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Why choose six sigma over Kaizen

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Why choose six sigma over Kaizen

This topic contains 85 replies, has 60 voices, and was last updated by  Mikel 11 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #28651

    Carlos Castillo
    Participant

    What are the benefits of choosing 6sigma over Kaizen, 6 sigma seems a great deal more expensive and more bureucratic. I have obtained great gains from Kiazen with minimal investment.

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    #71655

    MN
    Participant

    I fully agree with you,so go ahead with kaizen and Gemba-kaizen,it is cheaper,cost-effective and much easier to understand & implemnt,less arrogant,it is a company-wide attitude based mainly on common sense.
                                            regards                   MN

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    #71665

    Al
    Participant

    It should not be a question of one over the other.
    Some companies get into a culture where you can not do anything unless it is six sigma – avoid that.
    If Kaizen is working, keep doing it.  But six sigma may be applicable to some of the bigger isues.

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    #71667

    Jaran S.
    Participant

    I totally agree the Kaizen is effective. Many can get great gain with minimum investment. Happy to hear that you are the one of those.
    However, all organizations are not the same. For some organization, the benefits of choosing 6sigma over Kaizen may be as the following :
    1. They want breakthrough improvemnt, not just continuous improvement.
    2. They hope they will improve faster.
    3. It is expected that Six Sigma has better capability to solve the problem which can not be solved easily by Kaizen.
    4. Six Sigma is more fasionable. It look good today to say “We have Six Sigma”.
    For me, I want to use both at the same time.
    Jaran S.

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    #71670

    Kiong
    Participant

    Hi,
    Kaizen works well in slow-growth economy whereas six sigma is better suited to fast-growth economy. So it is important that organizations must know whether they are operating in a slow or fast economy. I liken that six sigma tends to skew towards “innovation” type of strategy thus only a selected few “champions” will called the shot, very rugged individualism, individual ideas and effort. And the mode of operation is scrap and rebuild and with a heavy dosage of technology leverage to get the results.
    Whereas Kaizen tends to involve everybody and the pace of improvement is gradual and small but we know that every drop of water will eventually form the great ocean. Then why not combine Kaizen & Six sigma? Maybe this combination can bring the organisation to a much greater height!
    Kiong

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    #71685

    Codeone
    Participant

    You hit the nail on the head.  it is exactly because of the bureaucracy that 6 sigma is choosen.  It is a great place for people to hid.  One other benifit is, you can “in the name of 6 sigma” drive already overworked employees into giving more.  for instance, the poster boy for 6 sigma who I work for has dictated that all managers have to do a 6 sigma project IN ADDITION to their normal job.  and they have big bucks expectations.  So, in the guise of driving this down the organization, they are really using it to drive revenue up and cost down.  so instead of it being a tool to use when you have something to fix, it is no more than another tool for driving employees.  so you see, you have to understand what is really behind this program.  there are two main points.
    1.  make stock holders and analysis think there is something magic about the process that just makes your company so much better than it really is.
    2.  you can use the program to drive your employees, in the name of “learning more about 6 sigma” to work longer hours and produce more results.
    so, bottom line is, don’t get hung up on which is better for your organization or future.  6 sigma offers too many opportunities for pulling the wool and abusing your employees.

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    #71687

    ?
    Participant

    Because everyone is doing it.  Pretty soon Six Sigma is going to burden corporations as does ISO-Yada Yada Yah.

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    #71701

    RR Kunes
    Member

    Carlos,
     
    Be very careful.  While the kaizen type event is tanilizing the after taste may hurt you. I am learned six sigma and lean at Allied Signal and while we are strong advocates of the Lean Enterprise approach most advocates of “LEAN” do not understand the damage a quick one day or two day event can cause.
    Believe me nothing is going to be fixed in a one day or one week event. What will occur is a long list of action items that may or may not get done. I do the Gemba Day, however, I fold it into the six sigma regimen. If you do not you will usually get bad data and miss the major cause of problems.
    Remeber six sigma andd lean are designed for two distinct different things. Six Sigma is for reducing variaiton in the process, lean is for improving the process flow. Identify what your problem is then utilize the proper aproach. If you don’t you will get a faster production of defects, or, reduced defects but still a bottleneck.
    Use your tools appropriately.
     
    RR Kunes
    Master Blackbelt/Lean Expert.

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    #71702

    Bobby
    Participant

    Codeone, you appear to be contradicting yourself.
    “So, in the guise of driving this down the organization, they are really using it to drive revenue up and cost down.  so instead of it being a tool to use when you have something to fix, it is no more than another tool for driving employees.”  You state that the company uses it to impact revenue and cost, but then turn around and say they don’t do that, but instead use it to drive employees.
    I would think it the responsibility of every member of a company to impact revenue and cost in positive ways AND show a resulting benefit to the customer.  If the SS projects being performed don’t do this, then either the proj mgr is not choosing the appropriate business case or the champs, sr. mgrs, etc are not ensuring SS is being used appropriately.
    I would agree that SS can be used in incorrect ways and shouldn’t be used for every problem, but the tools learned and applied during a SS project can be used outside of project work, and should be.
    I hope you can see the positives of the program even though it may not be applied correctly in your organization.  I mgmt is focused on doing SS for the sake of doing SS without being focused on the results, then surely there is a significant amount of waste occuring.

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    #71706

    Smithsigma
    Member

    I agree to a great extent…
    So, if you are truly a certified Lean Expert and Master Blackbelt – you must be in high demand.  I went through Allied Signal’s Lean training – really good stuff.
     

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    #71719

    Mayes
    Participant

    Sounds like Codeone should look for a different job…
    The company I work for successfully combines both Kaizen & 6S. It’s all in the project scoping & selection. It becomes evident very quickly what level of involvement is required to get the bottom line results.
     

