iSixSigma

Another Six Sigma failure

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Another Six Sigma failure

Viewing 52 posts - 1 through 52 (of 52 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #49719

    Bigot
    Participant

    I thought the forum would like to know there has been another Six Sigma failure at BAA – the company responsible for Terminal 5 at Heathrow.The other Six Sigma failure was not having contingency plans for when we all had to put our things in plastic bags.I think it’s time they called in Marlon Brando!

    0
    #170206

    Mikel
    Member

    Wow, another one! That puts the percentage up to 87.634%.

    0
    #170212

    Deanb
    Participant

    Does your figure include the recent Motorola spin-off announcement?

    0
    #170216

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Thank You for remembering me:Bigot
    Do you believe that you are more competent or qualified.
    Anyhow I don’t mind if that would make everbody “smile”

    0
    #170241

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Bigot,
    I am missing the connection. Can you explain how missing plastic bags becomes a Six Sigma failure?

    0
    #170258

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Good question

    0
    #170269

    Vallee
    Participant

    There were six bags but one was over by 1.5 quarts and it shutdown the entire security line.

    0
    #170270

    Bigot
    Participant

    Not missing plastic bags – missing contingency plans!

    0
    #170272

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Bigot,
    That becomes a Six Sigma failure how?

    0
    #170273

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HF Chris Vallee,
    Isn’t the spec something like 3 oz.? That sounds like it worked or at least caught what has been defined as a defect.
    Regards

    0
    #170274

    Putnam
    Participant

    Arguably lack of a control plan led to process failure?  If a control plan existed to identify actions to take following defect identification the line would have continued in operation.

    0
    #170275

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Mike86,
    Even at that, how does that equate to Six Sigma failing?
    Properly written and executed control plans have worked for years.

    0
    #170278

    Brandon
    Participant

    I agree with MC. SS isn’t failing anywhere….it can’t. Can a slide rule fail because an incorrect number is used?
    DMAIC is a blah, blah, blah…that works. People fail. Fact of life….so we have to work around them, with them, at them, whatever…..

    0
    #170281

    Vallee
    Participant

    Mr. or Mrs. Bigot,
    Below is a quick search about BAA and the recent article about a troubled terminal 5. Please note the quoted statement below…. mmmm. You must understand the process before lean. So does that mean people would not have failed if they had used another process such as DMAIC or I don’t know… anything else? Wrong! Each change in the real world has uncontrollable variables, even DMAIC. People confuse correlation with cause and effect all the time…. it falls back to the understanding of levels of integration.
    Now what you and some others fail to see is how to integrate the strengths of one process with the weakness of another. Brainstorming and fishbones have their weakness in up front root cause; choosing a redundant variable that is changed by another variable interception is just as bad. No process is completely stable and depends on the sample you chose. Unless you work in a vacuum, then your brain should not either.
    “Whether investing in IT systems, buildings, or conveyor, Lean thinking says you must first thoroughly understand the process and simplify it as much as possible. For equipment or information systems vendors, often life (or the project timeline) is too short to do this. Hopefully the BA and BAA team take the long view and go the Lean way.”
    http://www.computerworlduk.com/management/it-business/it-organisation/news/index.cfm?newsid=4058
    http://www.gembapantarei.com/2007/07/
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20080327/tuk-bags-of-trouble-at-heathrow-t5-45dbed5.html

    0
    #170287

    Bigot
    Participant

    Six Sigma doesn’t have a contingency planning tool …Shall we come up with one now?We can call it BP – not the other famous Six Sigma failure in Texas, but the famous scouting moto:Be prepared

    0
    #170288

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HF Chris Vallee,
    Good articles. The first thought is how did the label “Six Sigma Failure” get stuck on a Lean project.
    I like the thinking in the Gemba article. The basic question of “how can something with 18km of conveyor belts be lean?” Lots of good insight and questions.
    Regards

    0
    #170289

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Bigot,
    You may want to read the articles posted by HF Chris Vallee. You seem to be a little off the mark.

    0
    #170300

    Bigot
    Participant

    No thanks .. Why don’t you tell us about Six Sigma’s contingency planning tool instead!

    0
    #170301

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Bigot,
    I will be glad to have that discussion with you. Before I do I want an explanation of the link between Terminal 5 and Six Sigma. What I am reading hasn’t mentioned Six Sigma.

