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Six Sigma Methodologies in a Non-High Volume Environ

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  • #50004

    6SigmaInquiry
    Participant

    Hello everyone,
    A Senior Quality Engineer informed me that, to be beneficial for an organization, Six Sigma methodologies must be implemented in a high volume, manufacturing environment (e.g. automated lines). Therefore, his assertion is that for low-volume corporations (e.g. Job Shop), methods such as DMAIC, PDCA, and VOC are not beneficial.  Is this really true? 
    Thanks!

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    #171775

    Severino
    Participant

    Your SQE’s assertion is preposterous.  They might as well have said SS only works on Thursdays.

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    #171776

    GB
    Participant

    Your SQE is plain old retarded…
    A process is a process is a process.   I’ve worked with many high mix/low volume “job shops” that successfully implemented 6S and Lean.   What i’ve found is more of an emphasis on their foundational processes (i.e. front end and back end processes) that allowed the to free up resources to dedicate to the actual manufacturing and SMED type processes.

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    #171777

    6SigmaInquiry
    Participant

    I totally agree with you both. Many experienced (presumably the Senior QE as well) are familiar with Six Sigma methodologies – at least to some topical extent.  Therefore, it isn’t incompetence that should be attributed to his statement. Rather, it is plain old, corporate apathy.  It is downright scary when engineers (especially quality) are relegated to apathy as a means of conducting their day-to-day work.   What can be said of their organization’s corporate culture?

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    #171787

    GB
    Participant

    You hit the nail on the head.    Apathy may be evident, but the first thing that came to mind is fear on your SQE’s part.   Fear of the unknown, or that he may lose status as the “Quality Guru”.

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    #171790

    BTDT
    Participant

    6SigmaInquiry:”Every customer is different, every contract is different, every product is customized. We have no standard processes, Six Sigma does not apply.”This is classic resistance. Look into the five levels of resistance and change management. Find out why Six Sigma is such a threat to the stakeholders.Cheers, Alastair

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    #171791

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    BTDT,
    5?   I have used the 4 resistance typologies for years…
    Can you direct me to the five you mentioned?
    Thanks,
    Heebee

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    #171792

    BTDT
    Participant

    HeeBeeGeeb^3:This is from Goldratt. I usually leave off Layer 6, because it is Goldratt’s “proceed directly to jail, do not collect $200.”LAYER 1. “You don’t understand my/our problem(s).”

    When problem solvers start by presenting the solution they are almost always in big trouble because they have failed to satisfy layer 1. Why should they listen to you when they don’t have faith that you understand their problem(s). Sure, your solution has worked to solve the problems at other companies, but you don’t understand the situation here! The generic cloud and current reality tree address this layer. Once you succeed, the client will then say, “OK, you do understand my problem(s), but…LAYER 2. “…we don’t agree on the direction of the solution.”The current reality is often not particularly enlightening to the client. They say, ‘Well of course; we already knew that.’ So you still can’t proceed with your solution until you get agreement on the direction the solution should go. For example, in a project management environment, the client often thinks the solution is just to add more money to the budget, or more time to the schedule, or reduce the scope. TOC practitioners believe the true solution lies in a different direction: change the way they manage their projects. Until you both agree on the proper direction of the solution, you will face high levels of resistance. The evaporating cloud is generally used to determine and sell the direction of the solution. Once you succeed there, the client will say, “OK, you understand our problem and we agree on the direction of the solution, but…LAYER 3. “…your solution can’t possibly produce the level of results you say it can.”The future reality tree is used to show that the injections (changes) you propose will actually address the negative problems they agreed exist. Once you succeed there, the client will say, “OK, you understand our problem and we agree on the direction of the solution, and we see how powerfully this solution can change our undesirable circumstances into desirable ones, but…LAYER 4. “…your good solution is going to cause some bad things to happen.”These are the inevitable unintended negative consequences. It has a simple medical analogy: cancer treatment. Sometimes the treatment has significant side effects: chemo therapy generally causes nausea, for example. Well, knowing that ahead of time, the MD can prescribe something to reduce the nausea. It is the same here. If the people inside the system can foresee the negative side effects, TOC doesn’t pooh-pooh them. Rather, it takes them as very important input and uses them to build a more robust solution. Negative branch reservations are used for this purpose. Once you succeed there, the client will say, “OK, you understand our problem and we agree on the direction of the solution. We see how powerfully this solution can change our undesirable circumstances into desirable ones, and we see how you have trimmed off the potential negative side effects, but…LAYER 5. “…there are some significant obstacles that prevent the implementation.”These are thing, ‘The changes you propose will result in productivity improvements that will probably lead management to lay off some of us — and we are going to cooperate in that.’ Or, ‘There isn’t sufficient money in the budget.’ Or, “Corporate will never approve.’
    The prerequisite tree is used to identify and map out ways around these obstacles. Now you are almost there. But sometimes, even though the client says, “OK, you understand our problem and we agree on the direction of the solution. We see how powerfully this solution can change our undesirable circumstances into desirable ones, and we see how you have trimmed off the potential negative side effects. And we see how to overcome the obstacles that would prevent us from implementation.” But they still don’t move forward with the change. This is…LAYER 6: Unverbalized fear.This is a difficult layer. No particular tool exists to overcome it. The most common cause is that the previous layers were not COMPLETELY overcome for EVERY key decision maker. It may well be a Layer 1 problem. You may have overcome the other 5 layers for everyone in the system except, say, the chief financial officer. Everyone in the operations has bought off and they have been going along with you all the way. However, that financial officer is still back in Layer 1; you haven’t addressed her/his real problem(s). You may well have to back track to the beginning in order to be successful. There is at least one other possibility. It may be that the person at the top is just not willing to, to use a war metaphor, ‘jump out of the fox hole and charge.’ Goldratt strongly suggests you assess that characteristic of the person at the top before beginning this process.Cheers, Alastair

