iSixSigma

Shelby Jarvis

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  • #199299

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    As with all projects, first understand the problem. Is it quality of data? You and your business team should define this as it will help you define the scope and the team to help with the resolution.

    You can/should validate that the system is correctly implemented, but the root cause of your problem likely is within the processes or teams generating the information and/or inputting the information.

    Define your problem based on the business impact.

    Collect real data and analyze it in a way to help you learn:
    * Are the errors incorrect information or are they data entry related?
    * What is your highest frequency of errors?
    * etc

    Once you have collected the data and have an understanding of your biggest impact, analyze the data to assure you are focused correctly and that you are detecting the problem.

    Based on this, you and your team should be able to generate ideas and potential solutions. I encourage you to get input from stakeholders and perform risk analysis prior to implementing change. You may find that IT can open a “sand box” for you to pilot your potential solutions.

    Validate your improvements, make the changes, and communicate the new business results.

    This is high level and fast, but it should get you started.

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    #199298

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @cseider

    I try to change it up a bit each time, but the answer stays the same. :c)

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    #199295

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Kathy,

    Great question.

    Six Sigma certification can be an asset to your career. Most programs are designed is a blended learning approach. This includes classroom, self study/reading, and project work under the guidance of a coach. It has been effective for decades and therefore a common approach. As challenging as this sounds, part of the reasoning is the desire to attract GB/BB internal to the organization as developmental roles and to leverage their business and product knowledge.

    A recent trend by various universities and organizations is to teach Six Sigma as a class (on-line and live). Depending upon the source you view, you will find various approaches and time requirements. Since you are looking to re-enter the job market, this may be the best option for you. Many Six Sigma purest have a bias against this approach as you do not have as strong a linkage to the coaching which you receive from the more traditional method.

    Considerations:
    1) If you are trained but little or no experience, represent as such. If you claim to be more that you are, it will show up in the interview. Also, many companies list six sigma as a requirement, but with an MBA, knowledgeable may be sufficient.
    * If this gets you a job and you really want to do projects, you will be able to find your way into the internal program.

    2) If you want experience: Charities and non-profit organizations can always use free help. If you want to try out your new skills, volunteer to fix someone’s problems for free. Ideas: Local community center, local high school, booster club, church, soup kitchen, etc.

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    #199294

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I don’t fully understand your data set. However, if you have data on the 14 “Tasks”, then you can create a Pareto.

    Depending on how you structure your data collection plan, you have the opportunity to measure frequency of “complied” by task which will help you know where to focus your efforts. If you have different departments or teams, you can capture data which lets you see if you need to focus on a specific department or team.

    Nothing is a substitute for being in the process. Working with your coach and champion, identify a hypothesis to test. Collect data in a way which allows you to segment the key factors. The two potential Pareto(s) may be sufficient, but I suggest using that as more of a model for creating your own data collection and analysis plan.

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    #199289

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Anurag,

    The proper judge of your question is your stakeholders. However, it looks as if you need to shift your process time through reduction of rework.

    As you have stated it, the time to process is extended as a result of rework (7 mean / 6 median). I can not speak for your team, but reducing variation is good, but I would expect both (cycle time and variation).

    You may have this, but if not you may benefit from measuring the types and frequencies of errors which lead to the rework. By eliminating the errors; you will reduce the number of rework iterations. This will impact cycle time and variation around the cycle time.

    Your long term goal should be zero rework.

    As a project metric and target improvement, work with your stakeholders to define the expectation.

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    #199281

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Goals and metrics drive behavior. To get an organization moving together, the goals and metrics must drive this.

    Keep in mind, aligned goals does not mean that everyone has the same exact wording nor scale of metrics.

    Effective goal setting respects that some teams will need to maintain performance while others will need to strive for breakthrough. Understanding which teams need which level of performance is difficult in many situations. It is worth the work. Without it, resources can become aligned to the wrong opportunity.

    Additionally, high level organizational metrics are not always applicable to every level. For example, your organization may create metrics over Working Capital. However, deep in the organization are teams who only control 1 or 2 components of Working capital. In this example, make the metric match what is controllable. For example, a production manager may have metrics around inventory if this is the appropriate level of control. With this, this person is driving Working Capital in a manner which they control.

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    #199280

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Great advice Chris. I would add one thing.

    Define your 3 years of experience in a way which explains how it will be foundational to your career goals. Early career is tough. Level set your expectations and build your story based on your strengths.

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    #199256

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Sartaj,

    I am not sure I fully understand your question. Energy consumption is a great project. It can very simple to very difficult depending upon your situation. Below is a suggestion of how to start.

    All power consumption is not equal. You will want to focus on the biggest opportunity.

    Define the Biggest opportunity:
    1: Measure the consumption rate (KW/Hr) or some other meaningful rate measurement.
    2: Create a Pareto chart. This will let you quickly see which item(s) is consuming the most energy.

    Develop Potential Solution:
    This is where your knowledge of your business must be used. For simple examples, it may be as simple as reducing the use of high energy consumption equipment. This is not likely a viable option as it requires either investment in new equipment or reducing your service level. Some communities give you breaks on price if you consume at night vs. peak hours. Again, I doubt this is effective because you must provide service when it is requested.

    Ideas to also consider:
    1: Evaluate your service. Do other methods exist to deliver the same service? Try to creatively describe 7 ways to do the same function in a different way.

    2: Break your service into segments. Is your equipment required to run during every segment. (This is also a good way to consider as you are measuring the problem. Rather than measuring the energy consumption of each device, measure the total consumption of each segment.)

    3: Test your high energy items to determine if you can change the setting to consume less power and still deliver the same result.

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    #199236

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    All great points.

    An issue I see with the metric of penetration rate is linking it to the customer. I know many CI leaders who base their penetration rate (which leads to certification rate as a metric) by total number of employees, or some other internal facing driver.

    I have seen leaders put GB certification as a performance goal for employees without having a defined need. This leads to GB candidates searching for projects which may fix a pain point, but not necessarily linked to strategy or goals. Either way, it is easy for a leader to not support a project if it is not actually aligned in some manner.

    I propose a better approach is building the project pipeline and then allowing the project load drive the penetration goals. Your goal may be 100% of projects are resourced. My belief is with this mentality, it is easier to justify the BB mentors, the organizational resources, etc. to enable certification.

    I realize you asked for a good metric number. Hopefully these thoughts partnered with some of the other feedback may help you choose your metric wisely.

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    #199190

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Sadia,

    I like where Chris is guiding you. I will answer your question with a question. Why?

    “Why”: As you begin, why should a company communicate internally? The answer to this question may lead you to quantifiable metrics. As I read your original statement, I see clues at measurable.

    Good Luck

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    #199177

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    So far, you have received good input and questions. Possibly a clue exist in your previous statement. If I read it correctly, you stated that it is relatively easy to count the displays due to being able to see if all the frame locations are full. The lesson is that if inventory is visual it is less of an issue to count.

    You should work with your team to see if it is possible to make counting your stock visual. Some ideas to help the brainstorming:
    * Speak with other stores to see how they handle this. Maybe they have a solution.
    * Can you orient your fast moving frames together and your slow moving frames together?
    * Can you place seals on the packages that must be broken to provide the product to the customer? Then you only count the packages with broken seals.
    * Can you make a special location to place packages which have sold during a shift? The concept is if something sells, then the inventory is counted. If it doesn’t sell and it is sealed, then it is not likely to have changed.
    * Can you implement cycle counting? This concept is counting a sample of items each day and through a period of time, all products are counted. (This will require approval from your leaders.)

    One, some, or none of these ideas may work. Some are repeats with slightly different applications. the key is, if you assemble your team you should be able to develop ideas to test.

    Good Luck

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    #199170

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @bimbo

    I notice you are trying to “push” LSS to a market/segment. You may be well beyond this, but I suggest identifying a true need which is currently going unmet. If you have the ability to add value to a team, you may find an inlet.

    This is related the @Straydog suggestion.

    Nothing sells change like demonstrated success.

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    #199156

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Dr. Alkistis

    I have not read the articles, but I am willing to share the methods I have used in past deployments.

    At the BB level, I have used more tactical criteria such as; experience in the company, knowledge of the business, ability to work with multiple functions, ability to communicate, and technical skills.

    For MBB level, I have used the DISC Assessment, Emergenetics, and Myers Briggs. I don’t use all three, but have used each of them for different deployments. The value in my view is before you can mentor others, you must understand yourself. I find these evaluations helpful.

    I agree that a leadership course is of great value. BB and MBB training is great, but leaders need to also learn about their roles to have a successful deployment.

    I am happy to answer questions in more detail. You can reach me at Shelby.jarvis1@gmail.com

    I recommend a book “The first 90 Days” by Steve Zinkgraf. I have used this book to guide my deployments in the past.

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    #199149

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    The simple answer is yes.

    I assume you want help starting. Below are some steps inspired by six sigma but without the full process or compliment of tools. Based on your comments, I have assumed you are not fully trained.

    Step 1: You must define the actual problem. Above, you defined two symptoms. A long queue and a difficult to manage crowd (resulting from the queue.) You need to investigate to determine more about the queue. Below are a few ideas to investigate. The trick is to think about these and add your own thoughts based on being in the store.

