Stuck in Transactions Poka-Yoke Hell

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Tools & Templates Stuck in Transactions Poka-Yoke Hell

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #53991


    Problem: The current process involves data entry in multiple systems, each system has it’s own unique interface. The workflow is sequential, and missing any step could lead to monetary losses. The process has Five decision points, with the longest branch being 28 steps. The company is looking at systems integration/error detection, and that is 18 months – 3 years off.

    This is only one of 22 different processes. We did a basic FMEA on each process, and concluded that five scored 80 points out of 100 for RPN.

    The only tool I have access to right now is Visio. The current approach is to map out each subset of process steps on a Visio diagram, and link the sub-processes together. I’ve deployed the five key workflows using this method. We went from a DPMO of around 12,000 down to 8,800, and a rolled throughput yield of about 3.5%

    That’s not good enough. What other methods/tools/techniques have you all used? I don’t have a budget, though I could probably convince Mgmt to spend some money on an inexpensive tool.

    Thank for any help.


    Gary Cone


    Start by getting a better FMEA template. It should be a thousand point scale. Severityxoccurancexdetection. Which of the three are you not using?

    Fixing the system is the logical thing to do, you see the holes in logic and technology. Our tools cannot solve a poorly conceived process, it has to be redone.

    In the meantime try QC3 from Minitab. Easier to use by orders of magnitude than Visio.



    @garyacone – I’m guessing that they chose not to use detectability.

    @sromley – While I don’t disagree with Gary that Quality Companion (from Minitab) is much easier to use than Visio (and provides much more functionality) in your case I would recommend iGrafx Process. One limitation for QC3 (at least now) is that you cannot have linked levels, and with the complexity that you describe, I would think that you would need to use that feature. iGrafx also has simulation capabilities that might prove useful for investigating alternative process ideas. If you decide to invest in iGrafx, make sure that you make the commitment to really learning it, as you will only derive the benefit by really learning it.
    That said, yes, you need to simplify and streamline the process. My guess is that this was originally either an all paper process, or individual specialized systems. Now that you have the ability to influence a redesign, DO NOT merely replicate many disparate systems into one monolith, rather, ensure that you examine what really needs to occur and only incorporate those elements which are Value Added. I once worked with a team that was redesigning the name frame on engineering drawings. The “old timers” insisted that a code needed to be included that indicated where the drawing had been generated. Turns out this was only used to be able to pull the original velum drawing so that it could be changed when needed. With electronic data, this was no longer necessary, yet was a legacy that folks believed was necessary. Question everything, and prove that it’s necessary.
    Just my humble opinion.


    Christine Wall

    Mapping out the current process is helpful, but then I agree with @sromley that you should question each step. Get to the root of what is needed, not just what has been done before. In my experience, so many systems and work arounds have confused the actual needed information to such an extent that people do not understand what is value added. The 5 why exercise can go a long way to preventing you from “paving the cowpath” once the new automation is implemented. Make certain that you gather the VOC/VOB and understand the KPOV. I have found a CTQ tree to be very beneficial in gathering and analyzing this information and then converting it to improvements. If the 5 why answers do not fit with these requirements, then it is not a required action. Hope this insight helps.


    Mike Carnell

    @sromley I guess I don’t really understand what you are doing. First if I had to do redundant data entry I would try to set up a front end piece with a sheet with barcodes and reduce the probability of input errors to the one time I create the sheet with the bar codes on it. Maybe I am picturing this all wrong.

    Is this just transaction processes or is it some type of assembly/manufacturing?

    Viso isn’t your only tool. There is also paper and pencils. I don’t really see what you are doing with the Visio other than making it look nice.

    It seems like you have gone to the trouble to count things so you understand how difficult this process is. What other data are you taking? right now it sounds like a lot of processes and you are fixing it with process maps?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.