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Six Sigma and Quick Wins

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #23703

    Rodrigo
    Member

    Hi all,
    I am curently working on a Black Belt project in a pharmaceutical company and we have our Measure tollgate early next week.
    We have already identifyed a “Quick Win” and will implement it within the next two weeks. My concern is that we continue to look for “Quick Wins” as we progress through our DMAIC cycle.
    Is it possible to do the Black Belt proj. and “Quick Wins” in parallel? If so, any watchouts I should be looking out for?
    Thank you
    Rodrigo

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    #56689

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Rodrigo,,
    As you progress through your project/s you will certainly come across sub-projects/actions that fall into different categories such as:
    – “quick win” (0 to 30 days),  
    – regular projects (30 to 90 days)
    – strategic projects (90 to 180 days)
    This is normal – your challenge in creating a culture that will drive rapid change.  One method you might consider is the “Kaizen methodology” – not just to drive in Lean but use it as a tool to drive focussed change in less than 1 week.
    Regards,
    Adam

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    #56690

    Rodrigo
    Member

    Thank you for your reply Adam.I was not very clear stating my concern (my apologies)We did a Kaizen event (half a day) and we will implement the “quick win” within 12 working days. Also, any change is easily reversible.The problem is that we might identify several quick wins along the DMAIC way (it will last 6 months). In your past/current projects, how did you deal with the quick wins? (its too easy to want to show results and focus on the “low hanging fruit” and the overall/main project may suffer).I was just looking for any watch-outs for what I can see as a potential trap.By the way, allow me to mention that I have full confidence on our Black Belt and his abilities. I also believe we can all learn from each other :)Thanks a lotRodrigo

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    #56691

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Rodrigo,
    I understand now – you as a leader in this area must own the short term and longer term actions – and not loose focus on any of these in achieving your goal.  If you have set up you project right you will have perhaps one or more primary metrics (perhaps a counter ballancing one like Speed & Quality) that you are monitoring.  Regardless of the short and long term actions you have you must be watching the metrics – the actions you drive will, or should, be directly impacting the metric.  It may be that you implement the quick wins and thus achieve your goal.  You should, I suggest, review the progress of the project/s monthly and determine the appropriate time to sunset the project and move onto other more important ones.  There is a point of diminishing returns for all projects – you just need to work out for each project where that is in relation to the metrics.
    Hope this helps.
    Regards,
    Adam

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    #56692

    Rodrigo
    Member

    Thank you very much Adam :)
     
    Rodrigo

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    #56693

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Adam nailed it right on the head.  (as usual!)
    -Heebee

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    #56694

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Care to connect on MSN messenger….
    Best regards,
    Adam

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    #56695

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Rodrigo,
    I am not second-guessing Adam because he gave you good advice. It sounds like your management team is manageing at the project level which is very short sighted. Management should be interested in the Six Sigma deployment and leave the project details to a Program Manager or a MBB. If they are getting quick wins in Define and Measure it is more of an indication that they are not selecting projects correctly.
    Depending on the availability of data you can classify projects before they begin and get a faily good estimate of how long they will take. Not all projects have the same level of technology requirements and you need to manage the project pipeline and the portfolio of active projects so you can deliver predictable results. There are way to many people that Six Sigma is about delivering a project. It is not. It is a process and managing that process effectively means you need to learn to run it on data.
    Mixing fast hit optimization and control projects with technology or worst case technology and control type projects can give you the results you need.
    If you want to discuss how to do that classification I will be glad to do it off line at [email protected].
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

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    #56696

    Adam Bowden
    Participant

    Rodrigo,
    Take Mike up on his offer – he’s great with Leadership and in the selection of the “right projects” – as a plus he’s “not a bad old chap” either :-)
    Regards,
    Adam

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    #56697

    Chris K Powell
    Participant

    Hi, I`m am currently undergoing black belt training in the UK.
    I do not necessarily think it`s bad project selection if you come across quick wins in define and measure. After all, the project sponsor in his research as to the whether the project is undertaken or not bases his decision on metrics, opportunity, business case, estimated length of project etc. The Steering committee will then agree that the project be undertaken based on their own strategic filtering criteria. At this point is it reasonable to expect them to know that the project will come up with quick wins? 
    I therefore tend to agree with Adams comments that if you get quick wins and you satisfy your projected project savings with these quick wins then pull the plug on the project and pat yourself on the back, take the applause and move onto the next project.
    Ask yourself the question also.. Would the quick win have been addressed and ‘put to bed’ had it not been a six sigma project?
    Chris

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    #56698

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Chris,
    I told you I was not disagreeing with Adam – he has a lot of experience with this.
    You must be right. No way to tell how the projects will turn out.
    Thanks.

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    #56702

    Rodrigo
    Member

    Hi guys
    Thanks for the replies. (sorry for delay in replying but I was away in sunny portugal for a week ;)
    Just got back and in time for my Measure tollgate ( just finished and the green light for Analyse was given :)
    the quick win is now in the “parking lot” untill the Improve phase.It was a top management decision. there is nothing we can do about it. We have done some work on the quick win and that means that we wont have to do it again in 3.5 weeks time. It will be implemented but we need everyones buy in to do it.
    I have also confirmed that we have an exceptional strong culture, averse to risk taking and this cant be changed overnight (however, top management is commited to 6 sigma – thank god!)
    I would be more than happy to discuss any lean/6 sigma issues over msn or any other software.
    thanks
    Rodrigo

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    #57711

    Johnny Guilherme
    Participant

    There is nothing wrong with quick wins-sometimes the following the DMAIC approach can be long and tideous-many dont understand the stats and tools.
    I too worked in the pharmaceutical for many years and people got excited about quick wins.
    Johnny Guilherme (BB)
     

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