    0
    #170302

    Bigot
    Participant

    I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘quid pro quo.’ Therefore, I’ll ask my question again:What Six Sigma tool corresponds to a contingency plan?Just to show you I have personal knowledge of the BBA debacle:If you’re reading about Terminal 5, it is the second Six Sigma failure at BAA.The first Six Sigma failure at BAA occurred at Terminal 3 when everyone had to put there stuff into plastic bags and they restricted the size of carry on luggage.Another failing Six Sigma company is called Network Rail.BTW you didn’t acknowledge the spectacular Six Sigma failure at BP in Texas. I wonder why!

    0
    #170304

    Vallee
    Participant

    You fail as a shock jock and six sigma hater. You definitely no nothing about the BP explosion and its broken processes. Plans were considered but policies and procedures were overridden. Come to the table with true facts not just ramblings.

    0
    #170308

    Vallee
    Participant

    If you need more history and discussion about BP search the blog at http://www.taproot.com. There is ample evidence and follow up there to detour your thoughts about the true failure. Please also read this link https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=137549 concerning observation and understanding of process and root cause.
    Yes, six sigma and any improvement process have their faults and greatness but need to be used by the right people who stick to the process and rules. Unfortunately, mine is better than yours has prevailed throughout history instead of let’s work together. Look at the outdated argument about nature verses nurture in psychology… it is laughable now.

    0
    #170319

    Bigot
    Participant

    You seem to admit there isn’t a Six Sigma tool for contingency planning. That was my point.It has nothing to do with the quality of people or ‘mine is better than yours.’ It is a question for the Six Sigma roadmap and tool-set.If you claim Six Sigma is a system of process improvement there ought to be a tool for contingency planning – “what to do when things go wrong”.WTDWTGW has nothing to do with fault tree analysis or FMEA, or process control. Therefore, DMAIC should to be modified to DMAICX, where X in this case means what to do when things go wrong, or WTDWTGW.If you took the time to study the Six Sigma failures I’ve mentioned, all of them have something in common – a lack of WTDWTGW.As for BP, a company that flaunted their use of Six Sigma and even sent ‘postcards’ to their suppliers, perhaps they should have spent more time on their HSSE and their contingency planning instead of Six Sigma.

    0
    #170324

    Brandon
    Participant

    Bigot, you make an excellent point. My only counter would be that, at least from my prespective, SS is not an “end-all, be-all”. It is a discipline that can contribute greatly to the performance of a business…however, a number of other skill sets are necessary.
    Therefore, because SS does not have a contingency capability does not lessen what it is and what it can do. It is what it is and you had better have a bunch of other capabilties if you are to be successful.
    My $.03.

    0
    #170326

    Vallee
    Participant

    Bigot,
    What I have admitted to in every post that I have ever posted is that there is not just one tool or process that meets all needs. There are tools that are better and more robust than others and it is the job of professionals to find that match for the process not find who or what to blame for their failure. Six Sigma addresses measuring for variation and drives the fact that continuous improvement is the goal. In fact you have to continue measuring your changes to see if they worked or if the dynamic process has changed… mmmm, maybe it looks for contingency after all.
    As far as planning for contingencies even in DMAIC”X”, you have to understand the process and be able to predict what could happen. Understanding and controlling for human error that breaks IT or mechanical systems when there was no component failure takes a systematic understanding of reactive and proactive root causes which all tools and name brands should strive for. Yes, I have made failures and learn from it. I used to think I was the “victim” of TQM, six sigma, lean, FTA, and RBD, until I realized the gap in the processes…. it was me and the limited knowledge of the people using the processes. With this new perspective I combine tools and processes based on their strengths and have been quite successful. You should do the same and learn instead of blame.
    HF Chris Vallee
     

