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Justifying a MBB

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  • #37422

    newb
    Participant

    I am a green belt that is working with a number of other green belts on several projects.  My company to date has used six sigma very tactically with very little success.  I’d say the key is that a lot of times the existing teams just arent sure what to do next or arent skilled enough to do it correctly.  We really believe that if we had access to a BB/MBB to mentor and help us (through training and direct team involvment) we could make significant improvements and save money.  Any advice on how to sell this position to upper management?  We dont care if its a hired person or somebody internal that gets some extra training.  We just know we dont have the skills to match our ambitions.
    I’m looking for better ways to communicate what we believe will be the benefits.  Lots of pros here so i thought some of you could do better than “gonna save you money”.
    thanks
    newb 

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    #110184

    RubberDude
    Member

    Where did your management get their information about six sigma that led them to think they could gain value from a handful of GBs with no BB or MBB?  If they PAID for this advice, I’d ask for a refund…..

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    #110185

    Mikel
    Member

    Careful – you’ll be losing that 20% finders fee.

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    #110188

    RubberDude
    Member

    No…no… no… I’m working my way to suggest that a couple of their GBs go to “Stan’s All Night, 24-hour Bar & Grill, Adult Book & Novelty, Gas, Liquor, Bait & Tackle, and Six Sigma Cretification  Store” and get their BB certification.
    (I assume the check is in the mail… right?)

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    #110197

    newb
    Participant

    great…now any real help?
    I’m aware that the company doesnt have a clear vision.  We are trying to fix that.  If we can have some success then it wil be much easier to justify extra training and resources.
    So does anybody have any good advice or tips about justifying a MBB?  What does a GOOD MBB bring to the table that most people will not see easily?
    thanks again

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    #110198

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    newb,
    As much as I believe that benchmarking is a non-results oriented tool invented by corporate parasites to appear busy and not have to produce results, it may be your best option.
    Identify similar types of companies as your – obviously do not benchmark a GE since they are results oriented. Compare what you have to them and then treat it as a SS project. Success is a function of what? At some point this inane deployment model is going to show up as a root cause – you are just to far away from the success model.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

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    #110200

    RubberDude
    Member

    “As much as I believe that benchmarking is a non-results oriented tool invented by corporate parasites to appear busy and not have to produce results….”
    Mike,
    Interesting….. can you expound on that thought?

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    #110204

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    RD,
    I thought I did. I’ll try again with more than one sentence.
    Regardless of where we end up doing a deployment there seems to be someone who inevitable produces a benchmarking study. It is generally presented with a lot of pomp and circumstance and is generally concuded with someone standing there looking at you like some labrador retiever puppy that just fetched a stick and wants a pat on the head for a job well done. The response is usually something like “And then what?” which evokes another enlightened response of “Huh?”
    More frequently than not it is a mindless exercise where people check to see what someone else operating in a totally different environment have accomplished. Look at how often GE gets benchmarked when there are so few companies that run in the same environment as GE. The targets become unrealistic and the people who pay the price tend to be different than the ones that produced the study in the first place.
    Benchmarking builds a box. It creates mental boundries and worse a finish line. The people who are running at the front of the pack seem to not worry about where oters are but tend to be more of a mentality, to coin a phrase, want to be “The best they can be.”
    Just my opinion.
    Regards
     

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    #110207

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Heck, I’ll undercut Stan and do it for 15% plus a date with the Swiss yodeler and a free copy of Carnell’s book.

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    #110209

    RubberDude
    Member

    Mike,
    Thanks…. and I agree to a point.  However, I think benchmarking does add value if used properly.  The emphasis must be on benchmarking being comparative and not goal oriented data, as well as continuous improvement vs. “best in the business.”  Problem is, most cases benchmarking is misused.
    It reminds me of a comment from the VP of Sales for a company I was working for.  After my presentation on continuous improvement and “where we are” vs. “where we want to be,” he called me aside for a little conference.  He told me that he didn’t want to sell the “best product that can be made.”  He held up his right hand with his index finger and thumb gapped about 1/8″ apart and said “I just want it to be thiiiiisss much better than my best competitor.”
    That’s where I agree with you that benchmarking DOES fail you.

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    #110210

    OLD
    Participant

    Mike:
     
    The glass is half empty is it? True statement but is there a half full perspective too?
     
    There is nothing wrong with research to better understand what is out there and what your company competes against. Knowledge, data, and facts are not the problem. It is how a company uses that information that is the key (and I think this is your point – where most companies fail).
     
    Leaders lead based on what they know and what they know is right! Benchmarking has value if in no other area but to help you know.
     
