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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Sustaining Change with the SUCCESS Model

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Any change to a process is only successful in the long run if the stakeholders truly adopt and sustain the change. Process and technology improvements cannot be implemented without a change in the hearts, minds and behaviors of the people involved in the change. True adoption and sustainability requires thoughtful planning and focus, which should […]

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Six Sigma DMAIC Quick Reference

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The DMAIC methodology should be used when a product or process is in existence at your company but is not meeting customer specification or is not performing adequately. For DMAIC milestone reviews, there are certain deliverables, checkpoints, questions and concerns that the Black Belt and improvement team should be aware of prior to a tollgate/milestone […]

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What Is DMAIC?

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DMAIC refers to a data-driven quality strategy for improving processes, and is an integral part of the company’s Six Sigma Quality Initiative. DMAIC is an acronym for five interconnected phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

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Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap

Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap

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The Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology can be thought of as a roadmap for problem solving and product/process improvement. Most companies begin implementing Six Sigma using the DMAIC methodology, and later add the DFSS (Design for Six Sigma, also known as DMADV or IDDOV) methodologies when the organizational culture and experience […]

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Are You New To Six Sigma?

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Find answers, links and resources to all your basic Six Sigma questions.

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Using Six Sigma to Improve Clinical Quality and Outcomes

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Appropriately implemented, Six Sigma clearly produces benefits in terms of better operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and higher process quality. Perhaps less obvious – and until recently less documented – is the impact it can make in clinical areas such as infection control and medication delivery. Clinicians are often receptive to Six Sigma given its familiar scientific and […]

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Read-Rite Low FPY Manufacturing Case Study

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Read-Rite Philippines is the manufacturing site for the Tape Head Business Unit, and the core competency is assembly and test. Read-Rite Philippines manufactures magnetoresistive tape heads to the entry level through mid-range tape drive markets, with products such as Travan, DLT (Digital Linear Tape), SLR (Scalable Linear Recording) and SDLT (Super DLT). The Elite Sigma […]

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What To Do When The Low-Hanging Fruit Is Gone

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This article provides an example of how an operational department (like a cardiac catheterization lab) can be transformed from a low sigma level to a higher sigma level, and what that would mean to the overall organization. Patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction, reduced overtime, reduced patient wait times, increased revenues and an enhanced quality of life […]

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Six Sigma Software Development Case Study

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This article illustrates the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) process using an organization that develops software packages as an example. The Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process improvement provides a powerful mechanism for improving the software process. Typical benefits will exceed costs within 6 to 12 months from initiation of a Six […]

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Six Sigma: PDCA on Steroids?

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Whenever I attend a Six Sigma symposium or healthcare conference, the same question comes up: “What’s the difference between Six Sigma and what we’re already doing?” Of course my response is, “Tell me more about what you’re doing so I can better answer that question.” After fielding this question for over a year, I’ve come […]

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Six Sigma Software Development Case Study – Part 2

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This article illustrates the Six Sigma DMAIC process using an organization that develops software packages as an example. The Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process improvement provides a powerful mechanism for improving the software process. Typical benefits will exceed costs within 6 to 12 months from initiation of a Six Sigma program for software development, […]

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Leveraging Six Sigma to Improve Hospital Bed Availability

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Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center recently began working with GE Medical Systems to implement Six Sigma as a method for achieving quality and process improvement. Since patient throughput and bed availability are among the organization’s top concerns, the team began by focusing on this issue. Following a process of […]

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Case Study: Surmounting Staff Scheduling at Valley Baptist Health System

Case Study: Surmounting Staff Scheduling at Valley Baptist Health System

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Finding solutions to staffing issues in the orthopedic unit at Valley Baptist Health System required a dual emphasis on productivity and quality.

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Medical Transcription Six Sigma Case Study

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Today’s industrial black belt typically trains for six months. Seventy-five percent of this training time is spent learning theory, and the balance is spent in practice. Often when the black belt returns to the real world to tackle inefficiencies, he finds that there are no takers for his logic and passion – his Six Sigma entreaties fall on […]

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Six Sigma and MIS: A New Partnership

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As an outsider to the Six Sigma world, I am immediately astounded at how quickly Six Sigma can change the culture of a company. As a technology consultant, I assist with some Six Sigma projects at a Fortune 500 company. My involvement in Six Sigma projects evolved over time as the head of Six Sigma, […]

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Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts: Six Sigma Breakthrough

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Six Sigma, 6s, is nothing more, and nothing less, than the use of science to solve problems. Scientific evidence that a breakthrough medical solution is genuine is statistical evidence. Though altruism and evidence influence medical treatments, economic pressure drives improvement. Multi-million dollar savings created by “beating heart” or “off-pump” coronary artery bypass outcomes are a […]

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Software Vendor Partnership Cost Reduction with Six Sigma

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Business Issue A multibillion-dollar software manufacturer needed to drive down the total $191 million annual cost of supplying its workers with continuously updated workstations. Both the software manufacturer and its primary vendor/supplier were in the midst of an aggressive cost cutting initiative that would lead to a new compensation model. The initial, first year targeted […]

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Revamping Healthcare Using DMAIC And DFSS

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Evidence pointing to the applicability of Six Sigma and related best practices within healthcare has been steadily mounting over the past few years. Primarily based on the implementation of the DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control), we’re seeing an ever-widening array of documented and publicized results… from improving turnaround time for patients to […]

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To Save Cost, Set Product Warranties Based on Quality

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Imagine you are the quality manager for a consumer electronics manufacturer. At the previous staff meeting, the CEO asked the management team for ideas that could help the company become more competitive and increase profits. It is now one month later. During the staff meeting, members of the marketing department present some research that shows […]

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Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) Versus DMAIC

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One of the most confusing issues associated with someone saying “I’m using Six Sigma” has to do with what methodology they are actually using. A majority of the time they are using the DMAIC methodology, because they have existing processes that are wasting resources (hence the big savings you’ve heard about at GE, Honeywell and […]

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