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Most Recent Articles

Most Recent Articles

A Method for Picking Up the SLACK in a Team Project

A Method for Picking Up the SLACK in a Team Project

To obtain the benefits of a corrective and preventive action system but without dedicating resources to a full deployment, pick up the SLACK.

5S as a Tool for Gaining Buy-in

5S as a Tool for Gaining Buy-in

Starting an implementation with a 5S event can show employees how Lean Six Sigma works, and what its use will mean for them.

Bank Deposits: A Black Belt Case Study

Bank Deposits: A Black Belt Case Study

A Black Belt used Six Sigma to improve a transactional bank deposit process, resulting in yearly savings of $4 million.

Process Documentation – A Modern Approach

Process Documentation – A Modern Approach

Traditional process flowcharting covers the sequence of events in a process by including all the exceptions. In a more contemporary approach, flowcharts present the desired flow of the process without those exceptions.

Growing Your Business

Growing Your Business

Organizations retreat to their comfort zones when challenged with achieving higher levels of success. Frequently, this results in controlling the bottom line. Continuous improvement can be used to enable top-line growth.

Reducing Costs by Controlling Raw Material Consumption

Reducing Costs by Controlling Raw Material Consumption

Product manufacturers are pushed to produce quality products without exceeding budget. A textile processing mill followed the DMAIC approach for more effective resource management and thus to reduce expenditures.

Using Taguchi’s Loss Function to Estimate Project Benefits

Using Taguchi’s Loss Function to Estimate Project Benefits

A financial evaluation method should be easy to communicate to the project teams that will use it and should provide plausible estimations for decision making. Taguchi's Loss Function fits the bill.

Screening Tools Can Speed Up Six Sigma Projects

Screening Tools Can Speed Up Six Sigma Projects

Although they are not part of the typical DMAIC approach, these tools can decrease the time needed to find solutions.

Using Six Sigma to Fix a Deployment In Progress

Using Six Sigma to Fix a Deployment In Progress

In this case study, a company measures the impact a Six Sigma program has had on the business after one year. After sub-optimal results, the company creates a Six Sigma project to improve its Six Sigma program.

Congratulations iSixSigma Movers and Shakers!

Congratulations iSixSigma Movers and Shakers!

Have you been paying attention to your iSixSigma User Profile rankings? We've had a couple of community members jump levels in the past few months.

Applying Six Sigma to Improve Diagnostic Imaging

Applying Six Sigma to Improve Diagnostic Imaging

Six Sigma can help the traditional workflow of diagnostic imaging keep pace with the science delivering better equipment and information systems.

DFSS Case Study: Optimizing Haptics for Sensory Feedback

DFSS Case Study: Optimizing Haptics for Sensory Feedback

Using DFSS, a high-tech company explored the use of haptics to provide gentle vibration with wearable devices (such as a necklace) for the highest successful notification rate.

Zero Defects: What Does It Achieve? What Does It Mean?

Zero Defects: What Does It Achieve? What Does It Mean?

The use of slogans such as "zero defects" to spur quality can be counterproductive, detracting attention from the tried-and-true tools and culture associated with successful Six Sigma programs.

Effectively Manage Data for Contact Centers

Effectively Manage Data for Contact Centers

Using a telecom example, this article examines the role of data in contact centers for managing the customer experience.

Using a Criteria-Based Matrix to Prioritize IT Projects

Using a Criteria-Based Matrix to Prioritize IT Projects

A common challenge for an information technology department is how to prioritize projects for the biggest benefit. Follow these eight steps to build a criteria-based matrix that provides effective prioritization for any organization.

What You May Not Know About Adding Variances

What You May Not Know About Adding Variances

Six Sigma instructors tell their students add variances, not standard deviations. What students may not have learned is that this additive property relies on the linearity of the transfer function.

When Does a Difference Matter? Using ANOVA to Tell

When Does a Difference Matter? Using ANOVA to Tell

Much of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology is concerned with finding differences. But often it ends up being more important to learn "does the difference really matter?" ANOVA is an hypothesis testing tool that can help answer that question.

Carefully Planned Kaizens Can Lead to Immediate Change

Carefully Planned Kaizens Can Lead to Immediate Change

Organizations considering Kaizen events must be ready to make a commitment to change management by properly preparing attendees for the goals of the event, executing the event smoothly and implementing solutions in a timely and effective manner.

Seeing Red: Integrating Balanced Scorecard and Six Sigma

Seeing Red: Integrating Balanced Scorecard and Six Sigma

The balanced scorecard enables an organization to maintain the perspective of various stakeholders while providing a complete assessment of organizational progress. It can help improve the performance in one area without harming another.

Linear Regression: Making Sense of a Six Sigma Tool

Linear Regression: Making Sense of a Six Sigma Tool

Linear regression is often considered difficult or confusing by those practitioners just beginning to delve into the Six Sigma toolkit. Making sense of it starts at a basic level.

