Even the fashion industry is changing, improving…

Posted by: meikah | 30 August 2006 | 10:41 pm

Lately there has been a growing number of men who shop and are concerned about how they look. They are the metrosexuals, and in this age of metrosexuals, mission shopping—know what I want, know where to get it—was out. A visit to Barneys or Nordstrom became an indulgence in style.

Read about it on Global Business Watch.

Filed under: General

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PMBoK v. Six Sigma Project Management

Posted by: meikah | 29 August 2006 | 11:08 pm

Project management can be the be-all and end-all of your company. In its simplest term, it is a controlled process of initiating, planning, executing, and closing down a project. It sounds really simple, but don’t put your foot up yet because it can be your most challenging job and the most rewarding.

For a company working on continuous improvement, project management is a crucial task. It can come in different forms with corresponding do’s and don’ts. For a Six Sigma company, however, project management takes on a different role.

Peter Peterka of 6Sigma.us, concisely describes how Six Sigma Project Management differs from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), the accepted standard by Project Management Institute:

  • Six Sigma provides a structured data-driven methodology with tools and techniques to measure performance both before and after Six Sigma projects.
  • Using Six Sigma, management can measure the baseline performance of their processes and determine the root causes of variations.
  • Six Sigma methodology provides tools and techniques to help project managers succeed in data gathering and analysis, problem solving, understanding and evaluating existing processes, developing and tracking measurements in a standardized manner, and making quantitative evaluations.
  • Six Sigma has a well-defined project charter that outlines the scope of a project, financial targets, anticipated benefits, milestones, etc. based on hard financial data and savings.

Which project management strategy are you using?

*Photo credit: MorgueFile.com

Filed under: Deployment

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Free Six Sigma Lessons at Motorola University

Posted by: meikah | 28 August 2006 | 11:01 pm

The company that started it all, Motorola, is now giving free lessons on Six Sigma. This move is driven by the aim of making Six Sigma accessible to every organization.

To launch this program, Motorola will be working in partnership with Type A, an e-learning organization providing learning solutions to drive performance across the enterprise. These online Six Sigma training modules take just six minutes each, and are designed for sharing. Sign up now!

Filed under: Events/Announcements, Training

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Adtron Corp. and Sulja Bros. Adopt Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 28 August 2006 | 12:01 am

Adtron Corporation, a leading designer and global supplier of disk-based and solid state embedded data storage solutions, announced last week that Huy Phan had joined the company as Director of Quality and Reliability. A Six Sigma Black Belt in the U.S., Phan will be responsible for the long-term strategic direction of Adtron. The goal is to meet evolving market requirements of industrial flash product by ensuring quality and reliability for every product.

The applications of flash solid state disks integrators range from mission critical operations in war theaters to everyday cellular phone communications. This kind of products depends on reliability prediction models to provide analysis of parts and components to predict and calculate the length of time the solid state disk will be operational. It’s just logical therefore that Adtron will put a Six Sigma Blackbelt and a 17-year veteran of Motorola at the helm.

Sulja Bros. Building Supplies, Ltd., on the other hand, is large distributor of building materials and wood products, and construction
management in the Canada, U.S.A., Middle East, Germany, and the Gulf Region. They are working on penetrating more markets in North America and the Middle Eastern markets.

Last week, the company also announced that they would take a Six Sigma approach to all their operations. Their shareholders’ feedback would help them Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control our communications. The control for this specific problem is that the company has built a standard contract press release format including easily verifiable information for their shareholders.

These are very good developments for the two companies, whose individual aim is to continuously improve processes to please more customers.

Filed under: Deployment, Manufacturing, Services

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Six Sigma This Week: Focus on Lean

Posted by: meikah | 25 August 2006 | 12:30 am

Six Sigma Zone highlighted the three free webcasts on Lean Manufacturing. Announced by Assembly Magazine, the webcasts schedule will be: Oct. 5, 2006, 12P.M. Eastern U.S. Time; Nov. 8, 006, 12PM Eastern U.S. Time; and December 6, 2006 12:00PM Eastern U.S. Time. Register now for these webcasts!

Next is the 6th annual quality meeting, the theme of which is “Unleashing Business Success through Breakthroughs in Lean Sigma & Quality.” The event will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis from Sept. 20 to 22, 2006. Those who are interested may contact B. Ann Recchie at 919-767-9257 or arecchie@best-in-class.com. Register now for participants are limited to only 60 people.

Over at iSixSigma, Decisioneering®, Inc., an innovator of software and services for risk analysis and optimization, announced that Crystal Ball® is now available in Spanish, German, and French. Six Sigma practitioners in those countries can now use this decision analysis software designed to solve almost any problem involving uncertainty, variability and risk.

Finally, still from iSixSigma, Red River Army Depot wins DoD maintenance award. According to the Army News Service, the Red River Army Depot attributes this success to their successful deployment of Lean Six Sigma.

