Real-life Lean and Six Sigma project examples, with about five PowerPoint-like slides laid out and presented with commentary as if a Green Belt or Black Belt were presenting in a Lean Six Sigma final tollgate meeting.
A key success factor for Six Sigma is establishing good project starting points through appropriate problem definitions. It is critical that improvement initiatives start at the top and flow downward, and that everyone understands their roles.
A relatively simple 10-point checklist can help evaluate projects at specific milestones as well as be part of a lessons learned exercise after project completion. Anticipating potential project failures also can drive an effective project selection.
Having a robust and reliable approach to, first, quickly determine whether the project is indeed a good DMAIC project, and second, to prioritize projects to ensure resources are allocated appropriately, is essential to Six Sigma program success.
Using an accelerated approach, projects can take as little as one week to complete. This requires good planning, participation by the key stakeholders and a commitment to rapidly working through the DMAIC logic to make sustainable improvements to process performance.
Black Belt Mike is given his first project – Reduce Tray Jams. Mike's first task is to accurately define the project's scope to create that delicate balance between scope, time and resources.
Estimating potential project benefits have not always been subjected to same level of analytical rigor of typical Six Sigma work. Project teams can help themselves over this hurdle with a straightforward method for calculating potential benefits.
For projects that never seem to end, the common cause is allowing requirements to pass in and out of the revolving door of project scope. This is particularly true in software development. However, a few rules can help manage this "scope creep."
iSixSigma Magazine is celebrating five years as a resource for Lean Six Sigma professionals. During those years, iSixSigma has produced a series of research reports on aspects of deploying Six Sigma. Here we've compiled benchmarking data on projects.
The Six Sigma project matrix helps create a project portfolio that has both substance and merit. By partitioning projects into the four quadrants of the matrix, Black Belts will select tasks that please customers and improve the firm's bottom line.
A business requirements document (BRD) details the business solution for a project including the documentation of customer needs and expectations. The BRD process can be incorporated within a Six Sigma DMAIC culture.
Lean Six Sigma projects are a learning journey and, unfortunately, can become delayed. In this case study, a project team made time to analyze progress slowdowns using a reality tree and was able to determine solutions for keeping projects on track.
Growth of the DMAIC methodology in the United States' more service-oriented economy is not as fast as earlier in manufacturing industries. While DMAIC is well-proven, it requires a systematic plan for project selection in transactional environments.
What Six Sigma projects should you be working on? This article presents the obvious, as well as some not so obvious, areas for improvement, followed by Six Sigma project guidelines and examples.
The best scoped project is one that can be completed in three to four months and that will contribute towards achieving an important strategic goal. How to set that scope? There are several simple tricks of the trade that can help.
While every healthcare organization has multiple priorities that must be weighed and kept in balance - and many stakeholders to satisfy - there are some basic guidelines which can be used for Six Sigma healthcare project selection.
During a period of declining profits, it is common for companies to begin cost-cutting efforts to trim the fat. Spending caps are imposed and projected budget expenditures are reduced. Eventually, companies turn to process improvement efforts such as Six Sigma or Lean to dig deep into processes to reduce waste. It is at this point that faulty project selection and chartering can create a mismatch between estimated savings and actual positive impact on the bottom line.
Too often commitments made today are, at best, hopes for success tomorrow. There are two elements at the foundation of this dangerously growing mentality, and this article provides 10 ways to make and meet commitments.
Need help selecting a Six Sigma quality improvement project? Whether it's a Green Belt, Black Belt or team based quality improvement project, you need to make sure you select the best one for the business.
There are many types of customer data and many ways for a business to obtain it – complaints, returns, surveys, focus groups, interviews and feedback cards. All of these can be used to identify Six Sigma projects to improve customer satisfaction.
A smart resource allocation strategy should be aligned with the results of analysis of past projects. This analysis should be combined with predictions for future-based elements such as probability of success and projected return on investment.
Scope creep almost always presents itself within the lifecycle of a software project. This article identifies four ways to help you manage scope creep before it becomes an issue.
Through a modeling method, practitioners may be able to establish process change effectiveness using historical bug data. This technique can be used in situations where running an actual controlled experiment on the process would be difficult.
At the time of NASA's Apollo mission, multi-generation project planning (MGPP) was not a popular tool, but the moon landing project is an excellent example of the power of MGPP, and it provides a chance to explore how it fits with Six Sigma.
When a standardized process is not in place, practitioners may benefit from conducting a shorter form of improvement project called DMC.
Choosing the correct process improvement methodology is not a difficult task for full-time practitioners, but for other team members this is often an obstacle that takes up valuable time and energy. A positioning map may help in making selections.
A lack of pre-work is at least partially responsible for most abandoned Six Sigma projects. Additionally, projects are often not adequately prioritized to determine relative ranking for purposes of focus and allocation of finite resources.
