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Quality Improvement – Project vs Business

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  • #54701

    Phil Fulcher
    Guest

    Hello

    Broadly speaking, do you think it’s better to apply six sigma principles (and other means of quality recognition and improvement) on a project by project basis, or on a whole company scale?

    What would be the drawbacks of both?

    Many thanks

    Phil

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    #196755

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Continuous improvement needs to be aligned within the business since often “silos” must be overcome to improve many business functions. Successful strategies don’t just focus on one source of improvement such as manufacturing.

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    #196757

    john
    Guest

    Focus on solving the most critical problem to the organization, the one limiting its ability to achieve more of its aim or purpose (eg profitability). From here, design an approach that will increase the probability of successful completion of the project. That should address the two key drivers of (1) the quality of the solution (2) the ability to implement it.

    Use good project management (don’t over do it…they always over do it) combined with the skill set (or sets) needed to deliver the project’s objective….nothing more…don’t overengineer the thing (eg don’t use 6s if you can use GE WorkOut, etc).

    Treat all project work like any other capital investment…you want to deliver the required return using the least amount of time and resource.

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    #196760

    Don Strayer
    Guest

    One doesn’t work very well without the other. SS is both a methodology and a management philosophy.

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    #196767

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    As John mentioned, you need to identify the constraint in the organization. You might benefit from reading a bit on Theory of Constraints by Eli Goldratt. That will help you to identify a process for uncovering the constraint. You then need to determine just how that limits the organization and apply the right tool set to address it. If it is too much cost/waste then Lean might be the best approach, if it is too much variation causing productivity/quality problems then DMAIC six sigma might be the best approach, and if it is too little market share/margin on sales, then Design for Six Sigma might be the best approach.
    You can apply these methods to a small part of the organization or the entire organization. Of course, the return will be commensurate with the opportunity presented and usually larger systems have more opportunity.

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    #196857

    BMGI India
    Participant

    Continuous improvements with a proven strategy leads an organization towards secured future. The improvement strategies focused upon the particular projects may work or may not work because of lack of trainings and adapted practices. SO, we must focus tom train our staff for peak performance by designing the best processes.

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    #196863

    Don Strayer
    Guest

    Businesses that I’ve seen get lasting benefits from SS have an oversight group that approves proposed projects, tracks progress, and confirms results. We might complain about bureaucratic overhead and delays but it can prevent wasted effort.

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    #196864

    Thomas S. Regnet
    Participant

    My experience is that a Lean Six Sigma rollout for a whole company were Six Sigma or continuous improvement have never been used before is hard to be achieved.

    This is why:

    1. Scope too wide/ uncertainty about the outcome. Supporters of Six Sigma have goals too high to be reached in a short time, opponents hope that they would be spared.

    2. Resistance from line and middle management. If there are no specific positive outcomes in their field of duties, people tend to see LSS as extra work instead of an opportunity to improve.

    3. Common perceptions about quality. Most people see quality product-orientated instead of process orientated, like “If it works and sells quality is sufficient.” Some departments – especially none-technical ones – see themselves as too special and deny effectiveness in their respective areas of responsibility.

    At the beginning of LSS implementation I would rather go for initial projects to achieve quick wins and buy-in of relevant stakeholders. But in the long run and to realise its full potential you need the mindset of Lean Six Sigma as a facilitator within the whole company.

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