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iSixSigma’s Largest-Breakthrough Innovation Project

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Have you successfully applied Six Sigma methodology to develop new products or processes? This is your year to be rewarded! For the first time, iSixSigma Live! will honor projects that demonstrate the outstanding application of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) in this new awards category.

iSixSigma’s new Largest-Breakthrough Innovation Project – Product and Process Development award recognizes “breakthrough” DFSS projects in products, manufacturing, transactional or customer service arenas. Projects should address one of two design approaches:

  1. Developing a new design with predictable functional performance or
  2. Major changes to an existing design, when variation associated with continuous improvement efforts have reached a point of diminishing returns and an innovative redesign effort is required.

Note: If there are fewer than five submissions, no award will be given for this category.

How to nominate projects:

Any team member can nominate their project. A project may be entered in only one category. The project must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Project must substantially impact the way a “design” meets or exceeds customer requirements. “Design” in DFSS projects can be anything your company designs – products, manufacturing processes, equipment, transactional processes or business systems.
  • Project must use Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) or Design For Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS) methodologies, and must include the essential elements of a disciplined design process model, such as DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify), IDDOV (Identify, Define, Develop, Optimize, Verify) or other applicable models.
  • Project must have been started on or after Jan. 1, 2010, and must be completed through the Control/Verify phase by Oct. 17, 2011.
  • Some advanced development product/process-related DFSS projects may be scoped in advance of a hardware stage of the design process; therefore breakthrough improvements demonstrated using mathematical model predictions are acceptable.
  • Must clearly indicate “breakthrough” design improvement as a result of the project in one or more of the following ways:
    • Reduction in predicted or actual defects (70 percent or more) for product/process characteristics having “designed-in” quality levels capable of meeting customer requirements. Key design indicators where improvement has been demonstrated may include overall functional performance, reliability life predictions, quality, manufacturability, safety, delivery, cost, etc.
    • Increase in predicted product/process “design” sigma level (minimum of 2-sigma increase if initial sigma level was less than or equal to 3; minimum of 1-sigma increase if initial sigma level was greater than 3). Use of DFSS QFD scorecards, balanced scorecards, design sensitivity analyses, capability studies, transfer function verification, etc., is highly encouraged to demonstrate breakthrough design improvement levels.
    • Financial benefit – cost savings and/or cost avoidance (minimum $250,000 in U.S. dollars AND 5x or more return on investment, calculated to include the cost of the project and resulting expenses)

The two-phase nomination process:

  1. Complete online nomination form, including project name, brief description and contact information.
  2. Submit a presentation in the form of a PowerPoint file (or PDF of a PowerPoint file).
    • Teams are encouraged to include descriptive information in the Notes section of each PowerPoint slide, to provide a “narration” for the presentation.
    • All industry-specific acronyms must be spelled out on first reference.
    • The optimum size of PowerPoint presentation is 10-12 slides. Any presentation larger than 15 slides will be disqualified.
    • No “animations” that create additional slides, or embedded files, may be used. These will be considered separate slides and subject to the 15-slide limit.

How projects will be scored:

A panel of experienced Six Sigma/DFSS professionals will score the presentations independently, and then work together to come to consensus on the final score. The criteria will include:

  • General presentation value: Slides must be clear and easy to understand, and must “tell the story” of the project effectively. The essential project phase tollgate deliverables (listed below) must be addressed on the slides, or in the Notes section.
  • Several DFSS process models have been developed in part due to specific industry design requirements, but guidelines for two popular process models – IDDOV and DMADV are outlined below.
  • Identify/Define: Nine essential tollgate deliverables that must be addressed:
    • Problem or opportunity statement
    • Goal statement
    • Project scope
    • Prioritized voice of customer (VOC) needs and critical-to-quality (CTQ) requirements (i.e., initial DFSS QFD scorecard, benchmarking data, surveys)
    • Expected benefits and how improvements are measured
    • High-level process map and/or thought map
    • Business case or strategic plan
    • Timelines – estimated duration of project phases
    • Team member names
  • Define/Measure: 12 essential tollgate deliverables that must be addressed:
    • Identify customer requirement performance CTQs using system flow-down
    • Translate/correlate prioritized VOC requirements into performance CTQs
    • Process mapping
    • DFSS functional analysis
    • Develop initial Y = F(x) transfer functions
    • Evaluate current performance metrics
    • Use of historic data or develop new data collection plan
    • Analysis of the cost of poor quality (COPQ) for existing designs
    • Assess product design and/or process design capability
    • Define improvement capability targets
    • Reassess project scope and finalize charter
    • Updated DFSS QFD scorecard with prioritized performance CTQs
  • Develop/Analyze: 12 essential tollgate deliverables that must be addressed:
    • Identify design innovation strategies – applied creativity, TRIZ
    • Measurement system analysis
    • Estimate design life and assess against reliability requirements
    • Identify/prioritize physical design CTQs and correlate to deliver performance CTQs
    • Current product/process performance capability studies performed
    • Design concept(s) generation (hardware or virtual prototypes)
    • Formulate hypotheses regarding design risk, root cause analysis
    • Evaluate design risk against customer requirements for each design concept
    • Rationale for the type of statistical analysis used
    • Concept design selection that best meets customer performance CTQs
    • Characterize and refine transfer functions
    • Updated DFSS QFD scorecard with prioritized physical design CTQs
  • Optimize/Design: 10 essential tollgate deliverables that must be addressed:
    • Optimize product/process design for robustness
    • Design sensitivity analyses complete
    • Verification of all transfer functions
    • Evaluate design for manufacturability (if applicable)
    • Estimate/confirm and allocate tolerances on key product and process characteristics
    • Product design specifications translated to process specifications
    • Verification/test/analysis to demonstrate design product/process capability meets or exceeds customer requirements
    • Initial product/process design control plan
    • Updated DFSS QFD scorecard with prioritized physical design CTQs
    • Populated DFSS QFD scorecard with product/process capability data to assess improvement metrics in terms of DPU (defects per unit) and long-term sigma level, minimize design risk and trade-off analysis
  • Verify/Verify: Eight essential tollgate deliverables that must be addressed:
    • Document optimized design solution methods that drove design decisions throughout DFSS project
    • Document results and financial benefits that product/process design improvements have been achieved
    • Finalize DFSS QFD scorecard summary to verify that defect and sigma levels of all product/process characteristics meet customer CTQs
    • Final product/process design control plan
    • Evaluate replication opportunities across company organization
    • Communicate product/process design guidelines and DFSS scorecard results to project team
    • Final DFSS project report summarizing findings
    • Project close out, team reward and recognition
  • Additional information, such as whether the project verify/control plan has been implemented or replicated across an organization, or other pertinent details, may be included. Note that this information must remain within the 15-slide limit.

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