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Need help to define six sigma project

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  • #48368

    Chauhan
    Member

    I have recently completed my six sigma training and am a part of the six sigma initiaitve at my organization.
    Our CEO has given a pain area which he feels needs to be improved:
    1. Increase communication effectiveness within the organization
    I am not sure if this would really make a good six sigma project.
    Plz comment how this can be taken up as a six sigma project or do I need to make them understand that six sigma cannot be implemeneted in these areas.
     

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    #162815

    Vikas
    Member

    The first thing you need to do is define a ‘measurable project metric’, since here the area or project is too superficial you need to drill down further and then freeeze on one metric
    Effective commnication can have an impact on any of  the following business functions like Sales, HR , Admin etc…you need to determine which of the business functions it will impact the most and then within that the busienss processes it will impact the most
    For  e.g – To improve communication effectiveness for increase in revenue of the personal loans for XYZ bank
    You can do a simple XY matrix excercise with the business heads to undertand in what way the communication can impact their processes.
    Hope i ahve answered your question

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    #162817

    Adrian P. Smith
    Participant

    Totally agree with this assessment, would probably go so far as to say that effective communication is probably an X and you need to find the business Y’s which will be positively impacted by better communication.
    Hope this helps.
     

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    #162863

    Chauhan
    Member

    thanks Vikas for the reply..i have started working on the direction you provided.

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    #162864

    Chauhan
    Member

    Yes Adrian, this has helped me to start the thinking process.
    Thanks a lot

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    #162870

    Vikas
    Member

    All the Best…..

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    #163327

    Deanb
    Participant

    Sandy,This is a typical “soft” quality problem, soft in that it is hard to measure yet is easily felt and can be extremely impactful.IMHO, this is the ideal case for using an FMEA team to characterize and prioritize the specific failure modes and possible solutions. A vital few high consensus failure modes and solutions should emerge quickly here. This should be a low hanging fruit project for you.

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    #163328

    Prasoon
    Participant

    Hi,It’s a sort of project where you will have more kind of communication methods like e-mail , phone calls , physical messages , telecons etc. You need to find out which mode is most effective with the specific processes so that the impact can be optimized.I think it needs some FMEA / DOE exercises to be conducted in this particular project coz communication is a discrete data type and it needs to be optimized.Thanks,Prasoon

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    #163332

    Perryman
    Participant

    Hi Sandy,
    CEOs are used to seeing things from a higher level.  If he/she identified this as an area needing improvement, you will need to clarify the problem before heading down the wrong path.  My guess is the CEO has earmarked a general problem area base on feedback from the organisation.  The last thing thing you want to do is establish metrics and improve on something that is not even perceived as, or not the most important problem, in the first place.  Take the time to meet with the sponsor – your CEO in this case, to clearly define the problem – seems like you will have to scope it down in this case – and agree on a project charter.  Then you will understand his/her expectations and get to work.
    Hope this helps.
    Patch

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    #163333

    Deanb
    Participant

    Your CEO may already be aware of some common failure modes. Usually these will just be the tip of the iceburg.I have seen this kind of project lead to new data collection requirements and procedural development in many functions such as costing, estimating/bidding processes, ERP systems, project management, invoicing, and sales processes. Get ready for some comprehensive and long term initiatives. Communication improvements sometimes clearly improve a function’s performance. In one case collecting better information at the beginning of the bidding process resulted in fewer wasted bids, increasing the # of contending bids/yr and the hit ratio. This benefit was immediately felt, and even though it was measurable, doing it did not require extensive investments in measurement to justify the project.Some other functions might be taxed to communicate better, showing little benefit to them but real benefit to the org as a whole. These require detailed cost benefit analysis upfront. I would start with the “easy benefit” targets and get some successes under your belt first.Good Luck.

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    #163344

    Alfred Bolden Jr
    Participant

    Unclear and ineffective communication leads to waste (muda) in resources, time and the possible loss of life.  I do believe that this falls within the preview of a six-sigma project.  Baseline data involves counting the number of errors related to ineffective communication, or the delays experienced because communication was not clear.  You can develop a metrix around communcation.

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    #163349

    fake accrington alert
    Participant

    CEOs understand  one  language only: money  language

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    #163354

    annon
    Participant

    Only wanted to add that this is not your issue as a BB.  This needs to be taken up with those who are involved in championing the projects.  It is there that the MBB and Deployment leaders should be working with upper management to create a useable charter or selection and assessment process with some form of steering committee.
    If such an unactionable problem statement was presented to the BB in this form, it indicates a greater need for training at the sponsor, champion, and executive level before you move forward to actual project work.  Top-down project ideas generally overestimate the capability of the team (as in your case, solving world hunger, etc) and that needs to be managed.  That is the angle I would work.  Just my opinion. good luck.

