Monday, April 2, 2007

Breather :)

It's time to take a breather today. I think I wrote enough on Six Sigma today..

Will scribble some more "general" quality concepts in my upcoming blogs.

Road Ways to Six Sigma

Customer knowledge and effective measures fuel Six Sigma Engine with three basic motor parts . All of these focus on "Processes" in your organization :

1) Process Improvement (DMAIC)
2) Process Design/Redesign (DMADV)
3) Process Management

Let's touch upon these briefly.

Process Improvement :

It Refers to strategy (DMAIC) for finding the solutions to the pre-existing problems in order to eliminate the root causes of problems.

DMAIC is a five step process to attack problems:

Define the problem and what exactly the customer requires.
This is the step where you need to set goal & the Goals needless to say definitely have to be SMART ( Specific , Measurable , Adequate , Reliable, Time Bound)
The team identifies CTQs (critical to quality characteristics) that have the most impact on quality - separating the “vital few” from the “trivial many”-and creates a map of the process to be improved.

Measure the process to determine the current performance, what are the defects in the current process and collect relevant data for future comparison.
Simply Put => Ask, HOW ARE WE DOING?

Analyze the data collected and determine the root causes of the defects/problems.

Improve or optimize the process to remove the causes of defects .
& Finally

Control the process to make sure that defects don't recur and maintain the process performance in future.

DMAIC is primarily used when a product or process is in existence at your company but is not meeting customer specification or is not performing adequately. It's like you know how to make chapati but still you end up with an Indian Map :))

Process Design/Re-Design :

Although DMAIC fits a wide range of business situations , but there are times when a different path through DMAIC is needed such as :

a) When business chooses to replace rather than repair one or more core processes.
b) When you discover that improving the existing process will never deliver the quality customers are demanding.
c) When the business identifies an opportunity to offer an entirely new product or service.

And here comes DMADV as a savior to these types of scenarios.

Define customer requirements and goals for the process/product/service

Measure and determine customer needs and specifications.
Basically identify CTQs

Analyze the process options to meet the customer needs. Here you need to develop and design alternatives, create high-level design and evaluate design capability to select the best design.

Design (detailed) & Implement the new process/product/service to meet the customer needs

Verify the results , maintain performance and ability to meet customer needs

Follow whichever approach fits your organization need and have a smooth ride to six sigma

Key Ingredients for Six Sigma Recipe

The Six Sigma way (An Implementation Guide by Pande) introduced six critical ingredients which one need to blend within the organization to get good six sigma recipe :)

1. Genuine Focus on the customer
2. Data and specially fact driven management
3. Process focus , management & improvement
4. Proactive Management
5. Boundaryless collaboration
6. Most Importantly -- Drive for Perfection and Tolerate Failure

Crust of Six Sigma :

As a whole Six Sigma crust is composed of few key molecules:

* Critical to Quality (CTQ): Attributes most important to the customer (you will lot about CTQ in six sigma )
* Defect: Failing to deliver what the customer wants
* Process Capability: What your process can deliver
* Variation: What the customer sees and feels
* Stable Operations: Ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels
* Design for Six Sigma: Designing to meet customer needs and process capability

With this basic uphold I think it's time to step in some fundas of six sigma....

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Uphill to Six Sigma

Six Sigma - A new name for old vision !!
This mean providing near to perfect products and services to the customers. Sounds little wary.Yes it is!! "Near to Perfect" or "Perfect" :
Yes this is what six sigma aims for & this definitely has been the motto or vision of all the buineses so far .

But then why now...there is so much wave about Six Sigma.
Because being sucessful and more importantly staying successful in business is more challenging today than ever before. Thanks to Ambanis, Tata's and Birla's and many more.

Six Sigma provides some of the Power Tools to improve the services & products to levels of accuracy and quality which has been seen so far only in precision manufacturing.

Six sigma put simply is strive for perfection.

Core of Six Sigma :

Six Sigma basically is data-driven approach to achieve quality. It combines some of the best tecqhniques of the past with recent breakthroughs in Management Thinking & Plain Old common sense.

Six Sigma = Goal of reducing defects to near zero.

Six Sigma stands for Six Standard Deviations from mean. Sigma is the Greek letter used to represent standard deviation in statistics.It tells you how much variability is there within group of items. More the variation - Bigger the standard deviation.

Yes, you guessed right so purpose of six sigma is to reduce the variation and achieve very small standard deviations so that the customer requirements are met.

And when we say customer requirments are met, this means there are no or nearly zero defects.

Hence, Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach for eliminating defects in any process -- from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

Six Sigma Lineage :

It was started first time in Motorola. Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986 pioneered this process .
It was originally defined as a metric for measuring defects and improving quality, and a methodology to reduce defect levels below 3.4 Defects Per (one) Million Opportunities (DPMO).

Six Sigma is a registered service mark and trademark of Motorola, Inc. Motorola has reported over US$17 billion in savings from Six Sigma as of 2006.

In addition to Motorola, companies which also adopted Six Sigma methodologies early-on and continue to practice it today include Bank of America, Caterpillar, Honeywell International (previously known as Allied Signal), Raytheon and General Electric (introduced by Jack Welch.

Six Sigma on it's uphill journey has eventually evolved & is now applied to other non-manufacturing processes.

And here we go...Today we can apply Six Sigma to many fields such as Services, Medical and Insurance Procedures, Call Centers etc....

After all who doesn't want more business :)

My First Post

Today is that one fine day where I just landed into the blogging arena. I just thought it would be good container to pour in the knowledge and also enhance my ability to present about whatever I read ,learn, experience in my own simple understanding.

Let me start with explaining little bit about my blog title .

Quality Everywhere ... Yes practically Quality is Everywhere.

We all perceive Quality in our daily lives . Quality is something definitely we always look for , Isn't it ?? Being in any context. We want good quality food, quality clothes to wear , quality music, quality house , good quality roads to make our life little simpler , good Car, TV, mobile and on the top of all we all yearn for Good Quality Lives .

So, Quality as dictionary meaning goes is " Degree of excellence" or "Fitness for use " . In simple terms it's a perception of the degree in meeting our requirements. It's like -Quality is something to be desired.

Let me cite here few Quality Definitions as interpreted by some of the Quality Gurus' :

a) "Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfils requirements" as ISO 9000
b) "Conformance to requirements" (Philip B. Crosby in the 1980s).
c) "Fitness for use" (Joseph M. Juran). Fitness is defined by the customer.

So, Quality find its way everywhere !!