DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control)Using DMAIC to Improve Service ProcessesNo matter how you approach deployingimprovement teams in your organization, they willall need to know what is expected of them. That iswhere having a standard improvement modelsuch as DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) is extremely helpful. It providesteams with a roadmap. DMAIC is a structured,disciplined, rigorous approach to processimprovement consisting of the five phasesmentioned, where each phase is linked logically tothe previous phase as well as to the next phase.
There are many resources that describe the DMAICprocess. Our purpose here is to focus on specialconsiderations for using the Lean Six Sigma DMAICprocess in a service environment, including bothmethods and tools that are particularly helpful aswell as hints on how to model the people side ofeach phase.Elements of Define (DMAIC)Elements of Measure (DMAIC)Elements of Analyze (DMAIC)Elements of Improve (DMAIC)Elements of Control (DMAIC)Process Simulation and ModelingDifference Between DMAIC and Design For SixSigma (DFSS)
Elements of Define (DMAIC) Key ConceptThe tools most commonly used in the Definephase are: Project Charter Stakeholder Analysis Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customers (SIPOC) Process Map Voice of the Customer Affinity Diagram Kano Model Critical-To-Quality (CTQ) Tree
The first phase is Define. During the Definephase, a team and its sponsors reachagreement on what the project is and what itshould accomplish. Presuming that a draft ofthe Project Charter is already in place, themain work in the Define phase is for theproject team to complete an analysis of whatthe project should accomplish and confirmunderstanding with the sponsor(s). Theyshould agree on the problem, whichcustomers are affected, and how the currentprocess or outcomes fail to meet theircustomers’ needs through "Voice of the Customer orCritical-To-Quality (CTQ)." The outcome of theDefine phase is:
A clear statement of the intended improvement (Project Charter) A high-level map of the Processes (SIPOC) A list of what is important to the customer (CTQ) An understanding of the projects link to corporate strategy and its contribution to ROICThe tools most commonly used in the Define phaseare: Project Charter Stakeholder analysis Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customers (SIPOC) process map Voice of the Customer Affinity Diagram Kano Model Critical-To-Quality (CTQ) tree
The following sections provide a briefdescription of the above tools and techniques.Project CharterThe charter is a contract between theorganization’s leadership and the project teamcreated at the outset of the project. Its purposeis: To clarify what is expected of the team To keep the team focused To keep the project and team aligned with organizational priorities To transfer the project from the champion to the teamBack to Define Tools
Stakeholder AnalysisA DMAIC project will require a fundamental change in theprocess. In an effort to mitigate the resistance to changewhen the improvement is implemented, it is crucial to identifythe stakeholders early on, and to develop a communicationplan for each of them. Typical stakeholders includemanagers, people who work in the process under study,upstream and downstream departments, customers,suppliers and finance. Regular communication can createmore buy-in, identify better solutions, and avoid pitfalls.Back to Define ToolsSIPOC Process MapA SIPOC is a high-level process map that includesSuppliers, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customers. Qualityis judged based on the output of a process. The quality isimproved by analyzing inputs and process variables. Anexample of a SIPOC Process Map is provided below.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 1: SIPOC Process Map exampleBack to Define Tools
Voice of the CustomerThe "Voice of the Customer" is a process used tocapture the requirements/feedback from thecustomer (internal or external) to provide themwith best-in-class service/product quality. Thisprocess is all about responsiveness andconstantly innovating to capture the changingrequirements of the customers over time.The "Voice of the Customer" is the term used todescribe the stated and unstated needs orrequirements of the customer. The “Voice of theCustomer” can be captured in a variety of ways:Direct discussion or interviews, surveys, focusgroups, customer specifications, observation,warranty data, field reports, complaint logs, etc.
