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How Do You See Us Proceeding From Here?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Forum Basics Welcome How Do You See Us Proceeding From Here?

This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Mike Carnell 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #54010

    gomezadams
    Member

    As mentioned in a prior post,the philosophy and use of six sigma is 25 years old. Many gains have been made along with abuses. What do you see as the next step in the evolutionary cycle?
    Lets keep this on serious folks.

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    #192881

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @spazwhatsup The issues have nothing to do with SS, Lean, TOC, etc. It is about integrity and how you choose to do your job. The designing and building of products are in the hands of people who chose to be engineers because it is in their nature and given the right environment will make good decisions. The building of product is in the hands of people who overwhelmingly want to do the right thing and have some pride in what they do.

    There is a very toxic middle layer of management that plays a lot of games. They have even invented the term passive aggressive to avoid using the term lack of integrity. If you fix that there will be an entire step function of improvement from where we are currently which by the way isn’t all that good.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192902

    Stevo
    Member

    I don’t see the philosophy of Quality changing, the application of what we do will evolve.

    I’m hoping some cyborg will be improving my hover board. What will not change is that some consultant will package “Theory of Constraining Triz by leveraging Lean Seven Sigma” and we will have at least 11 kinds of waste. Oh and on a side note, we will rediscover Pluto as a planet.

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    #192904

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @Stevo Rediscover Pluto? I was hoping for some Breakthrough or even possibly some innovation on calculating the variance.

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    #192913

    gomezadams
    Member

    Stevo, I agree. A majority of the projects I have been undertaking in the last few years are not specifically DMAIC , not specifically DMADV , not specifically LSS but rather comprise aspects of all three in a very key fashion in the findings for define up front. As such those BB’s who have been trained in a specific branch are facing confusion. I guess what I am asking,do you guys see,or have you seen the need to comprise a homogeneous blending in your training programs to address this?

    Mike C. I also agree. Unfortunately where I am now it is senior leadership in love with the notion of a lean organization (not in the LSS sense). Sure,they
    spout a new mantra of “let the engineers engineer”,but the engineers and I just shake our heads and it is chaotic business as usual under a severe and highly demanding workload. I am currently looking and so are they. Its unfortunate.

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    #192915

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @spazwhatsup – Too few university programs have integrated the whole range of CI methods into their programs, so I think that that is the next great frontier. We still have engineers graduating from college having taken a single prob/stats course that did not tie anything to process variation and all the exams were deterministic and “idealistic” answers. We get these engineers fresh out of school and they have no clue as to how to think stochastically.
    The other “tool” item that needs to be added to many tool kits is Monte Carlo simulation. I’m still amazed at how few SS practitioners use this useful tool.
    Just my 2 cents (might need to make that a nickel, now that Canada is going to eliminate their penny).

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    #192918

    Thomas Whitney
    Member

    In my view here is what has happened to my philosophy of quality.
    Six Sigma tools when I learned it in 1983 were the tools in a course called “Advanced Diagnostic Tools for Engineers and Scientist”. I was not able to take this training until I learned basic quality tools and quality management. Because I had a strong foundation in basic quality tools, the Six Sigma advanced tools made sense to help me solve the more complex issues I encountered.
    To the Point:
    Where is basic data collection and data mining taught in SS. Where is Sampling Plans taught in any Six Sigma Curriculum? Where is a good version of the eight disciplines of quality improvement taught? Where is it taught that Control Charts are more important in the measure phase than in the control phase? Where is it that the seven basic tools of quality are taught independently as the first set of tools to be used in assessing variation? Why is the DMAIC process taught to be 5 demarcated steps in problem solving that need a review between each step? I still don’t know how there is not only an MA-IC sequence. How do you separate Measure from Analyze? I can’t help but to analyze data as I record it. My biggest issue in SS training; Control plans. In SS problem solving control plans are the cornerstone of maintaining the gains and yet to date I have never reviewed a good control plan coming from an SS project. Control plans are only second to a good quality policy document. Quality Policy you say? What is that. My point exactly, it is a lost concept. Quality policies need to be in place before any SS activity begins. A quality policy dictates the who, what, when, and where quality will proceed. It is the cornerstone of accountability. Yes, Mike C, left unto themselves mid level management will be corrupt. An enforced quality policy leaves them not unto themselves. Mike, be a little kinder to mid management. Most are basically good but maybe ignorant (ignorant not meaning stupid but ill-informed) of what to do. Once told what and how to do, say quality, they will do it.
    We forget that most of our BBs are ignorant of anything related to quality and then we teach them only advanced diagnostic tools are the way.

