What’s In Your Toolbox?

In every company, people in organizations make decisions and implement changes every day. Many of these changes are not typically the type of things that warrant a Six Sigma project. That being said, it should be recognized that the application of some Six Sigma tools in these everyday activities can provide a significant positive impact on daily business as well as serve as a catalyst for cultural transformation. For example:

  • Completing a FMEA for a”just do it” can increase the probability of “just doing it right.”
  • A simple process change accompanied by a SIPOC may identifya customer that may not have been previously considered.
  • Using a C&E matrix torank employment candidates against desirable knowledge, skills and abilities can be helpful in developing the “short list” of candidates to further interview.

No, these are not Six Sigma projects nor should they be. But these are great examples ofhow basic Six Sigma tools can help leaders and employees make better business decisions on a daily basis.

Having a Six Sigma toolbox chocked full of DMAIC and DFSS power tools is great. Keeping a couple of wrenches in your toolbox to help folks turn their “just do it” into “just do it better ” may be just the twist needed to close the gap between doing Six Sigma and being Six Sigma.

Comments 2

  1. Enrique Gabriel

    At first, excuse by my english, it is very poor.
    Just I am knowing and implementing Six-Sigma, but I have begun to use some of six sigma tools (like FMEA) to manage my work and to define policies. For example, I design a new module for the maintenance software used in the company by I work, and I used FMEA to define the structure and interface of this.
    Greetings, Enrique Gabriel

  2. Sue Kozlowski

    We found that we had to introduce the tools carefully. At first, we had a lot of trainees saying – "we can’t use the tools because we’re not doing a project." We have refocused our training to teach the tools both within the context of a DMAIC project, and for smaller rapid group work to promote understanding of the process which leads to better decision-making and ulitmately better outcomes.
    –Sue K.

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