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Common Metrics to Measure Effectiveness of Lean Six Sigma Deployment

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Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #55678

    Kevin Norman
    Participant

    I’m looking for ideas for key metrics to measure success of LSS deployment. Current thoughts are:
    – $’s saved (hard/soft/avoidance)
    – # projects
    – Cycle time reduced
    – Hours saved
    – Customer interactions impacted

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    #201131

    Katie Barry
    Keymaster

    @kknvt91 Did you look at our Metrics section of content? https://www.isixsigma.com/methodology/metrics/

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    #201134

    Kevin Norman
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply. I did look there (as well as the implementation section). What I’m looking for are ideas for effective metrics to measure/drive adoption/implementation of a continuous improvement culture, separate from the measurement of the overall impacts.

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    #201135

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @kknvt91 – are the metrics being reported to you, or are you reporting them to someone else? If they are being reported to you, and no further, then choose what you think makes sense to monitor progress, and accomplishments. If you are reporting to someone else, then you will need to come to agreement with them on what they want to know, and will accept. I’ll tell you that most financial people won’t accept cost avoidance. This is their mistake, but it is normal. If you can develop a good method for determining cost avoidance with discipline and consistency, perhaps you can get agreement, but this often devolves into hopes and wishes, and falls apart. Word to the wise.

    I would ask you one fundamental question as to your metrics – where does six sigma focus effort, inspecting outputs or controlling factors that affect outputs? Look at your proposed metrics and evaluate them on which of those aspects each addresses.

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    #201137

    Kevin Norman
    Participant

    Been down the road of financial benefits (hard vs soft vs avoidance) before… We aer looking for metrics we could use, not to justify impact (cost, quality, speed…), but how to measure that we have made a culture shift to continuous improvement. I don’t really like # of projects or # trained, because they both drive wrong behaviours, but I’m struggling to find the right metrics that our LSS COE can measure itself against to ensure adoption by the business.

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    #201138

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @kknvt91 – how about num of items in queue, completion time, effectiveness % after x days of implementation (how much of the projected savings are actually being saved after implementation has been stabilized), and at 1 yr post implementation how many of the “fixes” is still in place and effective?

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    #201150

    Snowy1970
    Guest

    In determining the development of a six sigma culture, and to some extent guide and focus ongoing development, and particularly in an a developing SS/Lean culture you need to measure your most important resource, your belts. In a non judgemental way measure of Belt utilisation, Belt project completions and to some degree savings achieved (hard, soft, total) are all good ways of tracking progress. It important to keep the distribution of the result positive, reward achievements, and challenge growth. NEVER negative, damage can easily be done. I hope this was helpful.

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    #201151

    Mike Chambers
    Participant

    @kknvt91

    Kevin, you don’t say, but it is assumed you are in manufacturing. But it really doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts “universally” is whether the organization is consistently producing more (quantity) or is producing less costly units or services to external customers during a given time-frame. To a purist, just about any other metric developed will have some issue. If you are not sold out, some will even argue “more quantity” has no financial benefit (unless you’re able to eliminate a shift or the like).

    Justification is not easy and tends to approach bureaucratic in many organizations … folks are trying to justify their existence, rather than making the company money. The best of competition tend to have corporate objectives or ideals in a number of key areas. Call them the organization’s “true north” if you want. To the extent a project or event was approved by consensus, implemented in a win-win manner, and moves toward true north, it was successful.

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    #201154

    Marth
    Participant

    Sounds like you need a full scorecard vs just success measures. The difference being a scorecard can be red, yellow or green, vs a success sheet showing just the positive. If adoption is your goal, then focus on metrics that will help measure the health of growth and resistance. Here are some items that have helped me along the way, in addition to what you already listed…
    Speed of implementation: How many days until the solution was in place. This can also help with right-sizing solutions if people are taking too much on at one time and it is taking a year to get something done.
    Rate of Quality Requests: How many requests per day you are getting for support. Key here is Quality Requests. Requests for help don’t matter if they are coming to the wrong group, which could tell you they don’t understand what you do or how to apply the tools.
    Post-Work Survey: Ask sponsors and process owners about their experiences and if they would seek assistance again.
    Proportion of Active Facilitators: Training is only worthwhile if it is being used. It’s good to find out who is adopting and who is just checking a box.
    Active Items per VP: This is helpful in showing who continues to do work and who might be taking on too much. You might even size it to a lower level leader with a roll up to each VP.

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    #201159

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Great blog! Nice to see good exchange of thoughts.

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    #201169

    Nik
    Participant

    @Marth has some good suggestions. I have found that having a mix of measures and the ability to show trends are effective at communicating the health of our program. These measures have also changed with the maturity of our program — not just because we understood KPIs better, but the KPIs also evolved. In the early days it was all about savings and numbers of folks trained. Now here are some of the things we track:

    – Employee participation (as a gage of cultural penetration) – Our measure isn’t 100% reflective of everything participation can mean, we just determine whether or not someone has worked on a project this year. It doesn’t count how many projects they’ve been on, I know, but research shows that once we get around or above 33% we should hit a cultural tipping point, so we keep an eye on this.

    – Number of projects this year – I show this as a cumulative trend chart of both LSS projects completed and scheduled to complete an employee led projects completed and scheduled to complete.

    – Project span time – This was a significant company complaint about our project so we monitor this and control certain critical factors (a topic for an upcoming article).

    – Various measures of business performance – – Ultimately the best proof that the program adds value is that the projects helped accomplish specific company goals. If those goals can be made measurable and are tracked in a trend-able fashion, you can show where the projects helped move the needle.

    I would avoid the purely profit reporting approach – however, if that is important, read Real Numbers by Cunnigham et. al. I’d also suggest How To Measure Anything by Hubbard, there is some great guidance in there as well.

    Good luck!

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    #201178

    Kevin Norman
    Participant

    All,
    Thank you for taking the time to send me your thought…This has been very useful!

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