    Where do we go from here. Let us go backwards to just good data mining training, basic quality tools training, good quality policies training and good control plans training

    Not a rant or an opinion but a serious issue!

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    #192920

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @twhitney99

    Amen, brother Tom.

    This is precisely the reason Six Sigma consulting is best as an implementation offering – Help the customer see what is possible, show the customer how to solve those problems which have been long accepted as unsolvable, teach the thought process to the customer’s best analytical talents, teach process discipline to everyone especially front line leaders, and teach the customer what sustainability looks like (that nasty QS stuff).

    Those that lead with training will never transform an enterprise.

    Just my experience.

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    #192921

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @twhitney99

    PS – I hear a rumor that you are getting chances to affect the system these days. This is probably intentional.

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    #192925

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @garyacone – let’s hope so, as that system is in dire need of being infected (affected) with a real quality improvement perspective!

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    #192927

    Thomas Whitney
    Member

    @garyacone @MBBinWI @mike-carnell My final statement on the white paper that is almost complete on the subject of sustaining the gains of a LSSL deployment.

    What Lean Six Sigma Deployments Do Not Address

    Too often companies deploy a Lean Six Sigma effort with a mind that the Lean Six Sigma deployment will address all of the quality systems holes that exist in the organization. This is not true. There is no one silver bullet to quality. LSS targets the problems needing more sophisticated forms of analysis and corrective action. It is the only problem solving system that emphasizes process management over quality problems management. It does not address:

    1. Basic data collection and data mining to find systematic procedural holes for managing quality in a manufacturing system.
    2. Sampling plans for protection from poor quality incoming materials or sub-assembly processing.
    3. Final quality audit, customer complaint or warranty management.
    4. A good version of the eight disciplines of quality improvement to solve discrete quality issues outside of systematic process issues. Not all quality issues need a full DMAIC corrective action process but do need disciplined problem solving.
    5. The seven basic tools of quality improvement for managing less complex quality problems. While these tools are embedded in LSS, they need to be separated out and tied specifically to the eight disciplines of problem solving method of quality improvement.
    6. Quality policies. Quality policies need to be in place before any basic quality or LSS activity begins. A quality policy dictates the: who, what, when, and where quality will proceed specifically including a rhythm of review and accountability delineation for items such as action registers.

    Lean Six Sigma came out of the need to provide more sophisticated tools for the more complex problems found in processes. It also switched a 100% focus on solving the same quality problems over and over again to one that also included working on the process root causes of the perpetual problems and solving those issues. It was never meant to be a replacement for an all-encompassing quality system that was able to address all types of quality threats whether process or discrete. Perhaps it will do well that companies take a few steps backwards from just LSS and readdress just the basics of a quality system too!

    Has any of you kept an old quality policy. I keep throwing away stuff I haven’t used in years so haven’t got an old copy. My mind is too like that of Jerry Garcia in his latter years to be able to reconstruct stuff without extreme effort. It is more senility than drugs though. I think the next paper may need to be on what a good quality policy looks like. I could probably manage to reconstruct one but I am also lazy, so if you have one all the better.

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    #192928

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Somewhere in my barn, I’ve got the old policy along with the internal audit we once did as well as the original flowchart of the tool usage that became known as BB.

    Got Juran, Crosby, and Dr. Harry tapes as well.

    I tried to auction it all on EBay a few years ago but the best I could get is giving someone $100 to take them from me.

    And yes Brother Whitney, the system is more important but not as sexy and much harder to sell than instant gratification.

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    #192929

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    @garyacone You better NOT be going into your barn’s attic looking for some old tapes or papers.

    Doctor’s orders and I’m sure a few others’. :)

    I’m available to pick you up from the airport….of course, I doubt you’d make it on the long flight to come see me.