This data is used to identify the qualityattributes needed for a supplied component ormaterial to incorporate in the process orproduct. The VOC is critical for anorganization to: Decide what products and services to offer Identify critical features and specifications for those products and services Decide where to focus improvement efforts Obtain a baseline measure of customer satisfaction against which improvement will be measured Identify key drivers of customer
The following is a list of typical outputs of theVOC process: A list of customers and customer segments Identification of relevant reactive and proactive sources of data Verbal or numerical data that identify customer needs Defined Critical-To-Quality requirements (CTQs) Specifications for each CTQ requirementBack to Define Tools
Affinity DiagramAn Affinity Diagram (sometimes referred to asa "KJ", after the initials of the person whocreated this technique, Kawakita Jiro) is aspecial kind of brainstorming tool. You use anAffinity Diagram to: Gather large numbers of ideas, opinions, or issues and group those items that are naturally related Identify, for each grouping, a single concept that ties the group together
View large image |Read accessible description of imageFigure 2: Affinity Diagram example
An Affinity Diagram is especially useful when: Chaos exists The team is drowning in a large volume of ideas Breakthrough thinking is required Broad issues or themes must be identifiedBuilding an Affinity Diagram is a creativerather than a logical process that encouragesparticipation because everyones ideas findtheir way into the exercise.Back to Define Tools
Kano ModelDeveloped in the 80s by Professor NoriakiKano, the Kano model is based on theconcepts of customer quality and provides asimple ranking scheme which distinguishesbetween essential and differentiatingattributes. The model is a powerful way ofvisualizing product characteristics andstimulating debate within the design team.Kano also produced a rigorous methodologyfor mapping consumer responses into themodel. Product characteristics can beclassified as:
Threshold / Basic attributes Attributes which must be present in order for the product to be successful, and can be viewed as a price of entry. However, the customer will remain neutral towards the product even with improved execution of these threshold and basic attributes. One dimensional attributes (Performance / Linear) These characteristics are directly correlated to customer satisfaction. Increased functionality or quality of execution will result in increased customer satisfaction. Conversely, decreased functionality results in greater dissatisfaction. Product price is often related to these attributes.
Attractive attributes (Exciters / Delighters) Customers receive great satisfaction from a feature and are willing to pay a price premium. However, satisfaction will not decrease (below neutral) if the product lacks the feature. These features are often unexpected by customers and can be difficult to establish as needs during initial design. They are sometimes called unknown or latent needs.An example of Kano Model is provided below.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 3: Kano Model exampleBack to Define Tools
Critical-To-Quality (CTQ) treeThe purpose of Critical-To-Quality trees is to convertcustomer needs/wants to measurable requirements for thebusiness to implement.For example: A retail merchant was receiving a significantnumber of complaints regarding their homeowner warrantypolicies from their customers. By analyzing customer surveydata and developing the CTQ tree, the business was able toidentify critical-to-satisfaction requirements. Theserequirements became the focus for improving customersatisfaction. The business eliminated mandatory warrantyvisits and made all warranty visits optional. Eliminatingmandatory visits satisfied the customers who thought therewere too many visits and adding an extra optional visitsatisfied customers who thought there were too few visits.Expanding the time frame for scheduling warranty visits fromtwo weeks to three months eliminated the inconvenience forcustomers who had busy schedules and found the time framedifficult to manage.
The business took a general, difficult-to-measure need (to improvehomeowner warranty satisfaction) and developed specific,measurable, and actionable requirements to drive improvements incustomer satisfaction. View large image | Read accessible description of image Figure 4: Critical-to-Quality (CTQ) tree example Back to Define Tools Reference • iSixSigma.com
Elements of Measure (DMAIC) Key ConceptThe tools most commonly used in theMeasure phase are: Prioritization Matrix Process Cycle Efficiency Time Value Analysis Pareto Charts Control Charts Run Charts Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
One of the major benefits of Six Sigma is its demandfor a fact-based and data-driven analytical approach.Most other improvement methodologies, includingLean, tend to attempt process improvement withoutsufficient data to understand the underlying causes ofthe problem. The result is typically many quick-hitprojects with short-lived or disappointing results.Combining data with knowledge and experience iswhat separates true improvement from mere processtinkering. One of the goals of the Measure phase is topin-point the location or source of a problem asprecisely as possible by building a factualunderstanding of existing process conditions. Thatknowledge helps you narrow the range of potentialcauses requiring investigation in the Analyze phase.An important part of Measure is to establish a baselinecapability level.
