Update on Six Sigma in the Philippines – Part 1

Posted by: meikah | 28 September 2011 | 12:06 am

Last August, I attended the Six Sigma Conference 2011 at Hotel Intercontinental Manila. It has been a while since the last Six Sigma Best Practices that I attended way back in 2009.

True enough, I learned a lot of new things about Six Sigma, process improvement strategies that many Philippine-based companies have been using.

The key speaker of that conference was none other than the premier Six Sigma practitioner in the Philippines: Dan Lachica, President and CEO of First Philec Solar Corporation.

According to Lachica, Six Sigma is three things:

  1. A statistical measurement
  2. A business strategy
  3. A philosophy

And then he went on to offer a simplified definition of DMAIC, a breakthrough strategy:

Define –  Define the project GOAL & customer (internal & external) deliverables.

Measure – Establish a deeper understanding of the problem by searching for the potential root causes.

Analyze – Analyze and determine the root causes  of the problem.

Improve –  Implement the best parameter settings that will solve the problem and lead to improvement.

Control – Implement control system to sustain the improvement.

Dan Lachica also believes that to achieve operational excellence, a company has to create and nurture a Six Sigma culture. And Six Sigma alone cannot do the trick. With the present challenges in the business and economy, one needs a collaboration of all relevant strategies and work them out efficiently together.

Thus, he develops the Lachica Model:

Integrate Lean, Lean Sigma, Six Sigma, BPM/MBNQA/PQA, ISO, and TQM

Filed under: Dan Lachica, DMAIC, First Philec Solar Corporation, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Conferences, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma Professionals, Six Sigma References

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Six Sigma Reference Feature: A Primer on Design of Experiments (DOE)

Posted by: meikah | 8 November 2010 | 8:47 pm

Six Sigma, or its DMAIC tool, is closely connected with DOE, design of experiments. In general usage, a design of experiment is any information-gathering exercises where variation is present. This system finds cause-and-effect relationships, an information you need to manage process inputs and optimize the output.

An article on iSixSigma discusses a primer of Design of Experiments. The article starts the discussion with a definition of terms to an example, and to the process.

Read: Design of Experiments – A Primer

Filed under: DMAIC, DOE, iSixSigma, Six Sigma, Six Sigma References

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DMAIC and Lean Six Sigma Buy-In

Posted by: meikah | 11 October 2010 | 3:13 am

An article on iSixSigma discusses the use of DMAIC model to overcome resistance to Lean Six Sigma implementation.

The DMAIC model actually create and support Lean Six Sigma initiatives by:
  • Eliminating uncertainty. Resistance often springs from not understanding what the project is for. But at the Define stage of DMAIC, the overall purpose of the project can already be established
  • Agreeing on the “As Is.” Another resistance is that people don’t understand the process itself, and how it works. This can be addressed by the Measure phase of DMAIC by presenting the “as is” picture. How the current process is working and how it can work after the improvement.
  • Pointing Toward Solutions. The Analyze phase of DMAIC touches on the root cause, correlation, variation and impact of the project. This key information helps people get a clear picture of what should be done and see the potential solutions.
  • Adding Options for Solutions. In the Improve phase, the solutions are seen as valuable to the organization.
  • Sustaining Improvements. People often think of a new activity as a flash in the pan and thus get suspicious. But the Control phase answers this concern. This phase presents sustainability models in palce and are easy to use and explain.
Filed under: DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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Clipper Windpower Goes Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 22 September 2010 | 3:44 am

Clipper Windpower is a fast growing company. It’s business is wind energy technology, wind turbine manufacturing, and wind project development

The company already got its ISO 9001 certification, but its turning point was during the winter of 2007-2008 when the winter hit hard and freezing rain and fog caused the anemometer units to fail. They were able to fix it, although temporarily. The problem recurs.

That was when Clipper Windpower decided to go Six Sigma and launched its DMAIC journey.

Learn how the company did it HERE.

Filed under: Clipper Windpower, DMAIC, Energy, Six Sigma

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SixSig Reference Feature: Six Sigma Control in Software Development – Software Test Professionals – Testing, Quality Assurance, and People

Posted by: meikah | 16 August 2010 | 12:08 am

AnyTechnology shares a good discussion on how Six Sigma figures in software development, especially using the DMAIC tool.

Controls in Software Code
We can help ourselves by performing a set of behaviors designed to reduce or eliminate the anticipated relapse:

* Code reviews
* Code inspections
* Code walkthroughs
* Configuration Reviews
* Static analyzers
* Dynamic analyzers
* White-box testing
* Black-box testing
* Coding standards
* Practicing safe coding

Continue reading…

Filed under: DMAIC, Six Sigma, Software/Technology

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Becoming a Lean Six Sigma Organization

Posted by: meikah | 24 May 2010 | 9:14 pm

We have talked several times how an organization has been benefited by going into Lean Six Sigma. But I think we have not touched the part on how to become a Lean Six Sigma Organization. Or if we have, this article on iSixSigma is a good resource.

