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Robert Tripp

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A Plan for a Five-day Kaizen

In a previous article, “Kaizen – ADHD Therapy Using Continuous Improvement: Tools to Keep Employees Continuously Occupied,” we discussed what a Kaizen event is, focusing on how to organize and scope the event. This article looks at some common tools and techniques for planning a successful Kaizen event, and identifies some pitfalls to avoid. Data,…

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Through Change, Tracking Savings Must Stay Constant

There are people who say that Six Sigma is dead – that it has no value in modern business culture. But these people are mistaking growth and evolution for complete departure. It is true that aspects of Six Sigma have adapted to customers’ changing needs over the years, but its role as a problem-solving system…

Minimize the Risk of the Unknown in Six Sigma Projects

“You don’t know what you don’t know.” That phrase has been taught in Black Belt training for many years, and it continues to be relevant today. When combined with a related phrase, “What you don’t know can hurt you,” these words illustrate a common challenge: Sometimes, the events that hurt us are unknown and unexpected….

Attribute Agreement Analysis for Defect Databases

A defect database that tracks errors in processes (or even products) – a database that is so sophisticated that it actually tracks where the defect occurred in addition to the type of defect – can provide powerful information. It can be quite helpful in scoping and prioritizing potential improvement opportunities. But is the data trustworthy?…

Fitting the Right Belts for Design for Lean Six Sigma

Every Lean Six Sigma deployment leader must eventually confront the critical decision of how the various Belt roles should be allocated and deployed throughout the organization. Lean Six Sigma has existed for more than 10 years now in a variety of manufacturing, service and distribution environments, and through trial and error fairly standard niches have…

A Parallel Process View for Information Technology

The value and impact that a solid Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) approach can bring to an IT business is well known. While many organizations understand the relationship between DFSS and their own project management approach, what they often miss is attention to the foundational concepts of Lean and DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)…

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Attribute Data: Making the Most of What’’s Available

Six Sigma practitioners are aware of the range of numeric data types, from attribute data counts and tallies to continuous data measures on a scale. As the information strength in an element of data depends on the number of potential values it might take on, attribute yes/no data has to be considered the weakest. Many…

Process Improvement and Technology: The Virtuous Cycle

Because of information technology’s unique role as a support function in most organizations, process improvement means improving both the processes of its internal management system and the business it supports. As a matter of fact, for most organizations today information technology (IT) infrastructure and management is the backbone of all critical processes. Combine that with…

Lean Six Sigma Can Serve as a Change Management Tool

Yes, it is true. Lean Six Sigma drives change in an organization. It inspires people to look at their processes differently – through the data-savvy lens of waste awareness – and to discover, characterize and control their processes. In so doing, this behavior drives process improvements, which often require changes to be communicated, deployed and…

FMEA: Tool for Process Documentation and Discovery

While the name of the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) concentrates on how a process fails, the real objective is to concentrate on assessing the effects and process controls for the root causes related to any given failure mode. Practitioners examine the root cause-failure-effect sequence by starting in the middle and working outward. During…

Keep it Simple: Choose the Best Tools for Kaizen Events

Kaizen events are deceptively simple. The tools used are often considered to be less rigorous than the more analytical tools that are the hallmark of Six Sigma. But in practice, Kaizen events can be challenging to facilitate effectively because participants are pulled from their regular roles, requiring the events to be short and focused, and…

Kaizen and Six Sigma Together in the Quest for Lean

Kaizen is seductive and efficient. It can deliver results quickly and on a significant scale, utilize the collective insight and experience of those who know most about the process and inspire employees with a relentless curiosity about and discomfort with waste, defects and constraints to throughput. But it is also overrated. Kaizen Alone In the…

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Help Desk Can Provide Help for Process Improvements

Lack of data may be the most frequently communicated barrier to identification and selection of projects in the IT domain. Fortunately, most organizations have a tremendous untapped resource that is easily accessible – their help desks or support centers. Help desks generally are good at solving problems or determining where more difficult problems should be addressed…

Wrestling with IT-Six Sigma Integration Survey Results

Readers may be familiar with the results of a survey on the integration of Six Sigma and information technology (IT) published by iSixSigma Magazine in its May/June issue. The survey, conducted and analyzed by Michael Marx, research manager of iSixSigma, revealed four important truths which provide meaningful insight to any organization attempting to apply Six…