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What is an ideal Green Belt project?

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  • #28460

    David Gurney
    Participant

    I want to help my team by pointing then in the direction of “good” green belt projects, as opposed to “bad” ones.  Obviously, the project needs to be focused in scope, with clear goals – but what are the broader characteristics of a “good” project?  As a starter for 10, I have 2 key elements:
    – The project should have lots of data, which is easily available
    – The project should be on a process which you have total control over (eg at a department, or at a company level).
    Any other thoughts???

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    #70948

    S.Nithyapriya
    Member

    Basically Green Belt Projects are those SS Projects which are related to their jobs. It can either be a DMAIC or DFSS
    An ideal project should have
    1. Clear and Specific Problem Statement
    2. Defined CTQs
    3. Limited and clear Scope
    4. Correct usage of the tools.
    Probable mistakes that might happen in a GB projects especially when done for the first time are:
    1. The problem statement itself would remain unclear. A single problem statement chosen would result in a couple of more GB projects. Unfortunately this gets realized when the project reaches its Analysis phase.
    2. Wide scope of the project might result in improper usage of tools and hence would result in  wrong judgement of defect causing KPIVs
    Regards and Good luck to your team!!
    Priya

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    #70955

    R.Jennings
    Participant

    As we are gearing up for our first wave of green belts, we are emphazing that the project is a money saving project, not a “nice to have”. Several candiates identified projects and really do not save money, but make a change to enhance, which ultimately costs the company for something they really did not need.

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    #70963

    Tom Black
    Member

    David,
    One could probably write a full paper on what a good Green Belt project is.  Let me just point out a couple of things that I think are key.  (Our definition for GB is someone who continues with their present job and completes a project on the side or as part of their normal job.)
    The project should be a problem to be solved, not a solution to be implemented.  If the problem statement is  “Install a new piece of equipment on . . . .” or “Set up new software for . . . .” you are on the wrong track.  Six Sigma is to solve problems.  If you know the solution, just do it.  Your GB won’t learn what he/she is supposed to.
    The problem should be very important to the person’s supervisor who should probably be the process owner.  The biggest reason we see for GB’s not finishing projects is getting pulled off for something more important.  This happens no matter how emphatic we are that the GB project should be a top priority item.
    Tom Black, MBB, ASQ CSSBB

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    #70989

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    On the right track….- Availability of data
    – Project scoped well – keep it small and focussed
    – Project where the variation cause is unknown – avoid “just implement a solution” projects
    – Management support – if it’s not one of their picked/approved projects it will fail.
    – 100% BB support
    – Great trainers – train the team and do the project concurrently as it provides better focus/support
    – Communication – you need to communicate the benefits well with whatever medium you have to sell this to the other Managers and the rest of the work force to create momemtum for other projects.
    – Don’t just consider variation projects – also consider “lean ones” to create velocity.Hope this helps.Best regards,Adam.
    ([email protected])

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    #71102

    nsilva
    Participant

    Projects for replication would be ideal GB projects. This means that a GB will replicate a completed BB project to another similar application.

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    #71108

    HRV
    Participant

    HI,
    I dont think the idea of Six Sigma is to save money. It should be process improvement, that will certainly have an impact on your bottomlines. I must add positive impact.
     
    Hemant

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    #71114

    André Lauer
    Participant

    Hi Hemant,
    I think to save money is not the direct (and first) goal of doing a Six Sigma project.
    But if you do a good job in the project, and you do a significant improvement of your process(es), you can save certainly money. An improvement of process implicates quantitative Net Benefit however it will be found out and controlled. Process improvements and saving money (i.e. Net Benefit) are in my view both sides of one coin.
    André
     

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    #71115

    marcel
    Participant

    [Regarding your comment:] “The project should have lots of data, which is easily available”…two caveats re data:
    1.  collecting too much data
    2.  collecting the wrong data
    Any and all projects are to be aligned with you Company’s stated goals and objectives period
    Lead, follow, or get out of the way…
    Note: The profanity and rudeness of this post have been removed. It is not the intention or iSixSigma to modify or censor postings; it is expected that adults act as such.

