 During the First Year of Six Sigma imple-mentation, focus of deployment should be on Value and not Volume A well known organization set out on a journey of Six Sigma deployment with a lot of vigour and fanfare. However it was found that after two year’s deployment, the desired impact could be felt for the investments made. This organization had a strength of 1000, of which 100 people had been trained as Black Belts or Green Belts, all of whom executed projects during the first year. Yes, 10 per cent of the organization was working on projects in the first year itself. All these projects had been completed after the CEO had mandated that at least 100 projects be completed within the first year of deployment. The head of the Six Sigma in the organ-ization mentioned that the company had invested around Rs 3 crores on the initiative but had received no tangible benefit, save for the hype and hoopla that Six Sigma was being implemented. The senior manage-ment as well as the CEO were turning skeptical about 56 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  73. 73. Six Sigma being another flavour of the month from the den of a quality practitioner. The above is an example of an organization where the focus during the first year of implementation has been on volume (number of projects) instead of the value (benefits/impacts they can deliver). This is a mis-take which organizations often commit. Often, in the enthusiasm to reach a threshold, organizations com-mit too many projects in the first year of deployment. The first year of deployment is extremely critical for Six Sigma’s success. This is the time when the tone of Six Sigma deployment is set in the organization. If people do not taste success after the first or second year of deployment, the initiative shall get completely thrown off. Organizations should consciously treat the projects in the first year as a pilot. It is extremely important that only a few projects are taken up and that the focus is on the impact of the projects and not on the number of projects. All efforts should be geared to make them successful. These projects cannot be anything but only those which are important for the organization. Ensure that the projects are selected by the Quality Council, the membership of which comprises the CEO and senior management. Take up only end-to-end projects (discussed later in another lesson), the impact of which can be felt by the customer as well as the stakeholders. The recommendation is to take up a mix of projects on efficiencies as well as customers. The temptation would be to take up only efficiency projects as we would like to show quick rupee savings. But it is important that we take up projects which also lead to long term benefits such as revenue DEBASHIS SARKAR 57
  74. 74. growth, customer loyalty and so on. This is required in order to gain acceptability within the company that Six Sigma can also be used for things other than cost savings/efficiency improvement. Six Sigma Takeaway During the first year of Six Sigma deployment, take up a few but meaningful and high impact projects. 58 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  75. 75. DEBASHIS SARKAR 59 Lesson 18 Appoint a Dashboard Manager who is entrusted with the responsibility of tracking process metrics As the number of projects increases in an organization, it is recommended that a position of a dashboard manager is created to track and monitor projects which have been completed. This is important because if the metrics of the completed projects are not looked at, the processes could revert to the original state. This person typically should report to the CEO or his/her direct reportee. This is to ensure that the top management is aware of the status of process performances that had been taken up for improvement. So, what are these dashboards? They are effective ways of communicating the metrics of processes which have been taken up for improvement using the Six Sigma methodology. Dashboards use graphs, charts, pictures or other visual techniques to communicate key process metrics and provide a uniform template for alerting managers to critical issues pertaining to Six Sigma implementation.
  76. 76. The dashboard manager should alert senior manage-ment and champions of exceptional circumstances in a timely manner. He/she should liaise with the process owners to ensure that dashboards are prepared within stipulated timelines and that the information is used for arriving at root causes. The individual should ascertain the impact of deviations on the business objectives and larger goals of the organization; and keep the management apprised of the same. The dashboard manager also works with the organization to devise a policy on what data can be made freely accessible and what should be restricted. The dashboard manager could commence by first implementing the dashboards manually and then graduate to partial automation. But his/her ultimate goal should be digitization, which enables automation of the processes for data entry, analysis and reporting. This will not only increase efficiency but shall also reduce errors. Digital dashboards are also called cockpits, and allow timely access of Six Sigma metrics to key stakeholders. The dashboard manager should have an information technology background and should have a liking for data. A word of caution here is that setting up digital cockpits are often not easy. This is because many of the processes may be manual and automating them may require enormous resources. The other challenges are that often data systems do not talk to each other and there is a lack of standardization of measurement system across the company. 60 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  77. 77. Six Sigma Takeaway The dashboard manager should create a roadmap for dashboard implementation. He should commence with manual data presentation, move to partial automation and finally target full automation. DEBASHIS SARKAR 61
