Where to Find Opportunities for Six Sigma?

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    Hi, we have been  analyzing several projects, and when costing them we find out , the are not relevant for six sigma .. where  can I find, even in the financial information , where the real problems are ????, or the real waste ?? please help !! bye the way .. the initial projects were assigned by a group of top ejecutives….



    While defining projects I suggest following “procedure”:
    1. Define problem area  – Q: What is my no 1 problem? What is the most critical issue to me? These are the questions that should be asked by the champion. One can use the priroty list or results of company indices, experiance etc.
    2. Problem definition – all the financial reports especially EBIT, Cash flow, P&L, Operation Expenses, Variances, Claims, Sales, Company Measures etc. – Finally what it all have to come to bottom line which mean: it has to reflect in one of the Cash Flow component.
    3. Having these information one can define target and timeframe, allocating all necessary resources
    It’s very simple, but in practice it creates a lot of confusion an problems as none like to show his weak points.
    What I have described above  works for the company I am working for.
    If you have any questions I would be glad to discuss it with you
    Kind regards


    Mike Carnell

    You are not the first to discover that traditional accounting is really apoor source of information for improving an organization. That isn’t its function. The best accounting driven projects come from an Activity Based Accounting system where you can see actual cost drivers. A validated model takes a long time to build. The accounting people will probably want to sacrifice you to the gods at Enron to preserve their system rather than do ABC. Offer them a copy of an old book “Relevance Lost” and see if they get some ideas of their own.
    If you do not have an ABC model you can get projects from a number of places. Lawsuits – what has your company been sued for lately – they are strong messages from customers. Customer return reports. Overtime reports. Accident reports. Any issue with EPA or OSHA.
    If this doesn’t work take the trash bins and empty them in a big pile and see what is getting thrown away. This one is always fun if you are a manufacturing facility. If you are in transaction – you can start anywhere. These processes have been less touched by progress than GAAP.
    Try this (Works in factories – I haven’t done it in an office area). Enter the factory through a door that management doesn’t normally use. As you walk count the number of people you see and the number who are not working. If the number is over 30% there is a problem in the factory (not the people – it is unscheduled down time, material issues, etc.). The hard part is figuring out what it is.


    Niraj Goyal

    I have found the following appraoch working for me always –
    1   Get the top managers around a table
    2    Ask them to put on a piece of paper what each one thinks are the two most important problems in the organisation
    3     Put up the list in the board
    4     Most problems stated will be causes of problems rather than problems – eg inadequate staff, bad systems, etc etc,
    5     Go through the list and eliminate the problems that were causes rather than problems. Eventually it always happens that internal problems are causes and the problems of customers are the real problems and this is quickly agreed by the group as you go through and ask if this is the problem or the cause.
    6    Then based on weighted numbers by the group for importance, select the most important problem, I have never known it to fail in my experience.
    Might need a bit of experience to work well. Can contact me on [email protected] if you need further information.



    I have to say that was put out very elequently.  When i think back to my typical problem solving ability I do think I have trapped myself to fixing the results of problems and not the problem itself.   This will now be the first question I ask myself…am i fixing the problem or the result of the problem.   I have to be honest and say I have mixed feelings about 6S.  But if 6S led me to this new understanding of problem identification by visiting this website then 6S has been a success for me.

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