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When should I use Six Sigma?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General When should I use Six Sigma?

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  • #34912

    natalia
    Participant

    I’m a processes engineer and I would like to know when re-designing process, how do I know that I should use Six Sigma?
    I presume that high volatility of data coming from simulation or real operation data should give me a hint about it but I can’t think of anything else.
     

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    #96926

    mman
    Participant

    Natalia:SScan be used either for total tansformation,or  for cetain improvement CTQ,or for designing and re-designing your process (DFSS),or for problem solving.Just you should have the courage to study your process capability ,based on some obtained data,and then to apply DMAIC,building a small taem,creating a “charter” with assignments and action plan (time-table).Just make the first move and start.good luck.MMAN 

    Natalia:

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    #96929

    Velasquez
    Participant

    Natalia, aplication of Six Sigma Tools is methology to improve processes itself, normally, re-design of a process is the result of the aplication of SS methodology….So maybe the right question should be … In wich moment of DMAIC shoul I identify the applicable changes to the process??……I recommend you to take a Green Belt training, it will give you a good vision of DMAIC process…
    Saludos

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    #96959

    Martin Schmalenbach
    Participant

    Hi Natalia
    I’d endorse the previous respondents.
    I took a Green Belt course – that gave me an excellent grounding in the philosophy and the statistics and tools. But I have a first degree in electronic engineering so the stats were not an issue for me as such.
    But I took more away perhaps in terms of the philosophy.
    In very simple terms 6S is about defect-free operations – ultimately we all strive for this at the lowest costs etc, and we trade off – may be it’s OK for the customer to have a 4S or worse service. For example, the UK postal service handles about 50 million items per day. For it, a 6S level may be to only fail to deliver about 15 items per day. It’s much much worse than this in reality. But for me as a customer I get a bad experience only once in a blue moon, so it doesn’t matter that it is no where near being a 6S organisation. As a former consultant in flight safety I know that in one sense the airline industry is a 7S or 8S organisation (crashes per billion miles flown?) – but as a passenger it’s barely acceptable to have one major crash every WEEK!
    So I guess my response is this: ALWAYS remember the philosophy that is 6S, use the tools as appropriate – I use DMAIC framework almost constantly – and ASK the customer (who ever takes the output of the processes you own) what they need & want – and take it from there!

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    #96966

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    I guess I take a slightly different view than most of the other responders.
    DMAIC is an improvement methodology.  When you want to tweak a process to improve it’s performance, then you use DMAIC.
    When the process is so profoundly broken that you need to start over to get where you need to be, then you use DFSS.
    When you say “re-designing” a process, I assume you mean something more like starting over than like tweaking.
    Maybe it should be obvious, but to make the decision, you need to know where you want to get. Like they say, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.
    When you are thinking of big changes, I would start out thinking DFSS.  Now, you need to be trained in DMAIC to really “get” DFSS, so if your understanding of Six Sigma is limited, then that is a problem.
    In the define phase of DFSS you create a thing called a multi-generation product plan.  In this deliverable you articulate the vision of where you would like to be, and then map out a series of steps to get there.  For each step you sort out what capabilities you need to have, and then decide how to get them.  There are really only 3 “how” choices. Either you can use something you already have, you need to improve something you already have (DMAIC) or you need to come up with something new (DFSS).  Now you can map out the series of projects to achieve your vision.
    It could be that you can get where you want to go with a few DMAIC projects.  That is a perfectly valid outcome of a DFSS define phase.
    But it still all boils down to clearly articulating where you are headed before you take off trying to get there.
    –McD
     

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    #97023

    Ron
    Member

    Its a matter of ecomics – you should only consider redesign if you have exhaust the capability of the present process to meet the customer or market specification; to achieve this you need to measure the capability of the current process and compare it to the customer specification.
    As a result of this you may have identified a business opportunity.
    This is where it gets tricky; if the original process is not presently meeting the customer requirement you need to identify the cause /s, root cause of its failure. When you have reduced these to the critical few you will need to estimate / guess whether the existing process can be improved to the degree that it will then meet the customer requirements; if your guess is that it can then you continue down the DMAIC process; if you guess is that  it can not then you need to look at redesign.
    The dificult question is how do you determine the ultimate capability of an existing process, unless you have tested it and failed.