    * Is the queue always long, or does is change in length? When is it long, when is it short, what happens to cause this? Does it change with time of day? Does it change with day of the week? You should directly observe this. You can now write a problem statement with a little more clarity.
    * Meet with the management team to see if they agree with your newly written problem statement. If yes, then you can move on, if no, get their input as to the problem. If you do not come to an agreement of the problem, you cannot move forward.
    * Assuming you have an agreed to problem. Set goals. You want to improve the service from current state (length of wait for customers) to desired state (maximum length of wait). Did you notice the metric is related to the time in the customers eyes? This is important as you actually have a customer service problem and the improvement should benefit the customer.
    * Based on your observation, define the scenarios which have too long of wait time. From this, you can select what you need to measure. Is it number of items per customer? Number of Lotto tickets sold? Is it special products? Do you have other activities happening at the same time which interfere with servicing the customer? Again, you need to define what you will measure, these are just potential ideas.
    * Take your measurements over time. If it happens only on Tuesdays, then plan on measuring multiple Tuesdays. If it is between 2-4PM everyday, then measure between 2-4PM on multiple days, etc.
    * Analyze your data. What did you learn? Do you have any ideas on reasons for pore customer service?
    * Brainstorm ideas and test your solutions. You should be able to turn the problem on (make the queue long) and off ( make the queue short) if you have isolated the real problem.
    * Make the changes, communicate, and train

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    #199142

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I agree with Norbert. If you are not in an organization which has existing expertise in LSS, find a way to get it. Training is only part of the journey. Knowing how and when to use the knowledge is critical. A great way to get this is with a strong coach/mentor.

    When you look for LSS programs, you may find some curricula aimed at IT and that is great. However, you can also find courses aimed at a more broad audience which will work fine.

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    #199135

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Yeah, I like that book and the message. Unfortunately, some of the case studies are no longer appropriate.

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    #199133

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Many great points. I find Lean and Six Sigma have the ability to provide high impact. I believe the issue is within the implementation of either/both.

    Taiichi Ohno did not set out to develop lean. He had a real business need to resolve. Through years of work and continuously learning; Lean was the result. The same can be said for the development of SS.

    The issue many companies face is they start with the “what” and not the “why”. Too many companies are seeking a simple answer, so when performance doesn’t meet the goals they decide to implement LSS. I am of the belief this is the first point of failure.

    LSS may indeed be part of the answer, but it comes with risk. The Toyota/GE/Allied Signal/etc. culture cannot be bolted onto any other company. Successful CI requires leaders to lead differently, it requires individual contributors to engage, it requires the organization to work together. While the processes/tools in LSS are part of the transformation other transformational work is also required.

    The Great Recession separated the practitioners from the pretenders. Prior to the crash, many companies were able to add the words LSS to their public statements and everyone believed it. When wall street crashed, the rate of change in business was faster than most people had seen prior. If the leadership and organization was strong, then LSS was a benefit. If not, it was a scape goat and an easy place to cut heads. I can’t prove it, but I believe this was the start of rumors than LSS doesn’t work.

    Many of us on this string have been in industry for decades. We have seen programs and initiatives rise and fall. (Quality Circles, ISO, TQM, etc.) I am not shocked that some people feel LSS is failing. If LSS is like the other programs, it is an inevitable part of the life cycle.

    The trick is to understand the value it brings. I worked for Panasonic back in the days of Quality Circles. In my location, it was very effective; but I have no doubt it failed in others. The point is that I do not worry if the trend in industry is going to or from a “label”. I focus on matching/moving the companies culture and the CI fundamentals into alignment with the business opportunity/problem.

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    #199131

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Great point Chris. Regardless of the brainstorming technique used; the team is only identifying potential root causes. I think that is where LSS experts add value is maintaining expectations and the discipline needed to properly test and validate if/if not the issue is really the root cause.

    When I teach this topic (in the classroom or real life), I remind the team that you should expect a high failure rate of being correct in the first assumption. For example, if you circle the teams top 3 most likely potential root causes, they should expect failure from at least 2 of the 3 and sometimes all 3.

    This can result from a few reasons.
    1) The team staying at the superficial level and not digging deep enough
    2) It’s an honest wrong belief of the cause and effect.

    The key is to validate.

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    #199126

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    This is the type of discussions I enjoy. Hopefully many people will read and challenge each other to think about how we influence processes and other people.

    I am in agreement with Kicab. I lean toward making the tool work for me and not becoming ingrained in 1 tool. I work with all functions (transactional and operational). With this, the people on my teams vary in how they learn. In this case, I am referring to the learning associated with the problem solving process. If I am with a highly innovative team, I may use one technique; if I am with a very literal team, I may use a different technique. The key is I read the team to make my best bets then adapt to the team if my first bias isn’t delivering the necessary results.

    I also use the tool as a guide. The 6M’s aren’t always applicable when working outside of operations. In these cases, I use “Failure Mode” or some other logical name for each branch/fish fin/etc.

    I feel as if it is my responsibility to have enough techniques to allow me to be flexible to reach any audience and to respect their team and personal cultures.

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    #199071

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    If you plan a line to be 100% efficient based upon your fasted observed time, you will overstate your capacity. So in my experience, your intuition is good. However, it doesn’t seem like your lean group is very far what your intuition.

    I use the fastest repeatable time. As you are noting, fastest is not always representative of reality. Typically, the fastest repeatable time will be in the fastest quartile, but not the fastest.

    To address your concern of the difference in speed from start to finish, never assume 100% efficiency. Knowing the working conditions and some time observations may help you know how much of a factor to apply.

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    #199061

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @ilkooldude

    These questions should be defined as part of the LSS program deployment. As for the project, work with your stakeholders, sponsors, and mentor to define the project goals. It is a good idea to identify current performance and then set a target for successful completion. Get alignment on the metrics, the targets, and the method for calculating the metric prior to the start of the project.

    It is important to consider the business impact and the impact on the customer.

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    #199046

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    So you have stumbled at the beginning of your project. The main key is to do not let this get you down.

    Your error was not involving the correct people in your project. While it is possible the CFO chose a metric incorrectly, it is not appropriate to change the metric without the CFO’s guidance and input.

    Many times, the metrics used by the CFO are used to communicate outside the organization. Any change to the metric may seem to people outside the organization that the company is cheating the metrics by redefining them.

    If you have a mentor inside the company, first meet with them to get advice. If you do not, you should meet with the CFO (or other person from the CFO’s team) to better understand the metric. They may be able to help you first understand why the metric is defined as it is and secondly present your input to the CFO. Together you can develop a plan to investigate the problem and then report it properly.

    For example: You may explore each component of DSO to see if sub metrics exist which can be used to identify the problem.

    Regardless, you will begin to earn the respect of the CFO and through this you can re-energize the project.

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    #199033

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    My suggestion:

    Solve the processes related to the work you just described.
    1) Map the process and ID potential sources of variation (what is controlled? What is not controlled? Utilize a cross functional team (operations, maintenance, tool maintenance, quality, engineering)
    a) Using the same team, do a fishbone to help your team define the highest
    priority to measure. The remaining steps require resources and you should
    focus them wisely.
    2) Measure variation of inputs to the process. Even measure your raw material. Is it within the contract requirements? I have seen cases of changing vendors and/or tolerances as a method to reduce raw material cost. If the variation in the material is too high, you may find that your process is not robust enough to handle the variation.
    3) Measure and observe machine set-ups. I recommend videoing these set ups. Look for opportunities for; inconsistencies, weaknesses in techniques, and variation.
    4) Measure the output of each step. By knowing the variation going into a process step and the variation leaving the step, you may gain insight to the step itself.
    5) Robots can be an asset or an issue. The good news is they are repeatable. You may want to validate that every interaction the robot has with the part and the process is very well controlled. For example, the robot may be repeatable, but the manner in which the part is chucked into the machine may have variation. My advice is just verify without an assumption.
    6) Is your MSA accurate and up to date?

    You can use these tips to help get your team moving. As you discuss these points to investigate, you should expect the cross functional team to add to the list. This will likely develop during the fishbone exercise.

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    #199023

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Start at the beginning and stick to fundamentals. You will be learning along the way.

    1) Map every step of the process (Start with a SIPOC and work your way to more detailed). The examine each step to know what is verified in control and capable versus the steps which are not in control or capable. This will allow you to begin refining your study. Don’t forget to consider raw material, tool maintenance, machine set up, etc.
    2) To do this effectively, you will need to engage with people within the process. I am never a believer in the simple answer of blaming a shift, but it is important to determine if differences between set-up procedures exist between each set-up team. I also believe the documented procedures are frequently not representative of reality.
    3) Now that you have identified all steps and narrowed the problem down to defined subset, work with a team to refine your problem statement. Develop a plan to evaluate each of the unknowns. (Measurement and analysis)
    4) Now that you have the ability to know the issues based on data.
    5) Frequently, a team can look at the data at this level and use relatively common techniques to ID the root cause and create a solution. If not, then it is time to use consider moving from passive observations to more active observation such as a DOE.