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    #71720

    Codeone
    Participant

    I guess it kind of makes me mad that all hype at GE is “this is customer focused”.  when in fact, 90% of all of this is internally focused.  One division I know of even went to far as to come up with a quicksigma idea.  basically, they wrote things up on an excel spread sheet and sent it in to get six sigma credit at corporate.  This is what always happens.  The Bureaucracy takes over.  The organization is chock full of people that have never produced a good or a service, but they can make charts and know how to manage up.  In my division, the optics are of course very much in play.  but we have some of the more aggressive managers pushing the employees to produce extra in the guise of doing a six sigma project.  In all my years of experience with this process, I have never seen six sigma produce anything.  basically, someone has an idea and (of course anyone that has been around for a while can do most of these things as second nature) and they put the project in place.  but in order to get the six sigma credit, they spend many many man yours trying to back fill the six sigma template so they can in fact get the credit.  like one of the “master black belts” told me one time, if it did not happen in six sigma, it didn’t happen.  it is truely a  joke.

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    #71725

    walden
    Participant

    Let me guess.  Either you were passed over to be a Six Sigma practitioner or…you were never good enough at it to get anything done or…YOU are trying to hide in your organization and can’t now because they are driving YOUR job with metrics.
    This forum is for people who have something constructive to contribute to process improvement.  Not people who want to complain about it because they don’t understand it.
    P.S. If you are a Black Belt and have this attitutude, I feel sorry for you, your company and anyone around you.  Gallup Q12 has a term for you – Actively Disengaged.  This means you are one step from being fired because you can’t contribute to your company in a tangible manner.

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    #71726

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    I think this is a good template for deciding when to use SixSigma, Lean or TOC. Regards, Ovidiu Contras Six Sigma, Lean or Theory of Constraints HelperViewing Tip: Usually, you can click on a link to view the document — it may open within your browser using the application (in this case Microsoft PowerPoint). If you are having difficulty, try right clicking the link and selecting “Save Target As…” or “Save As…” to save it to your computer harddrive.

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    #71732

    isoquality.com
    Participant

    Six Sigma concept is focusing on “do the right thing” from the early stage like in R&D to have robust product and/or process design.
    I don’t say Kaizen is wrong or no good, but its incremental improvement approach may falling into “do the thing right” trap.  For people in the production floor shall understand how tough to reduce process variability if the process design is incapable or not robust. 
    Incremental improvement with Kaizen may not be the most cost effective way in attaining robust process or product.
    This is just my 2-cent of thought.
    Regards,

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    #71758

    Carlos Castillo
    Participant

    Mr. Kunes,I think you are confusing Real Kaizen, with Kaizen Blitzes.  Real kaizen is a very long process, it is about changing peoples’ mentality.  I don’t want my employees to perform a weeklong Kaizen event only to return to their daily work and see waste all around them and not do anything about it.  I want people to question things and to notice when things are not right.  The number one reason TQM and Zero Defects died was because, companies thought that if they measured and fixed a problem they were TQM or Zero Defects.  Get a team of Operators, Managers and “Experts”, tackle a problem for a week see what happens, a month from now they will not  remember what they did.  Any long term change requires Upper Management’s drive as well as a lot of training and follow up. Quick wins are good but you need long term to really get benefit.

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    #71760

    isoquality.com
    Participant

    Kaizen was originated from Toyota Japan. It’s more on continual improvement or small incremental improvement over a long time span rather than a drastic breakthorugh or revolution. Toyota car is still the most reliable (MTBF) car in the world. So I don’t see Kaizen is a bad thing if people can really understand its concept and implement it in systemic or holistic way.
    I prefer to say leadership than management is key to everything. 
     

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    #71761

    Kim Niles
    Participant

    Dear Carlos, et.al.:
    Good question.  I just attended a Six Sigma workshop in San Diego where nearly the same question was brought up.
    Key contextual aspects include: 
    1-     Defining what we mean by Kaizen, and Six Sigma.  I applaud your Blitz post (https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=9042), the one by Kunes (https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=8970) and the one by isoquality (https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=9044).
    2-     Large companies use “Kaizen blitzes” or “Kaizen Events” both at the same time.  Example, Honeywell (former Allied Signal) uses both in combination (I know this from numerous personal sources).
    3-     Six Sigma has been adopted more by very big companies with very big confounded situations and ROI potential as opposed to small companies where the processes are more easily fully understood and the ROI potential is small relative to the cost of implementing Six Sigma. 
    In my opinion, there isn’t a very big difference between a Kaizen Event and a Six Sigma project other than mandated talent, scope, and time frame (~3-4 days vs. 3-4 months).  Most other basic principles still apply to both.
    I see the future of Six Sigma within the smaller company consisting of a lot more merger with Kaizen and the future of Six Sigma within the larger company consisting of a lot more Kaizen and Six Sigma in combination.  The reason for my statements is purely implementation cost justification.  
    I’ve heard a lot of complaints that the training Black Belts are receiving is not enough to meet the needs of managing a Six Sigma team unless the candidate already has a large head start before the training starts.  One way I see this happening is through Kaizen.
    What do you think?
    KN –   https://www.isixsigma.com/library/bio/kniles.asp 

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    #71859

    Codeone
    Participant

    Well, I think we all know how to classify you. A sycophant no doubt.
    No, you are wrong on all counts. I have been promoted over 12 times in my career. I have even spent a stint running a large part of our business overseas, where I lived.
    All I am trying to say is that if your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. The statistics are easy. I used most of them 20 years ago when I was a lowly industrial engineer.
    I have been a code one or two at the largest multinational company in the world for over 30 years. But I cannot roll over and play dead when organizations are embracing this stuff like a “magic bullet” thinking it will replace experience, common sense and business smarts. And this is exactly where it is going.
    What I have found is that most of the people that embrace this at my company are in fact short time folks with no real success behind them. Those with any tenure did hide in the organization until this process came along. Now they can sit in a cubicle and make charts and attend conference calls and not really have to produce anything. 90 % of the “Projects” that these folks do could have been done in one-fourth the time and without dragging 40 other people into the thing. And 90% of those are no longer in place six month later. Why? They were done for all the wrong reasons. It is a dog and pony show. Projects are selected and completed in order to meet the goals of the company. You have to be a “green belt”, or a “Black Belt” or a “Master Black Belt” in order not only to keep your job, but to ever hope to have a promotion. And now that it is a business initiative, no one in upper management will tell the emperor that he has no clothes. We find ourselves in the business of managing careers, not the business and this process is the perfect tool. By embracing it, you get to appear that you are a “team player” while not really doing anything constructive for the business. This process does have its place. In a DFSS, if a company does not already have a good product introduction plan, this will work. And for everyone else, its like the song says, its full of “pretty pretty boys, we call men”.

