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An Affinity for Scope

Mike was a newly hired Black Belt (BB) at a roofing shingle manufacturing plant who was going through Six Sigma training. Tim, the general manager of the plant where Mike worked, brought Mike into his office and explained that Mike’s Master Black Belt was on the speaker phone. The Master Black Belt, Robert, shared with…

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Selecting Appropriate Metrics

A frequently asked question by Six Sigma practitioners is how to select appropriate metrics for a particular organization or process. Considerable material has been written on this subject. This paper focuses on three aspects that should be of interest to Six Sigma practitioners: Why are metrics – and more importantly appropriate metrics – needed? A five-step procedure…

Using Effective Metrics to Measure Production Test Flow

To characterize the effectiveness of productions tests, practitioners often use several types of metrics. Some measure the efficiency of the manufacturing process, while others measure the productivity. While these metrics are useful in many situations, they also come with drawbacks and limitations. One process can be efficient but not productive, while another may have high…

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Tips for Avoiding Common Metrics Challenges

Many organizations spend a lot of resources to collect and report a number of metrics without focusing on the proper utilization of them or tracking the return on investment in the effort. In some cases it may be difficult even to find meaningful metrics. Missing the right metrics poses a great risk to business decision-making…

Be Consistent in Metric Selection for Six Sigma Projects

Six Sigma project metrics are typically taught in detail during Black Belt and Green Belt training classes. But the inconsistent use of these metrics after training can lead to lost opportunities and rework after a project ends. Using project metrics consistently brings enormous clarity to the impact and benefit of a Six Sigma project and…

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Business Improvement Strategy, Masteries and Metrics

Many organizations that deploy Lean and Six Sigma eventually hit what is referred to as the “performance measurement wall.” These organizations begin with the right intentions, however, the bottom-line results from their Lean and Six Sigma initiatives are often illusionary because they are focused on the wrong targets. One of the major reasons for this…

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Defining Primary Metric: Starting Off on the Right Path

As a Black Belt in training and working on my first project, I was overwhelmed with project information, data, statistics, tools and direction from my Champion. Quite frankly, there were times in the beginning I wondered what I had gotten myself into. At the first meeting with my Champion I was given a project metric…

Value Matters as a Key Metric for Six Sigma Initiatives

A key measurement of Six Sigma effectiveness is the application of appropriate metrics. Mikel Harry and Richard Schroeder, two pioneers of Six Sigma, state in their book Six Sigma that, “An organization’s profitability is determined by what it chooses to measure and how it measures it.” They point out that most companies need to change…

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