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    #199020

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    If you are using more than one trainer, you absolutely have a potential of variation. Some early points to consider:
    * Do you have standardized processes (even on the single station)? If more than one way exist to perform a task, training is very difficult.
    * Do you have standard training? To be standard is more than just material, it is facilitator standards.
    * Do you have official trainers? Do you have Train the Trainer / Trainer Certifications?

    As you can see from these questions, it is potential to have trainer variation and therefore Gage R&R is one technique to consider. The bigger question for me, is the first one I asked. Have you simplified the process and have only one way to perform each task.

    It seems as if you have a requirement of training as part of an FDA requirement. If this is true, then documented training will be part of your solution. I recommend researching Training within Industry (TWI). This organization has references you may value. I have no affiliation with TWI, but have used their work and find it valuable.

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    #199007

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Cody,

    These can be deep topics. Can you provide more details as to what you are trying to understand? You may find more people engaging in the discussion.

    Good Luck

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    #199006

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    rw615

    Your getting sound advice. Chase work experience that you value and that supports the things in life which are important to you. Try to establish what gives you happiness. Examples may include; family, location, time at home vs. time traveling, etc. I use a tool called “Personal Compass” to help me define the things which are important and think of my career as a journey with long term goals and short term actions. You may choose to find a copy of this as you explore.

    As JB stated, many titles exist, so as you search also read the details of the description as different companies and industry sectors may use different names and terms.

    Also, try not to reach too far too fast. Make certain to accept that you are new to being a BB. You have plenty of time to develop that skill. Having the depth of knowledge which you gain from experience pays back many times over in the future.

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    #198993

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I am not certain I understand all the details of your situation. If I understand it correctly, you are seeking a way which to forecast your staffing at a call center in order to fulfill your SLA. Your data is in 2 systems; one customer facing and one internal finance.

    If that is correct, I would begin by using the customer facing data. Once you understand the actual demand, then you can map it to your financial plan.

    Without knowing the details, I would suggest treating the data in a few methods. (Some of these may or may not apply depending upon the type of data. Consider understanding Takt Time, avg. wait time for answer, number of handoffs during calls, and avg. time to resolve calls. You should also perform time series analysis on the call data to understand if patterns exist. Examples of influencers on patterns may be time of day, week, or month. Others may be special causes like promotional programs etc.

    By starting with looking at the data (graphically first then analytically), you may see information which can help you assess headcount vs. demand vs. Service Level Provided.

    I hope this helps you get started.

    Shelby

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    #198992

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    We discussed this term in a previous forum. Can you review the feedback and tell us more specifically the question? I am sure we all want to help you the best way possible.

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    #198987

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    This is an interesting topic. As a word of caution, I have seen production supervisors attempt to re-arrange the production sequence after the production process began. The purpose was a rush order to meet a shipping deadline.

    The supervisor didn’t account for the feeder processes being sequenced to the schedule. The net result was not only failing to meet the shipping deadline for the rush order but also failing to meet the daily plan. This is a case where she “focused on the customer” in her mind. Unfortunately, she failed to consider the other customers. This netted out to many unhappy customers and not just one.

    Ironically, I calculated the timing if she would have left sequencing alone. The production planner was correct in the first place. If she would have followed the plan, all customers would have been happy.

    The moral to the story is focus on the customer, make your metrics drive the behavior you desire, and learn from each scenario.

    Great chat.

    Thanks for taking time to discuss.

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    #198983

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Let’s add to this discussion.

    Which customer benefits from the average lead time in the Subway Example?

    The answer is none. The caution I am raising is that the problem is seeking to improve performance in the eyes of the company as an efficiency benefit. How does that help the customer on the delivery time? In the second example, the first customer will receive their sandwich in the same 2 minutes. However, each following customer is at risk for on-time delivery.

    I am not stating that it is impossible to find an example for which this works without harming the customer. For example, if you are prepping to ship out of a DC and a specific group of orders have a delivery truck scheduled at a set time. The customer is isolated from the process as long as 100% is ready at the set time.

    The key is that metrics should always be set up to drive the behavior you are seeking. If your process has a barrior which isolates the customer, then efficiency is key as it may allow you to manage cost most efficiently. If the customer is directly impacted, insure your metrics reflect what the customer values.

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    #198972

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Felix,

    Rewards and recognition (R&R) are fun and sometimes difficult programs. A few considerations:
    * R&R must be seen as a value to the recipient, not the company. The interesting part of this is that you may find that each engineer may value things differently. You may find it beneficial to have options of relatively equal value for each recipient to pick their reward.
    * R&R must be proportional to the company culture. If you are too high or too low, you can de-motivate the organization. You can typically judge this easily by looking at other examples of R&R.
    * How will you judge success. It is not only important to be taking action, but also knowing when to stop action. i.e. You need to learn to work on the vital few problems.
    * Building easy to understand criteria for R&R can help with this.
    * Considerations for criteria: Do you base it on Financial Impact or on properly
    following your GB process?, What if you have a low payback project that is
    required to be complete to enable a larger project? How do you reward the
    first team?
    * You may investigate non traditional R&R or you may investigate a competition mentality to help with some of these hurdles.

    Shelby

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    #198919

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    JW,

    Mike has made some important points. Think of it from the customer point of view. Scenario 1 implies that any value within the spec limits is OK. Scenario 2 speaks to centering and less variation.

    The difference comes in the variation the customer experiences. In scenario 1, your product can be any shifted off center (small side of center) and still be “in spec”. Then over time, your product can shift to the large side of center. Both scenarios are in spec, but your customer experiences this as a shift in quality. If you have ever received a quality complaint about your product and each piece you test is “in spec”, you may consider testing variation.

    This doesn’t directly answer your question, but it helps with the “why” the question may exist.

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    #198899

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Brenton,

    Thank you for following up with your Director of Quality. References to this method of calculating Sigma levels exist out on the web. There are cautions to be considered and I assume your leadership is aware of these and treating them properly.

    Caution Points: (Treat each of these cautions as an opportunity to set with your leadership for dialogue and learning opportunities.)
    * The key caution is using a static calculation of quality level without noting process control. It is important to know the process is in control prior to calculating quality levels
    * Processes deteriorate over time. A rule of thumb suggest as much as a 1.5 sigma shift can occur over time (length of time to deteriorate is process related). Therefore, be careful with a short term vs. long term calculations

    This should help you discuss further with your leaders and your team.

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    #198895

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    As you are seeing, there is no singular answer. I recommend looking at the resources people are suggesting and you will see the similarities and differences. You will also see Katie’s point that knowing the R&R can help.

    Work with your stakeholders to understand the culture current state and where they want to take it. This should help you tie together some existing training solutions with the needs of your deployment vision.

    The structure around the training such as Champions and mentors will also effect the training. This can range from significant training but minimal mentorship to very light training and detailed mentorship. The answer must be right for your organization.

    0
    #198894

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Don,

    For what it’s worth…..the tools used in six sigma were here long before the DMAIC methodology. A solution may be to not make the six sigma and big data enemies. If the concepts, cools, techniques of big data enhance your performance, then great. I am not certain that means everything prior is a failure.

    “The problems that exist in the world cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”
    -Albert Einstein
    I see two scenarios.
    1) Six Sigma is capable of delivering necessary results for your organization but isn’t living up to it’s potential
    2) Your organization needs to evolve it’s thinking

    Knowing which of those two statements is correct may be important to know prior to defining a solution (big data)

    0
    #198870

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Brandon,

    Do you have more information? For example, why do they multiply by 4? Why do they look for it to be less than 20? Do they use the same criteria for each calculation or is this a special consideration?

    I recommend sitting with your quality team and asking them to walk through the calculation. If nothing else, it may help you bring more information to this post.

    0
    #198835

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Anshul,

    Launching a LSS program has many steps. A few quick thoughts.

    1) You should find a Sr. Leader who is willing to be your sponsor. This person should be able to help with your credibility as you work with various functions
    2) As you work with your sponsor, you should link this work to strategic purposes. This will create a guiding principle to your program.

    With the guiding principle and proper sponsorship, you can begin making your deployment model. Many potential models exist. Please consider your guiding principle, your culture (company and regional), and resource availability. Then begin to define your deployment plan.

    Although you may find a need for a Kaizen Committee, I would not start in this manner. Firstly, this is pushing a solution. You should work with your sponsor to clearly define “what” you will accomplish. Then you can define “how” you will accomplish it. Secondly, you may be introducing terms to people who do not understand the meaning. This can lead to poor engagement as the words will feel empty.

    I hope this helps. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to me.

    0
    #198803

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I agree. Regulatory matters need to be about compliance with the regulatory body in a manner that supports your customers and stakeholders. Be very cautious with attempts to interpret the intent without proper knowledge and engagement.

    One area to explore use of Six Sigma is about designing processes which make compliance a natural part of work rather than an event based activity. This helps in a few manners.
    * If the work is part of every process:
    * you will not only be meeting the letter of the law but also the intent
    * it will not seem like “extra” work to the team
    * it is imbedded in training and therefore not as susceptible to variation due to
    time and turnover
    * many compliance reviews require proper management controls; process based efforts
    are more suited than event type work to meet this requirement
    * it is better suited to continual improvement

    0
    #198766

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Agree entirely with Chris.