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    #71860

    Terry
    Member

    I’ve been reading the Kaizen vs. Six Sigma debate and decided to add my thoughts.  Sorry if its a bit lengthy.
    First of all, If you look at this as a choice, you’re doing the wrong thing.  These are tools in a toolbox, nothing more.  I tell people to think of Kaizen, Lean, and Six Sigma as drawers of tools in your big Craftsman toolbox.  Its like a carpenter saying I’ll always use the hammer but forget about the chisel.  Then another carpenter comes along and says he hates hammers but likes the mitre box.  The person who made the comments about “not a choice” was right on.  It all depends on what kind of problems you’re trying to solve.
    Second, Kaizen blitzes are great for the no-brainers that we fall over everyday.  If you’re having success, then keep it up (You must have a lot of low hanging fruit).  If you have logistics, cycle time,  delivery, flexibility/responsiveness, or asset utilization problems, then the Lean tools work best.  If you’re trying to reduce a 24 hour burn-in cycle by 75% or you’re trying to optimize weld schedules for a $12 million progressive assembly operation or you’re trying to strategically size your inventory pipeline for quick response, you better think about using the Six Sigma tools.  These kind of projects have $ millions of opportunity.  Kaizen blits “ain’t gonna get you there.”  In fact, Kaizen Blitzes might make the problem worse if you start to make a bunch of changes without understanding the variation drivers and root causes.
    Last, if Six Sigma is a bureacuracy or a pretty boy process in your company, it’s not Six Sigma’s fault – Its the way your organization has implemented it.  This stuff works well, but simply cloning what GE or some other organization has done will probably result in an unsuccessful program.  Its takes more than going through the process and the education, hanging up the charts, or talking the statistical jargon to each other.  Leadership, execution and results makes any of these programs successful or unsuccessful.
    The most successful organizations deploy all of these tools concurrently.  They focus on the problem and then select the appropriate tools to fix it.  They don’t debate about Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma – They just open the right drawer, take out the right tools, fix their problems, and enjoy the results.

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    #71869

    Eoin Barry
    Participant

    Ovidiu. Thank you for your slide.
    I have a couple of observations which I hope you don’t mind if I share with the community.  The complexity of the problem is not an appropriate method of determining the tool to use to fix it.
    Six sigma and lean or TOC are complimentary. There is nothing in six sigma,  which impedes either lean priciples which, for example, are embodied say in the Toyota production system (TPS) or theory of constraints which, for example is beautifully illustrated in the book “The Goal”.
    TPS and TOC may share some differences however.
    Lean excercises or KAIZEN or Blitzes provide excellent platforms for six sigma. They put the D in DMAIC!
     
     

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    #72004

    walden
    Participant

    Thank you for the reply and a better explanation of your attitude toward Six Sigma.  What you have described is a dysfunctional company – not a dysfuntional problem solving tool.  Basically everything you said is exactly why many companies fail at implementation.  I was involved in one of those failed deployments at a large company.
    Some points:
    1.The statistics are easy.  I have been using them for 20 years also
    2.Six Sigma is not a magic bullet and should not be treated that way
    3.Good companies embrace several problem solving tools which address issues at various levels (just do it, kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean, etc.) and integrate them.  That way you are not using a hammer to fix a watch.
    4.If 90% of the projects were no longer in place, then I would be looking at Champions and Process Owners.  My question when this comes up is – If I can’t get the Process Owners to implement these changes, what chance do I have of getting them to implement the “common sense” changes.  People tend to forget that It doesn’t matter what tool you use.  If the people don’t integrate it into their business, NOTHING will stay fixed.
    5.In good companies, projects are tied to business goals which can be found in the Balanced Scorecard or other system which allows a company to make sure their efforts are directed to critical areas.
     
    Again, thank you for adding more detail to your story.  I have blasted a few people on this forum before in order to get to the real reason for their frustration.  If I can quote a phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”.  If used correctly, Six Sigma is a good high powered tool which can enhance a business.  But like any tool, it can be abused if not used correctly.  Good luck. 
    P.S. After 12 promotions, aren’t you the CEO by now:)

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    #72598

    Murray
    Participant

    “Toyota car is still the most reliable (MTBF) car in the world.”
    Where can this data be found?

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    #86147

    Manoj Bhardwaj
    Participant

    During Control phase of any Six-Sigma Project many “small but new” improvement activities are carried out.We may “see” these new,small and large number of improvements as “Kaizen*” resulting out of Six-Sigma implementation.
    Inversely,a large collection of “Regular Kaizens”, if carried out in a “Single” well defined Process, may result in an improved state with lesser number of defects in the output of that Process. 
    I think it just depends on whether the initiative for improvement has come from the shop floor or from the top/mid level managers.
    The Best is the right combination of using the right tools for getting the right improvement at the right cost at within the right time span at the right time!The combination will definitely vary from time to time even for the same Business Organization.
    It should be a Win Win situation and it has to be the right combination of Six-Sigma and Kaizens.
    I sincerely request feedback as this is a very very important topic for sustaining the faith in Six-Sigma initiatives.
    Manoj Bhardwaj
    bhardwajmanoj@yahoo.com

