iSixSigma

How long does should a Six Sigma project take?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General How long does should a Six Sigma project take?

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #29449

    Steve Thompson
    Member

    I am researching how fast six sigma projects take.  What is the average length of time to complete a project.  I understand that some projects are bigger than others, but am interested in the “standard” $250 000 project.
     
    Thanks.

    0
    #75454

    Neupane
    Participant

    There is nothing like a 250000$ project. It depends on how you go about calculating COPQ (Cost of Poor Quality).
    Average length of project is anywhere between 3~6 months.
    rajan

    0
    #75456

    R.Venkataramana
    Participant

    It mainly depends on type of project, product and process. It also depends whether its a DFSS or DMAIC project.
    DFSS : In this case you may not get the required data and may need to develop some prototypes and check whether you assumed correct or not and get the actual data. then stabilising the new process will take some time depending on your project criticality.(long term data)
    DMAIC : In this case you may finish bit fast as the data may be exisitng data.
     

    0
    #75460

    Ex MBB
    Participant

    The time it takes to complete Six Sigma projects is one of the issues that most programs face.  On the average, Six Sigma projects should be completed in 4 months.  By completed, I mean the Control Phase is finished, and the required “handshakes” have occurred with the process owners, project champion and MBB, and the financial community. 
    The cycle time of projects is influenced by (but not limited to):

    The nature of the project — transactional, design, etc
    The nature of the process — it could cross many cross-functional boundaries; the maturity level of the process will also exert influence
    The experience of the Belt
    The time that the Belt dedicates to the project
    The organization’s climate and culture
    The organization’s need
    The supporting infrastructure: Champions and MBBs.  This could also exert a negative influence, particularly if you require a lot of administrative reporting from the Belts.  I have seen Belts engrossed for hours trying to provide that right level of PowerPoint animation — ARGH!!!
     

    0
    #75466

    RR Kunes
    Member

    It Depends !
     

    0
    #75477

    Smithsigma
    Member

    There’s no definitive answer to this, but I’ll agree with the 4-6 month range as a good one. Some things that tend to drag projects out:
    1) Difficulty getting frequent data.
    2) Measurement systems that aren’t capable and resources initially not available to improve them adequately.
    3) Changes in the business outside the scope of the project that eventually trickle down and have a huge impact on the project (shifts in suppliers/customers, etc.)
    SS

    0
    #75480

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    I have to go along with Mr. Kunes’ answer:  “It Depends”.
    Here are some possible issues that may affect duration
    -Project Scope (managable, or world hunger goals/deliverables?)
    -Previous project/problem solving experience
    -Resource/time Allocation
    -Project definition (symptomatic, or Root cause)
    -Champion/Sponsor support
    -Etc…
    But my general rule of thumb for duration is no longer than30-90 days.   It tends to right-size project scope and deliverables.   If my inner voice says that I can’t honestly expect to wrap it up in 30-90, I break the project up into sub-tier “mini-projects”  focusing on 1 or 2 sub-tier deliverables.
    -Heebee

    0
    #75546

    RR Kunes
    Member

    We always target 3 to 4 months once a BB is actively pursuing change on a full time basis. It takes longer on a part time basis.
     

    0
    #75585

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Steve,
    I have an article in the cycle with either Quality Progress or SixSigma Forum that discusses managing a SS pipeline. Part of the reason it is so difficult to respond to your question there are very few companies that actually keep data. There are even less companies that differentiate between types of projects.
    Take the typical advice for doing a capability study study and turn it 180 degrees. Rather than include all the possible variation eliminate everything you can (tool wear, change over, operator, material, etc.).
    If you calculate the value like you would Cp (irrespective of location) and translate it into a sigma value (only use half the distribution). This represents perfect control or a measure of the process technology. Currently refered to as an “instantaneous capability.”
    Calculate the difference between the instantaneous capability and long term Cpk. This difference is a measure of how effective your control is. If the two are equal your instantaneous capability and the long term will be equal since the instantaneous capability approximates perfect control. The further the two drift apart the less effective the control of the process is.
    Plot this in a 4 blocker (this will make you feel like a consultant – every consultant has to have a 4 blocker). Plot the technology on the x axis scale 0-6 sigma, use 3 as a centerline. Plot the shift on the y axis. I use 0-3 with 1.5 as an average (if you are one of those people who get hysterical over seeing 1.5 followed by the word shift don’t write back just use whatever number you like).
    The quadrant in the lower right corner is the target (High technology and good control) – these projects would be “optimization projects” and should move quickly. The projects in the upper right corner represent good technology but poor control. These projects would represent a control shift – these make the best training projects.
     Anything on the left is a technology shift (you might consider this side for some of the DFSS type applications and tools). These in general take longer. It is difficult to schedule a time frame for a technology shift. The lower quadrant still has good control and makes it an easier task. The upper quadrant is poor technology and poor control – this is a s bad as it gets and the time will typically reflect it.
    If you take disciplined approach using tollgates and reviews you will generate data that should let you calculate cell statistics for different types of projects. You can also calculate data for dMAIC catagories and you can make comparisons between project catagories and see if the type of project or phase/type of project represents a statistical difference.
    This goes back to the way we run the business. We demand data for projects but when we run a SS program we don’t want to impose on management so we just close our eyes and use “the force” like Champions are Six Sigma Yodas.
    You only have to answer “it depends” because you are not adhereing to the same discipline to running a program that you swear allegiance to when you are working a project. Wouldn’t you think your answer should come back in a very SS fashion witha calculated mean and standard deviation? These are quantifiable numbers – time.
    It doesn’t make any sense. If you believe the methodology why would you allow the infrastructure around the ss system to run with less control than a project? These are people who will evaluate your performance and your going to allow them to say something like “Your projects take longer than everyone elses” during your review and they don’t have data. Are you willing to get hit with technology type projects and get hit with the same comment when all the othe BB’s have been working Control and Optimization projects?
    Good Luck.

