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Building a 6 Sigma program from scratch

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  • #50925

    Cookie
    Participant

    Hi,
    Apologies if tis ha already been answered elsewhere; I didn’t see a thread that answered this one.
    I’m a green belt who’s recently changed company. One of the things I’ve been asked to investigate is the best was to build 6 sigma capability into the organisation quickly.
    I’m aware that I need senior mgmt buy-in ( they’re the ones who asked about this! :O) ), and will have a comms piece to manage, but how do I build up the necessary skills base?
    Apart from getting in-house resources GB/BB training, should I include recruitment of an experienced BB/MBB as part of the strategy?
    Any advice is appreciated.

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    #175706

    Scream
    Member

    If you are serious and can spend : hire consultant

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    #175707

    Does it really matter
    Participant

    I’ve just recently moved to a company starting on the SS route as an experienced BB and from my experience here and before I would say that employing an experience BB is needed and not just for job creation.
    Before I joined they had gone through the BB and GB training of people and had started to produce some results but had already made a few mistakes and were starting to build on top of these without realising it. That’s where my experience has come in to turn around errors, get them going in the right direction and take on some of the more difficult projects.
    On choosing the GB/BB carefully this should be seen as a reward but make sure that you are going to get their time after the training to run projects. As you’ll notice from a lot of the post here training without experience is of no help to the company and will be a large help in making the iniative fail.
    For your first project try and keep it small so you can show some quick results and also get people to use a lot of the tools they’ve learned quickly and it gets management buy in. Once you’ve done this then you can start on a few of the larger ones.
    My opinion for what it’s worth.

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    #175708

    Does it really matter
    Participant

    Consulants Vers Permanent is a difficult question. I would go toward permanent to give you consitancy and it gives the person more of a stake in what they’re doing.
    There’s some good consultants out there but I know a lot of people who’ve gone to be consultants because they couldn’t produce consistanly in one company.
     

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    #175709

    Cookie
    Participant

    Hmmmm…..that was one of my concerns……
    Thanks for the advice, sounds like a mix may be best (consultant or 2 to get things kick started and train internal people for knowledge / experience transfer and sustained benefit). Execute a few smaller projects to prove the approach works and then begin ramping up……

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    #175758

    Bart
    Participant

    In my previous job I was appointed as “the person to take up the new coorporate DFSS iniative, for our plant”.
    At the beginning I was feeling the same: “how do I start”.
    From each plant a person was appointed to step into the Black Belt training. Coached by an already experienced Master Black Belt. In the beginning it was difficult to get started, mainly because the upper management had just appointed me, but were themselves not even convinced about the DFSS method.
    I can tell you, I have been really doubting if this assignment, which was indicated as “the ellected person”, was not “the one we can spare person” . But due to the good support from the Master Black Belt and the colleagues from other plants, I continued with:
    – as already indicated by others: very small BUT VISUAL initiatives with a few believers to show the very first evidence of success.
    – in parallel I was talking my way into several management meetings, each time to talk/convince/show evidence/…
    An yes, 2 years later, these same managers stood up in meetings, and said: “we can not pass this milestone, we did not fulfill all requirements concerning the DFSS approach” (although I still doubt if they really understood what it was all about)
    I am sharing this story with you to tell you that you are not alone. Each person getting this assigment has 3 basic things to do:
    – get somebody to support you who is experienced in the matter
    – get some believers around you, who are willing to step into the ride, to get first quick wins-visual evidence
    – make sure you are working on a cooperative management atmosphere on this topic.
    And last but not least: It toke our organisation 5 years to be able to state that we fully implemented DFSS as a way of living by all employees.

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    #175761

    Bill Fowlkes
    Participant

    Cookie, this is so awesome, you are very lucky to have that kind of a request from management.
    My recommendation is that you start by benchmarking other companies that have successfully deployed Six Sigma.  Even without a site visit, you can learn a lot by researching the internet.  If you find a partner willing to work with you to share their experience you will do very well.
    For example, John Deere recently had great success with their deployment: http://www.deere.com/en_US/compinfo/speeches/2007/070212_everitt.html
     

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    #175778

    Wynand van Dyk
    Member

    Hi Cookie – what an oppertunity!!
    The problem what you are going to face is that in benchmarking deployments, you will see projects being done & people being trained.  However, a successfull deployment is much more than just training and doing projects.  Therefore I strongly suggest that you get a consultant to assit you in the initial deployment.  As a second step you have to design the deployment – there is unfortunately no such thing as a “silver bullet” in how to deploy!  You have to figure out how to deploy 6 sigma in your company – and since each company is unique (at the very least each company has an unique culture), you have to design a unique approach which will work for you.
    From this point on, you an get into the training & projects.  The first round of BB traiing projects should typically take 5-6 months to complete.  During this time I suggest running Kaizen events driven/lead by the consultant.  At the very least you will deliver benefits early, and start to get enrollment through the organisation.
    So, take your time, design it well up front and pick up momentum as your belts are gaining confidence.
    Hope it helps