    One method to consider: Do a DOE on your process to determine which process inputs are critical to product quality. With this knowledge; you can either error proof, manage, or place SPC on the process inputs. This will let you proactively deliver quality.

    0
    #198706

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I am not sure if I understand. A project with a known solution is not a DMAIC project.

    With that said, you can still use the process minded thoughts and tools found within DMAIC if you find them valuable. By that, begin with a problem statement to define the problem and scope. Align the team and your stakeholders.

    I recommend working with a cross functional team from Customer Order to Cash Collection to:
    1) Define the flow of information and product.
    * As you build the FMEA; begin at the value stream level. Then beneath each major function / operation you can select the components which you may want to evaluate risk(s).
    2) Use real data to establish the components of the RPA. This may require data collection to establish reliable information.
    3) Define your rules for reaction. Sometimes this is dictated by your customer. Regardless of how you define the rules, it is best to define them before you implement. It will guide your companies expectations.

    0
    #198629

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Brain storming is more of a mental exercise with a cross functional team. Try storming is going into the process and with reasonable review of risks, trying the solution.

    Some situations and teams dictate the use of “trying” through simulation while other situations enable the team to make actual changes to the process.

    From my point of view, Try Storming should be used with restraint. If your situation is of minimal risk(s) in case of error and can be easily undone, then you may have a problem which sets up nicely for Try Storming. The risk(s) include: the effect the change on other processes or teams, chasing a symptom and not the root cause (unless you have completed RCA and the try storming is a solution approach), moving away from focusing on the end goal (North Star) in favor of short term gains, etc.

    The pros to Try storming is being action oriented and rapid improvement. It is just very important to understand and mitigate the risks as appropriate.

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    #198622

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I agree with JB. I have used it in the past around attributes. In fact it was dictated by our customer to study and produce the attribute gage R&R.

    The best use is to ID the most difficult attribute to have success with human judgment. Then build error proofing into the process inputs to control if possible. If not, then error proofing or designing judgment tools is the next best option.

    It is fair and important to validate that product attributes meet the voice of the customer. If used for punitive purposes, you will likely not be successful. If the judgment is difficult for one person, it will be difficult for others.

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    #198608

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Maybe we need a better understanding of your question. Sigma levels are not defined by quantity. I suspect you have additional information which may help the community better understand the question.

    As a question back to you, what does the voice of your customer suggest? You may want to consider factors such as change over, maintenance, configurability, etc. in the eyes of the customer and/or market which you are serving.

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    #198587

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    In my past, I have utilized SBTI. They are located in Texas but I believe have flexibility in delivery options.

    I am not affiliated with SBTI.

    Sigma Breakthrough Technologies, Inc.: SBTI
    sbtionline.com/

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    #198581

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I am with Chris and others. Many sources exist to gain certification, but if I am hiring someone to be a BB, then I am most interested in their demonstrated ability to deliver. As Tom stated, their is a difference in only finding the root cause and finding the RC and developing/implementing a robust solution. Without implementation, RCA is just a sunken cost.

    My concern comes from the original question and the reply from Heston Hall. I think both are valid questions, so my problem is not with the asking. My concern is; until recently, BB candidates were generated internal to an organization based upon criteria which should insure their ability to understand the implication of the projects and to lead change. Examples of these characteristics including; experience, years in the company, business acumen, respect for others, respect by others, etc.

    It feels as if there is a trend toward SS BB as a curriculum and people are seeking it out as a resume builder. Highly experienced BBs and MBBs can have success as they enter into a new organization due to being very experienced with executing SS projects. It is a big ask of an organization to hire someone with minimal work experience in the company and in SS and then expect them to deliver at a high rate of success. My concern with “certifying” bodies is that we begin to risk the integrity of the concept of SS. I equate it to the intent and original execution of ISO was meaningful, but as we began certifying more and more companies (at times with loser audits), ISO is loosing it’s value.

    I have great respect for ASQ and other orgs. I am not insinuating they are wrong nor that they are not putting together proper governance around certifications. My concern is that if we do not continue to encourage the learning through doing, coaching, mentoring, teaching……we risk GBs and BBs who are not prepared and therefore weakening the ability to deliver results. To quote Mike…….”Just my opinion”

    0
    #198574

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Great Question. I would begin by answering these and similar style questions.

    * Break the infrastructure into components. Do you have data concerning on or more of the components?
    * Does your infrastructure have sourced components? If yes, does the manufacturer have data associated with failure rates? Bath tub curve?
    * Do benchmarks exist? First look inward to your own organization; have you ever implemented a similar infrastructure? Have people in your industry?
    * Are you a member of a professional society which may have data?
    * Did you do R&D? What does your internal testing and/or research suggest?
    * Can you set up test to help predict?

    With your knowledge of the infrastructure, I am hope these questions help you form your own list based upon the current situation.

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    #198570

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Start with the basics. What is your real demand from the customer? This will define how many units per period of time you need to produce.

    You also should consider your type of process. Some processes such as continuous extrusion and aluminum die-casting have efficiencies considerations for shutting down and starting up.

    Once you know these factors, you should do the total optimization as Mike suggested. Labor is a cost, but not the total cost.

    As you are going through the cost modeling exercise, you may wish to benchmark the various shift definitions which work well with your process. I have used some inventive designs and I am sure you will find one which works for your situation.

    0
    #198566

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I think I am in Mike’s camp. Quality audits are better than a poke in the eye. I prefer process design to incorporate error proofing in the eyes of the customer to prevent defects or at a minimum self identify when a failure occurs.

    At one time in my career I was a certified quality auditor. I share Mike’s frustration concerning compliance over adequacy and sometimes compliance in the auditor’s eyes may not reflect the same as the customer. Audits can be effective, so those are my thoughts based upon experience.

    The other issue is cost (Customer Satisfaction, Time, and Money). Below is a rough list in order of most cost (time, money, and customer satisfaction) with first is worst and progressively get better.

    * Customer finds the mistake: Worst Case Scenario
    * 2nd/3rd Party Audit finds mistake
    * Internal Audit finds mistake
    * Internal Data (defect rates) identifies the problem
    * Error Proofing identifies the problem
    * SPC on process output (product)
    * SPC on process inputs (pressure, temp, flow, etc)
    * Error proofing prevents the error which causes the problem

    The order and completeness of list are debatable but this is directionally correct.

    Keep in mind the audits I am speaking to are quality related. Legal compliance audits although may feel the same as this discussion may be driven for regulatory reasons which trumps my argument.

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    #198530

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    The passion over 5 or 6 Ss is awesome!

    I am in the camp of the keep it simple and match your culture / the culture you are trying to develop. It is always tempting to get into the use of Japanese terms, but they can become a distraction. The same goes with some of the proper names for Six Sigma / statistical tools. It is most important to use the processes and tools correctly and use the best terms based upon the audience. I find that speaking 95% confident and p values intimidate business leaders if they are not from a statistical background just as I find people not from a lean background wanting to add an S.

    As a leader of the company or of a cultural change, it is a fine line of insuring the process and discipline which is proven to work is being deployed without disengaging your stakeholders vs. temptation to use the training received in language and jargon.

    To answer the direct question. I prefer 5S because lean always addresses safety. However, I recently had a leader who demanded to have 6S. I used 6S until he learned for himself through the process why 5S is “the standard”. I asked myself which was more important, falling on my sword over the Japanese/American terms, or to focus on driving change and better conditions for the employees and therefore the customer.

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    #198495

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    David,

    I few thoughts to explore.

    First, you are correct that developing, designing, and executing group store presentation is a process. Process improvement is not just for physical/manufacturing processes. Process Improvement is for any process intended to add value to the customer.

    First consideration: Who is your customer? You should consider it through the eyes of your direct customer (where the store presentation exist) and the end user (the customer who will be buying the product).

    Second Consideration: What data and measurements exist? Do you have customer analytics? Do you have customer insights? Do you have a measurement of the time it takes for you to develop the store presentations? The key is you must be able to have a measurable starting point.

    You appear to be skeptical of your existing situation. What evidence do you have? Do you have stakeholders to consider? If you do not currently collect data, what should you measure?

    Third consideration: What is the gap between your performance and your desired performance? How would you quantify this? How would you share this with others?

    If you can answer these considerations, you will be equipped to work with your stakeholders to determine if you have an opportunity to pursue. This is a long way of saying, yes you can use Lean Six Sigma to improve any process regardless of where the process is rooted.

    Hope it Helps,

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    #198488

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Angie,

    JB makes some great points. Sometimes you will hear those models titled centralized, hybrid, and de-centralized. Each have strength and weaknesses.

    Centralized: See JBs first scenario.
    Hybrid: See JBs Second scenario
    De-Centralized: All resources exist within the business

    Although there is not one right answer, you may find it valuable to define your org structure in relation to your companies PEx maturity. Early on, a centralized approach is valuable in that you have limited ability to train and deploy. This team can also set the program in motion and set up core competencies. The weakness or risk is it is very difficult to sustain change which comes from anywhere outside your team. Even when the team is involved in the work. Centralized is also expensive since the talent is dedicated to PEx and not dual roles.