    0
    #75594

    Rao
    Participant

    The duration of project always have the impact from the following points:
    Problem statement: Defining the problem statement is vital as many projects I have seen are shelved after spending good amount of time, as problem statement was not correct
    Scope: THe next part is the scope, which should be finalized upon discussing with the area managers, as it will become a research work for the BB. Also it is important to understand whether the project is DMAIC or DFSS, as it has ultimate bearing on the results.
    Financial clearances: This is another critical part as the finance dept (as usual) expect maximum returns and try to increase the scope. Champions need to support the BB during this time
    Additional responsibilities: BBs given additional work loads apart from the projects will always increase the timespan
    DATA: Not understanding what data is needed and finally ending up with wrong data / no data to get along with the project. It is always advisable for the BBs to do a preliminary check before starting in big
    Top down approach: It is always important to buy-in the confidence of senior management from time to time during the progress of the project to get the support from the organization. One way is to present the project progress to the VPs or Operation committe directors board.
     

    0
    #75606

    Alan Locher
    Participant

    Hi Steve!
    Many of the responses to your thoughtful question are excellent and helpful.  Beyond the obvious “it depends” and on what it depends, I thought this would help.  We have developed a time budget for each of the MAIC steps in a Six Sigma project whether for a Green or Black Belt.  It follows this six month calendar-day period:

    Measure       72 days
    Analyze        27 days
    Improve       54 days
    Control        27 days
                                   180 days
    Good luck in your Six Sigma efforts.
    Alan

    0
    #75625

    Ashman
    Member

    Thank you very much for the replies.  It has been extremely useful.  Is there an acknowledged “best-in-class” company for completing Six Sigma projects. 
    From the replies, it appears that many companies implement Six Sigma without using project measurement metrics, and consequently I imagine that the better companies will have data available.
    Thanks again.

    0
    #75813

    RaMoVal
    Participant

    When reading Alan Locher’s reply, I can see that he advises only 27 days for the Control stage.  This, to me, seems extremely short, specially if you take into account that you have to demonstrate sustainable gains in your project at the “new” level of compliance, where you have to calculate your improved process sigma and compare this to your “before-improvement” process sigma and show your significant improvement.  What would you say then is a reasonable length or duration for the Control step in a 6-Sigma project to assure an excellent handoff?
    RaMoVal

    0
    #116175

    Panthers
    Participant

    Heebee,
    For your 30 day DMAIC projects, how long is your control phase?
    How do you know your improvements are sustained?
    Regards
     

    0
    #116487

    Scott Burdon Mr
    Member

    SS,
    I am running a project to reduce the cycle time of our DMAIC projects in my organisation (Insurance) and notice you believe a DMAIC project should be completed in 4-6 months.
    I am looking at external data to help support our views about completion cycle time. My organisation takes longer than six months to complete DMAIC projects and is relatively immature in terms of six sigma deployment (about 2.5 years) and Black Belt experience.
    Can you tell me if your organisation currently completes projects within 4-6 months; how mature is your organisation (i.e number of years six sigma has been in your business); how experienced are your Black Belts (number of years / projects completed) and what industry is your organisation.
    Many thanks,
    Scott

    0
    #116488

    Scott Burdon Mr
    Member

    Ex-MBB,
    I am running a project to reduce the cycle time of our DMAIC projects in my organisation (Insurance) and notice you believe a DMAIC project should be completed within 4 months.
    I am looking at external data to help support our views about completion cycle time. My organisation takes longer than six months to complete DMAIC projects and is relatively immature in terms of six sigma deployment (about 2.5 years) and Black Belt experience.
    Can you tell me if your organisation currently completes projects within 4 months; how mature is your organisation (i.e number of years six sigma has been in your business); how experienced are your Black Belts (number of years / projects completed) and what industry is your organisation.
    Many thanks,
    Scott

    0
    #116507

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    You are posting to a string that is about 3 years old.

    0
Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

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