iSixSigma

Bob Peterson

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Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
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  • #63237

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Nigel,
    Well.  These are actually fun problems because the gratifying feedback is usually quite rapid.  Might you have records of any type that would allow you to tabulate and categorize these ill feelings?  Should those be insufficient, some face-to-face discussions with appropriate individuals, again turning the results into the tabulation and categorization regime, might give you enough information to begin.
    I should think you would need many snippets of information for any given dissatisfaction with a task.  Examples might be person assigned, time to execute, how many times a problem required revisiting before resolution was achieved, personal name at the customer, department being served, . . .  I am certain you get the point.
    Prepare your responses in a Pareto fashion to provide you with a starting point for focus your reparations effort.  Be prepared for perception of a problem, perhaps due to a previous one of some import, to have lasting ripples into the future, where somewhat insignificant issues become magnified by the echos from the past.
    You might consider charting the occurrences of complaints on a periodic basis such as daily or weekly, and look for time trends in the data.  The chart is useful largely to the extent that it helps you understand what must be done.  The charts are discontinues when the lack of continued need is apparent.
    Best regards,
    Bob Peterson
    [email protected]

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    #63229

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Hello, Nigel.
    Perhaps you could provide a bit of background on your new situation and the highly uncooperative automotive customer to help set the scene.  I know precious little of the specifics for the IT world.  I am able to provide advice on getting off to a good start.  Feel free to converse in this forum or to me directly should you be so inclined.
    Regards,
    Bob Peterson
    [email protected]

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    #93501

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    I might add one proviso – like almost everything else in life, having done something with what you have (or know in this instance) is more persuasive than simply having it.  Should you choose to take the effort, be looking for opportunities to apply your newly acquired education to your surrounding situation.  Nothing breeds success like success.
    Bob Peterson
    [email protected]

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    #91984

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Adele,
    Work hard to find out the who / what / why regarding the negative experience your company has had.  The answers will guide you on how to (or if you should) sell 6s to your company.  You are certainly welcome to send me a note at [email protected] with the results of your effort.  Perhaps I can give you a suggestion or two.
    Bob Peterson

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    #91981

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Agent:
    Perhaps you could consider attacking the 4% standard deviation rather than the 7% mean.  I have found this approach to be quite effective.  Should the 4% SD come about because of inability to quantify the parts supplied, then it becomes a measurement system issue.  Feel free to drop me a note at [email protected] if I can advize further.
    Bob Peterson

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    #91297

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    I would agree with Statman.  Generally a DOE does not need to be repeated in it’s entirety, certainly not when doing a screening experiment.  There are mitigating circumstances, however, so think it through to the end and decide how much energy and money you wish to put into emphasizing process settings against just gathering more repeats for a given setup.

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    #90104

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Mike,
    Thank you for your frank comments on the seeming future state of SS.  I thought I might be the only one who felt that way and was uncharacteristically hesitant to speak out.  I no longer stress six sigma with my clients – just ‘structured problem solving’.  A bit of a shame I suppose, but then it is about results, isn’t it?  Results-2-3-4 by any other name . . .
    Bob Peterson

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    #89846

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    CB,
    Sorry you feel that way.  I failed to make the connection with personal credit, for I took the issue to be communication both up and down.
    Bob Peterson

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    #89829

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Todd,
    I will not admonish you past what has already been stated by others.
    Speaking to a group of mixed backgrounds can be a bit challenging.  My advice would be two-fold:  avoid jargon and use practical examples from everyday life which everyone can understand.
    For farmers, the tons of corn per linear feet in each field and the associated fixed and variables costs; for CEOs how good it tasted.
    Bob Peterson

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    #89827

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Vexed,
    This is an all-to-common situation where the upper and not-so-upper portions of a company have communication difficulties.  What has the top management team answered when you asked what they need from your work?
    Without knowing the specific situation it is a bit difficult to advise.  Three items that come immediately to mind include impact, how you communicate upward and sponsors (or champions if you prefer).
    Work hard at the beginning of your work to be certain what quantifiable goal is expected, and that the management team concurs.  Monetary and measureable direct impact on customers are preferred. 
    Communication should take a similar path, and MUST be concise and positive yet reflect reality.  You are in the position to supply answers, not more problems. 
    Identifying a sponsor or champion is an oft-overlooked component.  Find someone at a level above the team who cares about or is directly impacted by the outcome but is a bit outside of the day-to-day.  This person is the salesman and can be quite beneficial bridging the communication gap.
    I would ask you to consider how successful your program has been over the past 2 years if this issue has persisted this long.
    By the way, I am one of those consultants.
    Bob

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    #89074

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    I would think certification is more like icing rather than the cake if I may be allowed the metaphor.  Achieving sustainable results is the bottom line issue, and certification does not necessarily lead to results.
    I would think there is value in certification for many individuals.  It is a bit like taking 3 college years of something and then not driving through to “graduation”.  That last year brings a lot of disparate concepts into focus.
    Bob Peterson

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    #88780

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Mike,
    What an intriguing result, something about perception is reality?
    More seriously, your results beg several questions.  Could you re-examine the definitions for “quality of communication”?  Perhaps the issue is deeper than simply time or good feedback.  Are the issues related to communication or some other aspect of your workplace, for what seems like a cause may just look like one rather than be on?  What are the defects found by inspection?  How major are these defects?  What portions of the process(es) are generating these defects?  Can the experiment be done another way?  What sort of pain is the organization feeling?  To what degree can that pain be quantified or at least classified?  What percentage of your production is inspected, and what percentage is defective in some manner?  What happens on the production line when a need for inspection is indicated?
    Certainly some of these questions were likely put aside initially to focus on the communication aspects.  The onion now has one less layer. 
    Of course, there is always the option of running it again with a different group of people.
     