Tracking financial metrics, reporting on project status and sharing knowledge more easily are just a few of the benefits of project tracking software. This directory provides information about the capabilities and functionalities of several products.
An important factor contributing to the success of a Six Sigma healthcare project is the initial defining or scoping of the project.
Careful project selection is critical to the success of a Six Sigma initiative. Using a defined method of prioritizing and selecting the best projects ensures measurable business impact, alignment to organizational goals and optimal use of team leader resources.
Here are tens of ideas for identifying issues in your organization and function. These ideas can then be evaluated and formalized into project charters which will allow you to prioritize for implementation.
A nine-step business management system drives improvement projects that will enhance key performance indicators and thereby benefit the business as a whole.
An answer to what types of software problems can be addressed with Six Sigma exists in a universally applicable criteria that provides a project selection framework. Rule No. 1: "Don't pan for gold in your hot tub!" Go where the money is.
A "pull system," in which work enters a process at the same rate it exits. The result is a faster work flow and faster project cycle times. And with the "exit rate" controlled by customer demand, the customers' needs are always met.
While Six Sigma continues to evolve, the most often cited complaint is long project cycle times. This article discusses why projects are extended beyond expected timeframes, how better planning upfront can help, and how to generate faster quick wins with low hanging fruit and solutions deployment.
Project selection starts with generating ideas. The challenge is to find the ones that can grow into beneficial projects. Practitioners can use an organized approach to help narrow down the ideas that can be best converted into projects.
BPI efforts are the means by which success is realized in a Lean Six Sigma deployment. The efforts, such as improving cycle time or quality, must be clearly defined, supported by management and stakeholders, and properly managed to be realized.
Companies new to Six Sigma need to build a foundation for repeatable continuous improvement (infrastructure), as well as an agreed-upon, easily communicated picture of current processes ("as is" state). Building a SIPOC diagram a good starting point.
Trends in Six Sigma DMAIC projects indicate that higher level tools will be necessary in the future. Iterations within one project life cycle will also be more important. Here are some additional trends.
Selecting the right improvement projects and developing a valuable project pipeline are crucial to Six Sigma success. A six-step process can help to identify appropriate projects properly and create an organization's project pipeline.
Definition of a primary project metric is key to focusing an improvement team on the needs of both the customer and the business, and to providing accurate statistical and financial results. The XYZ Company is quickly losing sales of a chemical product as measured by market share. They evaluated three options before selecting their primary project metric.
By adopting a systems mindset, practitioners can complete strategic value analysis based on internal and external factors, trends, and causal effects. This analysis can help deliver broader benefits and move an organization toward higher performance.
Most companies can identify improvement project opportunities, however, sizing and packaging these into meaningful Six Sigma projects is more difficult. Help can be found in a three-step approach to project selection that has proven successful.
While most changes to Six Sigma over the years can be considered improvements, there are some new trends that stray too far from one of the method’s core values – measuring success by tracking financial savings.
To ensure that a Six Sigma project resonates with the people involved, practitioners should consider advice about timing from sage leaders – both ancient and new.
It is possible to pilot all or some of every solution or new design that an organization wants to implement. And it is almost always worth the extra effort to pilot especially if conducting a DFSS (design for Six Sigma) project.
The "is/is-not analysis," with some minor modifications, can be one of the most useful Six Sigma project selection or define tools to sharpen a project definition and scope. It can narrow scopes, increase chances for success and accelerate projects.
A thought map is an evolving document of current knowledge, the questions asked, the paths of work needed to answer those questions and the tools applied. It also documents knowledge gained from the project and guides the direction of future work.
For early projects, it may be best to play it safe. By selecting projects using a point system, practitioners can move forward with the best options for their experience level and the ones most likely to help the Six Sigma effort in the long run.
For lead time reduction initiatives, a critical path analysis of the overall timeline is a useful method to visualize which sub-processes impact the lead time, thereby enabling the business to make the right decisions on where to apply resources.
Although the concept of "earned value" comes form the field of project management, it is one of many tools that are consistent with Six Sigma. It is particularly useful for "fact-based conversations" and as a control mechanism for any large project.
With many companies integrating Lean and Six Sigma methodologies into a single improvement tool kit, value stream mapping has emerged as a preferred method to identify process improvement opportunities. Here are a number of tips on applying the tools.
A powerful aspect of Six Sigma is its ability to connect business leaders and key project teams in a potent two-way, fact-based dialogue. To see that, software developers need to widen their view of Six Sigma through tollgate-level architecture.
An improvement project can be defined through various scenarios. In this case a semiconductor company holds project selection workshops, which allow practitioners and leaders to identify appropriate projects systematically using a rating system.