What are the Qualities of a Six Sigma Black Belt Candidate?

Posted by: meikah | 30 June 2008 | 11:46 pm

If you’re asking the same question, then check out Tony Jacowski’s article on content4reprint.com.

  1. Appreciates customer promotion – He must know the value of customer in the business equation.
  2. Has the right personal attributes – He must be the positive influence that motivate others; self-motivated, and I think should also be a self-starter.
  3. Displays some leadership qualities – He must be the change agent, and thus an initiator.
  4. Possesses good communication skills – He must be able to convey messages well, and act as an effective mediator between employees and management, a coach and trainor.
  5. Has the technical aptitude – Though not necessary, he must have some background in engineering, statistics, and computers.

Read more…

Choosing candidates for Six Sigma Black Belt is crucial in your Six Sigma deployment because from them, a good change agent leader must emerge. It goes without saying that a Six Sigma initiative is nothing without the right people in the team.

Filed under: Black Belt, Deployment, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Jobs, Training

No Comments » |

Six Sigma and Sarbanes-Oxley

Posted by: meikah | 30 June 2008 | 9:20 pm

Six Sigma is about process improvement, while Sarbanes-Oxley or SOX is about compliance. If the two shall meet, then the organization will be doubly benefitted. If you may recall a SOX compliance was brought about after major and accounting scandals like Enron shocked the public.

I believe compliance is part of process improvement, thus all the activities related to compliance will bring about improvement and enhance sustainability of operations.

An article on CIO Today, presents a good discussion on how Six Sigma and Sarbanes-Oxley can complement each other.

There are striking similarities between Six Sigma’s proven process improvement methodology, DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control), and compliance activities such as controls documentation, testing and remediation. Both require definition of objectives, measurement of performance, remediation of weaknesses and continual monitoring. Companies that have already performed documentation and testing activities for compliance are in an excellent position to identify process improvement opportunities.

In the billing process, for instance, a key objective is to accurately invoice customers. By documenting and testing the billing process, companies can identify key performance indicators to measure the health of their billing process. An analysis of billing errors can streamline the process.

Continue reading…

iSixSigma News

Filed under: Deployment, DMAIC, Processes, Sarbanes-Oxley, Six Sigma

No Comments » |

Explaining Six Sigma as a Job

Posted by: meikah | 29 June 2008 | 8:48 pm

When people go up to you and ask what you do as a Six Sigma Black Belt or even a Six Sigma practitioner, what do you tell them?

It’s easier to explain it to fellow Six Sigma practitioners. In fact, you would surely end up with a lively and fruitful discussion. But to the general public, the scenario is different.

Not a lot of people are really familiar with Six Sigma. So when the general public ask what it is, you often find yourself mumble, “it’s a quality methodology.” Because when you explain further, most likely you’d be looking at a person with more questions in his eyes.

So how do you explain Six Sigma as the job you do?

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting video from YouTube (via LearnSigma) about a father trying to explain to his son (played by Ashton Kutcher at that) what he does.

[youtube 3PeesW-UoqY]

Filed under: Six Sigma, Six Sigma Jobs

No Comments » |

Innovation of the Week: Sitemasher’s Platforms

Posted by: meikah | 27 June 2008 | 2:06 am

sixsig innovation of the weekSitemasher, a Vancouver-based start-up company received the inaugural Blue Sky Award, which recognizes leading innovation developed on the Microsoft-based platform.

Mediacaster Magazine reports:

Established in 2007, Sitemasher is a SaaS-based platform for building, managing, and optimizing sophisticated websites.

Phil Calvin, chief technical officer, began developing Sitemasher in 2005. He was intent on transcending traditional website building platforms and Web content management system (CMS) solutions by providing an integrated, search-engine friendly platform to address the entire website lifecycle.

Continue reading…

Filed under: General, Innovation Update, Internet, IT, Software/Technology

No Comments » |

The Benefits of Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 25 June 2008 | 11:40 pm

We have been reading about the benefits Six Sigma can give to your organizations. The benefits are varied and are achievable in different times or phase.

Over at Management Tips, Tony Jacowski shares Six Sigma’s contribution to an organization’s processes: eradicating business problems. Jacowski presents two major benefits:

Financial Benefits – Cash flow increases due to creation of additional revenue.

Operational Benefits Of Six Sigma Training – Employee satisfaction due to improvement in work flow, reduction in process times and steps, better usage of work space, etc. result from implementation of Six Sigma.

Conceptually, the benefits of implementation of Six Sigma emerge from breaking the mindset that product processes are invariable. Benefits also emerge as a result of interconnected activities. The result of this methodical approach to quality management is evidenced by reduced fluctuations in processes. Stability of this kind triggers a series of positive chain reactions within organizations.

Read more…

I like the part that says that stability brings about positive chain reactions within organizations. I believe Six Sigma does achieve this. And when the initiative is sustained, all the more it attracts positivity that translates into huge benefits and savings.

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Training

No Comments » |

Six Sigma, DMAIC and Lean Maintenance

Posted by: meikah | 25 June 2008 | 9:51 pm

The other day, I heard in the news that an emergency took place in a manufacturing plant, and that the bricks that were holding their kettle scattered.

Because of what happened, their production would be delayed a bit. Although the problem has been contained and they’re now ready to run again, they had just experienced a downtime. Downtime translated in terms of cost and time is expensive, especially in a manufacturing company.

I am sure they have regular TPM or total production maintenance, but I think they would do well with Lean or Six Sigma, too.