Photo credit: MorgueFile.com

Filed under: Events/Announcements, Lean Six Sigma

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Improving Processes at YouTube: Broadcast Yourself… But Carefully

Posted by: meikah | 23 August 2006 | 10:00 pm

Despite controversies on copyrights and other video issues, I believe is becoming a powerful media on the Internet. A few months ago, I read about a comedy duo whose movie was rejected but found venue through YouTube. A recent controversy happening on YouTube involves Sen. George Allen calling his opponent’s Indian-American campaign worker “Macaca.”

Read about it on Global Business Watch today.

Filed under: Public Sector, Services

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Got that Six Sigma Rhythm?

Posted by: meikah | 22 August 2006 | 11:19 pm

Exchanging comments with one of my colleagues, Lynn Lopez, I told her that Six Sigma is useful for almost any process improvement.

Taking that as premise, I searched for Six Sigma’s other uses. Since I love music, I tried researching Six Sigma and music. As I expected, I found one quality person who is able to relate Six Sigma to music, or more specifically, rhythm.

Because Six Sigma makes us look at our each of our operations closer, PQ Systems eLine says that we need to do it with some rhythm. Although W. Edwards Deming and Six Sigma both have taught us to look with the perspective of processes that we can strive to control, there are rhythms in the naturally existing patterns that influence what happens to us and to our organizations. These natural rhythms are much more difficult to control.

The lesson is here is that we should not take each operation singly and separately from each other. Find the rhythm, the right timing to have all these processes working for a common goal. We take every experience we share with our customers, employees, our processes, structures, equipment, tools, and even the environment we are in, and view them as part of the whole and therefore should perform along with the others. The challenge is to view all these as a major production not segments.

As a final take, the article aptly ends: “Stay in touch and dance with your own rhythms, as well as the rhythms both inside and outside your organization, rather than ignoring or attempting to conquer them. These are, I think, our most common responses. And take a little time to consider what rhythms mean to you. I’m sure I have barely scratched the surface.”

So have you found that Six Sigma rhythm yet?

Link: A look at rhythm and Six Sigma

Photo credit: MorgueFile.com

Filed under: Six Sigma Organizations

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Minitab Quality Companion 2 for Six Sigma Projects

Posted by: meikah | 21 August 2006 | 11:59 pm

If you have been using Minitab software tools in your Six Sigma projects, then you know how helpful it is to your statistical and data mining activities.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Last week, Minitab launched Quality Companion 2 to help you manage your quality process improvements better. According to the press release, this software complements well the Minitab® Statistical Software. Quality Companion 2 simplifies the many other challenges involved in quality improvement, and helps teams plan, execute, document and report on their projects. It brings together three elements critical to Six Sigma success: organization, practical tools, and expert guidance.

Quality Companion helps companies implement process improvement initiatives by:

  • streamlining project workflow and making tasks easier
  • guiding Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts through their projects from start to finish
  • providing linked tools that enhance analysis, reporting, and presentations
  • helping Master Black Belts support their teams efficiently
  • making it easy for Champions to evaluate projects and report successes
  • standardizing projects throughout the organization

It would help a lot to have software like this to help deploy Six Sigma projects.

Related story:
New Six Sigma Software Is The New Green Belt Tool

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Software/Technology

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WCBF’s 3rd Annual Lean Six Sigma Summit

Posted by: meikah | 17 August 2006 | 10:29 pm

Got an email today from WCBF Six Sigma Solutions:

Dear Lean, Six Sigma and Quality Colleague,

I wanted you to be one of the first to know more about WCBF’s Lean Six Sigma Summit in Chicago in April 2007, the largest Lean Six Sigma event for senior executives driving process excellence in Manufacturing, Services and Transactional Environments.

Featured Keynote:

Founding President and Former Chief Operating Officer

Confirmed Speakers to-date include:
Tim Tyson
Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Dr Stephen E. Clarke
Six Sigma Training and Development Leader

Robert Weiner
President and CEO
PAS Technologies Inc.
Formerly a Division of Praxair

Winning Organization – Global Six Sigma Awards

Jay Herron
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Winning Organization – Global Six Sigma Awards
Mary Reich-Cooper
Chief Quality Officer

Stephen Wrenn
Vice President, I/S & Quality Performance

Bob Thompson

Bernard Brotzki
Vice President of Six Sigma

For more details, check out the following:
Summit Agenda
Summit Registration Form

Filed under: Events/Announcements, Lean Six Sigma

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Improvement is Continuous at PepsiCo

Posted by: meikah | 16 August 2006 | 11:38 pm

A recent press release states that Indra K. Nooyi, the current president and chief financial officer, will succeed Steven S. Reinemund as chief executive on October 1, a move that makes the company one of the largest led by a woman.

Read more about it on Global Business Watch today.

Filed under: Manufacturing, Team Dynamics

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