    If you start there, you should define a governance of when, how, and what triggers a secondary review to move to the hybrid and the De-centralized. The hybrid is a nice second step and it begins to engage talent within each organization. Moving to this requires thoughts on how to transition and develop organizational talent. You need to consider the % of dedication, time in roles, recognition, are the roles intended to be developmental, etc. However, you improve chances of sustainable improvements with this model.

    De-centralized can be effective in a very mature culture. The difficulty comes in how to keep one system. One system is important in that you can then trade talent, promote from the ranks etc. Without one PEx system, teams will begin to splinter which may hurt the long term culture as well as reduce the ability to continuously improving PEx. Governance for this type of structure may include a steering committee or other means to encourage collaboration between teams.

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    #198479

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Sandeep,

    Forgive me if I am misunderstanding. Your problem statement seems to be a solution rather than a problem.

    If I am reading your statement correctly, the problem is inefficient / incorrect data analysis. However, you are stating the project as developing a procedure.

    You may find it easier to define a metric concerning the problem and not the solution. If fact, you may find it beneficial to not begin a GB project with a known solution. If the solution is to build a standard WI for data analysis, then you have what most companies would declare as a project but not a GB project. The metric for this is Current State: Y = No WI, Future State: Y = WI exist. This is likely why you are struggling to define a metric.

    If you stick with the original statement, you have a better chance of defining a metric. Some questions to explore:
    * Do you have a known error rate for your analytics?
    * Do you have a known time taken for analytics? (Think similar to Mean Time to Failure)
    * If either of these exist, do you have cost associated with being incorrect/late?
    * Do you have resource constraints based on rework of the analytics?

    Other examples may also exist. I suggest rethinking your problem statement to focus on a problem and not a solution. Then asking yourself and stakeholders to define and quantify their errors/issues. Then you can define your metrics.

    If you are stuck with a project as defined (known solution), then you have a different opportunity. Rather than focusing on the creation of the WI, focus on why it doesn’t already exist. Training is rarely the root cause. Training is frequently needed as part of a solution. However, the project can be shifted as to why the need for procedure and training was not identified as part of the start of the analytics work flow. The reason for solving the root cause of this is to better prepare your organization to identify needs more effectively in future endeavors.

    0
    #198475

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Nehal,

    There is not a simple answer to your question. Consider these thoughts as you continue to explore the value.

    This question can be answered based on “value” to the company/organization and “value” to you/your stakeholders.

    Benefits for the Company:
    * In the USA, a standard certification is not defined. There are some nationally recognized organizations which appear to have traction, but many companies have their own internal certification process. For a formality consideration, you should investigate within your company to better understand their view on what and if they value a Six Sigma certification.
    * I have personally used DMAIC in transactional, operational, business, and laboratory processes. The DMAIC process has been used in virtually if not all industries with success. There is question it will be of value as a food technologist.

    Benefits for You:
    * First lets define the levels of certification. You will find that many people scope certifications based upon currency value. I have moved away from this due to a realization that currency value varies between functions, levels, and regions of a company. For my input, consider the levels based upon the scope of work.
    * Green Belt: Scope of projects are within your team or function and you know
    the key stakeholders.
    * Black Belt: Scope of projects may cross teams or functions but stay within
    your location. You may need more senior peoples help with
    stakeholders, but it is manageable without a significant stretch.
    * Master Black Belt: Scope of project is any function, any location, across
    regions…..no organizational nor location barriers.
    Green Belts are mentored by a Black or Master Black Belt. Although you can enter as directly as a Black Belt, the Green Belt is the traditional entry level role. Black Belts are mentored by a Master Black Belt. Master Black Belts have typically been a Black Belt for many years and then returns to advanced training and mentorship from other Master Black Belts.

    Based upon your situation, you should think through the level on need as well as ability to receive training and mentoring.
    * If you successfully pursue and achieve certification at any level, I feel you will benefit from this throughout your career. Everyday, we are challenged with decisions, problems, and opportunities. I find that the methodology used in six sigma enables me to not only approach decisions efficiently, but it also enables me to communicate my thoughts and my actions in a manner which others can understand. I personally value this.
    * Short Term Career improvements is also a potential value. Everyone is evaluated for their ability to deliver results for their team . Six Sigma is a technique proven to enable results. Your challenge is to determine if you think this can be useful in your situation.

    Hopefully these considerations will help you think through your question in ways beneficial to you. If you have additional or clarifying questions, I am happy to discuss further.

    0
    #198438

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I use this technique and if planned for correctly it is worth it.

    For many kaizens, you see the problem, plan it fix it in a relatively short cycle. This is effective and I am not against it in any way. However, I use talent from other factories to not only bring in new ideas (almost like a benchmark) but also to build cultures beyond 4 walls.

    Many times a company will have many factories. By sharing talent in events, you are bringing in someone with functional knowledge who also is not an local expert. This makes for fresh eyes. It also begins building relationships to foster sharing information and techniques in the future. I find it easier to get team members from one plant to another to call each other if they have met and worked together.

    I have also utilized customers in kaizens and I have also gone to my customer’s production for projects. Nothing helps you understand the VOC like standing in their shoes.

    How it works:

    I find it necessary to plan carefully in each of these examples. You do not want someone to travel between plants and not find value, it will kill the progress. Prior to the event, assure you understand your problem, your objectives, and have all of your pre-work complete. This will set your team up for success. These steps are always important, but bringing in others highlights the need.

    Also have a plan for why you are bringing this person. Is it for outside eye? Functional expertise? Cross pollenization of knowledge? Developmental opportunity? All of the above?

    Make certain your coach is prepared to have this additional talent.

    If you do these things and your typical criteria for successful kaizens, I believe you will have a great experience.

    0
    #198413

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @davidstevens

    What has your mentor said about these questions? If your process is meeting the time requirements of the customer, what benefit are you seeking? Capacity? Ability to reduce headcount?

    I would also ask for more information on the “back checking” process. When does this occur (within the process or after the process)? Who performs this function? Does the customer pay for this? What is the output?

    The purpose for asking these questions is to help you think through what problem you are trying to solve. If you are already meeting your customers requirements for service level, what will you gain?

    Although I can’t put my finger on it, it feels like your earlier post suggest you have problem(s). It will help you form your team and make progress if you take time to clearly define your problem. Again, don’t be afraid to speak with your mentor. He/She will be happy to help you.

    0
    #198400

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @phil72

    The purpose of reporting your project verse a road map is it aids in telling the story succinctly. You will find varying opinions and formats. I will share a few resource ideas to help you find the one which works best for you. My advice is to speak with your instructor and more importantly your stakeholders to identify what method they prefer.

    Within your BB course should have been a reporting process. It may not be in every curriculum, but it is common to many. If yours does not address the reporting process, you can likely google this as well as search for it here on this site.

    Another method is story boarding. Each phase of DMAIC is broken into steps to guide the solution process. If you are using this, it may help you to review your storyboards to identify the key points.

    If you don’t have luck with either of these, I typically flow my presentations as follows:

    1) Problem statement with gap identified (timing, financial, performance, etc.) Work this in a manner which meets your stakeholders needs. Acknowledge your team and any resources which were critical to the project.
    2) Review the project at a 50K ft level. If you intend on sharing data, pick the vital few and make it graphical.
    3) Specifically identify any risks and how they were abated.
    4) Share the solution. At a 50K ft level, explain the process, highlight any relevant controls (including metric dashboards), and share results. If R and Rs changed, identify them here as well. (Make certain the leader with the new responsibilities is present and comfortable.) Same format as the data shared previously, but now you have the after data. Remember, if you utilize photos, take the before and after from the exact same perspective.
    5) Close with a summary. Remind them of the initial problem, the timing, the solution. Thank them and your team.

    I find that the more efficient I present, the better the adoption. Two common phrases for reporting are 1) Tell them your going to tell them, tell them, tell them you told them 2) Start with an end in mind. The key is find your style which best matches your audience and practice. It is important that you feel confident as their perception of your confidence will transfer to their confidence in the solution.

    Good Luck

    0
    #198394

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    @Paul

    You may be able to benchmark large banking examples of LSS. Bank of America utilizes Six Sigma. I’m not certain how available they make the details.

    0
    #198384

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Neal,

    Cost tracking at a high level is the same regardless of industry. For example, in manufacturing; cost of quality, cost of issuing a purchase order, cost of logistics, etc. are commonly used. The process for each of these is first defining the components of the cost equation.

    At an elemental level, you need to define the components of IB per Trade with clear operational definitions. If you plan to benchmark, you should start with the data source you plan to use as a benchmark, understand the components, and use this as an input to your work. Otherwise you are not comparing equal data.

    As a thought, identify and define these components and share your logic with your stakeholders. If they agree, then you can begin building the process to collect the data and build the analysis.

    Does this helps?

    Shelby

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    #198376

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    John,

    Robert has given you great advice. I know you like others are busy and to some degree need to solve and move on. I suggest thinking through more on why he has suggested the pre-work and graphical analysis. Think about what you can learn from this and how it can be applied.

    This situation will surface frequently, but may not be obvious. By thinking through this, you will expand your effectiveness and apply it in the future.

    Thanks for owning that you were working a problem and owning the mistake.