According to the article, to which I agree, like any other process improvement, one of the best ways to roll out a Lean Six Sigma program is to treat the process as a Six Sigma process in and of itself.

As such, we use the classic five-stage DMAIC process:

Define – All senior leaders must become familiar with Six Sigma concepts and what being a Six Sigma organization actually means.

Measure – Progress must be measured as the program is rolled out through a well-thought out key performance indicators.

Read more…

Filed under: DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations

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Using FMEA in the Different Six Sigma Project Phases

Posted by: meikah | 29 March 2010 | 9:12 pm

FMEA or failure mode and effects analysis tool may take many variations, but it has only one fundamental purpose, that is to identify, evaluate, and take actions to reduce risk of failure.

These variations of the FMEA have many uses for the tool within Six Sigma projects. Though it is introduced in the Improve stage of training, FMEA has a place in other phases of Six Sigma as well.

An article on iSixSigma has a good discussion on this.

In Measure, for example, the FMEA can be used as a prioritization tool to understand and fine tune the focus of a Lean Six Sigma project. In addition, it also can be used to determine what can go wrong with the process, and what data the team should collect as part of its process metrics.

Example: A team launched a project to reduce reprocessing of materials in a sterilization line. To determine where to focus the initial efforts, the team created a detailed process map, followed by an FMEA to identify failure points in the process that resulted in re-sterilization. Once the FMEA was created, resulting in severity, occurrence and detection estimates, the team focused their project on four areas to eliminate or mitigate failure points.

Read the full article here.

Filed under: Deployment, DMAIC, FMEA, Six Sigma

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DHL’s Six Sigma Mandate

Posted by: meikah | 3 March 2010 | 8:25 pm

DHL Six Sigma Mandate

Last year, I shared with you DHL‘s DMAIC initiative and how the company is successfully satisfying customers because of it.

In another article, DHL’s Six Sigma Mandate is described by Jonathon O’Leary, head of First Choice Program in the Asia Pacific as follows:

The First Choice approach comes via the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) methodology and the Lean process. While DMAIC arrived at DHL from technology companies such as GE and Motorola, Lean has its origins in manufacturing.

“We started off with support from external consultants and a lot of these external consultants came from GE and Motorola, so it’s kind of the link we have with them,” O’Leary says. “There are also some key people within our organisation that we have from GE and Motorola as well.”

Motorola is also one of the customers who have responded to DHL’s customer satisfaction survey.

“We’re very open about the initiatives we’re working on,” O’Leary says. “If they say ‘we’ve got a documentation accuracy issue’, say from Shanghai to Brazil, we’ll work on initiatives and we’ll share them with all our documentation because they’re on the same mindset. They’re thinking along the same process lines.” 

Continue reading…

Filed under: DHL, DMAIC, Services, Six Sigma

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The SixSig Roundup

Posted by: meikah | 1 March 2010 | 7:42 pm

SixSig Roundup

It’s time again for some link-loving and see what other blogs are saying about Six Sigma, Lean, Lean Six Sigma and other quality improvement processes.

A post at Arie Goldshlager’s posterous blog shows the value of incorporating Six Sigma and Design Thinking.

Global News has a good discussion on why Six Sigma will outlast Total Quality Management. “Six Sigma is a robust continuous improvement strategy and process that includes cultural methodologies such as Total Quality Management (TQM), process control strategies such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) and other important statistical tools.”

From iSixSigma Blogosphere, Fang Zhou asks, Lean Six Sigma: What’s in it for me?

Lean Six Sigma blog shares some design considerations for your training deployment. “Is your current training designed for adult learning?”

DMAIC site gives us a good review of the DMAIC process and what is involved with it. “Focus is imperative, because no organization has the capacity to measure everything.”

Filed under: DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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DHL Uses DMAIC to Improve Customer Service

Posted by: meikah | 24 November 2009 | 10:32 pm

DHL launches a strategy (as its CEO wants to call it a mindset instead of a program) called First Choice to better serve its customers. The goal of First Choice is to build a culture of excellence and constant improvement. First Choice aims to empower each employee across levels of the organization.


By going through DMAIC.

With First Choice, the employees themselves would be carrying out these processes in their respective divisions. DHL is effectively passing on a huge responsibility to its employees, allowing them to come up with their own initiatives and implement these as well—a move few companies may risk to take.

Started in 2007, the First Choice methodology was initially tested and improved in eight pilot projects.

Since the test phase was concluded, 225 group units—representing more than 80 percent of the company’s consolidated revenues—have been implementing the First Choice program. Over 3,000 initiatives have already been carried out and 6,200 workshops, conducted.

In the Philippines, DHL cited a specific case where the First Choice team was able to devise an innovative buddy system, slashing invoice turnaround time from 3.7 days to only one day.

According to DHL, invoicing must be a straightforward process, but this has not been the case for DHL Global Forwarding Philippines.

Read more…

Filed under: Customer Service, DHL, DMAIC, Philippines, Quality, Six Sigma

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