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    #192976

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @twhitney99 and @garyacone I have a real issue with the idea that writing a quality policy and institutionalizing control plans is the root cause of this whole thing. Why did Marty send John L to Seguin? Seguin was obligated just as Elma was to follow the quality policy. Why did Seguin turn around? Because Marty refused to remove John until the plant did what John said. John brought a lot more than some documents scribbled on paper. He brought knowing the difference between right and wrong and accountability (and he was backed up by Marty). If the quality Policy, and procedures were the answer to this whole thing then ISO would have fixed it and it did not.

    I will agree if there is a functioning system (it does not need to be a quality system per se) then it makes it much easier to sustain the gains since you have something to hang the policies and procedures on.

    I do have a basic issue with the whole idea of a Quality System. Why does quality have to have a separate system. If you do that then there is gapping hole in your management system. The quality policy does need to be clearly stated. Fix your management system so you have a decent system instead of a management system with a shadow organization that is responsible for quality. As long as you have two documented systems you are not optimized.

    In your six step process you have it wrong right at step 1. For most of this stuff it needs a step called failure analysis. Somehow this is a lost science that actually put some sanity into problem solving. A guy named Dick Wendt saved me tons of time in Chicago because he would take the time to actually figure how something failed. When was the last time you saw someone doing failure analysis?

    Back to middle management. There are very talented young people in middle management. An absolute pleasure to work with. There are also a bunch of p*ssed of people who have realized they aren’t going to be CEO and ride around on a corporate jet playing golf. It is the latter that is a cancer. They are masters at the corporate politics and passive aggressive behavior. That scares the crap out of the young guys so they learn to not take them on head to head. All that nonsense in the middle creates chaos at the levels below.

    I went head to head with a plant manager and survived for one reason only – Marty. Gary was involved but it took Marty to keep my bosses boss from firing me. The issue was the plant manager didn’t want to move out of a building that the CEO’s son was moving into and the customer had approved a move plan! Why should that have been such a issue? It was because of that middle layer. When that was over Marty took me aside and said to lay low for a while and don’t make a habit out of it. That was very good advice.

    Look at the most common profile of C level people. High A, Low C and Low D. How well do those people survive as they pass through middle management. They survived at GE because Jack Welch built a culture around those types of people. There was accountability and integrity. Just based on observation the last thing anyone wanted was a corporate auditor rolling in. When they left everybody knew what was what. There was a politic free methodology to get to the truth and that methodology was in the control of a very few so the politics did not work with them.

    At the end of the day I believe Welch had it right. He gave people power to do things and held them accountable for getting them done. He had a culture that seemed to have more integrity than anything else I have seen. Why have so many struggled to duplicate the GE results? They don”t have the GE culture.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192979

    Thomas Whitney

    @ Mike-Carnell @garyacone A little difference in perspective with respect to Seguin and John L. John is a walking quality policy and control plan. When I say a quality policy defines the what, when, who and where manufacturing performance will be world class, I mean that what was in the head of John needs to be documented. John cannot be in all places at all times so some form of document needs to be in place that outlines John’s genius. We, John’s students can replicate his process but how many people outside us can? They need written guidance and I call this a Quality Policy. And who will be the Marty’s for these companies. I hope it is GPS people like you and me!

    Unfortunately, quality policies and control plans need to come from a separate organization because basic process management does not include the principles of failure analysis, quality planning or quality management. It is all about output.

    As far as GE is concerned I have a counter to the greatness you seem to have of Welch. In my observation, he managed by greed and fear and was a tyrant. If anyone in his organization got numerical results he wanted whether by hook or crook or no, they were paid well and got enormous bonuses. If anyone failed to get results to his whim they were Jack Welch Nuked, a phrase well known in public and private. Accountability by fear and greed did work, but is it ethical? Is this a good practice of accountability? Do you know how many “little people” were stepped and on and eliminated so a manager could make numbers? As many as needed!

    Case in Point; GE, Employees Reinsurance Corporation, my last job at GE. The CEO used to poke Welch in the eye all the time because he had no respect for Welch’s rants on how he knew more about insurance than he and tried to dictate how his business should be run. Employees Reinsurance Corp. was the highest OOE part of the company with an annual 1 billion dollar return in OEE. So Welch needed to “take” the eye poking. The first results shortfall to the tune of 20 million on a quarterly expectation of 250 million OEE in a terrible insurance claim year, gave Welch the all he needed to walk the entire eighth floor, me included, the senior management staff out the door. We got Jack Welch Nuked! Long story short, in the next year Jack’s “good” and sycophant to him managers reduced OEE to less than 350 million and most major customers left! The business is still lackluster at beast.