    Good Luck

    0
    #198363

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I don’t have any contacts in the Seattle area. I think you can find many good resources in your area. You may reach out to a local university or community college. These type of courses are getting more and more common. Some states provide grants for new and expanding industry. I suggest thinking of this for 2 reasons, 1) the potential savings 2) if you search on your local state’s site, you may find training resources

    Good Luck

    0
    #198361

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    In addition to DSO, you may also find value is studying cash flow, working capital, inventory turns, etc. These are all related. As a general statement; From a supply chain, you will make significant gains if you collect money for goods sold in a shorter cycle than you are required to process your AP.

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    #198333

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Don,

    Nigel provides some interesting points. I suggest being careful. While I agree with Nigel that it appears possible that a trust issue exist within the culture of your company, I suggest caution about taking matters into your own hands.

    If you partner with your leaders to get their support for this approach, then I agree that is it useful. However, doing this without their buy in and support is risky. In a culture of distrust, it is very risky to work on anything which appears to be outside of your leaders directives. If your correct that jobs may take less time than documented. Reflect on why your leaders do not want that fixed.

    I do not believe in surrender. Speak with your boss, engage him/her with your ideas, and begin building trust.

    If things are as they seem, you are in a difficult situation. However, many times things are not as they seem once you engage with the stakeholders.

    Good Luck

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    #198327

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Don,

    @hutch44 makes some good points. Making your own maps set you and your company up for more than one process.

    Meet with your stakeholders, boss, etc. to better understand the existing process maps and the related information. This will help you understand the history, the purpose, and expectations. Once you understand their efforts, you can then determine if you need to improve the processes or your performance within the process.

    This approach will help you engage with your leaders and show a willingness to be part of the solution. Working on your own although well intended may seem more like you are working around the process.

    0
    #198316

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Amit,

    Robert Butler shared some great wisdom. As you read it, reflect on key concepts in his statements. DOE is proactive where as regression is reactive. The proactive approach allows you to specifically target the VOC for designing products and processes to deliver what the customer needs. Regression is a great tool, and should always be considered.

    Below are a few strengths and weaknesses. These +/- are relative to DOE/regression and not relative to other statistical tools. In the right situation, I am a fan of regression as a means to understand the process.

    DOE:
    + fastest way to test entire space of the project due to actually selecting the test.
    + can focus on delivering to customer facing requirements
    – due to taking the process to the edge of capability, take care to consider safety
    +/- can be the cheapest option in that you are running a minimum number of test, but is likely expensive due to the nature of processing at the edge of capability

    Regression:
    + will typically yield product at the current known rate, so you can sell the product
    – time it takes to build a measurement plan (assuming you determine to do a formal measurement plan) is as long or longer than a DOE
    – you are passively collecting data and may not see every combination
    – the passive nature indicates you are looking back as opposed to the DOE specifically looking at settings and conditions

    I suggest evaluating each situation prior to building a DOE. I typically consider safety, impact, VOC, etc.

    At one point in my career, I worked in a automotive ceramic factory. The kiln firing cycle was more than 1 day. On one hand, the cost of running a DOE and scrapping a few cycles of product seemed high, but having a failure rate in the double digits posed a higher long term cost as well as a greater risk to the customer.

    As a team, we selected specific product attributes which were failing, then mapped these attributes to specific process conditions perceived to by driving these characteristics. As you may expect, we learned that factors which we were not predicting as being important were actually controlling the quality. Regression may have never helped us reach this conclusion as the controlling factor was not managed not tracked in a typical production cycle.

    Had a separate situation in which our product was failing in our customers process. All parties involved agreed that our product was apparently meeting the specifications but yet was simply not functionally working for our customer. The two companies worked together to identify factors in each plant.

    The DOE allowed us to rapidly learn the effect/non-effect of our product characteristics vs. our customers process parameters. Without this joint effort, it would have taken months to determine the root cause.

    0
    #198286

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Klaus,

    I am assuming you have run the charts separately but hope to find a way to communicate the results of the teams improvements.

    You have two potential issues.
    1) The value of SPC is using sampling to represent the population. During projects, it is not uncommon to measure more frequently, but in essence you have changed your sampling plan as compared to normal production. You must make this clear in your communication.
    2) What is the purpose of monthly? Does your process have a long term deterioration which is not detectable in shorter time periods? Make certain you can address any risk in the change in the measurement plan as your stakeholders need to understand this as well.

    If you feel you have mitigated your risk and have legitimate control charts, I suggest showing them in a manner which your company culture can understand and accept.

    Good Luck

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    #198277

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    The world has many training resources for LSS. These resources range from worthless to great in quality of training and development. I am not familiar with the one you are reviewing, so my comments are more in general than specific.

    Studying GB for the sake of rounding out your resume may not provide you with the knowledge, experience, nor real value of LSS. LSS is about delivering tangible improvements to eliminating / mitigating problems effecting your business, service, etc. While LSS certification can round out your resume, to get the full understanding you must get practical experience utilizing and delivering results.

    A caution to all who are looking for LSS as a bullet on your resume. If the bullet is the key to you getting an interview, you can expect questions seeking details of your experience. My suggestion is be prepared. Don’t set yourself up for an awkward moment.

    My suggestion; regardless of your motivation for learning LSS, dedicate the time and energy to actually learn and use it. This will add more to your resume than the bullet point…….it will also add credibility through experience.

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    #198268

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Mac,

    I agree with the guidance your receiving. Regardless of your final choice, do not underestimate the value of a good mentor.

    Good Luck,

    Shelby

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    #198260

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    A great read is “The First 90 Days” by Stephen Zinkgraf This will help you with some of the program fundamentals.

    I suggest really engaging with your leadership and stakeholders. Learn what success looks like you can use this to help you form your program strategy. While you are working with them, it is worthwhile to do a stakeholder analysis. Not only to uncover their position, but to also identify who has similar backgrounds which you can leverage.

    Additional tips and tricks are out there. I suggest you look for multiple inputs to help you begin to form your thoughts. Your deployment must fit your and your organizations cultural strengths.

    Shelby

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    #198257

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Rosalia,

    What does your mentor think? As a GB candidate, you should be able to share your question and this feedback with someone with direct knowledge of the project.

    It’s great to try to find guidance but never under estimate the power of a good mentor.

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    #198256

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Your training should be providing you with the format and basics to the problem statement. This should mechanically provide you the information.

    However, my personal value in a problem statement is that it provides the energy for leadership to get them to provide resources (time, people, and funding) and the energy to the team to want to work on the project.

    You should be working with your friend to scope and define the real goals in a way which your friend will dedicate the resources. You should also be working with your project team for getting their buy in.

    You should not be working alone. GB is never about a hero swooping in to save the day.

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    #198240

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Steve,

    You have a complex problem which may benefit from a few tools typically used in lean to help you begin to make progress. Prior to establishing the number of (reduced) employees required to support the electricians; work to simplify the process. Along this journey, you will learn more about true capacity and pick cycle times.

    My caveat: I know nothing about your company nor its current condition. You may find that you are very well off in some of these areas but need more.

    * Prior to starting, gather baseline data for typical cycle times to pick. (you may choose to group into categories or possible size of orders)
    * Begin by implementing 5S. This process will enable you to set up a standard condition for which you can base and measure all future improvements. If you are not versed in 5S, many resources are available.
    * Measure complexity of travel: A great fundamental tool for this is a spaghetti diagram. You should track people as well as machinery. Benefits of this include understanding the time wasted in travel but more importantly you may uncover any safety issues like people and machinery frequently intersecting.
    * Evaluate the inventory for patterns. Items rarely pulled can be less convenient to pull where as frequently pulled items should be located for convenience and speed. You may also learn that some items are always pulled together. This allows you to co-locate related items.
    * Establish visual controls to make picking easier to train, learn, and execute.
    * Re-measure your cycle times in the exact manner prior to the project.
    * Have you improved?
    * Have you learned other opportunities? Do not limit yourself to if you know/don’t
    know the answer. Do you have additional opportunities?
    * Make additional improvements.
    * Now you have improved the safety, quality, ad delivery. If you have not already achieved the cost savings, you can more clearly define the opportunity and make a meaningful recommendation.

    Many companies start with cost savings. It makes sense in a meeting, but is fundamentally wrong for the long term health of the business.

    Always follow the pattern of improving Safety, then Quality, then Delivery, then Cost. You will find you gain the cost savings, but in a meaningful way. When you approach cost savings first, you will not have processes in place to support less people, you risk injury or ergonomic issues, you risk quality, and you risk delivery failures.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Shelby

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    #198236

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Steve,

    What is driving the variation in the number of items to be picked on each order? Is it random variation? Is it related to product line? Do families of products exist?

    You will find that breaking the big problem into the components may help you add clarity. Once you segment the problem, you may find that you can solve the smaller problems or at least the ability to expand your question for this forum.

    Great question, don’t give up.

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    #198204

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Begin by defining the problem based upon business and process knowledge. For a shift difference to exist, your company either has to have a difference in process or you must believe the issue is people related. I urge you to think process as that is most likely. So in your problem statement give consideration as to how the processes (or people) for 2nd shift may be different.

    Hint: If the belief is based upon 2nd shift has less experience, give consideration into hiring process, shift staffing process, training process, error proofing, etc.