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    #71125

    scott yack
    Member

    I agree with what everyone is saying. I do have some thoughts. As an IT person, we do tend to try and fix everything with hardware or software. A person on this sight called it carpenters syndrome. The only way a carpenter thinks things can be fixed is with a hammer. A lot of projects that I have seen completed were a combination of procedure changes as well as hardware/software. I am finding it extremely difficult to choose a good IT project that eventually does not come down to software or hardware…. Even using the data to drive the project. That is what we do. Such as engineering might use a tooling change to solve a problem.
    Example. I want to reduce the amount of help desk calls 50%. Well my data tells me that 75% calls are software/Office problems. Drilling down shows me that they are training issues and simple office question calls. The solution to me would be two -fold 1) I want to put in a process that makes it manditory training 10hrs a year. 2) Create an online knowlege base to allow users to search on a specific problem. Am I way off base.

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    #71130

    gt
    Participant

    You should get out of the way of that site.rgds

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    #71138

    Martínez
    Participant

    Ignore posts from poor Marcel.  Do a quick search on this forum for “marcel” and you’ll notice that none of his/her posts add anything to the Six Sigma profession.  (Assuming there is not two or more marcels posting and someone isn’t using a bogus alias).  Besides the pessimism and apparent disrespect for others, marcel just doesn’t “get it”.  Apparently GE did one over on Marcel and he doesn’t really understand the benefits of Six Sigma except for a few things read in Jack’s books.

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    #71139

    Galia
    Participant

    SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.  Would be the first thing to mind when selecting a GB Project.  The next thing that I would look for is the relevance of the problem for the GB and his/hers manager (Champion).  I have seen many projects die a slow death just because it was not relevant to their personal/departamental CTQs.  It is easy for the GB to forget to collect his/hers own VOC.
    Regarding the financial benefit vs process improvement:  Any process improvement that had in mind “The Company” as a Customer will most likely have a financial benefit, either by cost out, revenue, or better controllership. There is many ways to calculate the Financial Benefit but clearly the Champion must always agree with the method.   Also if the Company has defined business Ys, with clear overall CTQs then all projects should work towards that common goal.  If it is not important for the internal or external customer, why should somebody be working on it?
    Finally, all projects start with some basic assumptions, and it is not until measure and analyze that it may be discovered that the wrong path was followed.   No set of project selection guidelines will eliminate this basic problem, therefore GB and Champions’ expectations should always be managed accordingly to make their experience with Six Sigma a Success. 

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    #71140

    v.Hill
    Member

    GB Projects need:
    Clear project definitions!
    Even more so, why are we doing GB projects in the first place? One obvious answer is to improve business practices, we do not want to forget that we may want to inculcate some new behaviour in the employees. The idea that everybody should be a GB is the wrong approach. The imbeding of Six Sigma thinking into the people should be the real consideration. Just basing a project on potential dollar savings is missing the point. Fix the process the dollars will follow. Many times projects take on a world hunger aspect so much so that the real learning takes a back seat to the project itself. The first GB project should focus on learning to use the tools, understanding some critical thought application and learning to act on fact/data rather than emotion. Understanding when to apply the tools, when it is appropriate, is just as important knowing how to use the tools. Doing a DOE or a COV just because it is part of the cert. requirement is the wrong message to send. Problem solution based on actions driven by data and how that data relates to the problem scope is the real learning key.

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    #71141

    gianpi
    Participant

    Not many data but those necessary, have only besides to consider the costs of the project and the possible returns of the investments, the possibility to bring advantages to other trials, the time of implementation, the importance for the customer, and to operate a priorization matrix; however only you can know your true necessities

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    #71142

    gianpi
    Participant

    Not many data but those necessary, have only besides to consider the costs of the project and the possible returns of the investments, the possibility to bring advantages to other trials, the time of implementation, the importance for the customer, and to operate a priorization matrix; however only you can know your true necessities

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    #71164

    Rangesa
    Participant

    I have a coined a phrase called ProMPT(Processes,Metrics,People and Tools) in a broader sensewhich are important.When we take up a green belt project it’s very important to be aware which specific area of the business process am looking at( & what’s the problem).Is the process in place or am cerating process by reengineering.If it’s the current process with metrics then it becomes continuous improvement project and GB project implementation can  directly address the problem.This ideal situation.If it’s process rengineering then it’s a diffrent ball game and duration of the project becomes longer and we should establsih metrics and get them and reaaply sixsigma to improve.Most of my experiences are of these nature.This is reality.

