pharmaceutical company DOE success

How Design of Experiments (DOE) Helped a Pharma Company Extend Product Shelf Life

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Through the use of Design of Experiments (DOE), a pharmaceutical company was able to extend the shelf life for one of its life saving liquid oncology medicines. Let’s see how this saved the company money, lowered the price of the drug and helped save lives. 

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Case Study: Using Logical Thinking Process Tools

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In 2010, the finance department of a Fortune 500 company established a quality audit (QA) system for the company’s operations. Toward the end of 2011, the general feeling on the floor was that the QA system was effective and the quality of work in the department was improving. The metrics, however, were not improving. A […]

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Effective Brainstorming: Building an Opportunity Matrix

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Manufacturing facilities often are faced with major challenges when it comes to large-scale process improvement. Improving yields at a large manufacturing plant – one that produces millions of pounds of product annually – might require modifications for every step in its process: production equipment, maintenance strategies, operational procedures, process control strategies and analytical support strategies, […]

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Thinking Two Moves Ahead with Analytical Tools

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Considering the performance of the stock market over the past few years combined with current economic conditions, many financial institutions are analyzing their processes for improvements. Unfortunately, the majority of process improvement tools available to Six Sigma practitioners – such as cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, histograms and scatter plots – have been used for analyzing […]

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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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Work Instructions for Mistake Proofing

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1. Use cross-functional teams (CFT) approach to mistake proofing. 2. Selection of process for mistake proofing. During the third phase of advanced product quality planning (APQP), the CFT shall identify the processes, where, due to avoidable human errors, the rating of “occurrence” and/or “detection” have increased thereby increasing the risk priority number (RPN) for the process. Poka-yoke techniques […]

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Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

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Vilfredo Pareto was an economist who is credited with establishing what is now widely known as the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule. When he discovered the principle, it established that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. Later, he discovered that the pareto principle was valid in other parts […]

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Combining CMMI, PSP, TSP and Six Sigma for Software

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PSP and TSP are software development process definitions (some might call them methodologies) that are compatible with a wide range of software development concepts such as spiral development, object oriented development, and various other sets of techniques, each with certain advantages in modeling and describing requirements and designs for software systems. One way of viewing […]

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What Keeps Six Sigma Practitioners Up At Night?

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What causes Six Sigma projects to fail to produce desired results, and what would most help to improve Six Sigma project results? This article presents survey results from Six Sigma professionals and presents recommendations.

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Six Sigma for Software – More Than a New Tool

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We need to fundamentally change what’s going on in Software. FAST! Defects, long cycle times, poor estimation, missed targets and project cancellations are stripping away profits and our ability to satisfy and retain customers. It’s occurring in Software Development companies, Embedded Product Software (Firmware), and Business Application Software. And, it’s happening in all industry segments. […]

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Toward an Integrated Six Sigma Software Knowledge-Base

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I’m sure we are all happy to see the new iSixSigma channel dedicated to software. The growing knowledge base at this portal will take shape in the body of articles, discussion forum threads, links, and resources that are contributed. The most important factor in all this is, of course, you, the site participants. While the […]

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Y = f (x): Aligning Green/Black Belts To Business Needs

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With the deployment of Six Sigma many organizations ask themselves various questions: What is critical to my customers? What is critical to the bottom line? How do I get a handle on these processes and assure their performance? What should my newly trained Black Belts attack? Without the methodology to pursue the answers, the pressure […]

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Design For Six Sigma Roadmap

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In the 21st century, new technologies will be developed and improved and will eventually be obsolete for the need of more advanced technologies. In this dynamically changing world, product cycles are expected to last for just a few months. To meet these demanding requirements product developers have to develop products in the shortest amount of […]

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Six Sigma in the Information Technology Services Sector

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Challenges Faced Today Offer Solutions for Tomorrow Six Sigma has come a long way from statistically oriented tools to today’s “not so data driven” tools like Lean and quality function deployment (QFD). The application of Six Sigma across different sectors has made this change from statistical tools to softer tools possible. The methodologies and framework […]

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Best of Benchmarking Research: Tools and Methods

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From the inception of iSixSigma Magazine, a regular feature of the publication has been exclusive research on aspects of deploying Six Sigma. The topics benchmarked have ranged from “Black Belt Return on Investment” in the inaugural issue, January/February 2005, to “The Lean Six Sigma Toolset” in November/December 2009. In addition, the magazine reports each year […]

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Using Six Sigma Tools in an Agile Software Project

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It may be counter-intuitive to consider using Six Sigma tools in an Agile software project. Six Sigma’s genesis was in the manufacturing world where one of its primary goals has been to reduce process variation. On the other hand, Agile software development is built on the premise that complex software projects, unlike manufacturing, cannot be […]

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Causal Loop Diagrams: An Orientation in Software Context

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Among the tried and true tools in the Six Sigma kit, cause-and-effect diagrams in the simple form of a tree, a fishbone or a Y-to-x diagram are a big help in identifying factors (x’s) that may drive changes in a results variable of interest (Y). There are times, though, that a flat, two-dimensional hierarchy does […]

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Creating a Fresh View of Six Sigma Data and Tools

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Six Sigma DMAIC and DFSS roadmaps provide the guidance needed for using facts and data to understand problems, opportunities and solutions to get results in a wide variety of project settings. For the routine cases, they give practitioners what they need. There are some situations, though, that can benefit from a broader view of Six […]

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What’s in a Name? It’s the Approach, Not the Name

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This article is the first of two on using a systematic approach to implementing a strategic initiative. The second article is “What’s in a Name? Systematic Approach to an Initiative.” For more than 30 years, global competition has driven businesses to seek new and better ways to be competitive in the marketplace. Some companies, in […]

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What’s in a Name? Systematic Approach to an Initiative

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This article is the second of two on using a systematic approach to implementing a strategic initiative. The first article is “What’s in a Name? It’s the Approach, Not the Name.” When a company decides to deploy a strategic initiative, whether the approach is called Six Sigma or something else, it must stay focused on […]

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Six Sigma Tools, Methods and Culture are Here to Stay

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Is Six Sigma just a fad – another flavor-of-the-month initiative that will blow over in a few years? Without proper leadership, what is labeled Six Sigma in some organizations may indeed fall by the wayside. However, done right, the tools, methods and culture that are true Six Sigma will be here for decades to come. And […]

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