    0
    #170327

    Fake MBB
    Participant

    Please elaborate more….
    thanks and regards

    0
    #170329

    Vallee
    Participant

    That is the point, have you not figured out that you need not write a book to make a change? You are like children who learn their first math equation from their first teacher and then argue with their parents when the parents show another way to get the same answer.
    Fine, write a book to add contingencies and which contingency will you plan for? Will you use a risk assessment (who uses that tool?) to determine what can’t be sacrificed and needs a contingency plan? Will you make a plan for terrorism… after all that should have been caught by a good six sigma project? The bags used by the BAA, wasn’t that a benchmark or a regulatory push by the U.S.?
    And if you were involved personally in the BAA projects where was your voice? Contingency plans should showed up in a good corrective action plan? Where were you? If you had enough facts and good persuasion without authority (a six sigma tool) you could have prevented this issue with the BAA?
    Let’s use your “new” process in DFSS, which human error combination are you going to plan for? Would you map out the critical path? What is your human engineering background? You must be knowledgeable in that field to determine that contingency plan. What phase of the six sigma phase would you place contingency planning in? How would justify cost and time to implement? How would you sway leadership?
    Without further elaboration you are a leader in hindsight bias (I knew it all along attitude). If you knew it all along you should have been able to be persuasive and prevent the failures. By the way contingency planning falls in multiple areas of the process just because there is no tool called contingency planning: Define (what is the business case to act or not to act); Measure (understand the process and measure it correctly); analyze (perform a good root cause analysis not just an “expert” opinion; using numbers while acting on confirmation bias will produce a failure); Improve (if not done correctly the improvement will not be valid or consistent; the BAA is an example of a failed process whether you call it lean or six sigma); control (the BAA project failed in controlling the process). In short, the project was done incorrectly because of poor understanding of the process not controlling an unintended consequence.
    You focus on just one tool shows that you only understand the symptom of failures not true problems and root causes. It is your flavor of the day and will change as soon as you find something else to whine about. The question is, what could you have done to change the circumstances?

    0
    #170330

    w. g. miller
    Member

    Having briefly looked through the discussion forum for a definition of “Six Sigma Failure” and not finding one, I propose the following definition:
    A Six Sigma Failure is any work product that comes from a Six Sigma progam that fails to produce the expected results.
    The first condition is that the failed work product has to come from a Six Sigma program.  While I didn’t run through the entire thread, I didn’t see anything that tried to tie the Heathrow Airport problem to anything that was done by a Six Sigma group.  No Six Sigma involvement -> no Six Sigma failure.  Should a Six Sigma group been involved?  I’ll leave that for others to discuss.
    The second condition is that the Six Sigma work product fails to produce the expected results.  This can have a variety of causes; a few months ago I wrote about a Six Sigma work product that failed because inaccurate data was used for the analysis.  I’m sure you all can think of other failure examples with different causes.
    So, strictly applying my definition, I don’t know enough to say that the Heathrow incident was a Six Sigma failure.  That said, whenever an organization that trumpets its use of Six Sigma in all things suffers a failure, a Six Sigma failure is a possibility.  And if the Heathrow incident did arise because of something done by a Six Sigma program, then I would consider it a Six Sigma failure.
    W. G. Miller
     

    0
    #170331

    Vallee
    Participant

    Read this portion of the blog.  It is the only evidence although misguided that I could pull up.  The orginal poster has failed to produce anything different than I told you so.
     
    https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=138656

    0
    #170361

    I’Anson
    Participant

    W. G.I work in the City of London and I thought you might be interested in the following headline on the BBC’s website.”Bank of America has revealed that it will have to write off $3bn (£1.4bn) of bad debts and warned that its losses could grow.”I also found this quotation on this website. “When the program was first introduced, some employees were skeptical. But resistance subsided, officials said, when Lewis and his top lieutenants earned green belts. Now Bank of America has certified about 3,000 green and black belts and has tallied $2 billion in either cost savings or added revenues.” Miami HeraldDaniel

    0
    #170363

    Chase
    Participant

    Here’s the low down on BAA and banks in the UKXXXX has trained over 1000 Black Belts in XXXX across Europe.XXXX has worked with four major UK banks on Lean Six Sigma Deployment.BAA the UK Airport Operator selected XXXX for training and coaching in DMAIC and Design for Lean Six Sigma. Over 12 waves of training each of 10 days have taken place as part of this programme.Regards,
    Chase

    0
    #170364

    Brandon
    Participant

    Daniel, I don’t see the quotes as contradictory. The loan losses came from either poor credit decisions or changing economic markets.
    The SS savings likely came from improved processes eliminating non-value add costs.
    Both can occur simultaneously and independently.

    0
    #170366

    Chase
    Participant

    Brandon,I though SS was a business process improvement methodology? That being the case I would think credit decisions are a key process.Admittedly, we’re all subject to changing economic markets which is why I bought some shares in a dairy farm recently. (The Chinese government is paying top dollar for milk and cheese!)Chase

    0
    #170367

    Brandon
    Participant

    Chase, I agree, credit decisions are a process…but are they a repeatable process? Are the metrics the same and do they remain consistent across time? And are the metrics predictable?
    I say, to a large degree …no.
    Early in my career I did residential mortgage underwriting. We examined all the std. stuff…employment, savings, credit history, blah, blah blah. Get a passing score – get a loan. Then the guy losses his job (unpredictable), wife gets sick (unpredictable), they get a divorce (unpredictable), kid’s a druggy – steals & sells everything (unpredictable). I think you get my point.
    SS can’t fix unpredictable…and in credit assessment there will always be a huge “unpredictable” factor.
    As powerful as SS may be in some regards…it ain’t gonna predict the future.

