The People Side of the Control Phase

3 Lessons for Sustaining Changes in the Control Phase

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You’ve involved the appropriate stakeholders in the work, done robust voice of the customer work and data analysis, dug into root causes, and developed and piloted a number of promising solutions to the problem. But your efforts haven’t been sustained. Here are three reasons why.

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The 10 Questions of DMAIC

The 10 Questions of DMAIC

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Use these 10 questions when teaching DMAIC. Learn when and where some commonly used Six Sigma tools do – or don’t – apply; align the tools to the underlying question as part of this coaching task.

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Medical equipment in an exhibition hall

Using DMAIC to Improve Another Improvement Process – CAPA

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Medical device companies must comply with FDA requirements to address quality issues through a complex and sometimes inefficient process called CAPA. One such company applied Six Sigma to the CAPA process to significantly reduce rework loops, reduce cycle time and reduce time to resolve rejections.

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Tips for Efficient Process Mapping

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A process map is a hierarchical method for displaying processes that illustrates how a product or transaction is processed. It is a visual representation of the workflow either within a process — or an image of the whole operation. Process mapping comprises a stream of activities that transforms a well-defined input or set of inputs into a pre-defined set of outputs.

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DMAIC: The Five Steps to Process Improvement Success

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DMAIC is a data-driven process-improvement methodology. Let’s look at how DMAIC compares to other problem-solving processes as well as the benefits of using DMAIC when solving a complex problem.

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Fayetteville North Carolina

From Chaos to Order: Reinvigorating a City’s Finance Department

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The City of Fayetteville, North Carolina, faced a staffing crisis in its Finance department. Thanks to a DMAIC project, in just 14 weeks the City was able to turn the department’s chaos around.

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Understanding Six Sigma: Definition, Benefits, and Best Practices

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Six Sigma has been defined in three ways: as a metric, a methodology, and a philosophy. Sigma can be defined as the standard deviation of a set of continuous data, so Six Sigma would then be six standard deviations.

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Procedures: The Key to Consistency in Business

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There are all kinds of procedures for the many things that people do every single day. Every family household has procedures for basic tasks like putting dishes away, assembling for dinner or getting into the car. Likewise, every place of business has procedures for the essential activities they do on a regular basis. Overview: What […]

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Step-by-Step Guide to Project Selection

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The purpose of Lean Six Sigma is to identify opportunities for improving organizational processes. One of the challenges is the selection of projects for improvement teams to work on. Let’s learn more about how to select impactful projects. Both Lean and Six Sigma projects are used to improve organizational processes. Improvement teams are formed. DMAIC […]

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Control Measures: Maintaining the Gains of Process Improvement

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When you make improvements to your processes, that is not enough. It is important to put measures in place that ensure that the work that has been done can be sustained.In the DMAIC process, your problem is defined, measurements are taken, analysis occurs, and improvements are made. After all of this, comes the final control […]

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How Do Organizations Sustain Improvements? Control!

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Lean Six Sigma (LSS) can have a major positive impact on organizations that apply it; however, not every company has achieved the desired results. One of the reasons for that lack of success is the inability to sustain improvements yielded from LSS projects. Through LSS projects the aim is to make improvements to address a […]

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DMAIC Case Study: Accuracy of System-generated Service Routes

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A leading environmental services company provides collection, processing, recycling and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials for industrial and automotive customers. The company has branches all over the United States. The service representatives in these branches carry out services for geographically dispersed customers in their respective territories. This case study describes how DMAIC (Define, Measure, […]

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DMAIC Case Study: Improving System Availability

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A leading environmental services company applied the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology to improve the availability of an internal software system. The goal was to reduce system downtime (the time that the software application is not available for users) and reduce defect resolution time (the time it takes to fix a software defect […]

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Improving the Productivity of a Service Team

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The manufacturing and transactional worlds have long used productivity as a measure of efficiency. Traditionally, a productivity metric has been used for assessing return on investment on machinery to measure the contributions of team members. In the growing service economy where human resources are the biggest driver of costs in the organization, management teams want […]

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Reducing Waste on Chicken Nugget Line – Part 2 of 2

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The following is Part Two of a two-part article. Part One follows the first two phases of a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project at Kahiki Foods. Part Two follows the completion of the project – the Analyze, Improve and Control phases. Analyze During the Analyze phase, the monitoring of the average amount of […]

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Reducing Waste on Chicken Nugget Line – Part 1 of 2

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The following is Part One of a two-part article. Part One follows the first two phases of a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project at Kahiki Foods. Part Two follows the completion of the project – the Analyze, Improve and Control phases. Kahiki Foods, a family-run Asian foods manufacturer with about 200 employees in […]

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Reducing WIP at a Frozen Food Manufacturer – Part 2 of 2

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The following is Part Two of a two-part article. Part One follows the first three steps of a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project at Kahiki Foods. Part Two follows the completion of the DMAIC project – the Improve and Control steps. Improve The enhanced choke-point analysis completed in Analyze verified the chicken processing […]

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Reducing WIP at a Frozen Food Manufacturer – Part 1 of 2

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The following is Part One of a two-part article. Part One follows the first three steps of a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project at Kahiki Foods. Part Two follows the completion of the DMAIC project – the Improve and Control steps. Kahiki Foods is an expanding, family-run Asian foods manufacturer with about 200 […]

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Seeing Opportunity Through 3-DMAIC Glasses

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Everything seems to be available in 3-D these days – movies, magazines and even television – so why not DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)? The idea may sound silly, but many opportunities go unnoticed because practitioners do not have the right tools in place to see them from different perspectives. The traditional DMAIC process […]

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Creating a DMAIC Pathway for Innovation

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The common Six Sigma roadmap can provide value in even the most unstructured environments By Braden Kelley On the surface, the DMAIC roadmap and the concept of innovation appear to be mutually exclusive ideas. At least that’s what many critics have claimed is the Achilles’ heel of the Six Sigma methodology. Six Sigma and innovation, […]

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Controlling Change in IT Departments Using DMAIC

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During a Six Sigma project at an information technology (IT) department, there are many good reasons why a process or a system needs to change. There also are a few bad reasons – bad, but unavoidable. It’s up to the practitioners to decide how to transform bad reasons into good ones, and how to prevent […]

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Using the DMAIC Model to Achieve Buy-in

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When project managers begin studying Lean Six Sigma, the first question asked is often, “How will I get buy-in?” Although the core concepts and methodologies may make sense to project managers, the question of buy-in sometimes overshadows this powerful methodology for process improvement. There are many root causes for why people are reluctant to lend […]

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How to Become a Lean Six Sigma Organization

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In a difficult economy, an increasing number of senior business leaders are seeking to boost the performance of their operations by adopting Lean Six Sigma. Before these organizations can begin to reap the benefits of continuous process improvement, they must first understand the fundamental elements of the process known as DMAIC (for Define, Measure, Analyze, […]

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A Competitive Edge

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Using Six Sigma has proven highly successful in addressing internal issues where the focus is on reducing production defects and costs. One way to take the methodology to the next level is to integrate it with the marketing function. Marketing offers a portal to an organization’s external environment – the competitive marketplace – where the […]

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