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    #93070

    S.Manivannan
    Member

    Can  you  please  forward  the  slide?
    Thanks,
    Mani
     

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    #93080

    KBailey
    Participant

    Is it really a choice of one or the other? Or is it really a matter of being flexible to invest appropriate resources in defining the problem, measuring the current state, analyzing relationships between inputs and outputs, improving the process, and controlling the process to sustain the improvement?
    I’m no Kaizen expert, but it seems to me that fundmental problem-solving steps are basically the same. Back in elementary school in the 1970’s I learned that the first step in solving a problem is to define it. The time and energy you put into each step should be a function of the  risk associated with change and Cost of Doing Nothing. The risk associated with change is largely a function of complexity. (Risk = Probability * Cost, totalled over everything that could go wrong.)
    Sometimes, eyeballing as a measurement system is good enough. This can even apply to “measuring” whether a problem is adequately defined, measured, analyzed, or improved. I don’t believe Six Sigma per se says you can’t be flexible with these standards when it’s appropriate.
    We live in an increasingly complex and competitive world. Competitive pressures on price, quality, and timeliness increase the Cost of Doing Nothing. Risk associated with change also grows due to the higher potential cost associated resulting from this competitive pressure. The risk increases even faster, however, because the competitive pressure also increases the probability of something going wrong with the change. Over time, the need for a disciplined, methodical, proactive approach with potential for continuous and radical improvement like Six Sigma, will tend to grow in organizations seeking long-term success.

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    #93081

    Taylor
    Member

    KBailey,
    Your post was very well put. I agree completely, but would not have been able to write it as eloquently as you did.
    Tonya

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    #93119

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Carlos,
    I am not sure why anyone has to make a choice. They are two different things – Kaizen for incremental improvement and Six Sigma for Breakthrough type improvement. If you read “Lean Thinking” by Womack you will see that both techniques were part of the Toyota Production System although the breakthrough strategy was called kaikaku (probably spelled wrong but I don’t have a copy of Lean Thinking close).
    You need to understand what you are trying to accomplish and select the appropriate methodology. If you read Juran’s “Managerial Breakthrough” (yes it is Juran’s book) he explains the difference between control and breakthrough. It may help you understand the difference and therefore the reason it is more logical not to choose one over the other but how to create a balanced program that uses both as well as Lean.
    Good luck.

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    #98405

    Sebastian
    Member

    Fully agree with you. I take a strong liking to building the basics, and creating the right knowledge ecologies.  Six sigma is just another tool, albeit an expensive one.  I was lucky enought to study a pure version of Kaizen.  It’s really beautiful in its simplicity, and aplicability.  Add a little knowledge management, and respect for people to boost innovation and you’re there! 
    Of course you don´t land a 80k job by being a team-player. 
    Best regards

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    #98417

    Dillon
    Participant

    Carlos,
    I understand your question and would pose the following question back to you…
    “Why not use Kaizen to aide Six Sigma?”
    I have worked a variety of Lean and Six Sigma projects and have used Kaizen to shorten then amount of time needed for a SS project.  If you can get the dedicated resources required for a Kaizen event (which, in my opinionn, is the most difficult part of Kaizen), you can easily complete the DMA portion of the DMAIC SS project.  Then your team basically just has to work on the Improvement implementations and the control phase of the SS project.  I have used this approach with very good results and have cut the average 3-4 month time frame of a SS project to 2 months (we have done some quicker than that).
    Doug

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    #98438

    mman
    Participant

    Hi,Could  you submit outlines of your methodologies,I think it is innovative and creative and every expert would welcome such type of mixing such quality approaches in an integrated way,thank you,regards.
                                                                             MMAN

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    #98443

    Ron
    Member

    Carlos,
    I think I know understand the point of your message. I apologize for the U.S. centeric viewpoint on these issues. In eastern countries thier philosophy has evolved continuous improvement as a way of life. In the West we have not been so fortunate.
    In Japan kaizen is small incremnental changes that evolved as a standard work practice, unfortunately those type of events are normally under the control of only those processes changeable by the work group involved, and that is the only limitation to that process. If you are already at 5+ sigma perhaps that is all that you can do outside of the designed in issues.
    In the U.S. and the philosophy behind the six sigma movement is to implement breakthrough changes that significantly change the way we do business. I utilize what I call kaizen events to crumble any barriers that may pop up in the implementation of those significant corporate changes that we focus our projects on.
    Hope that clears it up for you.

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    #98457

    Dillon
    Participant

    MMAN,
    When I first saw your posting, I wasn’t sure how to respond.  I’m not sure that what I am about to write provides you with what you are looking for…so please let me know…
    When it comes to working a project, any type of project (lean or ss), I generally follow the DMAIC model.  I find ss lacking in that it generally takes way too long to work a project and I find lean lacking in that it generally does not have a control element (there is room to argue this point…but at my company, lean efforts usually ended up back where they started due to lack of control).  Therefore I like to integrate the two methodologies together to help solve problems/implement products at a faster pace.  The lean tools can help speed up a ss project and ss tools can help implement better controls in lean projects.  Plus I like the DMAIC structure – you can use it for lean just as well as ss.  It helps provide a little structure to the whole thing. 
    When it comes to choosing projects for myself or the BBs that report to me, I use a Value Stream Map to drive the decision (except new products) – regardless of whether they are ss or lean.  If you’re not improving the VS, why are you working on it?
    Doug

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    #98475

    mman
    Participant

    Dough
     I agree fully with you,adding to that the pitfalls of TQM:lack of integration,fuzzy concept,unclear goal…etc,so the best as you said :to integrate such concepts utilizing “stretch-flexible-thinking”.I think we should prepare ourselv for the  next quality “fad” (for this decade),so let us call it “quality best practice” (QBP).So let us plan to trigger this new concept,as SS is becoming old,arrange the “copy-writing”process??     Kind Regards.       MMAN

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    #98498

    Dillon
    Participant

    MMAN,
    The additions that you make are certainly true.  I like your thinking….
    Doug

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    #107308

    d3ws
    Participant

    Can you provide a little of the logic behind this tool?
    Thx.