The tools most commonly used in the Measurephase are: Prioritization Matrix Process Cycle Efficiency Time Value Analysis Pareto charts Control charts Run Charts Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
The following sections provide a brief descriptionof the above tools and techniques:Prioritization MatrixThe Prioritization Matrix provides a way of sortinga diverse set of items into an order of importance.It also enables their relative importance to beidentified by deriving a numerical value of theimportance of each item. Thus an item with ascore of 223 is clearly far more important thanone with a score of 23, but is not much moreimportant than one with a score of 219. Items arecompared, scored against a set of key criteria,and the scores for each item are then summed.
View large image | Read accessible description of image Figure 5: Prioritization MatrixReference• The Improvement EncyclopediaBack to Measure Tools
Process Cycle EfficiencyA calculation that relates the amount of value-added timeto total cycle time in a process.Back to Measure ToolsTime Value AnalysisA chart that visually separates value-added from non-value-added time in a process.Back to Measure ToolsPareto ChartsVilfredo Pareto, a turn-of-the-century Italian economist,studied the distributions of wealth in different countries,concluding that a fairly consistent minority – about 20% –of people controlled the large majority – about 80% – of asocietys wealth. This same distribution has beenobserved in other areas and has been termed the Paretoeffect.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 6: Example Pareto Chart
The Pareto effect even operates in qualityimprovement: 80% of problems usually stemfrom 20% of the causes. Pareto charts areused to display the Pareto principle in action,arranging data so that the few vital factorsthat are causing most of the problems revealthemselves. Concentrating improvementefforts on these few issues will have agreater impact and be more cost-effectivethan undirected efforts.Back to Measure Tools
Control ChartsEvery process varies. If you write your nameten times, your signatures will all be similar, butno two signatures will be exactly alike. There isan inherent variation, but it varies betweenpredictable limits. If, as you are signing yourname, someone bumps your elbow, you get anunusual variation due to what is called a"special cause". If you are cutting diamonds,and someone bumps your elbow, the specialcause can be expensive. For many processes,it is important to notice special causes ofvariation as soon as they occur.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 7: Example Control Chart
Theres also "common cause" variation.Consider a baseball pitcher. If he has goodcontrol, most of his pitches are going to bewhere he wants them. There will be somevariation, but not too much. If he is "wild", hispitches arent going where he wants them;theres more variation. There may not be anyspecial causes - no wind, no change in the ball -just more "common cause" variation. The result:more walks are issued, and there are unintendedpitches over the plate where batters can hitthem. In baseball, control wins ballgames.Likewise, in most processes, reducing commoncause variation saves money.
Happily, there are easy-to-use charts which make iteasy see both special and common cause variation ina process. They are called control charts, orsometimes Shewhart charts, after their inventor,Walter Shewhart, of Bell Labs. There are manydifferent subspecies of control charts which can beapplied to the different types of process data whichare typically available.All control charts have three basic components: A centerline, usually the mathematical average of all the samples plotted. Upper and lower statistical control limits that define the constraints of common cause variations. Performance data plotted over time.Back to Measure Tools
Run ChartsRun charts (often known as line graphs outside thequality management field) display process performanceover time. Upward and downward trends, cycles, andlarge aberrations may be spotted and investigatedfurther. In a run chart, events, shown on the y axis, aregraphed against a time period on the x axis. Forexample, a run chart in a hospital might plot thenumber of patient transfer delays against the time ofday or day of the week. The results might show thatthere are more delays at noon than at 3 p.m.Investigating this phenomenon could unearth potentialimprovement needs. Run charts can also be used totrack improvements that have been put into place,checking to determine their success. Also, an averageline can be added to a run chart to clarify movement ofthe data away from the average.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 8: Example Run ChartBack to Measure Tools
Failure Modes and Effect Analysis(FMEA)Procedures and tools that help to identifyevery possible failure mode of a process orproduct, determine its effect on other sub-items and on the required function of theproduct or process. The FMEA is also usedto rank & prioritize the possible causes offailure as well as develop and implementpreventive actions, with responsiblepersons assigned to carry out theseactions.