    0
    #170370

    Chase
    Participant

    I agree to a certain extent. What is predicable though is what happens when there is no fiscal responsibility.This happened previously when London insurance brokers got involved in re-insurance ad infinitum, as a way of raking in commission and a number of names lost their stakes.So I would say there are aspects of our current situation that were entirely predicable and I would think it a good opportunity for consultants, provided the methods they use do not stifle innovation and common sense.Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Terminal 5 because someone in the office told us when she arrived the airport terminals were down, there were no signs on doors, there are no terminal maps, and no-one knew the way to the gate.By any stretch of the imagination this sounds like a shambles, but we must make allowances because this is Great Britain after all!!!!Chase

    0
    #170372

    GB
    Participant

    Every project I’ve ever done includes a Control Plan that marries Process step potential failure modes, control metrics and POC’s with potential risks (Risk Register) and associated contingency plans.
     

    0
    #170373

    Vallee
    Participant

    Sounds more like an accountability issue than a six sigma not being able to meet the occasion failure per se. When the process was set up whose responsibility was it to oversee each of the operations? Was there a pilot test done prior to opening the doors? The communication and implementation was broke in this instance. Looking at the numbers of green belts and black belts trained it looks more like a case of sub-optimization and lack of six sigma and senior leadership lead…. unfortunately, I see that happen very often. You can effectively train all the soldiers but with poor guidance it gets unproductive and chaotic.

    0
    #170376

    Chase
    Participant

    I’m told a pilot test is part of the validation phase of the DMADV methodology, but I have no idea whether or not they performed one.Either way, from my perspective it does sound like they had no fall back position.Chase

    0
    #170377

    Vallee
    Participant

    No fall back position is a whole lot different from no point of contact in emergencies and break downs… essential in all operations even when an event happens that could not have been imagined.

    0
    #170379

    mcintosh
    Participant

    HF,Aside from the obvious differences between a no fall back position and no point of contact in emergencies, what point are you making.PS: Are you Marlon Brando?Tom

    0
    #170380

    Vallee
    Participant

    Not even close… besides I liked the old Marlon Brando from the movies better. If you search, I have been around the blog since 2005 with a short leave of absence. My point which can be seen in the other posts for this particular original poster is where the failure occurred for the BAA incident. The original poster stated that this was a failure of no contingency planning and that six sigma failed because it does not have a contingency planning tool. I contend that he is just looking at one symptom and fails to see the other root causes and system problems that allowed this failure to occur.People like to try to chew off the leg of the “elephant” that they despise the most, and miss the fact that it took the entire elephant with 4 to 6 legs to allow this incident to happen. The whole agenda of the original poster is to place blame on the six sigma process with little data except the tool blame game. Not only did he miss the boat, he doesn’t even know that a boat is supposed to float in the water.

    0
    #170383

    mcintosh
    Participant

    HF Chris Vallee,You say BAA mismanaged Six Sigma, but you don’t have any data either, unless you trained them! How do you know what is in the mind of the poster?The original poster noted Six Sigma didn’t have a contingency planning tool, which seems pretty interesting from my perspective. BAA uses Six Sigma, and apparently didn’t have any contingency plans on two occasions, and the data is blindingly obvious – just ask anyone who uses T5.Tom

    0
    #170385

    Vallee
    Participant

    The observation after the fact may look pretty obvious to you … also known as hindsight bias. It was not obvious to management before the doors failed to open or they would have prevented it. It is real easy to plan for a specific issue after the fact… but I assume that psychology after affect is above you. The observation I made about the possible failure of BAA is the based on the previous posters comments on the number of people trained and assigned and nothing more. The observation based on no communication was made after the poster replied with the scenario. So my question to Mr. Obvious is what is your point? How would you have prevented this with a robust fix so that it does not happen again. My goal is many: learn from others, help others, and find the optimal combination of processes in an unpredictable world. Your goal is to help who?

    0
    #170386

    Vallee
    Participant

    You can lead a horse to water but sometimes you just have to shoot it in the end. The attempt to enlighten has been lost on some but helped others. For some looking in the rear view mirror is the only vision they have… so good luck with your future endeavors.