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    #175782

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Cookie,
    You need to listen to Dr. van Dyk pretty carefully. On top of the fact that he is a Phd ChemE and very well educated he is also an exceptional Program Manager and has delivered a deployment that has won awards. Before he was a Six Sigma deployment leader he was a successful Program Manager for very large capital projects all on time and under budget.
    Let me just pull a piece from an article that Rob Tripp and I wrote for a magzine in South Africa called MMS Magazine (I don’t know if you can get to this on line):
    “There is a growing and interesting paradox around the rather loosely used term Six Sigma. When most hear the term, it immediately conjures up visions of projects, teams and statistical problem solving tools. To a large extent that is justifiable, since the most easily accessible artifacts of a successful Six Sigma deployment are projects, teams and statistical problem solving tools. Unfortunately the most visible artifacts of an unsuccessful deployment are also projects, teams and statistical problem solving tools.”
     
    You need to understand what you have been asked to do. You have been asked to plan a deployment. That is program management. There are a ton of people who will go into depth about project selection, what tools you need to teach, the best statistical software package, etc. You need to start with why those executives want to do this. Go back and ask them and have them write it down. Something they are willing to stand up and defend. Then you have a starting point.
     
    Don’t design it by yourself. If you do it will be your plan and you own it. As for those people who have a the magic formula that works – run. People always like to speak about cultural differences from country to country. We have deployed in 20 countries and six continents and never had any of that be a bigger issue than the individual company culture. That is the one that will make or break your deployment.
     
    There is a very nice piece of software from I-Nexus that will help you with this. Speak to a woman named Jan Freyburgher. [email protected]
     
     
    Just my opinion.
     
    Good luck
     
     
     

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    #175788

    Robert S
    Member

    Hhmmm…what was that Stan was saying about self-promotion?

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    #175789

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Nobody asked for business. Nobody gave a link. Nobody gave a name of a company. Never have since 2001.

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    #175792

    Vallee
    Participant

    Cookie,
    Bringing in a permanent MBB or BB makes sense if the expectations of the commitment of senior leadership are completely spelled out from the get go. Anything less will be a useless and continuous battle as posted by others. Outside consultants on the other hand seem to get listened to initially because that’s what you’re paying for … no matter how many times the same message was stated internally by others. The results afterwards are mixed,  dependent on the quality of what consultant you hired.
    There are key people existing in your current company that get things done and truly understand your existing business (not meaning the business will stay the same afterwards), pair them with the new BB or MBB for strategic alignment. Your new BB or MBB will not initially have the buy in from the business yet even with senior leadership backing.
    GB/BB comment: Be careful how many people you train internally because then it becomes a fight to see how many projects each department get down for metrics (sub-optimization and value stream disassociation).  Besides you can get buy in and understanding from the floor by actually helping them be successful first w/o a GB certificate.
    HF Chris Vallee.
     

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    #175794

    Robert S
    Member

    I have no problem with it. I’m just surprised Stan doesn’t since he seems to be the self-appointed censor.

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    #175797

    Cookie
    Participant

    Thanks to all who have responded to this thread – there’s some really good advice here! :)
    Engagement with key internal resources and programme ramp up are factors I’m already building into the strategy, along with budget and communications within the company (both initial briefings and ongoing status reporting). Minitab and i-nexus have already been built into the startup plan. I’m planning on using internal resources as far as possible to create a feeling of ownership, using the external resource in the early stages only to bring real-world experience into the mix.
    One (!) factor that I need to manage carefully (and resource externally in the interim) is process re-engineering using DFSS – in some cases process improvement won’t meet strategic targets, and new processes will be needed. Just as it started to look easy….! :)

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    #175801

    Mikel
    Member

    Bobbie,Sorry that you are not smart enough to know the difference between
    self promotion and help.Besides Carnell knows what he is talking about – you don’t.

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    #175807

    Taylor
    Participant

    Cookie
    It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp of the situation. One question I would ask management is what is the expectation? Do they simply want a process improvement team (small group of 2 to 3 trained individuals) or a full blown deployment? I have seen both and depending on actual size of the company, and strategic targets the smaller group may be the way to go, and time to results is generally immediate.
    I was part of such group in the mid 90’s with a division of Emerson Electric and we where very successful and did not have to “Fight” for projects as HF Chris Vallee stated in his post.
    At any rate you need to have a skilled BB hired with experience in DFSS, this is a must; MBB’s are overrated if you deploy small, (Just My Opinion).
    Keep the Goal in mind, and continue to keep management buy in, identify the road blocks and set key target dates. You can go through hours of analysis and cross industry benchmarks, but only you can measure how your doing against your goals.
    In the interim, find the low hanging fruit and knock them out with quick hits, this will gain you even more credibility and buy in within the entire company. You don’t have to wait for deployment to do these. “Just Do It” or Get R Done, however you want to say it.