  78. 78. Lesson 19 Six Sigma deployment should precede with the identification of Core Business Processes Quite often, organizations are not aware of the core business processes, mission-critical processes, key business process or macro processes. It is thus essential that before commencing on a Six Sigma journey you decipher the core processes which support the mission of the company. Organizations convert their strategies to action through processes. Businesses are drawn around functions but it is the processes which deliver the business goals. Understanding the core processes are critical to business success. So what are the attributes of core processes? l They are the processes that help in achieving the business goals, fulfillment of the mission and the attainment of its vision. l They are the processes that are required for organizational success and is supported by a whole lot of sub-processes. 62 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  79. 79. l They are those processes that provide competi-tive advantage. l They cut across functions and involve numer-ous departments. One of the methods of ascertaining the core processes is by a tree diagram where the organizational goals such as market share, increased sales, improved customer satisfaction etc. are documented and then the processes for achieving these goals are linked. Potential Core Processes Sub-Processes Deciding the core processes requires the top manage-ment’s involvement. Typically organizations have 3– 10 core business processes. The following are examples of the core processes of two companies which I have studied very closely. For the sake of confidentiality, the names have not been mentioned. However, you will get an idea on what core processes are all about. Core Processes of Two Companies Company ABC Company XYZ Corporate Governance Distribution After Sales Service Supply Chain Design and Development Research and Development Customer Delivery Process Marketing Manufacturing Manufacturing Sales and Marketing Technology Excellence in business can be achieved when the focus is on improving the core processes and there is a DEBASHIS SARKAR 63
  80. 80. continuous review on their effectiveness from the customers’ and shareholders’ point of view. You should leverage the power of Six Sigma by working on these processes. Identification of core processes help to redeploy improvement efforts that were previously launched against relatively trivial processes. Six Sigma Takeaway Before deploying Six Sigma identify the core processes in your organization. 64 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  81. 81. DEBASHIS SARKAR 65 Lesson 20 Do not take up Improvement Projects in the cafeteria during the early days of Six Sigma journey I am aware of a company which during its early days of implementation took up a project in the cafeteria and parking. There was a major increase in Sigma levels but the impact was not felt much. There was no flaw in the methodology but the organization took up a project which did not have strategic importance. It is impera-tive that we begin with improving the processes that are linked to the strategy. Randomly selected processes for improvement may not have strategic importance and you will only end up squandering valuable resources. It is not as though projects should not be taken up in a canteen but it is an issue of making choices about which processes to improve and likely trade-offs in resources allocation. Trivial processes such as that of the cafeteria should be taken up when sufficient progress has been made towards improving the core
  82. 82. business processes. Following are some of the processes which should be taken up for improvement: l Processes that support achievement strategic and business goals. Target the core processes which are directly linked to the strategy of the company. l Processes that have senior management buy-in. Do not take up processes which are not in the radar of senior executives. l Process which impact the customers are an ideal choice for Six Sigma projects. It would be a good idea to inventorize all processes that impact customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Specifically look for processes which are often touched by customers. l Processes which are cost intensive are also a good choice. This means that a 25 per cent improvement in a process that consumes resources worth Rs 10 crore would mean a saving of Rs 2.5 crore. However, this would require that the organization should have detailed process costs which many organiza-tions do not have. Leveraging the activity-based- costing to ascertain the true process cost is recommended. l Processes in which your organization is weak vis-à-vis competition. However, the challenge here would be to get the real voice of the processes of the competitors. A good idea could be to decipher this by talking to the competitor’s customers. 66 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  83. 83. l Processes that have a clearly defined process owner. It does not make sense to take up processes which do not have an owner as there will be nobody to implement the solutions. l Processes which consume large amounts of material are good candidates for improvement. This is because reduction in wastes would mean improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. It is the onus on the senior management and Six Sigma champions to isolate the trivial processes from vital processes which have significant impact on business. Six Sigma Takeaway Do not use Six Sigma to improve processes which are in transition. DEBASHIS SARKAR 67
