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Mixed messages with Black Belts and Masters

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #33776

    Ecole Nelson
    Participant

    I am aggressively involved in Six Sigma, and find difficulties when working with multiple black belts on multiple projects. I’ll have a black belt tell me I need to perform a hypothesis test based upon the results of my data, and have another tell me to skip the hypothesis test, and run a moods median instead.
    What do you do when you get mixed messages? It seems everyone has their own interpretation of what tools need to be demonstrated.  This has been delaying the DMAIC process and can drive many of us nuts.
    Help!
     

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    #92063

    DaveG
    Participant

    Appoint a referee.  Or ignore the BBs.  In my experience, statistics are overutilized.

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    #92064

    Statman
    Member

    Statistical methods only have value when they provide insight and aid in meetin the objective of the project.  If the tool does not do this, don’t use it.
    Get away from the debate a spend your time with defining the practical question and collecting good data.
    statman

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    #92072

    Raja Setlur
    Participant

    Just to confirm, are you a Green belt and therefore need to be guided by a BB? If so, your MBB/Co policy can state that only one BB needs to be involved in each project, though you can personally discuss with others for your understanding. If you yourself are a BB but a recent one, you could have weekly/monthly meeting with other BBs , moderated by an MBB or Champion, where differing opinions can be moulded into a consensus or “agree to disagree, no hard feelings” ending. 

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    #92076

    Robert Butler
    Participant

     I suppose the short “cute” answer to your question would be -too many cooks spoil the broth.  In truth, for any given problem there will always be multiple approaches to its resolution.  The plethora of tools and methods available for statistical analysis guarantees different recommendations and, assuming that you are dealing with skilled practitioners, any one of the suggested approaches will probably work when attacking your problem.  As has been suggested in some of the other posts – pick a BB whom you trust and follow his/her advice.  If you have some doubts about an approach – pull out your books and do a little research on your own.

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    #92078

    Ren
    Participant

    Ecole,
    The first BB said to do a hypothesis test. This, I assume, s/he meant to be a test of averages, like a two sample t test. This type of test is for normally distributed data. A mood’s median test is similar, but is based on medians (not the average) and is used for non-normal (nonparametric) data. So I would say that both BBs are on the same thought process, but you need to understand your data to pick the correct test.
    Ren

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    #92083

    Montigue
    Participant

    Document everytime this type of situation with SixSigma occurs.   Process delays occur quite often with Sixsigma but are dismissed or ignored.  Times like this will require you to use your own judgement and intuition. Yes, that’s what I said.  These Blackbelts (dumb title, I think) directives may be self serving.  No one should be “going nuts” over interpretations of a manmade system.

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    #92084

    Cannizzo
    Participant

    Ren is completely correct in this case. I’m surprised that more people haven’t jumped in on this yet to help set you straight. Both are there to help, but may have different interpretations of the data. Don’t sweat it.
    Why are you asking two BBs for mentoring anyway? Most of my BBs are so busy they don’t have time to ask anyone else for advice! :) smile.
    –Carol

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    #92099

    ecole
    Participant

    I have gotten alot of great feedback…let me give you a little background.I started off as a green belt, and before you know it I was working on 2 GB projects, 3 BrB projects and one BB project. This has all been in the last 1.5 years. I have received my certification, but have become quite versed in Brown Belt skills.
    I am handling global projects now at a BrB level, but we have had changes in management, and BB staff moving in and out. It has been difficult to retain one BB for mentoring, and my management has not have the skillset in SS to support me. This is changing, but the difficulty arises from our Finance dept. not currently having a trained BB on staff. This means I have had to ‘borrow where I can’ to leverage against the BB skillset in other departments. They have all been outstanding, and the feedback I have received has been great. However, the confusion arises out of asking guidance in a given situation as this leads to multiple directions without a devoted BB avalable.Everyone’s time and energy in responding has helped me with my situation, and I appreciate all input.
    And you’re right. I need to determine the data (which I do) and decide the tools to be used. If I should have data results that need to be clarified, then I should go to the BB for assistance. However, I need to narrow the field of focus, as doing this in the past has slowed my outcome.Best Regards,ecole

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    #92141

    Schuette
    Participant

    What concerns me the most is that your are being told to go out and use some techniques that you may not understand very well.
    Statman had good advice.  First determine the question that you are trying to answer.  Second, determine what tool and data is required to best answer this question.  If the first item is handled well, the second issue often times becomes obvious…

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    #92727

    Dean
    Participant

    Ecole,
    Have you tried both test approaches? With software, they are fast operations. Often differing approaches in statistics reach the same conclusions if the data speaks sufficiently. If the 2 approaches give oposing results, then you have to resolve the debate and achieve higher precision. Do not sweat the precision question unless you determine you need to.
     

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    #92739

    RonF
    Member

    As a green belt in a major corporation I rely heavily on the insights of both MBB and BB and as a result often run into a similar scenario.  As a project leader it is my job to weed through the “coaching” and use it to help me arrive at a conclusion.  A true leader of Six Sigma is able to use these insights as a guide not as gospel.  Remember different people prefer different tools it is your role as a leader to decide for yourself which tool best suits what you are attempting to analyze.  The question you should ask yourself is which tool do I understand and which tool will the team members understand.  Best of luck in your analysis.

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    #92762

    Jonathon Andell
    Participant

    We may be creating a tempest in a teacup here. When the data strongly support either the null or the alternate hypothesis, both tests often lead to the same conclusion. Ususally the two tests “disagree” only when P is close to the threshold value, which happens less than often than we might expect. That’s the only time you have to worry about selecting the “right” hypothesis test.

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