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Sven Saerens

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The basic tools – project selection

Hello again Blogosphere. My apologies for 1 year of blogging silence. More and more I apply Lean methods to Six Sigma efforts. Overanalysis is a trap in many projects, especially when newly trained belts unleash their newly acquired skills to their first projects. Keep it simple and practical ! It’s amazing what a good executed…

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Process driven improvements

When you are just started to work on a new project, as Six Sigma professional you are conditioned not to jump to conclusions and let the data and facts guide you to process improvements. However, by asking yourself two simple questions at the start of such an improvement initiative, you be able to get a…

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Quality and Change

“Are quality and change one of the same thing, can you have one without the other or are they inextricably linked?” What is Quality ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality Quality can refer to a. a specific characteristic of an object (the qualities of ice – i.e. its properties). b. the achievement or excellence of an object (good quality…

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The 3rd kind of lie

There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, big lies and … statistics. Many news topics are based on so called statistical studies. In average … the conclusions are based on the average. In average … there is no mention of the data range or other variation metrics, like standard deviation. In average … there is…

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Transactional Kaizen

According to Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia, Kaizen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizenis : “Japanese for “change for the better” or “improvement”, the English translation is “continuous improvement” or “continual improvement.” The goals of Kaizen include the elimination of waste (defined as “activities that add cost but do not add value”), just-in-time delivery, production load leveling of amount and types,…

Waitlisted!

Consider you require a service in August and get feedback that you are waitlisted 6th (with 5 requests before yours) due to lack off resources. The outlook is that somewhere in September you’ll be helped. You decide to live with this answer and patiently wait. The remainder of August and September pass by and off…

Week of a Black Belt Part 9: Challenges of Project Selection

Why are we struggling with selecting the “right” Six Sigma Black Belt projects? The “right” projects are the projects that are delivered on time, within the budget and generating or exceeding projected savings in a sustained manner. The “wrong” projects are by default all other. Now think about your own organization. What’s the proportion of…

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Week of a Black Belt Part 8: Lasting Management Commitment

Whatever the organization’s maturity level (go see “week of a black belt part 4-5-6-7”), any improvement initiative needs top management engagement and commitment. Usually, there is enough management attention at the beginning. The CEO or Executive team has announced the initiative and walks the talk for a while. However, there are so many 1000 things…

Week of a Black Belt part 4-5-6-7: Ready for Six Sigma

Time flies! My last “week of a Black Belt” blog dates from May 12th already. Anyhow, when things are busy and interesting things happen, there are lots of ideas to blog about, but no time to actually publish them. Six Sigma’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated soon. Since 1987 and its first success stories, it…

Week of a Black Belt: part 3 continued

Are you wondering what happened to this Green Belt Candidate? (Go see Week of a Black Belt part 3). At the end of the last training day, I refer back to the yellow notes on which, the first day of training, the participants have expressed their expectations concerning the training. 95% of the time the…

The week of a black belt part 2: The hunted Black Belt

Yesterday I was contacted 4 (FOUR) times by recruiters looking for a Six Sigma Expert. To 3 of them I returned a polite “no thank you, not interested”. With the 4th one I went into a discussion. Their client, a 2 site company is going to implement a new Six Sigma deployment, headed by 2…

Should All Black Belts be Green Belt Teachers?

In my opinion they should. After going though mindblowing and overwhelming Black Belt training sessions and doing the first Black Belt projects I was at times not sure what to do with respect to DMAIC. During those first training projects I was lucky to be mentored and coached by a great Master Black Belt. My…

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Lean and Six Sigma in service and manufacturing industries

Lean and Six Sigma applications are different between service industries and manufacturing industries. Is that statement really true? There is no straightforward answer. The answer is ambiguous. It can be: no, there is no difference. But it can be: they are the same to certain extend. The answer can also be: yes, the application is…

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Communicate to Motivate

In fact changing environments, Six Sigma projects with typical lead times are perceived as slow. It might lead to disbelief in the methodology in the organization. Typical well lead projects go through a toll gate review, facilitated by the black belt, and with participation of (at least) the project champion, project sponsor and project team…

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Communicating Process Capability

Have you experienced the following? Consider that after implementing an improvement the process capability has improved from 3.5 sigma to 4.2 sigma. Proudly you celebrate this very nice Six Sigma methodology success in your organisation. How many questions did you get after or during your presentation about how important this improvement really is? What does…

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