We are always explaining to our employees new to six sigma that the methodology could be applied anywhere (be it transactions or process). The thing is, we have not yet done any “pure transactional” project (like those involving Accounting, HR, IT, etc…). Is there someone who have already done pure transactional projects? can you share topics? thanks…
My Black Belt project during training was implementation of a Maintenance Management application. It was totally a soft savings, transactional project. The basic tools worked fine (TMAP, PMAP, FMEA, NEM), but I ran into more difficulty with MSE and DOE. I actually ended up working with another Black Belt candidate on a DOE because we couldn’t come up with one that directly related to my project.
We are a financial processing company and almost our entire implementation of six sigma is in the transactional world.
Example: Reduce attrition – HR Reduce activation time of new accounts.
Can I ask what is troubling you regarding this type of implementation?
the problem that we encounter is because we are finding it hard to implement six sigma methods (like analysis statistical tools), thus we find it hard to explain to our support personnel the significance of six sigma in their area.
you agree then that transactional projects does not apply necessarily the statistical tools that a six sigma project commonly have?
There is a great software package that might enable you to actually use the statistical tools. It is called ProcessModel, and iGrafx sells it. It enablkes you to model the process, considering flow, process times, queues, capacities, costs, and a nice variety of other interesting things.
Once you have the model, you can utilize their simulation feature and see how your model performs relative to various factors — kind of sounds like a neat way to experiment with your model!
You can get really slick and use this tool to take an integrated approach to Lean and Six Sigma.
The only drawbacks with this model: I think it is a tad bit pricey (I was aksed to demo it by my company so I am not certain about the price). It can also get a little complex, so it may extend any training time.
I wouldn’t say they don’t apply. I would say that it is sometimes more difficult to apply DOE and MSE. I was able to use XBar and R Charts, I/MR Charts, Capability Analysis, and Regression Analysis in my project. Even transactional projects have data that can be analyzed, and a process that can be studied. You may not find it as easy as it is for a manufacturing process, but it definately can be done. Sometimes it just takes a little more effort.
Since I work at a corporate office, most all projects we have are transactional. We’ve done Billing System (reduced the number of days in the cycle and streamlined processes); Inappropriate Benefits Coverage (reduce the number of days it takes new hires to call in their benefits choices, correct a system error which reduced the number of terminated employees who were still receiving insurance benefits); External Storage (research the metrics on external filing storage for our facilities around the US and come up with a lower-cost solution).
In the projects I’ve been involved with we’ve done Pareto, CT Matrix, IPO, Process mapping, MSA, CPK, C&E, FMEA, and the follow-up CPK, Control Plans etc.
Typically DOE doesn’t lend itself to transactional projects, but there is always something to measure and improve on!
Reading about your cycle time project interested me. I am working on a cycle time project myself (retail company). Wondering if we could share our projects. The hardest part about the project is showing that decreased cycle time will lead to increased revenue. I am curious as to how you went about it. Could you email me anything you have to:
I would be happy to share what I have. Thanks.
There have been a lot of pure transaction projects done in the past particularly in financial institutions.
One of the more basic metrics which was driven at Motorola was the time it takes to close the books at the end of each month. It was typical to not get monthly numbers until 2.5-3 weeks after month end. Targets were set to shorten that time because the information was of no real use by the time we got it. Different facilities used different methods to reduce it but most would have used SS. It was a real achievement when we hit a 72 hour close. I am told they work on an on demand close (within 24 hours) to get the number Corporate wide right now.
yup. i also heard that. I myself am evaluating a similar software called promodel. but I was thinking that simulation is more appropriate with line processess (manufacturing process) than transactional process. I just don’t know. what say you? thanks for replying by the way.
thanks jen. anyway, is it possible for me to contact you offline if I still have detailed question on the applications that you mentioned?
Hi Suzanne: I’m looking to put a charter together about external storage cost. I would be interested in knowing how you tackled this particular project. For example did you look at cost per square foot; document retention/destruction policies, etc. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Diane
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