Innovation Insights of the Week

Posted by: meikah | 28 June 2007 | 11:37 pm

Today, let me share with you insights on innovation from Henry Chesbrough Executive Director, Center for Open Innovation, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.

Over at Product Development and Management Assn (DMA), Michael Docherty interviews Henry Chesbrough. Read the interview and learn about open innovation, P&G, and innovation in general.

Michael Docherty: What do you think is behind the interest in and popularity of Open Innovation?

Henry Chesbrough: I think that many people in many companies felt that the earlier model of internal R&D [research and d evelopment] was no longer effective. Too little productivity, too many spillovers, too long a timeframe to go from inception to market—these were longstanding complaints. Two additional factors that have compounded the problem are the rising cost of R&D and the ever-shorter product life cycles in the market, should one be so fortunate as to get a project through to the market.

What was missing was any alternative way to address these problems. Open innovation increases R&D productivity, captures or leverages spillovers in other markets, shortens the time to get to market, and shares the rising R&D costs with others.

Continue reading…

One thing I learned from the interview is that innovation efforts take a lot of hardwork and focus on what you want to achieve. Without the focus, the initiative could get bogged down.

Filed under: Innovation Update, Interview

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Enabling SOA through DFSS

Posted by: meikah | 27 June 2007 | 8:23 pm

In any organization, it always is a conglomerate of people and technology. For an organization to be successful, its processes must be a well systematic marriage of human skills and technology.

SOA or service-oreinted architecture promises a transformation of the information technology assets of a business by making it possible to do more with less.

According to an article by Robert Cardone and Russell Danziger for iSixSigma:

By incorporating the Design for Six Sigma methodology with SOA initiatives, the promise of SOA can be achieved by assuring services are optimally designed from the start. This approach also will result in improved success rates, shorter delivery times and significant savings relative to traditional development approaches.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Data Analysis, Deployment, DFSS, iSixSigma, Processes, Technology

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DFSS for Recruiting Process Design

Posted by: meikah | 27 June 2007 | 7:49 pm

Let me share with you today case study that illustrates how a pharmaceutical company applied selected DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) tools to develop a new recruiting process for sales representatives.

Tools and activities are described along the IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize, Verify) phases, which served as a guiding roadmap through this process design project.

Read the case study here.

More: DFSS – IDOV Methodology

Source: iSixSigma Europe Channel

Filed under: Deployment, DFSS, iSixSigma, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Processes, Six Sigma References, Tools/Toolkits

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Six Sigma W.O.W.!

Posted by: meikah | 26 June 2007 | 8:19 pm

Gianna Clark of iSixSigma Blogosphere wrote “take a walk on the W.O.W. side.”

Everyone is focused on What’s Needed.
Done On Time is part of what be heeded.
Use Six Sigma to make it stick.
Delivered With Value will seal the trick.

It’s very clever for Gianna to create an acronmyn that captures what a company experience when it adopts Six Sigma.

What I want captured though is the sustainability of Six Sigma and the continuous improvement it will encourage. Sustainablity of a process improvement is to me the ultimate WOW!

I guess to find this out, we’ll have to take on Gianna’s invitation to walk with her on the W.O.W. side. :)

Filed under: Data Analysis, iSixSigma, Processes, Tips

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How GE Uses Six Sigma to Drive Security ROI

Posted by: meikah | 24 June 2007 | 9:49 pm

That’s the title of the article on CIO. Francis X. Taylor, General Electric’s (GE) chief security officer, explains how to apply process imrovement methods to manage security risks.

Taylor was speaking before an audience of security executives at the CSO Perspectives in March.  Here are excerpts of insights from him.

A methodology like Six Sigma requires a change in how you think about your organization and how it works. It requires shifting loyalties from how your organization operates to how those operations affect customers—the people and organizations who determine the value of what you produce. Performing well in this task adds value to your organization, can help security executives anticipate risks and identify resources to mitigate them, and it enables your leadership to pursue new opportunities for growth.

Taylor then presented process gains in policy violations at , background checks, and security alarms. He improved these processes These are real-life experiences when he was still working at the State Department.

The processes are improved through analysis and knowing what each process involves. The lesson learned is that one only needs to know the processes, gather relevant data, and work toward making the processes work more efficiently. Read more…

CIO, a Six Sigma Zone featured link

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, CIO, Data Analysis, Deployment, GE, Public Sector, Six Sigma Zone

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Lean Six Sigma at Louisiana Pacific Ltd.

Posted by: meikah | 24 June 2007 | 8:22 pm

It used to be that management motto is, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But competition and innovation challenges prove that there’s more value to business when you continue to do better and improve every step of the way. It’s no good to rest on your laurels so to speak.

Louisiana Pacific Ltd. (LP) recognizes that “doing things the way they have always been done isn’t necessarily the best way.” So LP adopts Lean Six Sigma, and for about a year of doing so, the company has saved more than $440,000.

It’s already common knowledge that basically Lean Six Sigma reduces costs, speeds up processes, and eliminates waste. But I like what LP’s general manager, Bryce Piggott, says:

“It’s about really trying to educate people to look at problems differently and what you’re trying to get rid of; to get rid of those old opinions and to really look at the facts. It’s certainly already dispelled a lot of old-time opinions. It forces you to re-examine your old assumptions. That’s one of the really good things it has done for us.”

