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How to identify a project

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  • #28984

    K.A.Ibrahim
    Participant

    Our company is just starting to implement six sigma. I am one of the black belt and planning to go thru a training by GE professionals. I need to know how to identify a project and measure the Big ‘Y’s for the company. Please help.

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    #73095

    TG
    Member

    This is where I have found 6S to fall down!  There is so much focus on training the Black Belt to learn the tools.  There is no training on how to identify and select projects.  The expectation is that projects will just appear, they are so obvious that you won’t have to really look for them.  Well, I find that that is not the case.  Project identification and selection are very difficult.  There appears to be no focus on training the project champion.
    As a Black Belt, I’ve been asked to scope out projects.  There is so little information (data) available to be able to make a decision.  Other projects that I have been assigned ended up dying because there was no project to begin with because they had not been properly scoped before being assigned to me.  This is the case with other BBs in the same company.

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    #73108

    Ali Askari
    Participant

    Ibrahim
    The name of the game – if I can call it is “Improvement”. Not going on BB training and then obtaining certification. Project identification and selection (Project Y) – is key for a successful introduction of SS program in initial phase.
    Some time needs to be spend on this analysis, discussion, benefit vs risk, VOC, people committment and buying into the project Y and improvement. I find beside SS skill, one needs to have project management and soft skills.
    In SS, we asking people or organisation to change the way there have been doing their jobs or running their businesses, in past. This isn’t easy, to communicate and get it right each time. One needs to work at it and win partners and create new partnership and Alliance. Here are few pointers:
    Then, as one rolls out the prog, to wider group of staff within in the organisation – the focus should be
    (a) What are defects we can improve upon or reduce, or remove/eliminate.
    (b) VOC – listen to people and talk to shop floor and operating team (if you are manufacturing organisation) – if not “non-manufacturing” organisation, investigative the Customer Complaint Log/database, suggestion boxes, feedback forum or profroma – whatever is your company format in reporting problem, defects, hassle, complaint, etc.
    (c) Project id and selection – must have a bottom line impact and reduce waste or remove non-value adding processes with your organisation. Few examples:
    For internal features of business: Free Time, Revenue, Capital
    For external feature: Increase Customer Business Volume and/or Satisfaction scale.
    (d) Then you need to consider Type of Project – I usually ref. to them as GB or BB – because the impact and improvement need to be on a scale. In our organisation anything over $150K in term of delivering this benefit is a BB. GB’s project in initial days did not have an financial benefit – but we say today, there should delivery atl east $30K to the bottom. As you may realise – initial we did not focus GB to delivery benefit as the requirement was to get number of GB with in the workplace with SS skills – while undergoing training their were allow to target “low hanging fruits”. “Soft benefit”. But know – the low hanging fruit are not there, as we have mop up them all. Now we need “hard benefit” in GB projects, too.
    (e) You may also need to consider the X’s vital one.
    Finally, have a word with your QA or Improvement Managers, he/she may have the projects, line up. A Good QA or Improvement Managers, has been using these approaches (both improvement philophies and statistical methodologies for process and business improvement programs), however today we package it differently and call it SS and use Minitab or Jump. Great, makes improvement an agenda item on board level.
    This should be sufficient to get started, if you need any more drop me any email or post your reply and email here. Will response!
    regards
    Ali Askari
     
     

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    #73174

    Crosby
    Participant

    There’s lots of formulas and procedures for selection of the best proejcts that balance ROI, effort, capital, risk, % success likely.  However chances are very good, that they’re aren’t a million-dollar cream-puffs that don’t require numbers massaging. It is also very likely that projects selected in a systematic format considering properly weighted factors WILL NOT provide the million dollar per BB savings that has become the quota everywhere.  After all the presentations are made, management will come back and say, “Fine, now get me $1M savings this year for me to report”
    Then you go find a project or two (capital improvement, whatever) that will add up to $1M (with a little creative help if needed), even if they have nothing to do with the SS process.  Installing a new production line is a great one, especially if it’s been in the works for years and you can step in , create magic savings numbers and take the credit.
    Argue all you want, but that’s the cold hard reality of SS in practice in the real world at the vast majority of companies using it.  If it doesn’t happen right away, it will by the second year as the cost savings expected to materialize immediately, do not.  Just like good pitching always beats good hitting, the emphasis on short-term return/profits always beats Six Sigma.

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    #73228

    Annonymous
    Participant

    TG – I couldn’t agree more.  In my organization, BB’s are being told to find and scope their own projects, but of course they have to be in alignment both with overall company priorities and individual department targets and responsibilities. Ie. to know if it’s a project you may work on under these rules, you have to know the solution / root cause, and by how much each solution or cause will affect both cost and quality before you start….. 

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    #81056

    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have a business case as follows:”The clients need is not being met since Apr’02. Till then it was fine. This is due to chnage is some other software through which the effort details are being reported to the client. The clients need is to make the effort for previous month available by 7th of next month. Becuase of the software changes (known reasons to both us and client), this compliance could not be achieved. Hence management is dis-satisfied becuase management also relies on this effort figures for calculating various detials”Should this be taken as a six sigma project.

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    #81062

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Anonymous,That is the business case from your project
    charter? Is that correct?You have identified the problem in another
    section? I just wanted to ensure that there is
    more to your project charter besides that.Mark

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    #81088

    Anonymous
    Participant

    yes, the problem statement and the goal statement are present in the RO form.
    now that the management is also feeling that the problem is beacuse of the software and that is why we are at 95% compliance instead of 99%, I wonder whether to take this as a six sigma project.
    The issue started from Apr’02 onwards (before 100% compliance was achieved) and still persists.

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    #81106

    Terrell Simpson
    Member

    K.A. Ibrim:
    Ali Akari has provided you with an excellent start. It seems odd that the management team is looking to roll out the program and is not aiding in the selection of projects for candidates to attend class with. Nevertheless, I would add that in addition to the obvious problems found in Customer Service Complaint Logs and Quality Logs, you should interview/discuss cost drivers with the department head and cost accounting/finance group for you area. Once you have an understanding of cost drivers at the department level you can begin to dig deeper into a specific area by interviewing personell at the various levels as Ali mentioned in his reply.
    Two key principals/concepts in SS are “Customer Focus” and “Cost of Poor Quality”. While the latter is challenging to define, providing satisfaction for the former can be characterized by Quality, Cost and Schedule (a deceptive simplification). Searching for project ideas within this frame work can help. When conducting internal interviews, ask yourself and others in the company at all levels “what are the drivers for these items” in the area(s) you are investigating.
    A key differentiator of SS from classical improvement strategies is the persistent effort to link to the bottomline. Hence I am suggesting you seek out discussions with the Cost Accounting/Finance group and the Section/Department Head.
    Thanks,
    Terrell

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    #81110

    Arthur
    Participant

    Finding a new project is tough.  Our charter for 2002 is to reduce in-process defects by 50%, inspection defects by 50%,  reduce scrap by 50%, reduce customer returns to zero, reduce new product start-ups failures by 80%, and improve productivity by 6% before the end of 2002.  Since we met this goal on Jan 2nd, were just sitting around until the next year waiting for the new performance charter comes out in 2003.
     

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