Elements of Analyze (DMAIC) Key ConceptThe tools most commonly used in the Analyzephase are: 5 Whys Analysis Brainstorming Cause and Effect Diagram Affinity Diagram Control Charts Flow Diagrams Pareto Charts Regression Analysis Scatter Plots
The Measure phase has identified thebaseline performance of the process. Bystratifying (sequenced in order of ranks ororder) the data in the baseline performance, itbecomes possible to pinpoint the location orsource of problems by building a factualunderstanding of existing process conditionsand problems. That helps to focus theproblem statement. In the Analyze phase youwill develop theories of root causes, confirmthe theories with data, and finally identify theroot cause(s) of the problem. The verifiedcause(s) will then form the basis for solutionsin the Improve phase.
The tools most commonly used in the Analyzephase are: 5 Whys Analysis Brainstorming Cause and Effect Diagram Affinity Diagrams (covered in the Define phase) Control Charts (covered in the Measure phase) Flow Diagram Pareto Charts (covered in the Measure phase) Regression Analysis Scatter Plots
5 Whys Analysis Key ConceptBenefits of the 5 Whys: It helps to quickly identify the root cause of a problem It helps determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem It can be learned quickly and doesnt require statistical anaysis to be used
5 Whys Analysis is a problem solving techniquethat allows you to get at the root cause of aproblem fairly quickly. It was made popular as partof the Toyota Production System (1970’s).Application of the strategy involves taking anyproblem and asking "Why - what caused thisproblem?"By repeatedly asking the question "Why" (five is agood rule), it is possible to peel away the layers ofsymptoms to identify the root cause of a problem.Very often the first reason for a problem will leadyou to another question and then to another.Although this technique is called "5 Whys," youmay find that you will need to ask the questionfewer or more times than five before you find theissue related to a problem.
An example of a five Why Analysis . . . The "wheel"example.1. Why is our largest customer unhappy? Because our deliveries of bicycles have been late for the last month.2. Why have our bicycle deliveries been late for the last month? Because production has been behind schedule.3. Why has production been behind schedule? Because there is a shortage of wheels.4. Why are we having a shortage of wheels? Because incoming inspection has rejected a large number of wheels for not being round.5. Why are we rejecting so many parts? Because purchasing switched to a cheaper wheel supplier that has inconsistent quality.Back to Analyze Tools
BrainstormingBrainstorming is simply listing all ideas put forth by agroup in response to a given problem or question. In1939, a team led by advertising executive Alex Osborncoined the term "brainstorm." According to Osborn,"Brainstorm means using the brain to storm a creativeproblem and to do so "in commando fashion, eachstormer audaciously attacking the same objective."Creativity is encouraged by not allowing ideas to beevaluated or discussed until everyone has run dry.Any and all ideas are considered legitimate and oftenthe most far-fetched are the most fertile. Structuredbrainstorming produces numerous creative ideasabout any given "central question". Done right, it tapsthe human brains capacity for lateral thinking and freeassociation.
Brainstorms help answer specific questions such as: What opportunities face us this year? What factors are constraining performance in Department X? What could be causing problem Y? What can we do to solve problem Z?However, a brainstorm cannot help youpositively identify causes of problems, rankideas in a meaningful order, select importantideas, or check solutions.Back to Analyze Tools
Cause and Effect (C&E) DiagramThe Cause & Effect diagram is the brainchild ofKaoru Ishikawa, who pioneered qualitymanagement processes in the Kawasakishipyards, and in the process became one of thefounding fathers of modern management. TheC&E diagram is used to explore all the potentialor real causes (or inputs) that result in a singleeffect (or output). Causes are arrangedaccording to their level of importance or detail,resulting in a depiction of relationships andhierarchy of events. This can help you search forroot causes, identify areas where there may beproblems, and compare the relative importanceof different causes.
Causes in a C&E diagram are frequentlyarranged into four major categories. Whilethese categories can be anything, you willoften see: Manpower, methods, materials, and machinery (recommended for manufacturing) Equipment, policies, procedures, and people (recommended for administration and service)
These guidelines can be helpful but shouldnot be used if they limit the diagram or areinappropriate. The categories you useshould suit your needs. Often we can createthe branches of the cause and effect treefrom the titles of the affinity sets in apreceding affinity diagram.The C&E diagram is also known as thefishbone diagram because it is drawn toresemble the skeleton of a fish, with themain causal categories drawn as "bones"attached to the spine of the fish.