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    #175808

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Chad,
    Were you part of Electric Motors?
    Regards

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    #175810

    Robert S
    Member

    So you and you alone are charged with determining participant’s intelligence, their depth of knowledge and the viability of their opinions. Wow, that’s quite a responsibility. I certainly hope you are competent enough to do that such that you don’t mislead those who come here for assistance.

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    #175811

    Mikel
    Member

    Bobbie,
    It’s a heck of a responsibility, but someone has to do it.
    You might want to check with Scott, as an offical representative of OSSS, you sure seem to snivel a lot.

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    #175812

    Robert S
    Member

    I don’t see it as sniveling….I see it as defending myself against an attacker who doesn’t even know me, who is demeaning and has no problem inventing things to do his damage. Some approach for someone who I heard was Born Again.

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    #175814

    Vallee
    Participant

    Chad,You are correct that the program can work and does not always end in battles and frustration. The point being made was that if you bring an experienced person to lead the initiative, the commitment to the role must be there from management at the get go. The other point is not to jump to a full blown GB training ground until the foundation is there. Low hanging fruit can hurt you if one does not understand where and how it fits into the business. A hard lesson learned in aviation from supply projects that forced flying aircraft to be grounded waiting for long lead time parts.HF Chris Vallee

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    #175815

    Mikel
    Member

    I have never heard you were born again.
    Born again as what? Did you tell the truth at one point in your life?

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    #175816

    Taylor
    Participant

    Great Point Chris, I think we all understand that, This is the point that Management has to direct and become involved as to the risk to the organization. I guess I’m just to working in a structure where that is understood.
    Mike
    No, I worked for White Rodgers, Gas Control Division. Specifically  tasked with Optimization of Die Casting and Machining Operations.

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    #175819

    Robert S
    Member

    Chad, Mike was asking because SSQ did a deployment with EE Motors Div in early 2000’s. However we did some work with WR as well. Where you there during that time frame?

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    #175820

    Taylor
    Participant

    Robert- Yes I was there at that time. Andy O, was the team leader, Myself and couple other young Engineers where more or less his gopher. But damn did we learn some stuff.

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    #175821

    Robert S
    Member

    That’s nice to know. Who were your instructors?
    I did much of the contract work with John Sankovich (sp?) of Motors. He was a pretty sharp guy.
    As a side note, I started my career with EE Aerospace Div at the plant on Florissant. Got a BS in Aerospace Eng from Parks College of St. Louis Univ. and worked on thermodynamics issues with the radar/gunnery systems on the Huey Cobra. Those were the days…had a ’67 GTO.

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    #175829

    Taylor
    Participant

    Robert, I am horrible with Names, I will have to think on this, that was many years ago. I want to say Mike ?????  but such a common name I am not sure. Seems like he had a long hard to pronounce last name.

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    #175830

    Robert S
    Member

    The last schedules I have a copy of are in 2000. They show Rick Burns involved in training. Rick was a contractor out of Canada. I believe it was either John Evelyn or Monte Visser as our client relationship guy. Wow, didn’t realize that went all the way back to ’99 and before. Time flies.

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    #175831

    Mikel
    Member

    wow a EE who wound up as CEO of Qualtec. You were born
    again!You must have done something awful to deserve such a fate. You
    deal drugs or kill someone?

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    #175839

    Severino
    Participant

    I find that speech you linked to be disturbing.  While I think the intent was to showcase the culture shift I find the practice of congratulating themselves for a 87% first pass yield or a cpk of 1.38 disconcerting to say the least.  Could be why when faced with the choice of a Deere tractor or a Honda lawnmower I went with the Honda.

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    #175855

    Taylor
    Participant

    I tried to contact Andy, but learned he has moved on from the company. He was the last one involved with original team for WR still there. His work got him promoted up the corporate ladder, and was charged with moving assembly Mexico. Long story short he would know, for sure. Rick Burns was most likely the guy

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    #175859

    Robert S
    Member

    Thanks Chad. You need spend no more effort on it….was just clearing some cobwebs away from the memories. Glad it seems to have worked well for many.
    Did you do work at the Florissant facility?

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    #175872

    Taylor
    Participant

    Worked at the Batesville Facility

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