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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DMAIC Versus DMADV

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We know that everything in business is a process, right? Sales people have a list of companies and contacts that they work in a certain fashion to produce a sale, production receives an order and schedules the manufacturing, the product is built, packaged, shipped and invoiced. When the packing department has a problem with their […]

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Six Sigma Online Banking Deposits

Bank Deposits: A Black Belt Case Study

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A Black Belt used Six Sigma to improve a transactional bank deposit process, resulting in yearly savings of $4 million.

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Six Sigma Opportunity Counting

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Imagine the scenario. Herman and Gary both manage processes for your company. Herman’s process involves a simple matching of supplier invoices to purchase orders. Gary’s process is much more complex. This process involves compliance to government regulations and requires massive amounts of data to be taken, accurately summarized and reported in several different formats to […]

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Starting the First Surgical Case on Time to Cut Delays

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In 2006, the board, administration and staff at Louisiana’s Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (TRMC) decided their operating room (OR) suites represented an opportunity for improvement. Rising demand, costs and competition were all signals that the hospital would need to either invest in expansion or operational efficiency. Taking the less glamorous and more difficult path of […]

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Using Six Sigma to Reduce Pressure Ulcers at a Hospital

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Since 2001, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Louisiana has applied Six Sigma and change management methods to a range of clinical and operational issues. One project that clearly aligned with the hospital’s strategic plan was an initiative to reduce nosocomial or hospital-acquired pressure ulcers, because this is one of the key performance metrics indicating […]

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Telecommunications array at sunset

DMAIC Phases Mesh with Project Risk Management

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Efficiency in projects comes from effective risk management. Through an example from a telecom supplier, see how Six Sigma’s DMAIC methodology can be applied in tandem with the six steps of project risk management.

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Minimize the Risk of the Unknown in Six Sigma Projects

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“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. […]

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Six Sigma Basics: DMAIC Like Normal Problem Solving

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What is the usual way most people go about solving problems? Most people and organizations consciously or unconsciously use this method, as illustrated in Table 1 below. Table 1: Normal Method of Problem Solving Step Example 1. Understand what is to be improved and set a goal I am too fat. I want to reduce […]

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Comparing and Contrasting IDEAL and DMAIC

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Comparing and contrasting the way different disciplines and tools map to one another can help lead to a better understanding of each of the things being compared. This paper reviews a methodology called IDEALSM, which was developed and evolved by members of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), and compares it with the Six Sigma DMAIC […]

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Rush to Enact Solutions Sabotages a DMAIC Project

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In 2004, a small and relatively young technology company (7,500 employees and an annual revenue of $2 billion) implemented the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002, or what is usually referred to as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). In an effort to be fully compliant the company identified and initiated more than […]

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Six Sigma Trims Turnover Time for Orthopedic Surgeries

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Orthopedic and neurological spine surgery represents a competitive and profitable business for many healthcare organizations. Expanding this particular service line and ensuring efficiency in the operating room (OR) are among the strategic initiatives at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., one of 16 hospitals in the Memorial Hermann system. Surgeons at the hospital […]

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Integrating Project Management into a Six Sigma System

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Manufacturers and transactional firms share a drive to lower costs, reduce cycle time and offer a diverse product mix as they pursue higher profits and an increased market share in a growing global environment. Consumers (those paying for the end product) want products or services that are cheaper, readily available and of a quality that […]

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Renew the Commitment to Data-Based Decision Making

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A large corporation recently conducted a competition to identify the organization’s best Six Sigma projects of the previous year. Out of more than a hundred submissions, only one actually validated its improvements with a comparative experiment (z, t, Chi-sq, etc.). What did the rest do? The same thing they did before Six Sigma. The mean […]

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Sustaining Change Requires Focus on Stakeholders

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A Six Sigma initiative – or any change process for that matter – is only successful in the long run if the stakeholders truly adopt and sustain the change. Process and technology change cannot be implemented without a change in the hearts, souls and behaviors of the people involved in or impacted by the change. […]

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Lean and Creative Six Sigma to Solve Real-life Issues

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A strong possibility exists that some organizations using Six Sigma are failing to cash in on the true potential of the methodology. This can happen when proper care is not taken to understand what needs to be integrated with the Six Sigma methodology to make it effective, comprehensive and a focused approach to solve real-life […]

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Improving a Health System’s Cash Flow Management

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The healthcare industry is going through mergers and acquisitions and facing new economic struggles. As hospitals realize the need to consolidate resources regionally, a big challenge takes shape: handling the information necessary to manage cash flow efficiently. Cash flow management is vital for hospital systems to sustain their daily operations. Our team used DMAIC to […]

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Aligning Call Center Agent Goals with Customer Desires

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In the 1990s, the teller counter was the primary customer-facing area in the financial service industry, and so improvement efforts were leveraged in this arena. With increased improvements in technology and online banking utilization, however, process improvement efforts have shifted to internal areas. Yet companies must realize that even though customers are becoming more self-reliant […]

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With Flexibility, DMAIC Has Long Future Ahead

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There has been a buzz about DMAIC, and it goes something like this: “Because DMAIC is for reactive problem solving, and companies are getting more proactive and oriented to Design for Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS), what is going to happen when the reactive problems go away? Won’t the use of DMAIC dwindle or disappear?” The […]

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Six Sigma Adds Structure to Quality Audit Process

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Quality audits are performed to verify the effectiveness of a quality management system. They can also be used to: Gain internationally recognized quality certifications, such as ISO 9001. Verify the existence of objective process data. Assess how successfully processes have been implemented. Judge the effectiveness of achieving any defined target levels. Provide evidence concerning reduction […]

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DMAIC Helps Agency Craft Green Electronics Plan

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The increased demand and limited supply of fossil fuels has signified the importance of energy efficiency and conservation across the world. Energy resourcefulness has come to the forefront in both federal and private organization’s policies and practices. Many organizational standards and procedures aim to minimize the use of energy, thereby protecting the environment. Various federal […]

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Tying Measures to Belt Objectives: Bad for Business?

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Linking DMAIC process measures to rewards as part of an annual employee objectives and appraisal process is a step often taken imprudently. It can create distortions in how the business processes are run and how Belts approach their work.

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Six Sigma Projects Without Data

Six Sigma Tools Still Fit in Projects Lacking Data

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No data? No problem! The Lean Six Sigma process provides an excellent framework for all types of projects, even when there is little or no data.

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Outpatient Imaging Reports TAT Cut from 64 to 9 Hours

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Competition in the outpatient imaging center market is intense. New imaging centers are springing up everywhere. Faced with decreasing reimbursements, ever-changing technology and the expectation of spa-like atmospheres, how can an outpatient imaging center remain profitable? The answer lies with the customer. Having a pulse on the customer experience and continually eliciting and acting on […]

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