    GOOD LUCK!   OLD
     
     BenchmarkingThe concept of discovering what is the best performance being achieved, whether in your company, by a competitor, or by an entirely different industry.Benchmarking is an improvement tool whereby a company measures its performance or process against other companies’ best practices, determines how those companies achieved their performance levels, and uses the information to improve its own performance.Benchmarking is a continuous process whereby an enterprise measures and compares all its functions, systems and practices against strong competitors, identifying quality gaps in the organization, and striving to achieve competitive advantage locally and globally.

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    #110211

    Leung
    Participant

    A Black Belt/MasterBlack Belt can bring to the table the knoweldge, experience and patience to guide/mentor/teach Green Belts. There is a lot to be said for having someone available to talk with and to question. You become more effective much more quickly.
    If you company cannot support a full-time employee, find a retired MBB to come in a couple of days or so a week and who maybe can be on call.
    If that is not possible, then use forums such as this to ask questions. Painful, but there are some who frequently provide here answers and guidance that are very solid and well thought out.

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    #110212

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    You got the book. I saw some of the posts above and I am sure I am about to get treated like i was you.
    One of the bootleg jobs.
    Regards

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    #110215

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    RD,
    I see a lot ofsimilar stuff. Whenyou are told that benchmarking proves you are the low cost producer but you have a EE and a ME sitting beside a machine with a MTBF of 6 hours you have missed an opportunity to put a big gap between you and the people in second place. They were just the fastest pig in a pig race.
    We had some people benchmark GE for percent of total cost without the GE infrastructure. A year later we beat the benchmark but the VP of HR was wound around the axel because he thought the deployment was a little rough (stress). Time to stay on the porch.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards

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    #110216

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    OLD,
    I figured you were the one that was going to tear into me. Thanks I don’t have enough energy to get into much of a fight tonight.
    The assumption is that the half full and half empty part are of equal value. I think in the problem solving regression empty has the larger coefficent. We get so many people for BB’s that really have unconstrained creativity if you just protect them enough to make them willing to climb out on the limb.
    Every piece of data builds a wall – sometimes a high one sometimes a low one. It creates a boundary to someones thinking whether it is a belt, PO, Champion, or a team member. if it doesn’t cause something to stop it certainly slows it down. When we did Allied Turbo Chargers there were multiple balancing operations. When we did the process map and classified the balancing as NVA the legacy of balancing prevented them from even conceiving of an assembly that required no balancing. We initially settled for anything greater than 1. Within a year they could imagine 0. Probably never got there but I know they ended up with less than 50% of what they started.
    We had a similar thing happen on airbag inflators. Two DOE’s and weld defects were pretty much a memory.
    Look at the story behind the launch gantry on Irridium. A portable one – who do you benchmark. Nobody in the business. They ended up benchmarking Pink Floyd (the stage construction techniques).
    I was listening to one of those after dinner speech’s a couple months ago and the guy made the comment “In a fight between memory and vision, memory usually wins.” Benchmarking is memories first cousin. I’d rather have the unconstrained creativity. You may get stalled every now and then but when you win you win big and when you are looking for breakthrough rather than control creativity is your river card.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards

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    #110221

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Mike, I would be honored to step aside momentarily and let them think you were me.  It’s been a rough week as you know and the Darth thing was what got me in trouble in the first place.  I followed up with your suggestion to contact Don G., thanks.  Spoke with DanQ.  Could be a possibility there.  If you want to chat offline write it down this time!!!
    [email protected].  Would like to continue discussing possibilities for next year.
    I will enjoy reading the book.  I keep it on the night stand next to the Ambien just in case the Ambien doesn’t work right away :-).  My water glass has been replaced with a little bottle of tequila.  Here is a list of some of my favorites:
    Espolon Anejo (great value…served at Dr. Darth’s wedding…so I was told)                                           
    Don Julio 1942 (one of Dr. Darth’s personal favorites)              
    Rey de Copas Anejo (cool bottle)                                          
    Hacienda la Flor Anejo (nice bottle…good value)                           
    Hacienda de Sotol Anejo (not tequila…do some research..favorite of Mrs. Dr. Darth)                                           
    El Tesoro Paradiso (excellent and Red Leader’s favorite)          
    Rey de Sol Anejo (aged 7 yrs…premium and bottle is
    handblown by famous Mexican artist)                                       
    Casa Noble Anejo (try to get the ceramic bottle)                     
    El Jimador Anejo  (very nice but a bit of a burn)                     
    Chinaco Anejo (one of the oldest brands)                               
    Cuervo Reserva de la Familia (better of the Cuervos)           
    Herradura Suprema (the price says it all)                               
    Don Eduardo Anejo (decent for the price)                              
    Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal (very rare and limited
    production…strong mescal but without the stupid worm)          
    El Viejito Anejo (nice bottle and box and decent flavor)          
    Gran Centenario Anejo (nice value)                                       
    Corazon Anejo  (nice value)                                                   

