Do we need to have a QA function in place already ?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Do we need to have a QA function in place already ?

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    My organization is interested in implementing Six Sigma. But we’ve been told that it would be much better if we have another QA Function (such as CMM, or ISO) implemented prior to Six Sigma deployment? Is this correct? Why can’t we only have Six Sigma? (PS. We are a Telecommunication/IT company.) Thank you.



    In my experience with 6 Sigma it does not work in conjunction with a Q & A program. It is very effective working on its own merit.
    There is no reason it can’t work with Q & A, but it is not necessary.


    Mike Carnell

    Six Sigma will work better if you have a system that defines how you do business – not necessarily a QA system. Unfortunately most management is a random walk unless they impose some type of standard such as ISO.
    An example – you finish a project and you put a proceedure in place to define how the process should be done. If you have a defined system that includes procedures then that new procedure drops into the system of document control and training. It may even be included as part of an ongoing audit program. Maintaining compliance is the same as it is for every other procedure.
    If there is no system then you will create a procedure in an environment that has no way to maintain it, nobody will look for it unless the BB/GB stays there to tell them they need to follow it, etc. Basically it will just float around until it diappears. No sustainability.
    Having a system – regardless of the type (if you want to get some serious resistance call it a QA system and see how hard it is to get people to follow it) makes a projects sustainability easier.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.
    PS – it doesn’t matter what type of company you are. You’re welcome.



    Having come from a different perspective, I would suggest that it is an advantage to not have a QA function, but that is just my prejudice.
    Mike is right about one thing, though.  If your Six Sigma program is going to be effective, management needs to be able to find the clue bucket, and most of the time they can’t.
    Take a look at your organization.  Are your business processes well defined?  Are they formally articulated?  A lot of businesses don’t even know what it is they do!
    Now, look at your metrics.  Does your organization have any sort of metrics in place the relate directly to the success of those business processes?  Look hard!  Often in an I/T organization the metrics relate to things that the geeks think are important but have no relation to business success.  Your metrics should relate directly to how well you ultimately serve your customer, and what it costs to do that.  And each business process should have metrics that relate to how well that process serves its customer.
    If you can say you know how to measure how well you are doing in a meaningful way, then you should have no problem implementing Six Sigma.
    But if your company is mostly run by the seat of the pants, it might be a pretty tough road.



    Thank you all for your answers. They were very helpful. We decided to implement Six Sigma only. And the first step will be sending one or two people to BB training. 


    Sanjay mehta

    Hi Meggie,
    I would still suggest as Mike as said in his reply , it is better to have a Q.A system in place in order to effectively utilise the benefit of six sigma
    sanjay mehta



    dear member,
    i hope that your question is very much the same as most of the emloyees of the companies implementing the SIx SIgma directly.
    in my view and by the experience i had in the field of Quality Management Systems drafting,implementation and audits,what i observe is you should go for ISO first and plan your 6 sigma charter giving inputs to the ISO documentation.
    After ISO most of the things become Crystal Clear (IN BLACK & White)
    SO then the results came very easily and the efforts are equally reflected



    Hello Meggy,
    You can have six sigma.
    Pre conditions could be only ;
    * An organization for development and quality.
    * Actual development procedure.(Including new products and modifications)
    * Calibrated measuring equipment.
    * Field monitoring system.
    * Financial controlling system.
    I think, as a telecomunication company you already have above structure. So, no barrier for improvement!
    I would only add that; Six Sigma showa it’s real strengthl when you apply it to all fields in organization. Let say, design, production, quality, purchasing, martketing, aftersales service administration etc.
    Unfortunately, actual six sigma services in the market are far away from that. I mean, you can spend lots of money and getting no real benefit.
    I would recommend Shainin – Bhote approach for efficient deployment in the organization.



    Do NOT go for ISO first. It’s often a waste of time and resouces. Most of the ISO maps does not help in six sigma projects beacuse the does not show the as-is process including non value-add activities.
    Go for six sigma directly!
    But ensure that process documentation and metrics will be kept in a well defined system. That will help.
    And if you have ISO in place already – then use as much as you can (but no not expect that it will be very much).



    please ensure that your Belts will have a well defined & selected project with them to work at when staring the training. Otherwise training will not help.
    In addition to that training without coaching (by experienced MBBs) the Belts will be 20% worth only. Results will come from coaching and project execution but not from (stand-alone) training.

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