  84. 84. Lesson 21 Black Belts should not carry out small improve-ment projects (read: Green Belt projects) in the garb of those being Black Belt projects A well known consumer goods company had started its Six Sigma journey and had spent a lot of money in training people as Black Belts and Green Belts. However, on a visit to one of their manufacturing units I found a Black Belt working on improving the process for raising purchase orders. On probing I was told that the turn-around time for generating purchase orders was quite high and as a result the supplies to the unit did not often happen on time. This was a clear case of wasting a valuable resource as a Black Belt to work on trivial process improvement projects. This is what happens when an organization does not have clear definitions for a Black Belt and a Green Belt Project. It is imperative that these definitions are explicit and clear so that the resources in Black Belts and Green Belts are deployed judiciously. 68 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  85. 85. A Black Belt project looks at improving core business processes which help at achieving a business goal. These are typically cross functional, cross regional and cross departmental projects which are run by Black Belts. These projects should yield a significant return to the organization and should be completed within six to nine months. These projects could have any of the objectives such as improving customer satisfaction, optimizing the supply chain, reduction of defects, reduction of cycle time, improvement of first-pass yield, shortening of lead time, reduction of variability, optimization of product performance, optimization of process performance, cutting costs, reduction of the cost of quality, improve-ment delivery performance and so on. A Green Belt project looks at improving sub-processes of a core business process. These are within departments and are seldom across functions and regions. Green Belts are typically part time Six Sigma resources who take up improvements together with regular work. The objectives could be same as the Black Belt projects but the scale and scope is much smaller. Before creating the cadre of Black Belts and Green Belts, clearly define what comprises a Black Belt and Green Belt project. Six Sigma Takeaway An organization should clearly define what constitutes a Black Belt and Green Belt project. DEBASHIS SARKAR 69
  86. 86. Lesson 22 The project charter is a tool to manage, control and approve Six Sigma projects The project charter is the first step of a Six Sigma project. It is a document that lays down the fundamentals on which the project is run. The charter manages, controls and approves the project that is being taken up for improvement. It is a living document that gives an overview of the project and evolves as it progresses. The charter has to be scripted by the Black Belt or the Green Belt with the help of the champion or sponsor. This is because there are quite a few elements to it that ties up with the larger picture of the business and, as they have been part of the project selection exercise. So what should a project charter contain? It comprises the following: l Business case. l Problem statement. l Goal statement or specific objective desired. l Project scope and assumptions. 70 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  87. 87. l Elements out of scope. l Stakeholders impacted (departments, custo-mers or vendors influenced by the project). l Risks. l Champion’s name. l Reporting manager of the person driving the project. l Team Membership (black belts, green belts, sub-ject matter expert, process owner, representa-tives of all silos thru’ which the process cuts across, IT support). l Project milestones. l Expected financial benefits. An ideal project charter should be a one page (or maximum two page) document. In many organizations it is an integral part of the project tracking software. A charter is like a contract that outlines the resources and support that the champion will provide in return for improvement objectives. A charter also helps teams to avoid projects that have an overwhelming scope and ensures projects are aligned to business needs. Before closing on the charter do not forget to get the champion’s sign off. By signing the charter the champion commits to the project. Six Sigma Takeaway A project charter aids teams to avoid projects that do not make business sense. DEBASHIS SARKAR 71
  88. 88. Lesson 23 Scripting the problem statement right is vital to a Six Sigma project Before beginning your Six Sigma project take all efforts to clearly define the problem statement. If the problem statement is not scripted correctly it can lead to the project going awry. So what is a problem statement? A problem statement is a one or two-line description of the symptoms arising from the pain to be addressed. It is a visible deficiency that is observed in a product, service or a process. Once a pain or a concern has been identified, a problem statement helps to understand it by giving flesh to it. It is a mental representation of what is wrong. It is a description of pain or what is not meeting the customers needs/expectations. It could also be a gap between the existing and desired state. A problem statement should always be weaved in terms that are visible, specific and measurable. It should be of a size and complexity that is manageable. 72 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  89. 89. While scripting a problem statement never talk about solutions or give a preconceived indication of what the root cause might be. Never affix blame in the problem statement and do not base it on a guess or an assumption. A problem statement also bounds and frames the situation by specifying what should or should not be included. It should include a manageable set of concerns. Do not include many problems into one problem statement. A problem statement should answer the following: l What has gone wrong? l Where has the problem occurred? l When did the problem occur? l What is the magnitude of the problem? l What has been the impact of the problem on the business? Here’s an example of a good problem statement: Wrong The rework in XYZ flexi machine lying in a biscuit packaging section is at 25 per cent due to the voltage variation. Right The rework in XYZ flexi machine lying in a biscuit packing section is at an average of 25 per cent over the last three months resulting in losses of Rs 132 lakhs to the company. DEBASHIS SARKAR 73
