Managing process improvement projects lecture slides
John Alexander Bowie
Types of Process Improvement Projects
Managing Process Improvement Projects
Case Study: Tips for Managing Six Sigma
Case Study: Rolls-Royce Inchinnan Manufacturing
Case Study: Implementing and Managing a Lean Six
Sigma Culture in Biopharmaceuticals
A Project is…
A planned or proposed undertaking
A collaborative enterprise, frequency involving
research or design, that is carefully planned to
achieve a particular aim
To achieve defined objectives and goals
Project Management is…
The application of knowledge, skills,
tools, techniques throughout the
lifecycle of a project
A Process is…
a succession of things in order; sequence;
Examples range from…
A manufacturing process to setting up a bank
account – and everything in-between!
A Process Improvement Project is…
A project with the aim of improving a process is
For the customer: accuracy, timeliness, product
performance, cost, value
For the company: Reducing error rates, resource
utilisation, unit cost, profit
The below YouTube demonstrates the benefits of
Lean is about…
Focus, removing waste, increasing customer value
Smooth process flows, doing only those activities
that add customer value and eliminate activities that
Introduction to Lean Manufacturing on YouTube…
In Lean Thinking, the 7 wastes are
Do not carry out unrequired activities
Eliminate waiting time for people or information
The movement of information, people or materials
in non-value adding
Eliminate process which generate further processing
Eliminate wastes associated with building up
Avoid the waste of motion
Continually strive to reduce the waste caused by
defects or mistakes
Mathematical symbol for standard deviation
The Sixth Sigma is the likelihood that only 3.4 out of
every 1 million data points will appear outside the
sixth standard deviation
Six Sigma is…
Focused on specific problems
A structured analytical and logically sourced approach to
A data driven methodology to understand and improve
This clip on YouTube is another good introduction to
what Six Sigma is…
The key difference between Lean and Six Sigma is…
Lean deals with material and information flow
Six Sigma deals with reduction of variation within
each process step.
Lean Six Sigma was then invented to
Make Six Sigma into a framework for problem
Integrate Lean and Six Sigma to have a single
method which will allow superior results than each
www.isixsigma.com || twitter.com/#!/iSixSigma
Top management commitment is essential.
Six Sigma is a cultural change programme and if the
top level management within a company or not
100% behind the project and understand the benefits
introducing Six Sigma into an organisation then the
process improvement project will not succeed. The
top management should be trained in Six Sigma first.
All leaders should be trained as Six Sigma Champions.
This allows more people within an organisation to
understand the benefits of Six Sigma and make sure
they ‘ask the right questions of Six Sigma
Include Six Sigma planning within the business operating plan.
By including Six Sigma project savings into future plans
of the company, the organisation is buying into the
project and engaging the project to ensure it succeeds.
Select the right consultant to train your Belts.
It is important to remember that ‘you will be best trained
by a Six Sigma practitioner (Black Belt or Master Black
Belt) rather than an academic who will teach you only the
theory’. Investing in Black Belt training programmes for
employees takes time (4-5 months) and it is important to
make sure the right people deliver the training.
Ensure the Return on Training investment is a least 20
This will ensure the financial viability of introducing
Six Sigma into the organisation is sound. It can be
done by ‘good project definition and correct
Create a certification process.
And make sure it is ‘rigorous and true’. This will
ensure that only candidates of the required standard
are certified and it maintains a minimum standard of
practitioner while allowing more employees to
become certified. Key stakeholders in the Six Sigma
project should sign on project certificates ‘declaring
Get the movement going at the shop floor level.
Don’t just have a few Black Belts or Green Belts in
the organisation working on projects all the time.
Have shop floor operators and supervisors trained
into the use of the tools and techniques of Six Sigma.
The will engage them into the process and allow
them to ‘own’ projects and make improvements on
their own. It is suggested that project leaders and
their team members are rewarded when they receive
certification (Black Belt, Green Belt etc). Other people
in the organisation should aspire to achieve
certification so it is important to instil this in
employees and certified candidates ‘should be
adequately compensated during their annual
Develop a mentoring process.
Ensure that new candidates are partnered with more
experience practitioners to ensure knowledge
exchange and guidance for new candidates. This
ensures that ‘course corrections are made regularly
and the projects get completed on time’.
Ensure financial validation of projects.
Ensure that the savings made of projects using Six
Sigma are recognised. Ensure the ‘project metrics
continue to be tracked after the project is declared
complete’. This will allow tracking of long term
financial benefits of introducing Six Sigma.
Never allow Six Sigma to be classified as a Quality
‘A Quality Manager's role is distinct and s/he will
not be in position to manage the Six Sigma process
as for the entire business.’
The next section of the material focuses on case studies
to provide information of how these process
improvement methodology projects are managed.
Opened in 2004
Initially struggled to
A process improvement project was initiated
Managed using large quantities of data to analyse
the process AND intellectual capability of employees
• Manufacture process improved dramatically over 4
years, currently manufacturing at 4.5σ and aiming for 6σ
How was it successfully managed?
High level manager buy in
Buy in at shop floor level
Financial validation of project insured
Why were the critical factors in making the project a
Shop floor employee engagement
Key engagement of shop floor workers into the
benefits of process automation
Successful cost reduction through an increase in the
number of products manufactured Right First Time
Implementing and Managing a Lean Six Sigma Culture
This case study can be examined by listening to the key
points from the podcast below.
Please attempt the quiz on odijoo to test your
knowledge on Case Study 2
Implementing Six Sigma throughout Your End-to-End
A podcast by Christopher Coole, a speaker at Lean Six
Sigma Process Improvement Seminar in January 2010.
Please attempt the quiz on odijoo to check your
knowledge on case study 3