View large image | Read accessible description of imageFigure 9: Example C&E diagramBack to Analyze ToolsAffinity Diagram (covered in the Define phase)Control Charts (covered in the Measure phase)Back to Analyze Tools
Flow DiagramsFlowcharts are maps or graphical representations of aprocess. Steps in a process are shown with symbolicshapes, and the flow of the process is indicated with arrowsconnecting the symbols. Computer programmerspopularized flowcharts in the 1960s, using them to map thelogic of programs. In quality improvement work, flowchartsare particularly useful for displaying how a processcurrently functions or could ideally function. Flowcharts canhelp you see whether the steps of a process are logical,uncover problems or miscommunications, define theboundaries of a process, and develop a common base ofknowledge about a process. Flowcharting a process oftenbrings to light redundancies, delays, dead ends, andindirect paths that would otherwise remain unnoticed orignored. But flowcharts dont work if they arent accurate, ifteam members are afraid to describe what actuallyhappens, or if the team is too far removed from the actualworkings of the process.
There are many varieties of flowcharts andscores of symbols that you can use.Experience has shown that there are threemain types that work for almost all situations: High-level flowcharts map only the major steps in a process and provide a good overview:Figure 10: High-level flow diagram example
Detailed flowcharts show a step-by-step mapping of all events and decisions in a process: Figure 11: Detailed flow diagram example Back to Analyze Tools Pareto Charts (covered in the Measure phase)
Regression AnalysisRegression analysis is a statistical forecastingmodel that describes and evaluates therelationship between a given variable, usuallycalled the dependent variable, and one ormore other variables, usually known as theindependent variables.Regression analysis models are used to helpus predict the value of one variable comparedto one or more other variables whose valuescan be predetermined.Back to Analyze Tools
Scatter PlotsScatter Plots (also called scatter diagrams) are used toinvestigate the possible relationship between two variables thatboth relate to the same "event." A straight line of best fit, usingthe least squares method, is often included. View large image | Read accessible description of image Figure 13: Scatter plot example
Reference: Scatter Plot example - Beta Test Correlation with SATThings to look for in a scatter plot: If the points cluster in a band running from lower left to upper right, there is a positive correlation (if x increases, y increases). If the points cluster in a band from upper left to lower right, there is a negative correlation (if x increases, y decreases). Imagine drawing a straight line or curve through the data so that it "fits" as well as possible. The more the points cluster closely around the imaginary line of best fit, the stronger the relationship that exists between the two variables. If it is hard to see where you would draw a line, and if the points show no significant clustering, there is probably no correlation.Back to Analyze Tools
Elements of Improve (DMAIC) Key ConceptThe tools most commonly used in the Improvephase are: Brainstorming Follow charting FMEA Stakeholder Analysis Setup Reduction Queuing Methods for Reducing Congestion and Delays 5Ss Method Kaizen
The sole purpose of the Improve phase is todemonstrate, with fact and data, that yoursolutions solve the problem. Yourorganization will make changes in a processthat will eliminate the defects, waste, andunnecessary costs that are linked to thecustomer need identified during the Definephase. Tools and strategies you will find forthe Improve phase will include solutionmatrices that link brainstormed solutionalternatives to customer needs and theproject purpose, and methods forimplementing desired solutions.
The tools most commonly used in the Improvephase are: Brainstorming (covered in the Analyze phase) Flow Charting (covered in the Analyze phase) FMEA (covered in the Measure phase) Stakeholder Analysis (covered in the Define phase) Setup Reduction Queuing Methods for Reducing Congestion and Delays 5S’s Method Kaizen
Setup Reduction Key ConceptBenefits of Setup Reduction: Reduce lead time, resulting in improved delivery Improve documentation of setup processes, leading to improved processes Decreased inventory and costs, while increasing capacity
Setup reduction is the process of reducingchangeover time (i.e., from the last goodpiece of the previous run to the first goodpiece of the next run). Since setup activitiesadd no marketable form, fit, or function to theproduct, they are by definition non-valueadding. The tool for tackling setup time is theFour-Step Rapid Setup method. The principleof this method is to eliminate anything thatinterrupts or hinders productivity. Thefollowing steps provide a high leveldescription of the Four-Step Rapid Setupmethod:
Step # 1 – Identify and tabulate any process-relatedactivity that fits into one or more of the followingcategories: Activity that delays the start of value-added work Activity that causes interruptions to value-added work Activity where it is similar or identical to another task in the processStep #2 – See if any of the interruptive/delayingtasks can be offloaded: Our focus here is to movepreparatory work outside of the main process flow sothat information or material ends up waiting for you,not the other way around. The goal is to quicklycomplete value-added work without any non-value-added activity.