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    #163365

    Brandon
    Participant

    Sandy, you’ve gotten a great deal of good input. I add that unless you can write a succinct Problem Statement and Objective Statement you cannot move to a viable SS project.
    Suggest you review that protion of your training and see if you can reduce the directive to: what, where and by how much. If not you will be challenged throughout your efforts.

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    #163404

    SixSigma Newbee
    Member

    You would definitely want to do a CTQ Flowdown and drill down to some specific areas of concern.  As you progress down on a CTQ Flowdown, the metrics will emerge.  You may find that you will have several areas of concern which will require you to prioritize them.

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    #163415

    HOV
    Participant

    The CEO does not only speak $, they also care about quality, strategy, business value, partnerships, marketing, image, environment, people, and many other importent areas.

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    #163416

    Brandon
    Participant

    I agree HOV; either that or they won’t be CEO very long. Lots on this site like to bash mngt. – guess they never could get there.
    Wonder why?

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    #163454

    Chauhan
    Member

    I sat down with the CEO to drill down the problem and give it a concrete shape from the generalized version.
    It will still need few more sittings with him to really get to the core and he’s cooperating well…thats the good news..
    The posts from avoided me form the most common pitfall…”Getting into action without defining the boundaries”
    will keep u posted on this. thanks.

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    #163503

    Joe A Fernando
    Participant

    Hi
    Greetings from Joe
    I just remember a conversation at a busy Logistic Office as………..  “We always receive transportation as a complaint from the Top management “,
     
    This basically proves that the company has not understood the requirement of the customer properly, (VOC)
      (ie) whether the customer deliver the perishable goods or non perishable goods,/ the size of the product to be delivered / Amount of time expected to delivered/ the mode of the  transport expected by the customer as (Ship/Air/Rail/Road/Express….),
    If there is a delay the cost ended as Loss and incase if the Logistic Company has to take the loss how much? And from where this is commonly happening? How long it is happening? …. So wouldn’t we try to specify this before we start up?
     
    And I find the same from your end as you have said that that “Increase communication effectiveness within the organization”, I would completely agree with what Vikas has mentioned on 9th Oct “project is too superficial”,  So would suggest to prepare these, if  possible before or after having a good sitting with your CEO based on this query,
     
    1)      What is the loss of revenue due to less effective communication?
    2)      Which part of the project you are exactly looking to make changes on a immediate basis. Example Sales/delivery/customer Support/Up sales/
    3)      What is the specification given to Customer at the time when the project was started?
    4)      How long this is happening?
    5)       Incase due to the longer conversation/ handle time is there is any abandon in calls/sessions based on the support you provide (Voice/ non voice) as Alfred has mentioned on 18th Oct.
    6)      What is the specification that you are looking for your FTE?
    7)      What is the Average handle time for past 30 weeks? Whether you are above the promised timing?
    8)      Could also verify the mode of communication that which you are having (infrastructure)
    9)      Find the Y=f(x)….
    As Brandon has mentioned on 18th Oct I am adding those W’s and H to give more inputs to you……
     
    Basically to Define the project.
     

    You need to clarify yourself the Process you follow
    Collect the VOC
    Observe the process followed by collecting the data of past 30 weeks atleast
    Prepare the Project Charter
     
    Business Case:
    * How would you describe the project to your general manager?
    *Why is it URGENT that you do this project NOW? (The failure of target has resulted in loss of   $ service offered)
    *How does this link to your functions’ key initiatives?
    *What would happen if you don’t address this? “So What?”
    *If the Project is successful, what will be the positive impact on the business?
     
    Start / Stop Points for Project:
    What are the boundaries for the project?
     
    In Scope:
    What processes, systems, products, services, channels, etc. will you consider in this project?
     
    Out of Scope:
    What processes, systems, products, services, channels, etc. will you NOT consider in this project? If any of these will be addressed in a later project, mention it here
     
    Problem Statement:
    HOW MUCH of a problem is there?
    When was the problem evident?
    What is the impact of the problem?
     
    Goal Statement:
    (“SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound)
    By WHEN do you want to have the improvement in place?
    How much of an improvement are you aiming for, e.g. XX% defect reduction, XX% cycle time reduction)? 
    What measurable business impact will the improvement have? Type?  Magnitude?
      
    I hope you will have better understanding after doing this to pick up the right person for the roles and responsibility to be offered.
     
    All the Best.
    $mile$
    Joe

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