Six Sigma Reference Feature: Six Sigma and S88 Unite for Batch Automation Productivity Improvement

Posted by: meikah | 31 August 2008 | 8:58 pm

Bruce Jensen, Systems Marketing and Sales Support Manager of Yokogawa Corporation of America, presented this paper at World Batch Forum, North American Conference 2001.

It’s rather an old paper, but the lessons are still applicable till today.

Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology applied to improving any type of process. It is a methodology endorsed by and heavily integrated into several major chemical companies. This paper outlines how the program works with regard to performing process studies for the purpose of improving batch productivity through automation within a manufacturing environment.

Download the whitepaper here.

Six Sigma Zone News Feature

Filed under: Manufacturing, Productivity, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma References

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Finalists for the 2008 Global Six Sigma & Business Improvement Awards program

Posted by: meikah | 27 August 2008 | 9:36 pm

WCBF has announced the shortlist of finalists for the 2008 Global Six Sigma & Business Improvement Awards program.

Listed by category, the finalists for the 2008 Global Six Sigma & Business Improvement Awards program are:

Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Financial Services
BMO Financial Group
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Deutsche Bank
Toyota Financial Services
United Services Automobile Association

Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Healthcare
ALSAC/St Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Sisters of Saint Francis Health Services, Inc.

Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in Manufacturing

Best Achievement of Organizational Business Improvement in the IT, Software and Telecoms Industries
British American Tobacco – Group Service Delivery

Best Achievement of Organization Business Improvement in Transactional Services
Infosys BPO Ltd.
Firstsource Solutions Ltd.

Best Emerging Business Improvement Deployment
Avis Budget Group
PAS Technologies Inc.
Prestolite Electric Inc.

Best Project Achievement in Business Enabling Process – HR/IT/Regulatory/Risk Management
Delphi Powertrain Systems
Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation

Best Project Achievement in Health, Safety and Environment
TRW Automotive
University Health Network

Best Project Achievement in Innovation or Product Development (including Design for Six Sigma)
Capital One Bank
Satyam BPO Ltd.
The Army Research Development Engineering Center

Best Project Achievement in Sales, Marketing or Customer Experience
Borusan Power Systems
Capital One Bank
Firstsource Solutions Limited
United Airlines

Best Project Achievement in Supply Chain Management
Teradyne Inc.

Six Sigma and Business Deployment Leader of the Year Award
Dave Curran, Managing Director, Operations & Transformation, Personal, ANZ
Richard Lam, Deployment Leader, BMO Financial Group
Chandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Process Excellence, Firstsource Solutions Ltd
Andre Booyzen, Senior Manager, Centre for Leadership and Business Excellence, Lonmin

Click here for more info.

The winners for all categories and the Special Awards will be announced at The Global Six Sigma & Business Improvement Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday October 15th 2008, being held at The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. The Gala Dinner is part of WCBF’s 3nd Annual Global Lean Six Sigma & Business Improvement Summit.

WCBF’s 3rd Annual Global Lean Six Sigma & Business Improvement Summit, October 14-17 2007 in Orlando is positioned to be the largest gathering of CEOs and Senior Executives passionate about Six Sigma for 2008. The summit agenda is packed with unparalleled opportunities for learning, knowledge-sharing and networking, providing key insight into how to get ahead of the competition and survive the test of time through the integration of Six Sigma, innovation and beyond.

For further information, please contact:
Flora Hamilton, Head of Global Six Sigma Awards, WCBF
Telephone: +18009651574

Filed under: Awards, Six Sigma, WCBF

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Are you Aiming for a Sustained Six Sigma Synergy?

Posted by: meikah | 27 August 2008 | 9:36 pm

Or are you wondering why your Six Sigma synergy isn’t productive?

We all know that a good teamwork drives synergy. Thus if these are your questions, too, maybe you need to take a look at your Six Sigma team. As I’ve said before, Six Sigma isn’t all about data, metrics, and processes. It should also be run by people, or by a team who is capable and willing to work on it in for the long haul.