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    #107671

    Aurangabadi
    Participant

    Doug,
    I have been reading your opinions and of everyone else in this session.
    Let me pose my comments as a question (slightly long one)
    From times immemorial (and through common sense), we have used the familiar cycle of identifying a problem, putting metrics around it, making a CBA, brainstorming for solutions and finally implementing one (you would have done it too). We then put in reports and Incident reports etc to monitor the process and look for improvements. The people responsible have been those who want to get things done and are perhaps accountable for good performance. The management is always interested in good initiatives and they are being played as the villains for ever !
    For the above processes, we have always used cause and effect (fishbone) diagrams, flow charts, histograms, pareto analysis, process maps, architecture diagrams, test models, SLA documents, training programs, market surveys etc.
    My question is: What’s causing this issue to create such a fuss.”. Is it the question of top management support? Is it the question of tools? Is it the question of techniques? Is it the question of jargon and buzzwords?
    We have had all this before and we still have them. Do we mean to say that Six Sigma is different from what we already know? That we will be lost without the buzz words and the multicoloured belts?
    Why not just do our jobs and minimise problems through the core concepts? (unless you need to join the jargon bandwagon). What do we need Six Sigma for? We are still doing it even without the label, right?
    Manish
    (manishgrover@mail.com)

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    #107689

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Manish,
    You posted this word for word twice? Excuse me you changed the name.
    https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=55268
    Rather than taking the time to repeat something like this you could grab a copy of Juran’s book.

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    #107780

    Nobody Expert
    Participant

    Are you inventing a new quality system?

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    #107831

    Dillon
    Participant

    Manish,
    I applaud you for being so dedicated to your job that you already follow a rigorous process that makes your projects successful.  However, not everyone is like that – which can be where Six Sigma comes in and helps out.  Six Sigma provides structure to a project – it provides a path for people to follow in order to drive towards a successful completion.  The integration of the Lean Principles into Six Sigma (or vice versa) makes it even more powerful and successful.  Most of the companies that I have worked for have always complained about solving the same problem over and over again – guess what – it is because they did not lock in their improvements.  They spend there time going from one issue to the next, firefighting.
    I have read a lot of the posts and debate that this topic has launched – which I think is great.  Discussions like these will help produce a better, more robust system than what many have in place today.  I am also disappointed, but not surprised, to hear the abuse that the methodology is taking at various companies around the country and world.  Six Sigma and Lean, Lean Sigma if you will, should only be used when necessary.  If you already have the answer to a problem, don’t force the methodology on the solution.  Implement the solution, lock it in place, and move on.  Lean Sigma should be used when the solution is not known – then it can be one of the most effective tools in your tool box.  To steal from another comment that I read in this chain of posts, just because you have a hammer in the tool box does not mean that you have to use it.  Use it when you need to.  Otherwise, it is just waste.
     
    Sorry for rambling…
    Doug

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    #130665

    Dr. Russ (Reza) Pirasteh, MBA, itlsE, PMP, CMBB, CLM
    Participant

    Kaizen is an effective approach, generically, in identifying NVA and removing it. Many times it has to do with process Takt improvements, CT improvements, etc. As the 5th element of Lean, it may be necessary to control variability in the process. This is when Six Sigma approach is effective:
    – to identify the source(s) of variation
    – To separate trivial many from the critical few
    – Identify CNX
    – Set up control parameter (DOE if necessary)
    – Identify guidelines for a robust process
    – Set control parameters and metrics to ensure process stability and capability.I don’t like to separate Lean and Six Sigma. I believe they need each other for a sustainable solution. I am not sure why integration of SS into your process would be expensive! unless the CE-CNX process is not done properly and much time and money is wasted on too many or non-critical factors or useless DOEs.
    If you have many low hanging fruits in your organization, with large CT, inventories, WIP, spaces, traditional layouts… then initially Kaizen efforts is the way to go. But if your processes are highly sensitive to variability and looking for quantum leaps, then you may benefit from SS. I suggest keeping an open mind and accepting what brings you solution rather than being hung up on what is the method called.
    Good luck.

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    #130674

    Jallad
    Participant

    You  don’t  need  to  choose as Kaizen  is  becoming  part  of  Lean-SS?

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    #130771

    John Smith
    Participant

    Do  you  mean “Kaizen  Blitz” or  Kaizen as a  comprehensive  concept?

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    #133536

    Williams
    Member

    Six Sigma and Kaizen are not used due to fast or slow growth of a company. Kaizen is used to prevent chronic problems that Six Sigma tends to solve. I spent my time with a comapany using Six Sigma and now I work with a company that uses Kaizen as a foundation  ( which will be the # 1 Auto maker of the world in 2 years or less). I see the need for both tools, but if you are always improving the total package of Six Sigma is not needed.

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    #133541

    BLOCKED
    Participant

    ~BLOCKED~

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    #133555

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Heebee ….
    Insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results   :-)
    Six Sigma, Kaizen, Kaikaku, Lean, Hoshin etc etc – you need a subtle blend of them all – only the foolish or ignorant solely focus on one methodology.
    Best regards,
    Adam
     

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    #133566

    Horticulture
    Participant

    Ha!
    Dictionary.com: the source of all knowledge.
    My 2nd favorite (after this one): thefreedictionary.com. Check out the daily word match game.
    Heebeegeebee, it sounds like you have this Lean vs. 6S thing all sewn up.
    How would you answer the question?
     

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    #133594

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    A tool, is a tool, is a tool…
    I have a tool box.   My toolbox contains Lean, Six Sigma, TQL/TQM, Taguchi methods, Kaizen, Hoshin, deming and Juran concepts, Team building, Change Management, OD, Basic data collection, a big wooden club, the” Jedi Mind-Trick”, etc…ad infinitum
    I still find amazing how “religious” some people get about using certain methodologies…
    If I have identified a sub-tier process that is causing problems, I’ll likely conduct Gemba Kaizen.   If I identify a pervasive/systemic issue, I’ll commission a full-blown project.   Scope plays a big role in how i attack a problem.
    It is not a zero-sum condition…  I call it the chinese-food approach, take what you like (what works) and leave the rest.
    They are just tools, people!

