Monday, April 2, 2007

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

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