Any improvement should be first and foremost embracing cultural change. Otherwise it won’t work at all. I’m glad that’s what happened and is happening in LP.

The Golden Star, LP does things different, saves money using Lean Six Sigma, an iSixSigma featured link

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, iSixSigma, Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Processes, Six Sigma Organizations, Training

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Six Sigma and Lean to Improve Healthcare

Posted by: meikah | 20 June 2007 | 7:20 pm

It seems like, healthcare is so into Six Sigma and Lean, these days. Perhaps, next to manufacturing, it’s healthcare that is enjoying the benefits of Six Sigma.

In a Business Journal article, for example, Guidon Performance Solutions is said to be bringing Six Sigma and Lean tools to healthcare. The end in mind is to make hospitals more efficient, safe, and cost-effective. Already, the group has helped University of Iowa Hospital reduce wait times for gastrointestinal procedures from four months down to six weeks. Overall, Guidon’s solutions have reduced delays and gotten rid of redundant decisions.

I’ve said time and again that any improvement in the healthcare industry would mean a lot to people. I hope more and more hospitals, clinics, pharmaceuticals, and other healthcare organizations would adopt lean and Six Sigma.

The Business Journal, Firm has hospital waiting times in its crosshairs, a featured link of Six Sigma Zone

*Photo from StockXchng

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Healthcare, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma References, Software/Technology, Tools/Toolkits

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Xcitec’s Supplier Development Solution is Based on Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 June 2007 | 6:50 pm

Xcitec, German-based supplier relationship management (SRM) specialist, is offering a supplier development solution based on Six Sigma and DMAIC.

Its supplier development offering is based on a Six Sigma process carried out in five steps, or define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC). Development projects are defined, measures established, causes documented and corresponding solutions and goals are set. Process progress is routinely measured and monitored in order to secure supplier development and to sustainably optimize cooperation with suppliers. Supplier and purchasers receive regular updates regarding development progress and the degree of implementation for the optimization measures.

Supply & Demand Executive, Supplier Optimization with Xcitec Based on Six Sigma, a featured link of Six Sigma Zone

Filed under: Deployment, DMAIC, R&D, Six Sigma References, Tools/Toolkits, Xcitec

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Lean Six Sigma Improving Processes at the U.S. Army Recruiting Command

Posted by: meikah | 19 June 2007 | 8:17 pm

We know that the U.S. Army has been implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and has been reaping the benefits through these years.

usarec lean six sigmaIn 2005, the Army’s Recruiting Command (USAREC) division at Fort Knox adopted Lean Six Sigma. With Lean Six Sigma, Army recruiters now work fewer hours and are enjoying the benefits of productivity and time management.

Using Business Transformation (BT)/LSS methods, the Army Accessories Command (AAC) has been able to accomplish the following:

  • Leads refinement – Recruiters’ prospecting time has increased by 75 percent. Contact-to-conduct appointment time has also increased by more than 200 percent. Leads defects have decreased by 60 percent.
  • Early background checks – Will save up to 8 hours per applicant of processing time for the recruiter and potentially increase the efficiency of recruiting and training dollars by eliminating the loss of morale if a soldier is removed from the Future Soldier Training Program and Initial Entry Training for having a criminal record.
  • Waivers – Reduced submission-to-decision time by 45 percent and reduced document requirements by 50 percent.
  • Warrant Officer Flight Training (WOFT) Selection Board – Reduced processing time by 85 percent.
  • Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Leader’s Training Course (LTC) – Reduced the enrollment process by 40 percent and increased post-LTC contracts by 30 percent.
  • Four-year scholarship survey and interview process – Reduced variation in the Professor of Military Science (PMS) interview and time by 60 minutes.
  • Junior ROTC command-and-control – Reduced duplication of processes and functions by 100 percent and reduced lead time by 50 percent.

Read more…

*Photo from

Filed under: Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, US Army, USAREC

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A Six Sigma Winery?

Posted by: meikah | 19 June 2007 | 7:17 pm

Yes, indeed, there is a Six Sigma Winery. And true to its name, the company promises only the best quality wine. According to them, a great bottle of wine does not just happen!

Six Sigma Vineyards and Winery combines the old-world art of making wine with the science of data-driven Six Sigma principles. To accomplish this, Six Sigma has gathered a team of experts working towards a common goal: Making wine of an extraordinary quality at an affordable price.

I find the company really interesting, because they have named their businesses as Six Sigma ranch, Six Sigma vineyard, and Six Sigma winery. It appears that Six Sigma is powering every aspect of their business.

As I read through their profile, I found out that Kaj Ahlmann, the owner, named the business after the management process he had successfully implemented during his professional career. Together with his wife, Else Ahlmann who had worked for consultants to large breweries, bought the 4,300-acre ranch in 2000, and put up their Six Sigma company.

When you check out their site, you will see that the company is active and seems to be a lot of fun.

Let’s check out their winery and wines and wine shop and get a taste of Six Sigma. :)

Filed under: Processes, R&D, Retail, Sales, Services, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma Vineyards and Winery, Sustainable Business, Team Dynamics

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