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    #133623

    Sekar
    Member

    Hi,
     
    I am doing a Six Sigma project on reducing attrition rates. Can anybody share some information about the same if you have already done this kind of a project.
    My email id is gsudhakar79@gmail.com
    Thanks & regards
    Sudhakar G
     

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    #133649

    Horticulture
    Participant

    Which tool works for a specific problem depends on a bunch of things. Key ones are:

    The people dynamics in the relevant areas

    Complexity of the problem
    Availability of information and data
    Time allowed
    The majority of the things identified in this discussion thread
    and

    Support for the approach being used.
    If there is no support then the initiative – whatever it is, and regardless of anything else, will fail.
    If the problem solver who is to lead the effort is well respected with a strong track record of good solutions, then the chances are that they will be able to say “I want to use approach X” and they will get the necessary support.
    If there is discussion and uncertainty as to how best approach the issue, then concise guides as to which approach to use when, are useful.
    H.

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    #133664

    Dog Sxxt
    Participant

    Thank for quoting my old posting. isoquality.com was my former handler before this domain was transferred to ISO. :-)
    Kaizen and Six Sigma have their own value proposition. My approach on which one shall be used is pretty simple and straight forward.
    If the root cause is unknown and problem is complex, then six sigma is a better candidate. If the root cause already know (almost know with 5-why probe) and problem is simple, then Kaizen is more appropriate.
    In my rough guess without supporting data, 70-80% of problems can be tackled with a few day kaizen event by first line workers, while another 20-30% stubborn problems need more skilled Black Belts and longer time to dig out their root causes. 
    Kaizen is more useful and practical solution for transactional processes. Besides, try to teach admin workers about six sigma tools is daunting task, trust me. :-)
    DMAIC can be used for both Kaizen and Six Sigma though the tools used are different between them. A bunch of people equal DMAIC as Six Sigma is another myth.
    Let apply IE thinking in lean and Quality thinking in Six Sigma will make you see the light at the end of tunnel. 
    The Six Sigma founding company re-adopted lean after ignoring lean for many years. We help them at behind the scene under a strict non-disclosure agreement.
    Another two Fortune-500 companies with Asian background are inviting us to discusss lean and very interested to re-introduce lean after many years of sole Six Sigma journey.

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    #134536

    Ripman8
    Member

    RU Kunes,  I don’t have a lot of time to properly respond to this so let me just say what Lean really is.  Lean is Eliminating Waste.   The process will automatically flow better as you identify and eliminate the 7 wastes.  Six sigma is for organizations with fast technology turnover and organizations that are on the top level of lean.  Even Toyota isn’t at the top level yet.

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    #134537

    Ripman8
    Member

    RU Kunes,  I don’t have a lot of time to properly respond to this so let me just say what Lean really is.  Lean is Eliminating Waste.   The process will automatically flow better as you identify and eliminate the 7 wastes.  Six sigma is for organizations with fast technology turnover and organizations that are on the top level of lean.  Even Toyota isn’t at the top level yet.

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    #138982

    Peter McDonald
    Participant

    I am all for integration of techniques.
    In regard to kaizen, lean and six sigma can we be clear: kaizen just means continuous improvement…lean and six sigma are kaizen strategies.
    Some how kaizen has been misinterpreted as a fast facilitated workshop or action oriented improvement event.
    Six sigma and lean as just branded names for continuous improvement both with the same basic philosophy: in my words:
    All work is a process, it can be measured and improved.
    They  have the same principles:
    Customer focus (this is the key principle that allows you to determine what is waste in lean), manage and understand variation, Use facts and data to make decisions.
    All with similar enabling philsopohies around team work and leadership.
    Allthough lean, six sigma etc, etc have been fantastic in raising the profile of the process profession both cloud themselves with some eastern mysticisim and unsustainable names eg black belt, that I suspect will undo them in the longer run.  In the short term I think these names have provided some interest and media attention …do you really think in 20 years we will still be hiring black belts or do you think we will move to process professional similar to projects management proffessionals.
    The quicker we let go of the lean and six sigma schisms and move to process professionals embracing all brand names the better. I read too much splitting hairs on why one is better than another and restrictive trade practices around who is and who isn’t a six sigma professional  despite the fact there is little standardisation of course, requirements. Certification from within a commercial organisation that despite it being well-meaning is fraught with dangers and politics. Rather than embracing the underlying philosophy and just use the right tool at right time.
    I see the key for success is to move to a common profession including the very important underpinning area of process management an area highly underdone by both lean and six sigma.
    Cheers Peter
     
     

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    #138983

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Folks,
    We have a winner!   4-yrs has to be a record!!

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    #139001

    Cone
    Participant

    Codeone
    I am a Master BlackBelt who has been at it for almost 20 years. What I hear in your writing is someone who wants someone to answer the question, “So What?!?”  I believe that your concerns are well founded and should not be directed at Six Sigma, but at the Six Sigma implementation at your company.  It is a shame that common sense has been denegrated and experience discounted.  Those are the hallmarks of any good (read: successful) improvement effort, or company, for that matter.
    I have consulted in TQM and Six Sigma and have seen so many failed, bureaucratic attempts that leave such a bad taste in people’s mouths that I want to cry.  My mentors (from Japan) utilized the tools of TQC, CWQC, TQM and, by extension, Six Sigma to make real improvements that mattered to a country’s economy that was in desperate need of improvement (50s, 60s, 70s).  One quote, “Total Quality Control is the practical application of common sense,” has always rung true to me in helping others through the bureaucracy.  It is unfortunate that you are currently in an organization that is celebrating the form rather than the substance.  That is usually the case in the early stages; then the program will either morph toward common sense or die an ugly death.
    I get the feeling that your perspective on all this is really in line with those of us who think that Six Sigma has merit, and I hope in the future you will experience an implementation that utilizes the organization’s most important asset (its people and their experience) and exercises common sense to make lasting improvements to the bottom line and the company’s customers.
    Hang in there!

