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How to Write an Effective Problem Statement

Continuous improvement specialists are challenged to solve problems for their organizations or clients. They have acquired a wide array of tools, methods and techniques for that purpose. If continuous improvement practitioners are able to establish the winning conditions for change, they can look forward to successful outcomes. However, the devil is in the details, making…

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The Five Fundamental Assumptions of Six Sigma

Some people are angry and upset about the effectiveness of Six Sigma as a problem-solving discipline. Individuals routinely call for the next new quality discipline or argue why Six Sigma will not work in this case or the other. Some of this is one-upping – this approach is better; some of this is sour grapes…

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What Is Lean Six Sigma [VIDEO] – With Rick Murrow

Historically, Lean and Six Sigma were used to solve two different types of business problems. Today, Lean and Six Sigma are integrated into one methodology and toolset for solving any process problem in any type of organization, from Fortune 500 companies to small private businesses to nonprofit institutions. In this introductory video, you will learn…

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Are You Ready? How to Conduct a Maturity Assessment

When an organization begins a Lean Six Sigma deployment, what is the first step that the leadership team should take? Should they start executing Kaizen events to demonstrate the impact of quick process improvement? Or should they kick-off with Six Sigma projects, using the DMAIC or DFSS roadmap, with a deep dive into sophisticated statistics?…

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The Evolution of a Government Lean Six Sigma Training Program

I can still hear the words ringing in my ears: ”Congratulations on the promotion.” I was selected for a position with the Senior Executive Service, a corps tasked with leading the continuing transformation of the United States federal government. The job could wield great influence over performance improvement in the Department of Defense (DoD) –…

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How to Become a Lean Six Sigma Organization

In a difficult economy, an increasing number of senior business leaders are seeking to boost the performance of their operations by adopting Lean Six Sigma. Before these organizations can begin to reap the benefits of continuous process improvement, they must first understand the fundamental elements of the process known as DMAIC (for Define, Measure, Analyze,…

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Why Choose Six Sigma Over Kaizen?

Message: 8897 Posted by: Carlos Castillo Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 What are the benefits of choosing 6sigma over Kaizen, 6 sigma seems a great deal more expensive and more bureucratic. I have obtained great gains from Kiazen with minimal investment. Message: 8899 Posted by: mn Posted on: Tuesday, 29th January 2002 ——————————————————————————– I…

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Six Sigma Versus TQM

Message: 15934 Posted by: Tim Posted on: Wednesday, 17th July 2002 ——————————————————————————– Hi, I am writing my thesis about Six Sigma and try to compare TQM and Six Sigma. Actually there are differences but does anyone know how to define TQM exactly. Can I use Deming for this comparison? Does it make sence to point…

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What Is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma at many organizations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving toward six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process — from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

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Three Deadly Sins In Strategic Planning

When clients are not getting the results they expect from their strategic plans, there are usually three overlooked causes – incomplete planning, inadequate links between strategy and action, and poor communication. Are you getting enough from your Six Sigma strategic plan?

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Six Sigma Trends: Management of Six Sigma Deployments

The third installment in a series of articles about the on-going research of advanced strategies and trends in deploying and team-training Six Sigma. Six Sigma Trends: Next Generation of Projects Six Sigma Trends: Upgrade for Supply Chains and Solution Providers Below is a typical scenario describing the launch of Six Sigma in European companies and…

Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) Versus DMAIC

One of the most confusing issues associated with someone saying “I’m using Six Sigma” has to do with what methodology they are actually using. A majority of the time they are using the DMAIC methodology, because they have existing processes that are wasting resources (hence the big savings you’ve heard about at GE, Honeywell and…

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How To Implement Quality

You have decided that you would like to implement a quality program within your business or organization. Consulting companies have developed many different programs ranging from step-by-step procedures to complex manuals, charts and software. The quality program may take the name of Six Sigma, TQM, quality assurance or just plan quality. Regardless of the methodology…

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Why Hire a Six Sigma Consultant?

“Changing what we have the power to change, accepting the things we cannot change, and becoming wise enough to know the difference between the two.” It is a very old saying, and one that many people aspire to. But when it comes to implementing quality within your business, many feel they have or should have…

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Six Sigma Q&A

Learning the Six Sigma methodology can be confusing. Even if you know the Six Sigma methodology, questions arise from co-workers or in daily activities and answers may not be readily available. To help with this problem, iSixSigma has compiled a list of questions that have been posed on the discussion forum. Below are the five…

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Is Six Sigma Just For Large Companies? What About Small Companies?

Almost all Quality professionals have heard of the benefits of Six Sigma Quality. How can it be ignored? Companies like GE, Motorola, and AlliedSignal have already saved billions of dollars with their Six Sigma Quality initiatives. According to Jack Welch, GE CEO, “the financial rationale for embarking on this quality journey is clear.” But are…

What Makes Six Sigma Work?

Some consultants are earning seven figure salaries, CEOs of large companies are claiming billions of dollars saved, conferences, books, and seminars are popping up everywhere, and yet one can argue that there isn’t much new about Six Sigma that we didn’t have with TQM. Is Six Sigma just the latest management buzzword or is Six…

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Six Sigma Certification, Who Can Do It?

