Prioritizing Six Sigma Projects

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    Tim Sceller

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m a long time reader and finally decided to post. Thanks in advance for everyone’s help.

    My company has had a quality program for many years, and typically organizes the workload by corrective action priority. Recently we have begun the Six Sigma push, and are having trouble melding the two programs together. One seems so reactionary while the other lacks direction. Arrgh.

    My question is this: how can we align a traditional QA program (that isolates defects and fixes them with corrective actions) and our Six Sigma program?

    I appreciate your thoughts and ideas.



    Chris Halley

    We teach a method which melds Six Sigma into a “Core Team” structure. Six Sigma is only one tool along with Kaizen, Breakthrough and other problem resolution methods. Kaizen is the easiest method to use (easy to understand and requires little “learning” on the part of practitioners) while Six Sigma is the most robust. Other methods fall in the middle. Projects go through stages where a progressively higher order of tools are engaged as needed to solve the issue. Data shows that about 70% of projects in which Six Sigma is being invoked don’t actually require it. This is not to say that Six Sigma should not be used but rather there are tools out there which can be used by a greater portion of the working population. However, when the problem is complex or can’t wait for slow, continuous improvement Six Sigma is a great method which always provides some answers. Contact me if you are interested in some more info.



    Dear Friends
    Six sigma is a name under which one hides many weapons/tools.Kaizen,5s,Khanban ets are the tools.
    Six siga takes care of all the measurable processand can optimise any process to the maximum limit.Dedication and data are the back bones of Six sigma


    Abhay Kulkarni

    Dear Sir,I am preparing study paper for Getting break through business results in manufacturing sector by using six sigma methodology in India.Can you guide me in this respect to prepare a Questionnare to be given in industry at different herarchy to get the validated data from industry.
    Imyself is a green belt holder and I am very much confident that Six Sigma in India will definately give sustainable results If there is a self discipline,thrust and leadership support with proper use of six sigma tools.
    Abhay kulkarni.



    Well said. It is time to expand people’s thinking beyond this dogma of Six Sigma for everything. There are great tools and if we are good change agents, we will seek out appropriate tools, not just those thrown into someone’s defintition of Six Sigma BB or GB training.
    Tools usable and used.


    Demerval Amorim

    Dear Chris Halley, I am very interesting in 6 sigmas methodology adapted from ( KAIZEN, 5S, Continous improvement and Scrap % ) to 6 sigmas
    [email protected]


    Mike Carnell

    Are you from International Truck?



    Missed your question when it was posted.
    Used to be at Nav.  Left in 2001 for another company who was launching Six Sigma.



    Looks like your company is focuing on utilizing Six Sigma to improve quality. First of all, the basic – Six Sigma focuses on voice of customer. You need to take a look at bigger picture of your business and measure the Cost of Poor Quality (inspections cost, rework cost, warranty costs,etc) of all products line in your company . Or, if the data is not readily available, then just focus on product line with most customer complaints and/or in-house rejects.
    Once few worst product lines are identified, create a process flow chart for each product and determine all possible defects that can happen at each process steps.
    For each possible defects put effort to implement corrective action. If there are too many possible defects, then some prioritization is needed so that your limited resources can focus on critical customer concerns.
    The approach that I am describing  is called Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA). FMEA is recommended to be developed by a team of process experts, designers, engineering, quality, etc.
    Then match all the existing “corrective actions” or reactive QA activities into the list of possible defects. Hopefully your team will identify some process where there are some possible defects without any preventive action. Those are where project teams can be formed and work on the preventive action of the possible defects. And while working on developing corrective actions the teams can be trained on DMAIC or DFSS, Kaizen methodology.
    In the long run, you will have your critical defects prevented and groups of employees utilizing Six Sigma tools. Measure each team results using rework cost avoidance or reduction in warranty claims or similar dollar measurement. Reward them for effective corrective actions or initiatives.





    Marlon Brando

    The  new  trend  is  to mix Kaizen ,Lean-SS and  TOC  



    Are u now at Air Jamaica? Use to be at Red Stripe (I Think).
    Can you expand on your thoughts?

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