iSixSigma

Kaizens vs. DMAIC

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Kaizens vs. DMAIC

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #46280

    Steve Bohlman
    Member

    I have been discussing how we might try to accomplish more Lean Six Sigma projects with the part-time Green Belt resources we have.  Each Green Belt spends about 10-15% of their time on Lean Six Sigma projects.  Given the length of time it takes to do DMAIC projects, we wind up taking about 4-5 months per project and are able to complete about 2 projects per year per Green Belt, for a total of 28 projects in our company.
    We would like to increase that pace, and are considering doing some projects as Kaizens.  But I see at least 2 problems with doing Kaizens instead of DMAIC projects.  First, our belts are not very experienced, as they are just completing their first (training) projects.  So the Kaizen pace is likely to be very challenging for them.  In a full DMAIC project the Belt meets with their team for an hour or so, then has a week to consider what was accomplished and what should be next.  In a Kaizen the timeframe is compressed such that the belt has about 10 minutes between each block of work and needs to be able to decide quickly what steps are next.  So Green Belt experience is a potential issue.
    The second potential problem is that the organization sometimes needs the slower pace of a more traditional DMAIC project, even if it turns out to be just a Lean project after all.  The longer time of 4-5 months gives the Project Sponsor, Process Owner, team members, and affected workers time to accept and embrace the changes contained in the new process.  The Kaizen process is very quick, usually 2-5 days in length.  I just led a Kaizen over 3 days with our executive group (CEO, COO, EVP/GM, CIO, CFO) and they were challenged by the pace of the project.  When I consider that they are our most capable executives, I become concerned about running Kaizens with (perhaps) less experienced employees.
    What has been your experience with the balance between (longer) DMAIC projects and Kaizen projects? Have these 2 issues which I have raised been a concern for you? How did you address these concerns?
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this topic!

    0
    #152685

    Kaizen in smaller organization
    Participant

    Steven,
    My simple answer is that Kaizen events are based facilitated by BBs or MBBs because of the change management skills and facilitation skills needed.
    It looks to me as if there “lurks” the issue of implementation. To make it short, for your smaller organization, you may want to ask yourself if the classical approach to project metrics (#of GB trained, # of projects completed, time to completion) are really so critical. Challenges of smaller organizations are related to resources (team members, number of projects the organization can effectively work etc.). Would a different deployment strategy work better? In a small organization the chains are smaller. As a result, you have the advantage of fixing value streams/processes from beginning to end. If that is the case, could you get a bigger impact by focusing on a few critical processes that may have longer cycle times, but are also more valuable to the organization? Dedice on a number of key projects at the beginning of the year, identify the GBs, team members and develop the project charters very clearly and train the GB’s and team members (as YB?) by focusing the training on the project (this typically reduces the cycle time quite dramatically because you do the data manipulation/analysis in class). Also, if these projects are truly critical and made part of the strategic plan of the organization, the time commitment will not become an issue. Just a few thoughts that you may already have implemented. In general, it seems to be as if you/your organization gages success to a large extend on the classical project metrics such as # of GBs trained, # of projects completed, project time to completion. Are they really that important? If would be interesting to hear what the experience of others is who implement six sigma in small to mid-sized organizations. Let the beating begin!

    0
    #152694

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Steve, I would suggest it is a fallacy to say kaizens are faster than DMAIC projects.  Consider that if a DMAIC project had the dedicated resources for the 3-10 days that many kaizens have, the pace of the DMAIC projects would be much quicker. 
    Also, keep in mind that the tools within kaizens are not tackling the same issues as DMAIC projects. A combination of the tools and styles of projects are often synergistic toward driving your business results desired.  Consider the delay for many DMAIC projects is the gathering of data and confirmation of the measurement systems ability to measure.  Often kaizens are tackling issues which have NO issues with measurement issues.
    If you need to create a boost to your GB’s, why not invest in a full time well versed employee or a part timeconsultant who is VERY experienced in coaching, mentoring GB/BB’s to drive results. 
    Good luck on your transformation.
    [email protected]

    0
    #152711

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Steve,
    Chris Seider made some good points but let me sugest a couple things. If your belts are not that experienced you may not actually have a good feel for how long a project takes. As they get better they should get faster.
    You can speed up a DMAIC process by providing better projects. Better in terms of what the issue is and if there is data. Projects that take longer because of lack of data have to make you wonder how anyone knows there is a project if there is no data. Why would your process for charting processes allow project to be assigned – expend company resources – with a decision that has no data behind it? What other process would be allowed to under utilize capacity like that?
    In general we do not go after the same level of technical complexity with a Kaizen event. There are certain projects that take more analysis and more sophisticated tools that what you can get done in 1 week event. The upside to the Kaizen is you get a lot of people involved in a short period of time. Before you decide that the Kaizen is really all that much faster remember that many of these events go on for a long time after the completion of the event to get the action items closed.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

    0
    #152718

    Steve Bohlman
    Member

    Thanks for the thoughts.  You are correct, I have experienced Kaizens where we need a 30 day listor even a 45-50 day list to get everything done and in place.  And I have traditionally used Kaizens for projects where we have all the data on hand at the start (i.e. everything we need is in place at time of project) or for Lean-only projects.  So our challenges are sort of interesting, and your thoughts are useful.  I think I’m leaning toward doing more Kaizens, especially if it looks like the project is a Lean-only project and not Six Sigma.  In those cases we would wind up doing DIC, not DMAIC.  But with our young (in LSS) organization we have lots of opportunity to do Lean-only and get some good gains.  And I was thinking it might be a way to get more meaningful projects done and accelerate the pace.  I thnk Chris or someone else pointed out that the total resources may be as high as a DMAIC, and I agree, but the impact on the organization is different due to the perceived and actual (calendar) pace, not just the work time invested in the project.  Keep the thoughts coming.
     
    Steve

    0
    #152725

    Allthingsidiot
    Participant

    Kaizen  is  the  methodology  for  implementing  the  Lean  Concepts as the DMAIC  is the  vehicle  for  implementing SS 

    0
    #152727

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    ATI,
    Will you explain that?

    0
    #152737

    Allthingsidiot
    Participant

    Lean is  a  large  concept (approach),while  Kaizen is a  methodology with direct tools like  the  5Ss,Kaizen  events,etc.SS is  a  wide comprehensive approach,while DAMIC is  the  mechanism for  implementing  this  approach  step-by-step.best  regards 

    0
    #152741

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    Just my two cents worth, for what it is worth.  Any Kaizen Event that has a long list of after the event to do items, has some serious issues.  If you can’t get the things you need done – at least the great majority of them – within the event iteself, I suggest that it was either poorly scoped, poorly planned for, or a poorly managed event.  Especially if they stretch out for 30 to 45 days after the event.  Any “newspaper” items on the to do list should be finished up within five to ten days at the most.

    0
    #152745

    Olawunmi Sarumi
    Participant

    I think kaizen is continous improvement and DMAIC is a sound methodology for problem solving.
    Since the level of training in your organization is still quite low, suggestion is that you opt for quick wins via continous improvement teams (kaizen).
    At a later time, when level of Six Sigma training has been substantially acheived, only then should you consider using the DMAIC methodology.
    I can only hope this helps
    Good Luck

    0
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

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