    Next, do some graphical analysis. You need to consider which one best suits your need and culture. Examples can include:
    1) Bar Chart by shift. Bar chart by defect. BAr chart by where the defect was discovered. Bar chart by defect code.
    2) Dot plot (Do this by defect code and then use a 1 for defects created on 1st shift and a 2 for defects created on 2nd shift. This will let you see graphically by shift and by defect code)
    3) Do a defect map. Take a sketch of your product and mark where each defect occurs. This type of a concentration map may give you a hint as to where in the process the failures are occurring.
    4) Pareto the defects to know the biggest opportunity

    Based upon your learning from the graphical analysis, you can then begin to statistically evaluate the situation. The type of data sets you up for the type of analysis. With defect codes being discrete, many people run ANOVA. This assumes you have continuous data.

    A few tips:

    1) Many teams and companies test for defects by shifts. Experience has shown me that defects are typically a result of a broken process and not people related. I suggest testing as I am sure shift will come up, but don’t be surprised to learn that shift is not a contributing factor. If shift shows to be a factor, consider what is creating the difference.
    2) Once your analysis is complete, apply practical understanding to the analysis output. Regardless of shift, or defect, look for contributing factors and solve those. Do not solve the defect.

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    #198202

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    You can build a simulation to demonstrate the timing. If you do not have simulation software, you can make a table top version.

    * Set 1 hour to equal 10 seconds. i.e. standby last 25 second
    * Build the location with 14 slots
    * 12 in operation
    * 2 in maintenance
    * make simple representation of the pump (maybe a rectangle)
    * make green dots to lay on top of running pumps
    * make red dots to lay on top of pumps out of service

    Then simply show the pattern or work. It will be easy to see the pattern and timing.

    I’m certain others will have additional ideas to show this. So think of:
    1) Who are you communicating
    2) What do you wish to communicate
    3) What method works best for your audience

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    #198199

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Hazel,

    You will find many people frequent this forum which are willing to help. The trick is to formulate your question(s) in a manner which provides a clear problem or question.

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    #198186

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Biradar

    Some people also use Normalize the data in a different context.

    For example: If you have 3 call centers and you are trying to learn about dropped calls. The first reaction is to do a simple count and you may find that location 1 has 357 dropped calls, location 2 has 104 dropped calls, and location 1 has 98 dropped calls.

    First glance is that location 1 has 3 times the calls and is therefor the problem. This brings this context into consideration. Some people will state they need to normalize their data against call volume to compare dropped calls vs. incoming call rate.

    My advice: talk with the person who asked you about “normalization” to determine which of either of these scenarios is their concern.

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    #198179

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I agree.

    When you meet with your Financial Rep., you can provide potential measurements.

    Have you given thought to what you believe to be measurable? impactful? Who is your sponsor? What benefit(s) are they looking for? Have you discussed this with your stakeholders?

    These are among the resources and questions you have within your organization.

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    #198174

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    John,

    With the limited information, I believe you should produce a new Gage R&R. From your post, mechanical wear has made it necessary to replace key parts of a measurement system. Without the gage R&R, you can’t know with certainty that replacing the pin is sufficient.

    Questions to consider: Did the wear effect the base plate or other parts of the measuring device which are not being replaced? Is the new pin equivalent to the part which is being replaced? Did you re-set the pin correctly?

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    #198173

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    JB,

    You’ve created a great dialogue. Hopefully you can take the collective discussion to make a final decision. As with any class, you should start with the end in mind. What specific business result are you trying to deliver. Then you can work back to behaviors and even skills necessary to deliver the business results.

    If your plan satisfactorily accounts for the skills and behavior, then your program has a chance regardless of what you name it. Otherwise, you can modify your program. Just don’t forget to involve your stakeholders in the process.

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    #198158

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    JB,

    This is very interesting and precisely the type of discussion I feel we can all learn from. In your response, you made an interesting statement concerning the typical use was more of process management.

    Does it help you if you rebrand this training from GB to a leadership course. I’ve built similar concepts and titled it as “Lean Leader” or “Lean Supervisor”. Adjust the material from DMAIC as a problem solving to how to: 1) manage in a proactive manner (provide tools which lend themselves to this intent) 2) Lead others to use this methodology. At this level I would not recommend mentoring DMAIC. I would focus on proactive leadership, measuring leading indicators, basic problem solving, A3 thinking, etc.

    I’m sure there are pros and cons to this concept. I’m looking forward to feedback. I still think you are on to something important.

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    #198156

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    JB,

    Other considerations are; focusing training on the problem at hand can result in limited exposure which can lead belts to try to fit tools into future problems rather than following the process to discover the root cause. It will also require a large time commitment from the mentor. Finally, Don’s concerns will likely come true. You may begin to be the talent development pipeline which can create my words “a hobby” feeling about your program.

    Now that my potential hazards are listed, there are also potential for positive outcomes. By the small course size, you can provide great coaching. The trick will be having a healthy project pipeline. If you do indeed become the talent development conduit, it is a chance to influence culture. Albeit in a non traditional manner, you and your company may find it beneficial.

    I’m interested in hearing your additional thoughts. I’m certain many people are pressured to consider new approaches to LSS deployment and training. This could turn into a great discussion.

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    #198135

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    You are definitely in an interesting situation. When others are implementing process changes, asking why is a great approach to learn what you hope to learn. However, the approach may vary depending upon the culture.

    If the organizations culture is direct, you may be able to go straight at the situation by asking why. However, sometimes this approach leaves those who made the change feel as if they are attacked.

    The following approaches are not guaranteed. Instead, I encourage to you think about these and even research the topics to see if any are worth attempting. Additionally, I am not there to hear the conversations, so you may be attempting some of these currently.

    To the point:
    If your end goal is to proactively identify any roadblocks so you can help remove them; I suggest sharing that with the process change team. Be direct by stating your end goal and then asking how you can assist with the solution. It is always key to be part of the solution rather than the identifier of the issues.

    Socratic Method:
    If you see an issue that is not seen by others, you can learn to ask clarification questions which encourage the process change team to respond with open ended answers. The goal is to ask enough thought provoking questions to create a paradigm shift from the implementation team. If they conclude roadblocks exist, then they will help fix them.

    Waste Reduction as a Focus:
    As you listen to the changes, you may recognize part of the solution will create waste. Approach your questions in a manner to eliminate further waste from the process.

    At no time should you create questions nor an environment which make people feel as if they are under attack or scrutiny. Regardless of your intentions, this will only lead to roadblocks.

    At all times, you must look for ways to be involved in the solution. You may even approach leaders for the process change organization and share your desire to learn more about their methods and that you would like to be on a team.

    These soft change approaches are very difficult and only a stab in the dark as a bystander in a blog sight. I hope you review the potential approaches, compare them to your situation, research and learn more detailed thoughts, then apply the one you feel has the best chance for success.

    Good Luck

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    #198131

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Not to parse words, but I don’t believe you can ever “make” people believe in change.

    As for references, The Harvard Business Review has many published papers on change.

    Although they do not say “change management” in the title, many great books exist. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as well as “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” contain elements which are necessary for change.

    The very first step is to start with an end in mind. If the team has a common understand of the end in mind, then change comes quickly. Without alignment, you will find change to be difficult.

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    #198129

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    I’m not certain I understand your 2 goals fully. I am sharing a couple of quick thoughts. Please continue to share your questions and guide me as long as you find value in the feedback.

    LSS can be described in many ways. To some degree, it depends upon the level of involvement. Simplistically, LSS is a toolbox with specific steps of use and a community to help gets the largest value. Most people believe it is much more. The next level is that LSS creates a process for process design, process improvement, and problem solving. Then you find many who speak about the culture. It is all three.

    The key to feedback is engaging within the process. Regardless of positive or negative feedback, it is best welcomed and respected when it comes from the people who are within the problem resolution. A good read on this topic is called the “Man in the Arena” speech by Theodore Roosevelt. While it is always possible to work on techniques to present your feedback, there is no substitute for being engaged.

    It is also important to remember that being engaged is not micromanaging. Everyone must engage at the correct level based upon their role.

    I find it interesting how LSS works. It is a union between the LSS culture, process, and tool kit with the organizational culture and capabilities of the team utilizing LSS.

    The most successful deployments utilize the process to drive their approach to process design and improvement. Then use the tool at the appropriate time for which can identify the problem in a way which the company culture can learn from. I see the “why” being related to the organizations ability to learn as well as desire to make decisions based upon what they have learned. The tools within the toolbox only point the way and provide sound evidence that the analysis is valid. It is still a matter for the organization to learn and make the proper decisions.

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    #198127

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Fabio,

    I think it is great that you are thinking beyond the machine and linking it back to process.

    If this is happening in more than one situation, then you likely have an issue in your management systems. You may consider writing a problem statement based upon this. Then as a team, you can think about the inputs which drive machine design. Can they be improved?

    You may also find a problem statement around adherence to process. Many companies fall into the thoughts Chris described above.

    Another potentially failed assumption is that documenting a process assures it is followed. Written procedures and work instructions may be useful, but do not a guarantee for process adherence. A focused team can examine your situation and find solutions for making the solutions sustainable with techniques in error proofing, process simplification, and visual controls.