Step # 3 - Streamline or automate anyinterruptive/delaying tasks that cannot be offloaded.Step # 4 – Bring the process under statistical control:The setup is not complete until the output of theprocess is “within specification” and under statisticalcontrol, meaning the amount of variation in lead timeis within predictable limits of +/- 3 sigma.Back to Improve ToolsQueuing Methods for Reducing Congestion andDelaysOften congestion occurs because of variation indemand, much like travel congestion and delays thatwe all witness during the holiday season. Onceidentified, there are two principal techniques forreducing congestion that arises from variation in thedemand for service.
Pooling: Cross training staff to step in during times of peak loads. One hotel chain, for example, trains office and other staff to help out with registration during unexpected and predictable peak times. Triaging: Sorting jobs into categories that reflect different levels of effort required. Typical schemes include: fast service times versus slow service times; routine problems versus catastrophic problems. Once Triaging categories have been identified, you then develop different strategies to deal with each category.Back to Improve Tools
5S’s Method Key ConceptBenefits of the 5 Ss Method Improve safety and communication Reduce space requirements Increase compliance with processes and procedures Boost morale by creating a pleasant workplace Reduce time wasted looking for tools and equipment
5 S’s method/visual is the process of creatingworkplace cleanliness and organizationincluding visual signals. The 5-S processincludes five steps: Sort: Organize and separate needed from unneeded Straighten: Arrange and identify for ease of use Shine: Clean and look for ways to keep it clean Standardize: Maintain and monitor the first 3 S’s Sustain: Discipline, stick to the rules and maintain motivation
By eliminating the unnecessary,establishing a place for what remains,and cleaning up remaining equipment,tools, and storage devices, clutter isreduced and needed items are readilyfound. Visual management involves theuse of visual cues (e.g. road traffic signsand signals) to assure things happenand improve documentation.Back to Improve Tools
KaizenKaizen is often translated in the West asongoing, continuous improvement. Someauthors explain Japans competitive successin the world market place as the result of theimplementation of the Kaizen concept inJapanese corporations. In contrast to theusual emphasis on revolutionary, innovativechange on an occasional basis, Kaizen looksfor uninterrupted, ongoing incrementalchange. In other words, there is always roomfor improvement and continuously trying tobecome better.
In practice, Kaizen can be implemented incorporations by improving every aspect of abusiness process in a step-by-step approach,while gradually developing employee skillsthrough training and increased involvement.Principles in Kaizen implementation are:1. Human resources are the most important company asset.2. Processes must evolve by gradual improvement rather than radical changes.3. Improvement must be based on statistical/quantitative evaluation of process performance.Back to Improve Tools
Elements of Control (DMAIC) Key ConceptThe tools most commonly used in theControl phase are: Control Charts Flow Diagra ms Charts to
During the Improve phase, the solution is piloted,and plans are made for full scale implementation.Putting a solution in place can fix a problem forthe moment, but the activities in the Controlphase are designed to insure that the problemdoes not reoccur and that the new processes canbe further improved over time.The tools most commonly used in Control phaseare: Control Charts (covered in the Measure phase) Flow Diagrams (covered in the Analyze phase) Charts to compare before and after such as Pareto Charts (covered in the Measure phase) Quality Control Process Chart Standardization
Quality Control Process Chart Did You Know?History of PDCA:The PDCA cycle is also known by two other names, theShewhart cycle and the Deming cycle.Walter A. Shewhart first discussed the concept of PDCAin his 1939 book, Statistical Method From the Viewpointof Quality Control. Shewhart said the cycle draws itsstructure from the notion that constant evaluation ofmanagement practices, as well as the willingness ofmanagement to adopt and disregard unsupported ideas,is key to the evolution of a successful enterprise.Deming is credited with encouraging the Japanese in the1950s to adopt PDCA. The Japanese eagerly embracedPDCA and other quality concepts, and to honor Demingfor his instruction, they refer to the PDCA cycle as theDeming cycle.