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    #97027

    Dr Abhijit Purohit
    Participant

    Dear Natalia
    The most important thing is, Why you are redesigning the process? You are redesigning the process mean you are determined for some specific change, and in most cases it is because of customer demand of better and consistent quality of you product or service or you have exhaust the capability of the present process to meet the customer or market specification .
     If the high volatility of data coming from your past real operation, it should give hint about it. The best way to deal with it is to go for DMAIC methodology to improve your process. DMAIC methodology is for existing process, or you can go for DMADV if you are going for a new process or new product. You should study your process capability, based on some obtained data from simulation or real operation for DMAIC or for DMADV as the case may be.
    We are pesticide industry in India and doing some projects and training for our people in-house at present for Six Sigma, and we may discuss our difficulties and out comes if you are willing to do so.
    Regards
    Dr Abhijit Purohit

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    #97028

    Michael Schlueter
    Participant

    You can use six sigma, when you have more than 4 defects per million opportunities AND you want to arrive at this level AND these defects really do hurt.
    Defects in your process can be, e.g.:

    defective products or parts
    defective flow of information
    defective sales
    which depends on your scope.
    Defects do ‘hurt’, when they do affect people. E.g. when

    defects from sales lower profitability of your company
    defects from information lead to wrong decisions
    defects from products cause injuries to or complaints from your customers.
    Best regards, Michael Schlueter

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    #97039

    Mikel
    Member

    Be careful of the answers you get on this forum. There is a lot of I have a tool (Six Sigma) the world looks like a Six Sigma problem.
    When redesigning a process, you toolset needs are generally dictated by the knowledge of the process available to you.
    I have seen where the process knowledge is good, the only and most valuable tool needed is a FMEA.
    On the otherhand, if knowledge is mostly tribal, you need good knowledge discovery tools such as what you would find in a DFSS course or in a good Taguchi course.
    If you are more specific about the need for redesign (what problem are you trying to solve), you’ll get better answers.

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    #97040

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Stan,
    Your reply was admirable. Clearly, there are too many armchair engineers in this forum. But you’re not one of them. My compliments!
    Andy

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    #97044

    Gogune
    Participant

    Hi
    Just think about why u r going for re-design ? Definitly for better process …so apply sixsigma such that in what way u can design
    for a better process.
     

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    #97054

    mman
    Participant

    Before applying SS you should  be able to answer the following 3 questions:
    *Do you have a clear marketing’s strategy?
    **Is

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    #97055

    mman
    Participant

    Before applying SS you should  be able to answer the following 3 questions:
    *Do you have a clear marketing’s strategy?
    **Is 

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    #97056

    mman
    Participant

    ………Continue
    **Do yo have good chances  for meeting your financial goals?
    ***Is your org. responding good  to new  circumstances (effectively and  efficienly)??
    If yo receive positive answers,then go for it ,other-wise you should wait,kind regards.              MMAN

    Continue

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    #97061

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Ron makes a very good point – don’t do a process redesign unless you have to.
    One rule of thumb I’ve seen tossed around –  figure around a 70% defect reduction for a DMAIC project.  If you are looking for a lot less, then just go do it – DMAIC is overkill.  If you are looking for a lot more, then the current process probably isn’t going to cut it – use DFSS.
    Of course, “a lot” is highly subjective.
    –McD
     

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    #97062

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Ron makes a very good point – don’t do a process redesign unless you have to.
    One rule of thumb I’ve seen tossed around –  figure around a 70% defect reduction for a DMAIC project.  If you are looking for a lot less, then just go do it – DMAIC is overkill.  If you are looking for a lot more, then the current process probably isn’t going to cut it – use DFSS.
    Of course, “a lot” is highly subjective.
    –McD
     

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    #97063

    Shane A.
    Member

    Natalie,
    When redesigning a process I would use typical Lean tools, and motion Kaizen study. Then apply the Six Sigma tools once you have redesigned the process to compare and identify improvements statistically.

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    #97074

    Patrick
    Participant

    If you know what is causing your biggest problems (and in this case I mean you REALLY KNOW what your root causes are, as in they are very obvious – some people call these “nail in the tire” projects) you probably have a “just go do it” situation.  Use some of the tools but don’t kill yourself trying to be too formal with the methodology.
    If you aren’t sure what the root causes are, driving the needed improvement, then maybe you need the formality of SS to help you discover these.  I have noticed that most good SS projects are ones that you know you have an issue, but aren’t quite sure exactly what is causing your problems.
    Don’t expend the resources (time, man-power, etc.) on a very formal project if it isn’t needed.
    Hope this helps….

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