    Please do not try to consider this as a solution. Use it as ways to consider while developing your solution approach.

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    #198126

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Hutch44,

    You have received some great advice.

    You are in an interesting spot. You are attempting to learn about your company’s LSS deployment through the knowledge of the collective group in this community.

    I always suggest that you seek to understand before being understood. What do you hope to learn from this forum? How to you plan to use your knowledge? Do you want to influence the deployment in your company, or simply understand what and why certain approaches are used?

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    #197942

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Sales like everything is a process. You are fundamentally the conduit for converting what the customer needs into the order fulfillment process.

    LSS will help you define your process and identify which portions of the process are successful and which ones are weak.

    Potential pain points:
    * complexity in the order process
    * jargon which is confusing to the customer and or internal team
    * time it takes to generate an order
    * system limitations for regeneration of servers
    * combination of internal and external sales creates confusion for roles and responsibilities
    * knowing who the good customers are vs. bad customers
    * etc.

    Intuitively, you know these and other aspects of your day exist. LSS will help you identify and improve your process. If applied wisely, it will be an improvement in the eyes of the customer.

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    #197941

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Google CEBOS

    It is a modular product for quality systems. I have not personally used this product but I have colleagues who swear by it.

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    #197940

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Jose,

    One trick to separate the facts from the fiction is collecting data. Collect data to help establish modes of failure; at least at the symptom level. I’m with the others, it will be process related and not people related. If you collect it, organize it graphically, you will see a pattern. With your skills, demonstrate this as a technique. The graphical view will not tell you the root cause, but it will point you in the correct direction.

    At your early tenure, it will be difficult to turn the total culture. If your successful, then you are great. Regardless, you should be practicing the right techniques.

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    #197927

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    In addition to the advice from the first two responses, you may also find value in tools or techniques in 6 sigma.

    Within the measure phase, we use tools to validate our measurement system. You may be able to apply techniques to assure the data and observations you collect are valid.

    Depending upon the types of audits; you may be interested in knowing your sample is random. If you are auditing in a manner that multiple locations are being audited, you may look for ways to compare results (ANOVA for example).

    Techniques also exist which may be used to “fold over” one audit to another to assure the methodology between locations are equitable.

    It really depends on the situation and what you hope to learn from the analysis.

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    #197900

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Are you experienced at LSS? Implementation not only requires knowledge of the LSS processes and tools, but also about change management. You do not have to be an expert in both, but someone must be able to lead those roles.

    I suggest develop your strategy. Then build projects out needed to fulfill the strategy. Knowing where you are and where you want to be will create a direction. You will need this to assure you focus on necessary work.

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    #197896

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    tragically, your organization is trying to use continuous improvement as a weapon and as an excuse.

    while lean is about becoming efficient to produce the product with the least resources, people is not the resource. people are your greatest resource.

    you should begin your effort by first working to influence your stakeholders. it is not unusual to improve processes and realize you have too many people in that specific area, but the goal should be about improving efficiencies and effectiveness.

    if you successfully influence your leaders, you will then have a chance to show employees how to improve engagement through CI. If you don’t influence your leaders, they will cut jobs in one form or another regardless of your efforts.

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    #197895

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Perfect answer Mike…….develop your people in the culture you want from the beginning. This gives you the least investment for the greatest return.

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    #197860

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Another book to consider is: Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation

    Koenigsaecker, George. Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation. CRC Press, 2009

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    #197859

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Robert,

    I went on-line to read AFSO 21. The content looked like the work of some people I know, so I reached out to them to learn more about the document. I just confirmed their involvement, so I feel very confident that I understand their intent as well as how it translates to the civilian world.

    I have insights which I can share with you if you have specific questions.

    Shelby

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    #197858

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    As Katie stated, you can find many good responses and inputs over the years.

    As you search, you may wish to first consider what you want out of your future career. Continuous Improvement focus being LSS or other can launch you into a specific career field of owning, deploying, using, coaching, or doing continuous improvement. Many people make it a career and you will be rewarded well. On the other hand, some employers use GB/BB as a base requirement to get leadership roles.

    Neither is right or wrong. I suggest you try to understand where you want to drive your career and it may help you better understand some of the responses.

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    #197856

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Robert,

    Great question. I spent 7 years as a C-130 mechanic prior to entering industry. By specialty, I originally entered industry as a mechanical engineer (GI Bill is great), then I eventually moved toward continuous improvement (about 20 years ago). The reason for sharing my background is your question has a specific meaning to me.

    I have been fortunate to learn under some great lean mentors. As I was learning, I soon realized the USAF is fantastic at the techniques in 5S. The “5S”s are actually Japanese words with various English translations. Do not take the English words literal (many westerners do). In Japan, the 5Ss are concept based, so try to think of the intent and not the literal action. However, it is important to follow the sequence.

    Sort: Identify the essentials needed for a job and remove everything else. This is important in that if you have extra items, tools, etc. you either add extra work to people or make mistakes as a result. As a mechanic, we only took the required parts to a plane. If a task required five fiber locking nuts, you do not take 6.
    Set in Order: Once you have removed the unnecessary items, you can then effectively arrange the remaining items in positions which make sense. You can also begin using visual controls. It was in the military that I learned to use shadow boards in a tool box. If you leave tools behind in a aircraft, the results are potentially catastrophic. A shadow board is one technique to help normal from abnormal be obvious without special inspections.
    Shine: Sometimes people call this “S” sweep. Then they do just that; they superficially clean. I think of this “S” as a deep cleaning. As you clean, you have the ability to inspect and thus keep your equipment in ready status at all times.
    Standardize: This is where you begin to make the first three “s”s a habit. The military has it’s way of standardization. In Lean, it is less command and control and more about error proofing, audits, etc.
    Sustain: This is about making this a culture beyond the current team. With the continuous relocation of many people in the military, sustain is critical. The simplest is to set up specific roles and responsibility and making it part of the duties. It is also time to begin thinking of preventing the “unwanted” from getting into your area.

    These techniques are also applicable to transactional processes and teams. Additionally, if you read about Lean, you will learn of techniques such as kanban, JIT, SMED, heijunka, etc. 5S is fundamental to all of the more advanced techniques, so I recommend starting there.

    I hope this helps. I have been working on these techniques for many years and continue to learn each day.

    Shelby

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    #197853

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Many good posts. One of the most important is finding a good coach. While I agree with the various versions of killing the language and keep it simple; do this and get a coach.

    A paper “coach” may also be paralleled but not a replacement for a real coach.

    A few years back, Prentice Hall published a book by Ian Wedgwood. It was titled Lean Sigma A Practitioners Guide. This book has roadmaps for problems commonly found in business. If you choose to go this route, look for problems similar to the 2 you solved years ago. Maybe it will help refresh your memory.

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    #197844

    Shelby Jarvis
    Participant

    Jason,

    You face a very real and common problem. Many companies use LSS as a weapon for cutting jobs and that is a shame. I suggest you first do an assessment of yourself, your company, and your culture. Has your actions shown a bias to cost cutting in the past? If yes, then you will need to take meaningful and visible actions to earn a changed culture.

    From your post, I feel like you want the right culture, but wanting it isn’t enough. View the culture from your teams eyes and improve if needed.

    The next step is learn to show value to the employees and the business with the projects. If you do not improve your processes, you will lose any competitive advantage, so you cannot make the projects about feel good efforts (just for the sake of changing the culture.)

    Learn to engage the employees. Respect those who want to come to work, do their job and leave; but also learn to leverage those who are looking for more. With a project in hand, select the right people to participate in improving the process. This will engage their minds and create a value for them.

    Focus on the Right Things: Safety>>Quality>>Delivery>>Cost

    Notice cost is last. If you focus on cost first, you may find that you sacrifice Safety, Quality, and/or delivery. This will not show employees the right culture and they will disengage. Ironically it will not result in improved business.

    * Select a project which is aligned to the strategy of your business.
    * Select strong leaders and strong employees to be on the team
    * For each process improvement, focus improvements in the proper order. Safety, Quality, Delivery, and Cost.
    * Safety: Another way of thinking of safety is people first. However, an injured employee cannot make the product. Ironically, some cost cutting measures hurt safety. One accident eliminates all of the false savings from cost cutting exercises.
    * Quality: It doesn’t matter if you make a low quality product by cutting cost in it. If the quality doesn’t suit the customer, it is meaningless.
    * Delivery: Most businesses survive on cash flow. To help customers control cost, hitting the delivery dates is critical.
    ** Ironically, if you improve safety, quality, and delivery, you will frequently learn that you have also improved cost. You have done so by engaging the employees and by making future processes more meaningful. However, if your cost are still out of control, you have at least earned your right to focus on cost.
    * Cost: I like to re-write this from cost to value. Value is judged by the customer and can be expressed by the equation of Value = Product Function / Cost. If you do this, you open up possibilities to be more customer focused than only being internally focused.

    Above all else: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

    Regardless of if you use my input or others, don’t forget to communicate what you are trying to do, why your doing it, how you plan to achieve results, who is going to help, and when you expect to begin. Even if you have bad news, get in front of it with good communication. I recommend involving people from within your company who are experts on communication to help assure your message is consistent with their standards.

    Shelby

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