Having said that, I just have to share with you Bruce R. Duncil‘s thoughts on sustaining Six Sigma synergy. I agree with him in all accounts. :)

Who hasn’t initiated a Six Sigma program to improve performance and bottom line results? It’s not uncommon to find companies where literally every employee is trained to some belt color and a dozen projects are always underway. Yet just when DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is viewed as the “silver bullet”, we find rapidly increasing and more strongly worded discontent not only with the programs but with Six Sigma itself. What’s happening in your company? If your program isn’t delivering promised results, take a look at the people, projects and profit. Minor program adjustment may be all that’s required to realize investment return.

Continue reading…

Filed under: Deployment, Six Sigma, Team Dynamics

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The Six SIgma Breakthrough Formula

Posted by: meikah | 27 August 2008 | 9:06 pm

You cannot improve what you can’t measure, we often hear this. But, it’s true! Because in the first place you wouldn’t know if your processes are still in synch or are already deviating from the norm.

Thus, data is valuable but can only be useful when you have the right metrics for it. Dorothy Miller shares her insights on improving business intelligence, the Six Sigma way. In that article on DM Review, Ms. Miller cites the Six Sigma breakthrough formula.

The breakthrough formula, that is often used in general business Six Sigma programs, is a foundation for my proposed Six Sigma BI Continuing Improvement Model (BI-CIM). The formula is: Y = f(X) + E. It defines the relationships between BI quality and the factors that cause or impact quality. The formula may be called breakthrough because the improvements are often dramatic. The formula, as I apply it to BI, means that quality (Y) is a result of, and dependent on, all the impacting factors (X). Y is the quality of the BI product. X includes all those components that cause or impact product quality. E is the uncertainty factor. Because the Six Sigma BI continuing improvement program discussed in this column is based on the breakthrough formula, it is important to define Y and X and the metrics for X for Y.

Read more…

What is your breakthrough formula?

Filed under: Data Analysis, Deployment, Six Sigma


Applying Lean and Six Sigma to Process Industries

Posted by: meikah | 25 August 2008 | 9:47 pm

Undeniably, the two most popular process improvement methodologies in use today are lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. For every type of waste you encounter, you either use lean or Six Sigma.

Lean manufacturing, for example, has identified seven types of waste:

  • Over-production: Producing too much, too soon.
  • Inventory: Extra production required to buffer process variability.
  • Transportation: Movement of materials without adding value.
  • Waiting: Increasing production cycle time without adding value.
  • Movement: Movement of operators without adding value.
  • Defects: Product that does not conform to customer specifications.
  • Over-processing: Processing a material more than is necessary to meet customer specifications.

Of these seven, the waiting, defects, and over-processing exist in process manufacturing. These wastes are fertile ground for the application of lean and Six Sigma methodologies.

Product changeovers, which in process manufacturing can sometimes take 18 hours or more, are an example of waiting waste. Defects are the result of production of material that does not meet the specifications of the downstream internal/external customer. Over-processing occurs when the material is processed to a greater extent than is required by the downstream customer. All of these add to costs and can be reduced and/or eliminated through the use of these methodologies.
Read more…

Reliable Plant

Filed under: Lean, Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, Manufacturing, Processes, Six Sigma

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Six Sigma in the Training and Developing Future IT Workforce

Posted by: meikah | 25 August 2008 | 9:13 pm

Over at Training Zone, Paul Lambert, managing consultant at PA Consulting Group, shares his insights on some of the key factors shaping the workforce, the implications for how a workforce learns and how learning and development (L&D) can address these issues.

Toward the end of the Q&A, the topic was how to make the shift to developing a capable IT workforce, and Mr Lambert offers four steps. On the fourth step, which is picking the right learning approaches, this is what he said:

A shift towards building ‘strategic capability’ typically involves a greater focus on learning that is more embedded in business activity. For instance, the energy firm shifted towards learning that included development of six sigma skills (to enable IT process improvement), accreditation of knowledge and skills for a new service delivery model (ITIL), development of professional networks inside and outside the firm and support for IT career development.

Read the entire Q&A.

Filed under: IT, ITIL, Productivity, Six Sigma, Training

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When Six Sigma and other Improvements Come from the Leadership

Posted by: meikah | 25 August 2008 | 8:44 pm

Inspired by Six Sigma and Toyota model of management, Windber Medical Center President F. Nicholas Jacobs has mandated quality healthcare.

