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Integrating Lean Six Sigma with Agile and Scrum

Scrum is an Agile project management methodology that can be used to control software and product development using iterative, incremental practices. Scrum generates the benefits of Agile development with the advantages of a simple implementation. This methodology can significantly increase productivity and reduce time to benefits while facilitating adaptive, empirical systems development.

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Cintas Corp. Promotes MBB Wheeler to Senior VP, Global Supply Chain

Dave Wheeler has been promoted to senior vice president, global supply chain and corporate Six Sigma at Cintas Corp. in Mason, Ohio, USA. Wheeler will be responsible for all company-owned and contracted production facilities, procurement, distribution facilities, textile research, new product development, production planning and Six Sigma initiatives.

DFSS Helps Mask a Bitter Taste

A bad taste can prevent some people, particularly the young and the elderly, from taking a medication – which can endanger their health. Taste can also influence what over-the-counter drugs people purchase and the choice between generic and brand-name medications. Because taste is such a key factor in compliance and purchasing decisions, optimizing taste is…

Six Sigma Drives Design Efficiencies at Black and Veatch

In the battle of “survival of the fittest,” every business must constantly re-evaluate its processes to improve how it delivers products or services to customers, while at the same time reducing its cost of doing business. Businesses that establish an effective continuous improvement culture will be able to sustain their competitive edge. Beginning in 2003,…

Improve Software-Development Productivity with Lean

To survive in today’s competitive software-development market, organizations need to build their capabilities around delivering the best service within customer-stipulated time frames and costs. Increasing productivity – the rate of output per amount of input – is the factor most likely to give an organization an edge over others. Many software-development organizations have realized the…

Product Development: Orchestrating a Better Vision

When attending a performance by a symphony orchestra, the audience witnesses a tightly coupled, highly predictable process executed by a high-functioning multifunctional team. This is exactly how product development should be executed. Many similarities exist between an orchestra and the product development process. An orchestra’s “product” is delivered during the performance. The product is the…

Lean Six Sigma Can Benefit Drug Discovery/Development

As is true throughout virtually all areas of business across diverse industry sectors, Lean Six Sigma principles and practices applied to research and development (R&D) and product development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have a dramatic effect on reducing cycle times and the cost of developing new technologies, products, and protocols for research and…

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Designing Profitable Products Using QFD and Kano Model

When competition for new markets and customers increases, the level of customer satisfaction becomes a key factor for long-term business success. Satisfied customers often become loyal customers and help to ensure future cash flow. In their article “Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services” (Harvard Business Review, 1990) F.F. Reichfeld and W.E. Sasser report that a…

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Measure the Immeasurable: The World of Smell and Taste

In many industries, improvement projects quickly face an obstacle: The lack of easy to get and reliable data. This is especially true when the critical-to-quality elements (CTQs) of the project are “soft attributes” such as taste, smell or texture. Facing such a problem in the food and drink industries is obvious. While in a Kano…

QFD a Good Tool to Use for Avoiding Product Failure

Several years ago, a company created a wristwatch pager – quite an advancement for its time – combining a wristwatch and pager in one. The developer instituted production quality at near Six Sigma level. Yet, the product never sold. While failure can occur for a number of reasons – quality, cost or being late to market…

Ensuring Successful New Products and Services with QFD

When was the last time you reached into the refrigerator for a King Cola, 7Up Gold or Pepsi Blue? Remember pizza at McDonald’s or Heinz chocolate-flavored French fries? From the Ford Edsel to the XFL, history is littered with costly product and service failures. While failure can occur for any number of reasons (e.g., poor…

Taking Advantage of Computer-Based Analysis for DFSS

The goal in product design or business process engineering is to create products or processes that are insensitive to the sources of variation that inhibit their intended function. The design phase in the product development process is a crucial activity since this is when most downstream production and quality problems are locked-in. As a consequence,…