Six Sigma certification questions continue to roll into my inbox. While I can’t find time to answer each email with a tremendous amount of detail, I can and do save them for answering in an article such as this. This article revisits a previously published article What is Six Sigma Certification? published last year. Can…

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5 Six Sigma Deployment Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

A well planned Six Sigma deployment can lead to a rewarding experience and immense benefits for an organization. On the flip side, however, a flawed deployment may lead to disappointing results – the failure of the entire deployment effort, and/or a significant waste of time and resources. There are five problems in Six Sigma deployments,…

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Lean at Work…: From Factory Floor to Operating Room

Until relatively recently, many quality professionals considered the term “Lean” to only be applicable to the manufacturing giants of industry. Lean, first created as a part of the Toyota Production System, is an operational approach and methodology embraced by world-class companies around the globe. With proven results, Lean has made its way into non-manufacturing industries,…

Mobilizing a Business for Turning Strategy into Action

Developing a strategy is critical for any organization, and equally important is having a mechanism to translate that strategy into action. However, given the complexities of the European market, there is a special need for a business implementing its strategy to allow its local business unit leaders to adjust the tactics to local needs and…

Insights on Establishing Operational Excellence Program

A Conversation with… Gerald P. Belle, CEO of Merial, And Silke Birlenbach, Merial’s Vice President of Operational Excellence In a conservation with iSixSigma, Gerald (Jerry) P. Belle, the executive chairman of Merial, and Dr. Silke Birlenbach, vice president of Operational Excellence for Merial, offer their insights on establishing a program of organizational excellence. Merial is…

Is Your Company’s Leadership Ready for Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is not for the feint of heart. It takes courage to attack chronic problems no one has been able to solve. It takes true grit to define and collect the data needed for new insights. And, it takes staying power to see solutions become the new way of working. Is every company ready…

How to Avoid Deep-sixing a New Six Sigma Program

As he pushed out from Fairfield, Conn., USA, the king of CEOs left us all holding the Six Sigma bag. In it, a host of tools, techniques, potential and promise clank against one another. It is a nice collection, and we are pretty sure it works, but it is the old proverb that bothers us:…

Top 10 Questions for Lean Six Sigma Integration Partner

Many of the attendees at a recent Lean Six Sigma conference were investigating how to start a Lean and Six Sigma program in their organization. Most were very excited about Lean and Six Sigma and how it could help them introduce process improvement and customer focus to their organizational cultures. Of course, some also were…

Is Six Sigma for Real? Question Deserves Solid Answers

Is Six Sigma for real? Is it the factor responsible for improvements? How much Six Sigma is really necessary to get positive results? Doesn’t any quality improvement method yield similar results? These questions are always in the minds of people in every organization – sometimes out in the open, sometimes not. In a thoughtful response to…

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Six Sigma Deployment Planning and Readiness Assessment

Anyone who has deployed Six Sigma, or has thought about deploying Six Sigma, is familiar with the main stumbling blocks to a successful deployment – lack of senior leader support, lack of data, longer-than-expected project cycle time, part-time Black Belt resources, and most important, poorly defined projects. Since the first financial firm started deploying Six…

Making the Business Case for a Six Sigma Deployment

Many quality managers have read about and seen the benefits of Six Sigma but are unsure how to approach their senior leadership about the opportunity because they do not have a concise package of information to convey. Fortunately, there is a series of tried and true steps which can be taken to sell management on…

Making the Best Use of Process Improvement Consulting

How often do organizations that have a dedicated team or group working full-time on quality initiatives under the name of Six Sigma, or Lean, or Business Excellence or Service Quality and at the same time the strategic major projects like business reengineering, restructuring, revenue enhancements are outsourced to big consulting organizations? The answer is: all…

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What Small Business CEOs Must Know to Start Six Sigma

Most CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses are aware of Six Sigma and what it has done for other companies. But some think the quality improvement program only works in larger companies. Of course, that is not true. Six Sigma can help grow any company by giving it the all-important competitive edge. For the majority…

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

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

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

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

Lean Manufacturing: Adapting as Important as Adopting

Lean is a wonderful experience when deployed properly and can be a nightmare when it is not. When properly deployed, a company has productive and relatively happy employees, increased efficiency, on-time deliveries and all sorts of other desirable outcomes. When it is not deployed properly, a company can have angry customers, frustrated employees, late deliveries,…

Is Your Organization Ready to Implement Six Sigma?

Many companies have jumped on the Six Sigma bandwagon hoping to emulate the success of such industry leaders as AlliedSignal, GE and Motorola. However, deployment of Six Sigma is not an easy task and does not necessarily translate into instant results. A successful implementation depends on many factors, such as a company’s culture, and the…

Leveraging: Stealing with Pride from Your Own Company

The CEO of a $1 billion business with sales and marketing affiliates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa asked the question, “When one of my affiliated businesses makes improvements, how do I get the benefits across all my businesses without having to wait for people to reinvent the wheel?” His question stimulated those responsible…

‘We Are the Champions!’ – Exactly What That Means

Freddie Mercury, former member of the 1970s British rock group Queen, may not have been the most appropriate and politically correct when he wrote these song lyrics, “No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions….” However, fans understood the meaning and the excitement generated by being a champion. The same should hold true for…

Insider Views on Selecting a Six Sigma Consultant

You’re the CEO of a small-to-medium-sized company. Or you’re heading the committee charged with maximizing output and minimizing mistakes in a much larger organization. You’ve heard about Six Sigma and you think it might work for your firm. You make the leap – you decide to hire a consulting company to help you implement the methodology….

Before Deployment: ‘Minding Your Ps to Get Your Q’

Change agents involved in an effort to introduce Lean Six Sigma into an organization go through a honeymoon stage where there is consensus on the following: There is a need to become a quality-focused organization. The Six Sigma path to quality is all about customers’ needs and expectations. Decisions should be based on data. This…

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