One good thing about this is that the Johnstown, PA government is also helping out the healthcare industry in the area by launching a three-pronged approach to improve quality in healthcare:

  1. Pushing quality through public reporting.
  2. Enforcing quality through the False Claims Act.
  3. Incentivizing quality through payment reform.

Supplementing this approach is the “pay for performance” for physicians and hospitals. In other word, the government will be rewarding people for good performance. Read more…

In a related story, because of what Mr. Jacobs did, he was credited for being innovative. Here are a list of improvements that he has done:

  1. Expanded emergency and obstetrics departments
  2. Construction of “the ultimate education center”
  3. Transforming the small town hospital into a showcase of state-of-the-art medicine and holistic alternatives
  4. Extensive training for medical practitioners
  5. Focus on patient control and preventive medicine

When improvement comes from leadership, a lot can be achieved.

The Tribune-Democrat

Filed under: Benefits and Savings, Deployment, Healthcare, Innovation, Quality, Six Sigma

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Six Sigma Readiness Test

Posted by: meikah | 24 August 2008 | 8:58 pm

The standard operating procedure when deploying Six Sigma is getting leadership to support the initiative. Without leadership support, we’re often told, Six Sigma deployment will most likely fail.

To my mind, I don’t think any management would reject an initiative that would improve business. The initial reaction, which may look like rejection, may just be a product of not really knowing what Six Sigma is and what it entails. Often, readiness is a major factor of acceptance.

iSixSigma put out a checklist of things to determine if your management is ready for Six Sigma.

Here is a test which can help business leaders decide if their organization is ready for Six Sigma. Please answer each question using a scale of 0-10, with 10 meaning “absolutely yes,” 5 meaning “maybe” and 0 meaning “absolutely no.”

______ 1. Is the organization structure relatively stable, not about to change dramatically?

______ 2. Will the business leader make Six Sigma one of his or her top priorities?

______ 3. Does leadership have credibility and a history of successfully implementing company-wide improvement initiatives, demonstrating that they can sustain their attention?

______ 4. Will the business devote 10 percent of its resources to Six Sigma?

______ 5. Can the best project and change leaders in the business at manager or junior manager level be assigned to Six Sigma projects?

______ 6. To launch the effort, will members of the leadership team invest two days of their time?

______ 7. Will members of the leadership team mandate that their direct reports invest in a two-day Six Sigma orientation?

______ 8. Is the business leadership team open to actively sponsoring pilot projects?

______ 9. Is it common practice to work in teams – project teams, management teams or natural working teams?

______ 10. Are decisions based upon analysis of relevant data at all levels in the organization?

______ 11. Is work defined in terms of processes? Are key processes documented and accountabilities clear?

______ Total

75-110 = Time to get started!
50-75 = Risky, unless all leadership items are strong! Below 50 = Wait until conditions have improved!

Is Your Company’s Leadership Ready for Six Sigma?

Filed under: Deployment, Six Sigma

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Integrating 5 Lean Tools and Principles into Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 August 2008 | 11:30 pm

This is one good thing about Six Sigma. It’s not a stand alone methodology. In fact, you get more benefits if you incorporate it with other tools and methodologies.

iSixSigma has outlined five Lean tools and principles that you can incorporate into Six Sigma.

  1. Value Stream Mapping
  2. Takt Time
  3. Ishikawa (Cause-and-Effect) Diagram and 5 Whys
  4. Heijunka (Load Balancing)
  5. Poka Yoke (Mistake Proofing)

Find out how this is done here.

Filed under: Six Sigma, Tools/Toolkits

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Chrysler and Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 20 August 2008 | 11:16 pm

I was reading this article on New York Times about Chrysler. The owners are giving the executives of the beleaguered company time to fix it.

The article lengthily discusses the difficulties that Chrysler now is facing: from its falling out with Daimler to low sales to decreased market share, and to products not moving in the market.

The solution that the company is seeing is to reposition their products to the kind that customers will embrace. The company is not only going to streamline operations and conserve cash, but it will also explore alliances with other automakers.

I am just surprised that there is no mention of Six Sigma or DFSS, or any other initiative that the company will be going into or will be continuing to weather the storm.

I’ve shared the news about Chrysler deploying Six Sigma and DFSS here. I wonder if the company is still into them.

Filed under: Automobiles, Chrysler, DFSS, Six Sigma

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