    Best of fortune.

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    #86540

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Dan and Elizabeth,
    I suppose everything has it’s place as does DFSS.  My experiences suggest that it can be cost-effective in certain circumstances and also that, as Elizabeth has suggested, may be most positive when the opportunities are carefully selected.  I do wonder just how effective DFSS is when applied to literally everything.
    I work with clients at the higher-performance end of the composites market.  We had a need to design and establish relatively inexpensive manufacturing process for 400 atm pressure cylinders with very strict weight limitations.  The complexity of the design, expense for materials, and quite aggressive schedule made this an excellent candidate for DFSS.  A focused team with 1 rep each from manufacturing, design, stress analysis, and tooling (I was the cheerleader on this one) simultaneously developed wind angles, ply sequences, tooling, and manufacturing processes.  The first test article met 12 of 13 design criteria.  Corrections were made where apparent and success was achieved by the 2nd time around.  Had that team not used DFSS techniques the horridly expensive tooling would have been incorrect and the team would have been both overbudget and overschedule.
    I have seen other instances where DFSS was used where, in my opinion, the make-break cycle was more appropriate.  Moderate impact, affordable testing, manageable schedules, all are factors that favor more traditional development methods.  Adopt a particular DFSS tool if it makes sense for the particular problem at hand.
    On the balance, where the knowledge level is rather high, the costs of experimentation expensive, and/or the schedule precludes Edisonian efforts, DFSS should be considered.  The people commitments needed can be substantial.
    I hope this is at least a bit helpful.  Good luck.

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    #86404

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Thank you, Joe.  Well stated.
    Bob Peterson

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    #86330

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Charit,
    Thank you for clarifying your need.  Something like six sigma is of value to a company of any size or sales dollar volume.  For a small company measured by either means the issue comes down to speed of near-term and long-term problem solving where speed is more important than long-term.  On the ROI point, consider variable vs fixed costs as a key question to address.  The other is an estimate of the magnitude of the problem, how much money is saved if the project is only 50% effective, and how much the BB will cost.
    For companies of modest means, I would suggest you recommend bringing in someone from the outside rather add another body or train an existing one.  In the short-term, either of those two actions will tend to ‘distract’ the small company and impede them from doing other vital things.  The advantages include a reality check for the company on how well this will work for them, fewer preconceived solutions, ability to focus on completion, and essentially pay for performance.  The external resource is a variable expense which I would think in many circumstances is particularly important for smaller companies.
    On balance the people already in place at the company must be open to the consequences of the effort.  I have found this up front acceptance a bit more difficult than you might think since there are many times a couple of influentials that are actually looking for vindication of business-as-usual, which in turn becomes a lose-lose situation.
    The sort of ROI you can expect is a bit trickier since quite a few factors come into play.  My experience has shown a 50+% ROI (1.50 return on each 1.00 invested or spent) is realistically achievable.  If this sort of number is not attractive, I want to know what business they are in so I can be in it, too.  Even if my assertion is incorrect and the return is only equal to the intial cost, any future gains go directly to profit.  If it is less than that some upfront work was lacking.
    I hope this will be of a bit more help.  Best of luck.

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    #86238

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    I firmly believe, at the risk of being indelicate, that the required number of black, green, yellow, leather belts, or striped suspenders is zero.  What is mandatory for a company of any size is (a) putting the customer first, (b) accepting that no matter how good the company may think it is, there must a passion for improvement in the eyes of the customer, and (c) seat-of-the-pants approaches will typically yield relatively cost-ineffective results. 
    How the heck can one connect the revenue dollars with a BB bodycount?  How many?  Just do what makes sense.  The effective head of any business knows there are issues to be resolved, has at least a gut feel for the likelihood of solving them, and comes a make-or-buy decision.  If the ongoing need is clear, make; if not, buy as a temporizing move and reconsider later.  If this is new territory – start small.  If this is not new territory, you already know what to do and have probably already lost interest in reading this.
    I am a BB.  I have a passion for customer-firstness, recognize that I am imperfect, and know that honest, focused, measured, high impact work is the very best way both my customers and I win as we improve together.  I have little time for trite formulas, ivory-towerness, or jargon.
    Six Sigma is a wonderful tool, but is a tool that has only one purpose – generating a healthier bottom line through customer satisfaction.  Please never lose sight this.
    One more thing.  There are entirely too many “I”s in this note:  Six Sigma is not about me, us, or them, only them.
     

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    #66378

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    William,

    Our company is in the process of restructuring under a “Continuous Improvement” umbrella, including Six Sigma, Lean, TQM, Etc. In your 10/8/00 reply on the subject topic you refer to “ABM”, a term which is unfamiliar to me. Would you please give me a short description for ABM, and point me in the direction of informational sources.

    Thanks, BP

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    #65991

    Bob Peterson
    Participant

    Thanks Gary, your advise is appreciated.

    Bob

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