When designing a safe healthcare environment, a proactive approach is far preferable to a reactive approach. FMEA can help eliminate concerns early in the development of a process by prospectively analyzing for potential failure points.
A VOC survey revealed that a company's telephone operator response was poor and customer satisfaction was low. The resulting improvement efforts show how a service process can be turned around using Six Sigma.
The question is not how do we choose candidates but rather how do we cause A-players to choose to become Black Belts?
A pharmaceutical company applied selected DFSS tools to develop a new process for recruiting sales representatives using the IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize, Verify) roadmap.
How can a company properly plan and execute a strategy? Today's best model is Hoshin Kanri, also known as policy deployment, which helps align a company's resources to its most critical tasks.
One would think that with the levels of standardization and process efficiency we drive in Lean Six Sigma that there would be consensus on how much training a certified Black Belt should receive. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To identify issues in a process without losing time by deep diving into the complete process, use earned value management (EVM) to measure cost and schedule compared to budget.
As companies concentrate on design and outsource more of the order fulfillment process, including manufacturing, their quality image is dependent on supplier performance. When is the right time to involve suppliers in a quality improvement initiative?
A provider of medical equipment, such as EKG machines, used Six Sigma to better detect potential errors in the equipment and prevent them from occurring.
GRPI is used for building high-performing teams. By combining it with nominal group and Delphi techniques, GRPI can also help sustain the high performance of teams.
The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) allows for better prioritization by simplifying customer assessments and making their results more meaningfully measurable. It can also be used for gaining group consensus.
Work-out is powerful by design as it engages the best thinking of the those in the organization who are closest to the processes and who invariably have a lot of ideas for improvement. Learn the phases and roles in the Work-out framework.
From safety to quality to productivity, there’s a trend in the way organizations have approached process-oriented movements. Starting as the responsibility of an individual or a group of people, to be successful, the movement inevitably shifts to shared accountability – it becomes the responsibility of everybody, every day.
Many quality professionals have declared that pre-control charts have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Before writing them off, however, learn more about pre-control charts and how they compare to control (or Shewhart) charts.
Answering two fundamental questions can help an organization honestly assess its readiness for adopting a Lean Six Sigma culture.
To obtain the benefits of a corrective and preventive action system but without dedicating resources to a full deployment, pick up the SLACK.
Starting an implementation with a 5S event can show employees how Lean Six Sigma works, and what its use will mean for them.
A Black Belt used Six Sigma to improve a transactional bank deposit process, resulting in yearly savings of $4 million.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although they are not part of the typical DMAIC approach, these tools can decrease the time needed to find solutions.
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.
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.
Six Sigma can help the traditional workflow of diagnostic imaging keep pace with the science delivering better equipment and information systems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Guos weighted probability-scoring scheme (WPSS).
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.
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.
A company in India implemented Lean Six Sigma to achieve dramatic improvements in its help desk operations.
Used in combination, the Kano survey and QFD tools provide companies with the ability to maximize customer satisfaction.
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.
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.
Learn how best to introduce statistical process control in an existing production environment where not all processes are in control and fully capable.
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.
In order to increase throughput, operations managers must focus on identifying and improving process bottlenecks. The theory of constraints can help.
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.
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.
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.
Hoshin kanri is a methodology to capture strategic goals and integrate these goals with your entire organization’s daily activities.