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    #110223

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,Trouble? We don’t care about no stinking trouble. That is a serious list. Had to print that one and tape it to the calendar for quick reference.The down side is Duty Free from RSA doesn’t have much selection of aguave but the rum is outstanding. Christmas will be in Mexico so I can add it to my shopping list.Mezcal without the worm? Stan can get it first drink out of a full bottle. One of those times it pays to not be very competitive.November 5 one of our crew is having a party (he collects tequilla) to celebrate the one year anniversary of his heart attack. There will be some excellent stuff there.Take care. I will be in touch. It is already in Outlook this time.Regards

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    #110224

    OLD
    Participant

    Mike:
     
    No tearing into you – just a respect for your opinion/experience as well as a challenge from a different perspective. Your assessment of benchmarking is more likely to take place than not.
     
    Benchmarking is a reference point and nothing more. There is value to knowing that point(s). When companies know the reference point they have two choices: migrate to it or leave it behind them in their pursuit to be the best! Industry leaders know the difference…
     Get some sleep!   GOOD LUCK!    OLD

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    #110225

    RubberDude
    Member

    Mezcal without the worm????????  Why…why…why…. that’s ….. .that’s…… UN-AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!…… Un-MEXICAN even..!!!!
    That’s like Mom’s apple pie without the cinnamon!
    That’s like “dating” (insert fantasy’s name here) and using protection!
    That’s like going to a ballgame and not drinking a beer!
    That….. well… that just AIN’T RIGHT!!!!!

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    #110226

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    I feel better already, thanks.  Xmas sounds like fun.  That Stan just keeps amazing us with his talents.  Wow, getting the worm in the first gulp…..incredible.  I understand he is in Mexico as we speak, probably practicing.  Hopefully your friend will partake lightly of the agave and not have another heart attack.  Enjoy.

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    #110227

    RubberDude
    Member

    I think it’s “hogwash”…… C’mon…. let’s arm wrestle for who’e right!!!
    Seriously…. you have valid points there.  I just think benchmarks can have value.  Just have to be taken for what they are… points of comparison.

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    #110228

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    RD, sorry to have riled you up so much.  It was not intended as any national slander.  I do have a bottle with gusana rojo as well as one with a big ole chili pepper.  Have enjoyed both followed by a romantic interlude with the porcelain goddess.  The key is following up a few shots of each with a nice gulp of Guaro followed by a little Aguardiente ending with a big finish of Pisco.  Even life in AR looks pretty good about then.  Especially your female cousins who be coming on to you.  If you are not familiar with the above mentioned spirits, might be a little researching would be in store.

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    #110229

    newb
    Participant

    cool…a beverage list.  I’ll present that to my CEO instead of MBB justification.  If i inundate him with samples perhaps i can win him over!
     
    Thanks Ben for an actual response.  I appreciate it.
    Newb

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    #110231

    Don Julio
    Participant

    I heard that worked for BOA but the CEO has sobered up and is getting rid of a whole bunch of them.  Or his brain has been warped by the tequila and he is getting rid of a whole bunch of them.  You should be able to have the pick of the litter.  Tie your MBB’s compensation very closely to the Finance verified savings so it is a no lose proposition for your CEO.  Maybe an adventurous MBB will take the job on commission and take the risk.  Make sure there is a big upside if he/she is successful.  That would be an offer nobody could refuse. 

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    #110249

    Mikel
    Member

    No worms; but many, many banderas while discussing things other than six sigma.

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    #110271

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    Fill a jar with peppers and pour in vodka. Let it sit for a couple weeks. The vodka is great.
    Regards

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    #154198

    PK
    Participant

    Dear RD,
    I agree to all the points mentioned by you. People who understand benchmarking will come out with superior ways to make the total process a success, instead finding out faults in it. In clear language, benchmarking is mainly to set a “Stretched Target”, a “Time”  frame – speed at which the things are to be moved and all these things provides a particular “Direction” to work for continuous improvement in any business process. Benchmarking is not only setting the things with organization from outside, like people talk about benchmarking with GE, but this can be done inside the organization itself. As righly said:
    Fools You Are …. To Say You Learn From Your Own Experiences…. I Prefer to Profit By Others’ Mistakes and Avoid the Price of My Own. 
     
    …….Otto Von Bismarck (April 1, 1815 – July 30, 1898)
    New methodologies are never bad till you work on it religiously to see the positive results. Instaed of beating around the bushes, to say that benchmarking is not useful,  a more dedicated and sincere approach is useful to see the positive output.

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