    0
    #170399

    keyes
    Participant

    He sounds like Burl Ives!

    0
    #170400

    Patricia
    Participant

    Daniel,There is more:UBS to face credit crunch probe Sign outside UBS offices in New York
    UBS has been among the worst-hit of the world’s banks Switzerland’s Federal Banking Commission (EBK) is to investigate how UBS became one of the banking sector’s worst victims of the credit crunch (BBC)
    “UBS Investment Bank, Switzerland, gave a very dynamic and pictorial presentation on how the Operations side of UBS had been trained on the use of lean six sigma tools. It would appear here that there was management buy-in a strong way with teams holding “events” and generally having fun. They also produced internal newsletters and displayed storyboards full of photographs of groups enjoying themselves. Their main problem was getting data both from within the operations side and from other entities within UBS.” (onesixsigma)I think the problem is unrestricted capitalism not Six Sigma.Patricia

    0
    #170402

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Well said.
    Do you want to receive some well prepared slides on “Lean-SS”?

    0
    #170403

    Fake Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Just one question:Why are offering your own “well-prepared” slides to everybody,and then you complain from lack of saying “thank you”??
    Just I wonder

    0
    #170406

    Rex B
    Participant

    Patricia,I found the following information from CDU on another site. I think concerns about Six Sigma are justified, irrespective of unrestricted capitalism or a missing tool.”No one disputes the worthiness of Six Sigma’s intentions, much less the statistics. But a quick survey of a handful of industries, using product-quality ratings from J.D. Power and Associates, led CDU to believe that while Welch may be right that you can’t afford not to understand Six Sigma, you can’t necessarily afford to use it, either.In copiers and printers, Xerox ranks lower in quality than competitors Canon, Toshiba, and Hewlett-Packard, yet it proudly trumpets its Six Sigma legacy back to the 1980s. In wireless phones, quality varies by region, but Sprint PCS ranked highest only in the West; it tied in the Northeast with Verizon, which had “fewer problems experienced with static/interference.” Nonetheless, quality consultancy Six Sigma Systems cites Sprint as a major client.In boats (!), Larson Boats ranks last in a field of 11 companies that make express cruisers. It has two Six Sigma black belts on staff and boasts, “Quality isn’t something we add at the end of the line!” And in cars, Ford stayed below average in the recent Initial Quality Study, despite its companywide policy in 1999 to adopt . . . well, you-know-what. Once again, the highest quality ranking went to Toyota — a company that had to learn about Six Sigma from the CDU. Unfortunately, most professional six sigma practitioners are only interested in data that supports their own position, except where it leads to more consulting work. For example when the hitherto perfect six sigma had to adopt Lean principles!PD: Thx for linking this site’s URLTaffy

    0
    #170407

    Patricia
    Participant

    No thanks .. but thanks for asking.

    0
    #170419

    RP
    Member

    Patricia you state, “I think the problem is unrestricted capitalism not Six Sigma.   I wish that was the only problem. 
     
    My main effort over the past few years has been in root cause analysis of customer returns.  In addition, I work at finding engineering solutions to the root cause, SPC, and statistical analysis of process improvements.  With my current and previous experience, I can add one more root cause as to why it “APPEARS” that Six Sigma may not work – CHAOS.  What causes chaos?  Perhaps others can add examples.  Here are three in my list of many examples: 

    Management failure to act in a timely fashion on information provided in both written and verbal communication.
    Operator’s that exhibit free will and change the work instructions that they may have never read nor understood. 
    Engineers that do not use statistics to validate equivalence between “so called identical test equipment.”   
     
    My current company does not embrace Six Sigma.  Having worked at Motorola (when it was a giant), I have better examples.  I hope someone else can add one of the most critical reasons why Six Sigma APPEARS to fail.    
     
    Six Sigma is a tool!

    0
    #170428

    MrMHead
    Participant

    Rex,
    I would interpret the difference between the claims and ratings as typical marketing.  They may practice LSS improvement methodologies in their processes – but do they say which processes?
    Airline companies regularly perform well beyond Six Sigma …. for flight safety, counting by passenger.  But look at baggage handling and departure times, and I would bet they are running a little less than 5-nines.
    Are the companies looking at the same metrics as JD when they are applying their LSS expertise? (rhetorical)
     

    0
Viewing 52 posts - 1 through 52 (of 52 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.