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    #171793

    GB
    Participant

    OK, thanks for clarifying.   I thought there was an added Typology to the four that I use:

    I. Cognitive Resister:
    -I know better…” or, “My experience says otherwise.
     

    II. Psychological Resister:
    -Fear of change/unknown.
     

    III. Political Resister:
    -Fear of losing: Power, prestige, empowerment, influence or standing.
     

    IV. Emotional Resister:
    -Drank the “Kool-Aid” of the Status Quo.
    A zealot for the old system .

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    #171794

    BTDT
    Participant

    HBGB B^2This is the second dimension of resistance, I use this in the stakeholders’ analysis during Define. We assign core team members to the stakeholders depending on their own personality type and position.At least that is the theory. Depending in the reality of the situation, we have to consider the possibility of two communication plans. One is the face of the project to the rest of the world (newsletters, large meetings, presentations) and the other is the more confidential, internal plan that includes the resistance components in a more explicit manner according to the five(six) levels of resistance.Sales people have referred to this as the five levels of buy-in for years. Cheers, Alastair

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    #171798

    Mikel
    Member

    How do you assess the personality type?

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    #171809

    BTDT
    Participant

    Stan:We’ve done Meyers-Briggs and similar profiles, although most of the high-pots we work with have figured out how to game the test to result in ENTJ. It is widely misunderstood as being required for successful leaderships.Most really good leaders score about halfway between the extremes of any scale, showing their ability to see both sides of any issue.Lately I think we should all take psychology degrees in order to work with project teams.Cheers, Alastair

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    #171811

    Taylor
    Participant

    Alastair, have you ever used the DISC models for personality assessment during training or implementation.

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    #171815

    BTDT
    Participant

    Chad:I have not used DISC profiles during training. It is, however, good to consider these evaluation dimensions in a more informal manner during implementation. I have met a number of leader types and have to deal with all of them.The DISC type profiles are the ones where CEO types will score midway on the scale. They can be charismatic or dispassionately data-driven depending on the situation. In other words, there is no perfect profile for a leader.Cheers, Alastair

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    #171817

    Taylor
    Participant

    Alastair-I have to somewhat disagree with your statement. I have been involved with at least 10 of these exercises with 4 different companies.
    What I find most often is the COO, & Plant Managers types, And even mid level managers all tend to be of dominant D personality. They also tend to hire people that are just like them, or of the Dominant Conscientious side. Amazingly however, most of todays great leaders fall under the steadiness S personality, meaning they care about the people that work for them. The I personallity is usually sales guys, happy go lucky, whatever happens, we’ll get it done and throw a party; rarely will these guys be a boss, or at least not long
    I personally have taken the test 3 times, different versions and questions, and score the same everytime. Point being, with the right test it is somewhat impossible to “game” the system as you put it.

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    #171819

    BTDT
    Participant

    Chad:When we ran the Myers-Briggs at Bombardier, we did it at the beginning of the week during the ice-breaker and at the end of the week after a week of training. We plugged the results into a Gauge R&R.General trends were still evident, but the results were not as reproducible as was first perceived by the group. I used the results to emphasize the importance of only well designed evaluations for leadership identification and evaluation. The other point was that you shouldn’t stereotype people, they may be having an “off” day.In the end, I want the sales people to respect data from the “pencil pushers” and the engineers to respect the sales peoples’ ability to move those widgets they make. Shrinking violets sometimes have great things to say when the team has left the meeting and they have had time to think. Decisive people can go with an 80% solution without getting bogged down in “analysis paralysis”.Good leaders understand all the types and where they are required. I would hate to be in a company where everyone is like me – we’d spend all our time arguing.Cheers, Alastair

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    #171820

    Vallee
    Participant

    One think to thing about with any personality test is if the person is seeing the questions relating to their personal life or relationships at work. How you respond at work may be totally different than how you respond with your spouse or family. This unfortunately tends to cloud the results. If you set up the tests so that the test taker is to relate the questions to work relations only you should see results that tie to the business relationship. Tie this with a stakeholder assessment matched with the organization chart and communication networking chart and you have something…. yes psychology is one of my backgrounds just not the Freud part. HF Chris Vallee

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    #171824

    Taylor
    Participant

    I agree with both you and Chris, I never thought of running an R&R on the test, due to the general overall scoring is zoned, but something to think about

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