Combine an Improvement Initiative with Change Management

Combine an Improvement Initiative with Change Management

New to change management? This overview describes the phases of change management and how they line up with the phases of process improvement.

Leveraging Lean Six Sigma Tools for Strategic Planning

Leveraging Lean Six Sigma Tools for Strategic Planning

NRMC CMIO began development of a strategic plan in October 2013.

A System for Colleague Consulting Among Black Belts

A System for Colleague Consulting Among Black Belts

Black Belts have a counseling resource that is often ignored or underutilized – the knowledge and experience of their peers. Formalize knowledge sharing with a structured approach to collegial problem solving.

Debunking IT Isolation in Search of Quality and Savings

Debunking IT Isolation in Search of Quality and Savings

Six Sigma is used effectively in manufacturing, service, financial and educational settings to improve processes and achieve time and cost benefits by eliminating waste and inefficiencies. With a little adaptation, Six Sigma can do the same for IT departments.

Three Rules for Data Analysis: Plot the Data, Plot the Data, Plot the Data

Three Rules for Data Analysis: Plot the Data, Plot the Data, Plot the Data

Using graphical tools, a refrigerator manufacturer analyzed supplier data to identify the best sources for parts. This case study illustrates how these simple yet powerful tools can be applied to any industry or process.

Building Cultural Acceptance Key to Lean Transformation

Building Cultural Acceptance Key to Lean Transformation

When it comes to Lean, the difference between success and failure is in cultural acceptance and the ability of an organization to accept change -- not just Lean change, but change in general.

Analyzing Experiments with Ordered Categorical Data

Analyzing Experiments with Ordered Categorical Data

Six Sigma projects often deal with experiments whose outcomes are ordered categorical data, rather than continuous. It is important to know the right analysis methods for these cases, such as Jeng and Guo’s weighted probability-scoring scheme (WPSS).

What Belts Should Know About the Cost of Poor Quality

What Belts Should Know About the Cost of Poor Quality

With a firm understanding of COPQ – both what it includes and what it does not – Belts can determine and justify projects, and gain buy-in for efforts based on financial findings.

5 Six Sigma Deployment Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

5 Six Sigma Deployment Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

Years of Six Sigma deployments have created a wealth of both success stories and lessons about process challenges -- learn to steer clear of others' mistakes.

Helping the Help Desk Satisfy Customers More Quickly: An iSixSigma Case Study

Helping the Help Desk Satisfy Customers More Quickly: An iSixSigma Case Study

A company in India implemented Lean Six Sigma to achieve dramatic improvements in its help desk operations.

Leveraging Kano and QFD for Requirements Management

Leveraging Kano and QFD for Requirements Management

Used in combination, the Kano survey and QFD tools provide companies with the ability to maximize customer satisfaction.

TOC Tools Help Find the Right Lean Six Sigma Projects

TOC Tools Help Find the Right Lean Six Sigma Projects

Two tools within the theory of constraints method -- bottleneck analysis and current reality tree -- can help identify the real pain ailing an organization and lead to the selection of relevant LSS improvement projects.

An Accelerated Project Approach Can Build Support for Six Sigma

An Accelerated Project Approach Can Build Support for Six Sigma

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.

Manage Control Limits When Implementing Statistical Process Control

Manage Control Limits When Implementing Statistical Process Control

Learn how best to introduce statistical process control in an existing production environment where not all processes are in control and fully capable.

Balancing Roles and Responsibilities in Six Sigma

Balancing Roles and Responsibilities in Six Sigma

A simple way for a company to assign and balance Six Sigma roles and responsibilities is to apply the RACI model, which identifies who in an improvement project is responsible, accountable, consulted and informed.

Applying Theory of Constraints to Manage Bottlenecks

Applying Theory of Constraints to Manage Bottlenecks

In order to increase throughput, operations managers must focus on identifying and improving process bottlenecks. The theory of constraints can help.

Case Study: Improving Medical Bill Review Cycle Time

Case Study: Improving Medical Bill Review Cycle Time

The accounts payable department of a healthcare system completed a Six Sigma project to address the high volume of invoices being processed and to develop a system for monitoring how well new processing-time standards are being met.

Involving Finance in Six Sigma – Do It Early and Fully

Involving Finance in Six Sigma – Do It Early and Fully

How confident can a company be that claims of Six Sigma benefits actually impacted the bottom line? BHP Billiton Base Metals found an answer through the involvement of the finance department in its deployment of Six Sigma.

Using ANOVA to Find Differences in Population Means

Using ANOVA to Find Differences in Population Means

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is a statistical technique for determining the existence of differences among several population means. Follow along step by step on this overview of ANOVA.

Improving Supply Chain Quality Through Hoshin Kanri

Improving Supply Chain Quality Through Hoshin Kanri

Hoshin kanri is a methodology to capture strategic goals and integrate these goals with your entire organization’s daily activities.

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