  90. 90. Six Sigma Takeaway The objective of the problem statement is the following: (a) Clarifying why the process or system produces the effect that one aims to change, (b) Measuring the performance of the process or system that produces the effect, (c) Understanding the situation that led to the problem. 74 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  91. 91. DEBASHIS SARKAR 75 Lesson 24 An effective Six Sigma deployment requires a holistic mechanism to capture the voice of the customers The following is a list of tools that can be used by your organization to capture the voice of customers who have experienced the product or service of your organization: l 1. Global Customer Surveys These surveys are done with the objective to get a feedback of the customers on all issues pertaining to the relationship. It includes elements as product or/and quality, price, image and so on. Such surveys also find out what is important to the customers and what is trivial to them. Global customer surveys can also be used to provide a competitive profile when the same is administered on competitors’ customers who are actually your potential customers. Global customer surveys are typically comprehensive and encompass all
  92. 92. elements of a customer relationship. Designing a questionnaire is critical to the success of a global customer survey. l 2. Transactional Surveys Transaction surveys are administered immediately after a customer has had an experience with the organization’s product or service. The intent of the survey is to take feedback when experience is still fresh in the mind of the consumer. The feedback is typically sorted between 7 and 30 days after the event has occurred. The timely and specific feedback from customers can be a valuable enabler to process improvement. The methodologies used for transaction surveys are: 2a). Personal Interviews: These are face-to-face interactions between a company representative and the customer. 2b). Electronic Surveys: Commonly used these days, in this method the questionnaire is sent using the electronic mail or the internet. 2c). Mail Surveys: In this method the question-naire is sent by mail or fax. But the problem here is that customers seldom respond. 2d). Telephone Interview: Extremely popular, in this method the feedback is taken over tele-phone and takes about 10–15 minutes. In telephone interviews the questions should be short and have relatively simple scales. The biggest advantage here is the speed with which the data can be gathered and is quite cost effective. 76 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  93. 93. l 3. New, Declining and Lost Customer Survey These surveys are used to determine why custo-mers select the firm, reduce their buying or leave the firm. The objective is to assess the role service quality and other issues that come into play in customer patronage and loyalty. l 4. Focus Group Interviews This method involves direct questioning of a small group (usually eight to twelve people). Questions focus on specific topics and can be used with customers, non-customers, or employee groups. l 5. Mystery Shopping In mystery shopping researchers become custo-mers to experience and evaluate the quality of service delivered. l 6. Customer Advisory Panels This involves a group of customers who are recruited periodically to provide the firm with feedback and advise on service performance and other issues. This involves capturing service expectations and perceptions gathered in the field. l 7. Employee Field Reports This is a formal process for gathering, categorizing and distributing field employee intelligence about service issues. The objective of mentioning the above is to bring out the point that for an effective voice of customer, one single method may not be effective. You may have to look at a mix of the above as each tool has some utility value which the other cannot provide. It has been seen that a single listening system may be inadequate as it DEBASHIS SARKAR 77
  94. 94. gives a snapshot at a point in time from a particular angle. Greater insights are unfurled when a series of snapshots are taken from different lenses. Six Sigma Takeaway Always measure the customer’s feedback with respect to customer’s expectations. 78 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  95. 95. DEBASHIS SARKAR 79 Lesson 25 It is important to focus on the Right Measure to ascertain the Efficacy of a Process When you talk about measurements of a process, ascertain what is being measured in the process. This is important for the impact to be felt by the customer. It may be foolish to expect an efficiency measure to impact the customer. What is required is to focus on the right measure in an improvement project for the impact to be felt. In any process, measures could be any of the following: 1. Process—Efficiency. 2. Output—Effectiveness. 3. Outcome—Customer Satisfaction. This is also delineated by the following model:
  96. 96. But what are each of these measures: l Efficiency Measures: The measures of efficiency quantify the resources consumed in the process relative to minimum possible levels. They are measured within the process. Efficiencies are not measured by examining the products after they are produced or by surveying customers. Process measures represent parameters that directly control the integration of materials, methods, machines and the environment within the process. While frequently understood and used in functioning operations, process measures are often absent from service functions. It should be the endeavour of improve-ment teams in service companies to put process parameters in place. Some examples of efficiency measures are costs, variability, cycle time and so on. l Effectiveness Measures: The measures of process effectiveness quantify the ability of a process to deliver a product or service according to their specifi-cations. These measures represent specific features, values and attributes of each product or service that are expected by a customer. Like efficiency measures which are quantified relative to minimum theoretical levels, effectiveness measures too are a relative term. Measures of process effectiveness are calculated through a comparison of the process’s ability to deliver products and services (outputs) relative to customer requirements. They compare the output characteristics actually delivered by the process to the corresponding characteristics specified by the customer. 