    Excuse me if you can, my experience with Welch and GE are a bit of an irritant to me. Integrity is a word unknown in the Welch accountability culture as far as I witnessed.

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    #192980

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @mike-carnell @twhitney99

    Wow.

    You guys do know that this stuff doesn’t sell on Wall Street or in Fortune 500 boardrooms, don’t you?

    Mike. as you know I think the QS and Management System are one in the same. Otherwise, you wind up with a group of totally ineffective Quality Auditors doing irrelevant sh** in the name of ISO (fill in the blank).

    Tom, I agree with you on Welch. The thing that I think you underestimated is most wanted to be treated that way. The Eurythmics had it right (Sweet Dreams).

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    #192981

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @twhitney99 I did see it differently. I saw a woman take a stand against something she thought was unethical and was fired. It was investigated and she was rehired and the person who did the firing was fired. I had a tremendous amount of respect for her and the people who made it right.

    Let’s not confuse tough with unethical. I worked Power Gen. The Greenville plant was run by Bill Standera who was as tough a plant manager as I have ever run into. He reported to Bob Nardelli who was also a very tough guy who reported to Jack Welch who was also a tough guy. Performance was the key and they got it. I can live with that.

    Remember I worked for Melka and he was the same type guy. Maybe it is just different comfort levels. I don’t really care much about how they act as long as their expectations are on the table. If I don’t make it fire me.

    I would rather get shot for that than have some passive aggressive person stabbing me in the back everytime I turned around and we have both lived in that culture.

    When I left that job we were on in Houston I went to work for a guy who had been an Olympic level athlete. Simple job. Get him ISO certified in less than 8 months because he had read an article about a company that did it in 8 months. Get it done and it was an extra $40k don’t do it and you are gone. How much simpler can life be? I quit to do the Allied deployment before we were done. I liked working for this guy so much I went back on weekends to finish it. Certified in 7 months. He was amazing support and understood what it took to do the job. The only top level guy I know that actually read the ISO spec and read every document we wrote.

    On Seguin sure John was a great systems guy but that stuff existed before he got there. Seguin did not turn around because suddenly there was policy. It turned around because nobody wanted to spend the whole day answering John’s questions. It was more painful not to do it than to do it. The creation of the policy didn’t make it happen. It was already there. It was an automotive plant (as if you didn’t know that) and the requirement for Control plans was already in place. John understood it and drove it on a different level but the writing of the policy didn’t change anything.

    Why does written guidance need to be quality policy? Why can’t it just be policy like every other policy. The title insinuates it is different or special and it isn’t. It should just be how you do business.

    We have had people do the same thing with a “Six Sigma Project” as if it were something that had never been done before. Ideally it is a problem that nobody knows the answer to but then I have never run into one of those. There is always some expert that knows the answer. It is a process we all heard of before it became MAIC:

    https://www.isixsigma.com/new-to-six-sigma/dmaic/six-sigma-toolbox/

    All that being said I just created my first “Quality person” in my factory.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192982

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @garyacone, @mike-carnell, @twhitney99 – I can’t claim the GE experience that you guys have, but for what it’s worth, it doesn’t seem to me that any organization can have multiple silo systems and be effective. I view the Quality function as a “combat multiplier” to operations. Operations is responsible for quality, but the quality people bring special tools and skills to aid in production achieving their quality objectives. When a seperate group has responsibility but not authority, then you have set the system up for failure.
    I also have a different view on LSS projects. I make the process owner accountable for the attainment of the project objectives. The belt is there to provide special skills/tools but the process belongs to the PO. I often saw belts become the defacto owner after doing a project because the official PO relenquishes their role, usually because being the PO is hard work and requires constant attention.

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    #192990

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @MBBinWI I agree that once you begin to implement solutions it becomes the primary responsibility of the PO but there is a risk in letting the Belt skip away. I think when you are implementing a solution it is a shared responsibility and once it is stabilized after implementation it becomes the PO responsibility.

    We also track the annualized benefits vs. the realized benefits for a year. If it isn’t putting out the benefits (it isn’t always money) then someone needs to go back and figure out what went wrong.

    Just my opinion

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