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    #139006

    Codeone
    Participant

    Gary,
    Thank you for the lightening fast response. The company is Chapter 11 and I am out there consulting on why not to use Six Sigma.

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    #139009

    Charles Hannabarger
    Participant

    CodeOne,
    Just curious.  What are you offering as the alternative?
    Charles

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    #139017

    Brit
    Participant

    Plus 1-day. See Gary on 6/13.
    Can someone start a new thread?

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    #139037

    Codeone
    Participant

    Common sense

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    #139042

    Charles Hannabarger
    Participant

    Do you see, in your view, six sigma and common sense as mutually exclusive?  And how, exactly, do you teach people to improve and use common sense. I am interested in how you achieve this en masse within a company and at the individual level as well.

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    #139045

    Traphill
    Member

    Guys,
    You need them both or you will not achieve the level you need to achieve in excellence!

    0
    #139055

    annon
    Participant

    Kaizen is simply a term that refers to continually improving a process by taking it apart (or some element of it) and rebuilding with  improvements.  Essentially, it gets the people in the room that know the process, identifies root cause, selects a solution and implements.  You can do this anyway you want, using lean or 6S tools as appropriate.  No need for a rigid seperation of skill sets…lean is very applicable where cost or time is the metric of choice, and 6S works nicely where a known target and spec are involved.  Good luck.

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    #139068

    Cone
    Participant

    Not surprised about Ch11 based on your stories.
    How about a slight change to your consulting mission – WHEN not to use Six Sigma and HOW not to use Six Sigma. Hopefully you have something to fill the gaping hole left if you are successful in your consulting mission…

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    #141712

    folabi
    Participant

    Dear all,
    i am an Msc student from the robert gordon university in aberdeen scotland. My project is on Implementing Kaizen to halliburtons rotary steerable workshop. can anyone please give me tips on implementing kaizen to a workshop
    my email addy is
    folabi_banu@yahoo.comp.s
    all tips will be appreciated
    thanks for ur anticipated assistance.

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    #141767

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    You  are  mixing  up  tools  with  cocepts,confusing  everybody??

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    #144121

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Most  Kaizen  tools  are  integrated  in  Lean-SS.Japanese (I  was  tere) consider  Kaizen  as  a  great  concept  which includes TQM,TPM,5Ss…etc

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    #144192

    Murray
    Participant

    I hate to say it but the numbers for failures of the implementation are very high. In the notes we are reading they say 98% fail. And l belive it. You are proof, it sounds like not everyone is on board with this at your company.. Eveyone has to be commited for it to work..

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    #144198

    Cherukara
    Participant

    Certainly true but any drives can not be the objective but the means.
    Cheers! Dominic

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    #144199

    Cherukara
    Participant

    I attempt: Why anyone has to make a choice between Six Sigma or Kaizen? The attempt is not supported by statistical data but based on a, man on the street type of analogy.
    One has to walk before one could run. Therefore one has to learn to walk well before one starts to run, let alone win a race.
    In the analogy, many a times one starts to run before one could walk (worse still if one is still crawling!).What happens if the attempt to run before one walks fail (irrespective of the fact that one will inevitably fail!)? The answer is obvious, the system does not work for us, we are a special case!
    If one has mastered the art of walking well, then it is time for running!
    If you are a good runner, then you can walk and run intermittenly and can manage both well. If you are struggling to walk (and in need of a walking aid) then running is not for you.
    Likewsie it is my opinion that Kaizen, the incremental improvement (or change for better!) is equivalent to walking. And the Six Sigma, breakthrough improvement (BI) is like running. You can only attempt to do BI if you are capable of  CI (continous improvement). If the organization is not capable of CI then I wonder how they could do BI.
    Cheers! Dominic.

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    #144218

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Dominic,
    Evidently you did not read my 3 year old post very well. I stated you don’t have to make a choice.
    This is purely my opinion but you analogy is about as far off target as the people who believe they need to make a choice. It all sounds very nice andlogical but if you have any experience with someone who drives a Kaizen event – given a good project then you would realize in the correct application characterizing Kaizen as “baby steps” is insulting, condescending and arrogant.
    It also implies since “a person must walk before they run” that the application is serial. It does not have to be and the order can be switched easily.
    Just my opinion.

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    #144241

    Brit
    Participant

    Not sure I agree Dominic.
    I have witnessed breakthrough improvements in Lean, SS, and Lean SS.  Actually, from a facilitation standpoint, a Kaizen event may even be harder to finish.  Someone needs to keep the team focused/on track and that can sometimes be a challenge.  Bottom line – you have to walk before you run no matter which improvement process you work with, if you start from scratch (i.e., no knowledge about either method).
    One issue I have found relates to resources.  I am currently working in a hospital.  We conciously chose not to do Kaizen events because there was no concievable way we could pull nurses from patient care to be in a 4-5 day Kaizen event, given the nation-wide nursing shortage.  We need their input for clinical projects especially, so a more drawn out project approach is the way we chose.  I woudl rather have a problem solved in 5 days, but sometimes that isn’t possible.
    Finally, as for the difference between Kaizen and SS – I’m assuming you might be referencing continuous improvement with Kaizen and not with SS.  Our Lean SS process is a continuous improvement system, as we monitor throughout the control phase and beyond and make our necessary adjustments as market and process conditions change.

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    #144247

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Kaizen  is  included  in  Lean-SS?

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    #144253

    Brit
    Participant

    Yes. At our project selection or chartering stage, if we decide that the process is either – 1. too critical to delay improvement, or 2. has employee resources that can handle a 4-5 day event, then we do it in a Kaizen Event format.  If not, then our standard project format is done.  Regardless, the DMAIC steps are documented as necessary for leveraging and project history.
    In terms of tools used – we do not limit our teams to any analysis or improvemen tool – lean, ss, toc, etc.