80 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  97. 97. l Outcome Measures: The measures of outcomes quantify the ability of outputs to satisfy the needs of their customers and represent the ultimate perfor-mance measure. Outcomes are beyond the direct control of the supplier and rely on the customer’s expectations and actions. Outcomes can be measured in two ways: 1. Product/Service effectiveness. Product/service effectiveness measure determines how well the product or service (output) performs in the customer’s process. 2. Customer Satisfaction. 3. Customer satisfaction determines how well each product and service satisfies the needs and expectations of the customer and recognizes that satisfaction is based on vague, idiosyncratic perceptions. Remember, measures of outcome level can be determined only after the product has been delivered or the service has been provided. For an impact to be felt by the customer, do not forget to focus on the outcome measures. Six Sigma Takeaway By just targeting on efficiency measures, the customer may not feel the impact. Focus both on effectiveness and efficiency measures. DEBASHIS SARKAR 81
  98. 98. Lesson 26 Together with Sigma levels keep an eye on the class of the process I have often seen that people are satisfied once improvements have been carried using Six Sigma. Their rational is that the Sigma levels have improved so things are all hunky-dory. While there is nothing wrong in this philosophy, it may be worthwhile to evaluate your process with respect to the class in the Process-Grid given on the following page. Theoretically the goal of all processes should be to become Class 1. The Class of Process is identified by the following traits and characteristics: Process Type Name Class 6 Ill-defined Class 5 Defined Class 4 Refined Class 3 Capable Class 2 Efficient and Effective Class 1 Mature 82 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  99. 99. Process Grid DEBASHIS SARKAR 83
  100. 100. The decision whether to make a process Class 1 or Class 2 or Class 3 is a business call and is dependant on customer requirements. Remember, in certain pro-cesses; even a Class 3 process is fine while in others it is imperative that the process in Class1. There are huge costs associated in taking processes from Class 3 to Class 1. And this extra cost is to a need of the customer and he or she is willing to pay for it. Moving from Class 1 to Class 6 is not an easy task. The diagram gives an approximate time frame for a process to reach from Class 6 to Class 1. The duration may change based on the complexity and current state of the process. Time Estimates for Class based Improvements The time frames mentioned are pretty ambitious and we should not try to shorten it by taking short cuts. As 84 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  101. 101. improvements happen it is important to give sufficient time to allow the improvements to ingrain within the process. Six Sigma Takeaway Ascertaining the class of process shall give insights into the Sigma levels that should be achieved. DEBASHIS SARKAR 85
  102. 102. Lesson 27 While executing DMAIC projects do not take short cuts. Follow all the steps Six Sigma project essentially comprises five steps which have been scripted below: o Step 1—Define: This is the first step of Six Sigma methodology and sets the foundation for carrying out an improvement project. It aims to clearly define the project with the champion while scripting clear goals and specifying the process with its customers and suppliers. The deliverables of this step are: l Project charter (comprising problem statement, goal statement, business case, primary quality characteristics also called CTQ, project mile-stones, what is in its scope, what is out of its scope, definition of a defect). l Project boundaries. l High level process map. 86 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA
  103. 103. l Key process customers and suppliers. l Project plan. l Formation of a project’s team. l Type of resources that will be required. o Step 2—Measure: The second step of a DMAIC methodology aims to gather data for establishing the current state. The objective of this step is to find out the extent of the problem and collect data to ascertain the few vital root causes. The deliverables of this step are: l Identifying the Xs which affect the Y. (This is from the relationship Y= f (x), where Y is the outcome of a process and Xs are the causes of the predictors of the process). l Detailed process map. l Cause and effect diagram and a cause and effect matrix. l Data collection plan. l Sampling strategy and sample size. l Measurement system including gauge repeat-ability and reproducibility study. l Carrying out data collection to ensure there is sufficient data for analysis. l Baselining the current performance levels or Sigma levels. l Ascertaining yields. o Step 3—Analyze: This step endeavours to unfurl the potential sources of variation and reduce the number of process variables to be acted on in the DEBASHIS SARKAR 87
  104. 104. improvement phase. Some of the key deliverables of this step are: l Process capability. l Statistical analysis of the significance of X variables with respect to Y, leverage tools as analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression analysis, DOE. l Detailed process map. l Statistically validated root causes of the problem. l Prioritized areas for improvement. o Step 4—Improve: In this phase the root causes of the problem should be removed and the solution in the process need to be standardized. The proposed solutions are confirmed in this stage and the implementation strategy is worked out. To ensure that the solutions are effective, they are tried out in a prototype before commencing on a full-fledged improvement. Some of the key deliverables of this step are: l Potential solutions. l New process map. l Piloting solutions. l Incorporating the learnings of the pilot in the solution. l Identification of resources that are needed for implementation. l Revised tolerances of the modified process. l New capability analysis. 88 LESSONS IN SIX SIGMA