I found this article on Feed Forward and it has a good view of how Six Sigma, its tool DMAIC can help in doing a lean maintenance.

Define the problem – Unscheduled equipment malfunctions and the resulting rework, scrap parts, downtime and lost production. Why is this a problem? Because now days the machines and computers do all our work.

Monitor & Measure the problem – Monitor your downtime and measure or calculate what it is really costing… then estimate the potential savings and increased profits that should come from addressing this “problem.”

Analyze how to solve or eliminate the problem – Your maintenance engineer, or an experienced consultant or contract engineer should analyze and identify, for each computer, each machine and each control system how to, in the most cost-effective way, protect or harden the equipment form the above stresses.

Install and Implement – Installation instructions from above should be specific enough that your own maintenance personnel can easily and quickly install the needed protective devices, methods, or changes.

Controlling the project – Controlling Lean Maintenance â„¢ in the future should require little to no effort.

Read more…

Filed under: DMAIC, Lean Maintenance, Manufacturing, Six Sigma

No Comments » |

“Six Sigma Doesn’t Belong in Customer-Centric Environments”

Posted by: meikah | 25 June 2008 | 8:49 pm

Here’s an interesting view of Six Sigma and it’s role or should I say “non-role” in customer-centric environments.

Let me quote a good part of the article:

The subject is six sigma. In customer-centric environments. Where it doesn’t belong (unless we’re considering the shop floors of line manufacturers to be “customer-centric”). So let’s cut right to the chase and explain why.

First, business process has two basic components:
Workflow: how work (and information) flow from function to function (or person to person within a function)
Work process: how individuals within a function perform their work

In front office and support staff and service company environments—unlike in line manufacturing—workflow is the dominant component. But in line manufacturing—especially through a six sigma lens—work process is the dominant component. Ergo, we have two very different workplace environments. And it’s not too much of a stretch to call them diametrically opposed in business process terms.

Now, where does customer-centricity play out? Primarily in front office and support staff environments. So why would we use a business process improvement methodology designed for manufacturing in the front office and other variable environments—especially customer-centric environments, which are the most variable of all? Beats us.

Continue reading…

For me, customer-centricity is a culture—a general mindset—and as such it pervades the whole organization. Thus, I believe you cannot separate one department and call it as the only customer-centric entity in your organization.

Now, how that organization position its processes to achieve that customer-centric culture or environment is up to them. The organization could use Six Sigma, Lean, Kaizen, TQM, etc. It shouldn’t even matter.

What’s important is that you’re producing high-quality products and services, and satisfying the needs of your customers.

Filed under: Customer Service, Six Sigma

1 Comment |

Six Sigma Training Tips from LearnSigma.com

Posted by: meikah | 24 June 2008 | 9:52 pm

Rob Thomson of LearnSigma shares these interesting Six Sigma training tips. I’ve shared my thoughts about it too earlier.

Anyway, here are Rob’s top tips:

  • Always emphasise the graphical tools over formal statistical analyses
  • Teach the tools and their applications, and omit the underlying theory but not the key assumptions which make the tool applicable or not
  • Use real life examples and case-studies
  • Use software, e.g. Minitab to demonstrate hands-on implementation
  • Tie the training into a project, with the emphasis on using tools which are appropriate to solve the problem, in other words, don’t be overly prescriptive with what tools are required

Read more…

Very useful tips, Rob, and I like the look of your new site!

You may also want to check out my interview with Rob.

Filed under: Robert Thompson, Six Sigma, Six Sigma References, Tips

1 Comment |

Six Sigma and Statistics

Posted by: meikah | 23 June 2008 | 9:29 pm

Deploying Six Sigma means you will be handling data, analyzing that data, and so you will surely be handling statistics.

Here are two posts that will give you good insights on statistical concepts:

These two posts show us more than just the figures; rather, these underscore the role of these data, their interpretation in a Six Sigma or quality initiative.

Filed under: Six Sigma, Statistics

No Comments » |

8 Basics of Lean Six Sigma For Manufacturing Firms

Posted by: meikah | 23 June 2008 | 8:52 pm

lean six sigma for manufacturingFrom Articles Bridge again, I’m sharing here the eight basics of Lean Six Sigma for Manufacturing Firms.

  1. Information Accuracy – Any system is bound to fail if it is based on inaccurate data and inappropriate documentation.
  2. Performance Management – A balanced scorecard is often successful in motivating key employees to perform.
  3. Continuous Production Lines – Using the simple technique of sequential production, organizations can make timely deliveries and gain substantial profit margins.
  4. Production Point Logistics – Cutting down existing inventory and making an attempt to move production parts and components to their point of use can prove to be substantial cost savers.
  5. Shorter cycle times – By eliminating waste in production, companies are able to manufacture goods quickly.
  6. Smooth schedules and linear production – Maintaining constant emphasis on the achievement of daily targets is necessary. It will create awareness among the team of how critical it is to execute timely production planning details.
  7. Resource Planning -Timely planning with the appropriate workforce size is necessary. By reallocating employees onto other avenues rather than laying them off due to efficient processes, staff will become more confident in the organization.
  8. Customer Satisfaction – Customer Satisfaction has to be grounded in reality, and cannot simply be perception-based. All communication regarding actual quality of products and expectations should flow directly from customers.

Read more…

Six Sigma Zone News

*Photo from Stock.Xchng

Filed under: Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Six Sigma Zone, Tips

No Comments » |