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    #144264

    Marlon Brando
    Participant

    Agree.I  have  observed  a  lot  of  mix  up between  concepts,approaches  and  tools.I believe  it  is  essential to  clarify  this  matter to  facilitate  understanding and  to  upgrade  the discussion.For  example  Lean-SS encompasses some  60-70  tools ,including  Triz,BSC and  all  the  other  known  quality  and  project  tools…etc.Also  it includes  Kaizen Blitz,TPM,Pull,Kanban,5Ss…etc.I  believe that Lean SS (Plus TOC) can  be  a  magic medicine  for  all  types  of  wastes and  defects .TQM and  Kaizen  are  concepts,but SS/Lean-SS are  process  improvement  methodologies.Just  my  opinion   

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    #154570

    Michael Nabrotzky
    Participant

    This codeone guy is really off base.  I’m glad he has been promoted 12 times in his career but his statements that only short time inexperienced people promote Six Sigma is weak.  I have been in business for 40 years and my involvement with Six Sigma started 10 years ago.  It is having a great impact on the success of countless companies that use its techniques and approach.  Sorry his experience and promotions didn’t get him greater insight.
    Mike Nabrotzky

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    #154571

    Mikel
    Member

    Michael,We keep stats on how old a posting is when responded to. You don’t
    get the record, but I believe you have response is the fifth oldest ever
    seen.Congratulations. Codeone can now rest easy now that he knows your
    opinion.

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    #154576

    RP
    Member

    Six Sigma & Kaizen, same thing. Kaizen is an accelerated method of using DMAIC, that’s about all…actually more pragmatic because I’m not a believer of stretching any project to more than a month…

    0
    #157870

    Rudy Hendra
    Member

    Dear Friends,
    I work for a Chinese company in Indonesia, that seems to be very money minded, and also will sacrifice Human Resource if it can bring money to them.
    I worked there as a Purchasing Staff.
    The problem is : there is many Requisition from the Engineering Dept., but it seems that, the Director ordered the Finance Manager to ‘brake’ the spending.
    So the Requisition keeps coming, and the Engineering Dept., keeps yelling at me to bring the goods/spare parts to them, while I didn’t (or very hard) to get approval for my Purchase Orders. Like I said, the Director ordered the Finance Manager to ‘brake’ the spending.
    I learn Kaizen when I was in College, but I think this is not a regular ‘bottleneck’.
    If you were me, working at that company, how will you handle the problem?
    I keep having pressure from both sides. The Engineering Dept., and my manager (Purchasing Manager) keeps yelling at me to get the PO done and approved, while the Finance ‘brake’ it. And the Finance will do anything to make it harder to get approval.
    I quit the job February 2007, but I would really like to learn, how to handle that problem, because I have been working as a Purchasing Staff for around 5 years, and keep having the same problem.
    Thank you.
    B. Regards,
    Rudy Hendra

    0
    #157871

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Rudy,
    Someone should have long ago had the overall process owner, GM or plant manager, arrange a sit down discussion with the finance, purchasing, and engineering groups together with yourself.  Examples of data should be brought to the meeting (e.g. days from request to delivery of material) to highlight specifics to minimize the yelling quotient. 
    What you have is a dysfunctional organization that would cause unneeded stresses on any individual in purchasing. 

    0
    #165884

    lin
    Participant

    I am new to SS, went through TQM, ISO, etc.
    Question is, with all this quality going around, why are most companies so poorly managed and why does most customer service stink?

    0
    #165885

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    Bill,
    Because, in most companies (and by most C level executives), Six Sigma is viewed as nothing more than the reduction of defects and the cost of goods sold, rather than as a fundamental change in the way that the business is managed.  Now, that’s hard work!  It’s easier for them to delegate it to some staff types and then move onto the next thing on thier plate – like sort term profits and stock prices.  They seek “instant pudding” as some famous fellow once said.
    Since you lived through the TQM days, it’s the same issues we experienced back then.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    0
    #165886

    Brandon
    Participant

    Bill, I believe it has little to do with SS or TQM or any other quality system. I believe the root cause is because we still have to use people to do a lot of things. And people will ALWAYS be variable.
    Beyond that you can get into a bunch of societal issues such as “me-me”, lack of responsibility, short-term performance/rewards and a bunch of other stuff well beyond my areas of expertise.

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    #165947

    lin
    Participant

    I guess my first post didn’t really pertain to the original title of this thread, but then a lot of the posts are likewise guilty.
    I have to agree with Brandon. No quality system can overcome people issues, only management can shoulder that load when people are not capable or willing to give their best effort.
    I also have to agree with Six Sigma Shooter, mangement is mostly interested in short term performance. Many CEOs, etc. only care about their bonus or golden parachute that their cronies (since they all sit on each others’ boards) grant them. Providing the resources (ISO requirements be damned!!!) to provide excellent customer service or any other long term improvement just isn’t on their personal agenda.
    Many companies hire fresh faces out of college to mid level management positions that just don’t have the experience to be effective.
    Finally, even many posters to this thread, well intentioned as they may be, can’t even agree among themselves about what quality should be. It doesn’t seem to matter to me what “method” one selects as long as you get where you are going. Instead of debating flavor of the week, we should figure out how to convince and educate the masses. Many of the “problems” that are posted would disappear if more people up and down the chain of command were quality practitioners.   

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    #168108

    Vinod Chandran
    Member

    I would like to compare kaizen & 6 sigma with the game of cricket. For a batsman the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s are very important to build a large score and that is “kaizen”. However when the 4’s & 6’s come his score leaps and that is “6 sigma”.  Both are important. Small incremental continuous improvements (kaizen) eventually will bring about breakthrough improvements (6 sigma).
    Another significant difference is that 6 sigma is top driven and need the bottom to lock in the gains. Kaizen on the other hand is bottom up and need the Top to recognize the gain.

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    #168109

    Mikel
    Member

    6 years and 4 days later.I’ll take bets that this is going to be the record for February.

    0
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