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    #71168

    EX GE MBB
    Participant

    In my experience at GE , I have seen that many BB projects are actually baseline projects and as the BB gets deeper into the measurement phase after completing DEFINE , she realizes that the scope of the project is such that it needs to be addressed by more than one person! These smaller projects are found to be ideal GB projects.
    For Example: When one of my BBs embarked on a Inventory Turn Improvement BB project, we realized after baselining that there were several issues like ordering process, despatch process, order booking process etc which were resulting into poor inventory management. This triggered into eight or ten GB projects which were given to various process owners across various departments. BB became the overall project leader and mentored/helped with all these GB projects.  
    It was a great success and resulted in very positive results across organization!
    Hope it helps……….

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    #71184

    Ted
    Member

    A couple of comments on your scennario. First you are not saying anything about the problem/s you have identified. You just jump directly to an objective, reducing the amount of help calls by 50%. What is your problem with that? are not you there to help? Or probably you have thought to help addressing a problem that is not internal to your department but rather widespread and that you want to be the sounding board for loss of productivity or waste of time that you think(hypothesis) in your company. In few words you have to define the problem, than determine the process and the process flaws that result in the problem, than study the actual process and see whether it is out  of control (make a distinction between “noises” and real “signals”). You can not figure out this jus using percentage and/or means. After that you would be able decide whether it is needed a process improvement initiative or process reengineering. The activities you mention in your message like mandatory training and online knowledge base are to be decided after a detailed cause effect analysis that all are part of a prblem solving approach.

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    #71186

    scott yack
    Member

    The situation I think is very common. Our department has gone from a staff from 14 to 9. We need our help desk staff to focus on my “project oriented” items. We need to cut the strings so to speak. The end users at our facility rely on us too heavily to do the simplist tasks. I agree with you the problem is not internal. I think my data will show that we have a lack of training. Whether that is an I.S. or Hr responsibilty has been tossed around for quite a while. I think a online knowlege base could be part of the solution. I also think my data will show me an 80/20 rule. 80% of the calls are from 20% of the people. I think my data will show that with the right tools (Process changes as well as Software training) we can decrease the number of calls comming in. The problem that I am getting is that people are telling me that I should not use software to solve the problem. My thoughts are that I should not Jump into thinking that software will be a silver bullitt, but what is the difference between me using software as part of the solution and engineering using a tooling change as part of their solution. That is what I am trying to solve. Thanks for everyones input. I really am learning a lot from these discussions.

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    #71265

    Kristi Mayhew
    Participant

    A “good” project is one that is beneficial to the customer as well as the business.  Steps during the define stage help you to determine if in fact you are identifying a project that the outcome will help to improve a process- reduce cost etc.  You don’t have to be in charge of the area in which a project falls.  GBs and BBs run projects that they have no direct control over- however, it is the responsibility of the GB or the BB to get the buy-in of the business and the Champion of the project.  Data rich projects are great but alot of projects are done that don’t have alot of data- so to say a good GB project has to have lots of data is really incorrect. 

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    #104304

    Vineeth Kumar N
    Member

    I have some thing to Add here,
    Of course the Data Availability, clear Goal and Scope are inevitable for a GB Project.
    In Addition to that, a GB Project will be Drive will come only if project  Leader realise that his Project  is having   a Link to the business Objective and he is making a Contribution to the Business by means of his Project.
    These Link will act as a Catalyst and the Green Belt will be Charged to Devote the committed time or even more to Complete his project.
    It is  the Responsibility of the MBB or BB to make that Link or Advice him to look for opportunities in the Macro Definition to Link the Project with the Business objective..
    Another Objective can be , Improvement of the current Domain he/she is working. as a Green Belt  the same person can look at a Problem in a  different Perspective ( not in Department Perspective) and come up with an Improvement Projects to Enhance the Efficiency of the Process which the person  is cuttently working up on.
    I will be glad to Receive feed back from my Fellow Associates.
    regards
    Vineeth
    Six Sigma ( Quality)

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    #182669

    Yamini Kumaran
    Member

    That was useful.

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