A Quality Control (QC) Process Chart is a tool that helpsyou document Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) activities for theprocess. The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is a well-known model for CPI. It teaches organizations to plan anaction, do it, check to see how it conforms to the plan andact on what has been learned.The PDCA cycle is made up of four steps for improvementor change: Plan: Recognize an opportunity, and plan the change. Do: Test the change. Check: Review the test, analyze the results and identify key learning points. Act: Take action based on what you learned in the check step. If the change was successful, incorporate the learning from the test into wider changes. If not, go through the cycle again with a different plan. Back to Control Tools
StandardizationStandardization enables high quality production of goodsand services on a reliable, predictable, and sustainablebasis. Standardization is making sure that importantelements of a process are performed consistently in themost effective manner. Changes are made only whendata shows that a new alternative is better. Use ofstandard practices will: Reduce variation among individuals or groups and make process output more predictable Provide “know-why” for operators and managers now on the job Provide a basis for training new people Provide a trail for tracing problems Provide a means to capture and retain knowledge Give direction in the case of unusual conditions Back to Control Tools
Process Simulation and ModelingProcess SimulationOne of the greatest complaints we hear from seniormanagers is “projects are successfully completed, but I’mnot seeing a significant change to the bottom line.” That’sbecause in the Define stage of DMAIC, Six Sigmaexperts don’t have enough information to quantify thebenefits. They are predicting a bottom line financialbenefit without truly understanding how the processbehaves, let alone how it would behave after the change.Without seeing the big picture you may complete asuccessful Six Sigma project and see no impact indollars for your organization. There is a better way. WithProcess Modeling you create a simple simulated modelof the process. You will visually see which projects willaffect the total output and which will sub-optimize thesystem.
Key advantages of integrating Six Sigma phases (DMAIC)with Process Modeling are provided below: Overall interdependencies in processes - The standard Six Sigma toolbox has no way of showing the interdependencies between one area of the process and another. In complex change initiatives where there are interdependencies between processes, when incidents happen that cause delays, bottlenecks, variability etc., if you can’t show the interdependencies, understanding the system and resolving issues is very difficult. If you can’t understand the system and pinpoint the waste and bottlenecks, changing the system could be risky and typically does not provide the desired results. A simulated model shows those interdependencies, which allows you to uncover changes that will affect the overall system.
Risk free experimentation - It is proven that real-time experiments are costly and can have an enormous negative impact on the system. If you are experimenting with a simulated model of the system, the only cost is setting up the experiment and reviewing the results. There are no negative impacts to system output or to the morale of the workforce in trying new process experiments. You can change the parameters, run various scenarios and if the desired outcome is not achieved, you can pinpoint the root causes, all the while gathering more information about system behavior – without any disruption to the real system. Reduced experimentation time - You can run hundreds of experiments a day rather than hundreds of days per experiment. Many processes have a cycle time of weeks or even months. Running enough replications of an experiment to validate the results can be overwhelming. With a simulated model, you can run as many computer simulations as you want and develop plans based upon the review of results.
Impact of change on the existing process - Processes that achieve the goal of Six Sigma (or a high sigma level) fall out of spec if the volumes change. For example a 50% change to incoming calls to a call center may cripple a customer- oriented sales process. Planning for change in your system by using a simulated model to understand the effects of volume change, product stream substitution, staffing policy or other changes can significantly reduce project risks and the associated costs.Process ModelingFor details on Process Modeling please refer to "Workprocess documentation guide."
Difference between DMAIC and Design For SixSigma (DFSS)One of the most confusing issues associated withthe phrase "Im using Six Sigma" has to do with whatmethodology is actually being used. A majority of thetime its the DMAIC methodology, because use ofexisting processes is causing resources to bewasted (hence the big savings youve heard about atGE, Honeywell and others over the past years). Theremaining minority of Six Sigma practitioners areusing the Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) approach todesign a new product for Six Sigma quality. Fordetails on the DFSS, refer to "Transform YourOrganization Into One That’s World Class" byMaurice L. Berryman, Berryman & Associates