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six sigma and process management

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  • #38478

    G
    Participant

    hi everybody, We generally consider ss as an “evolution”of  tqm programs and wesay that it differs from the others cos it implies (or it should imply) senior management involvement. that’s true but it’s hard for me to see the link with the process management because we generally apply six sigma in case of emergency:we have a problem to solve so we allocate human (but also financial and technical) resourses for that specific “situation”, so I wonder: “is it correct to talk about process driven organization (and all the principles it remind to) when we refer to six sigma? 
    I really appreciate your comments,
    thanks
    monica

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    #115719

    Norbert
    Participant

    monica,
    as you know there is no common definition of six sigma in the world. so if you understand six sigma as a project management methodology and use it for fire-fighting situations only this may be the right approach for your organisation. but in this case you will not be able to see, feel and use the real power of six sigma.
    six sigma (yes, it’s much more than DMAIC only) and process management need each other if you want to achieve Business Xcellence. why?
    business processes are in place in every company to deliver what the customer wants when he wants it. linking six sigma with process management means that you will be able to identify process performance gaps systematically and be able to launch six sigma projects to close these gaps – instead of throwing resources to everything and everyone who is crying loud enough.
    but to me the main advantage of linking six sigma and process management is when you talk about the sustainability of (six sigma project) results. if you are not able to integrate the process improvements into your business processes rigorously and if you are not managing your business processes based on fact and data you will only feel less than 20% of the power of six sigma in your life. and that would be a pity for you and – much more important – for your company and your customers.
    norbert

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    #116549

    walden
    Participant

    Monica,Many companies use Six Sigma to address problems. When Six Sigma is properly applied, we expect that sustained change will result. But these improvements can often evaporate, sometimes due to lack of follow-through, or even management recognition and accountability issues.
    I agree with Norbert, the business needs to be managed on facts. Facts are REAL information. Yes, we need data. But we need real information much more critically. What is needed even more critically is process understanding to bring the most important information to light. But to me, the most important step is Process Management (manage the overall technology and manufacturing process). Most companies close gaps in the fire-fighting mode. But some resources need to be committed to defining the process base line. When the process is understood, documented, and measured as a whole, then it can be managed. Then a select team or person can make strategic plans and ask management to move in a profitable direction; say a 1 year or 5 year process improvement plan. Process Management implies that identifying gaps (in terms of opportunities for significant improvements based on reduction in variation, special cause losses, down-time, rate improvement, cost savings, and even safety, etc.) will result in permanent changes to benefit the company bottom-line.
    Business processes are needed. Management commitment is still a must (thank you Mr. Deming). But I feel that technical management by process and plant engineers, quality professionals, and operations personnel is the missing element for long term success. Even good Six Sigma efforts could lose support if good technical management does not eventually move the Six Sigma gains into sustainable managed business (including process / manufacturing) practices.Chris

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    #116550

    Carlos W. Moreno
    Participant

    I believe that there is chasm between standard 6S as problem solving or oppotunity creation projects, and the routine daily mangement of production operations.  The latter is “process management”.  There is process management technology which is synergistic with 6S, and the link is explored in the publication “Improvements through process adjustments” at GE in http://www.ultramax.com  .
    Carlos 

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