Learn the various types of Six Sigma projects used to achieve goals. In this video, Dr. Richard Chua discusses four types of projects—Implementation, Lean, DMAIC and DMADV projects. Lean how projects are identified, selected, and defined. He also discusses project scope and process boundaries.
- When people want to lose weight they go on a program of diet and exercise or when you want to compete in the next triathlon you want to train hard in swimming, biking, and running. No matter what your goal you need the right methodology to achieve it. People do this by identifying and selecting the most appropriate plan using the best approach, tools, and techniques to ensure success. The same is true in business. Companies have goals, but how should these goals be achieved? Through planned efforts called projects.
Projects are very focused planned efforts that achieve stated goals, and to be successful the correct methodology must be used. So what are the various types of projects? The first are implementation projects, which are used when the solution is obvious and all that's required is execution. For instance when installing an IT system, replacing old equipment, or adding an additional production line.
The next type are lean projects, also known as Kaizen Events or workouts. Lean projects are perfect if you know or can easily identify what drives performance. For example, where there is obvious waste or wasteful steps and the process takes too long. Typically you use the collective knowledge experience of the right people including process owners to identify and select lean projects. For projects where the root cause of problems or the drivers of performance are unknown and must be analyzed then use Six Sigma or DMAIC projects.
The underline premise of Six Sigma is Y=f(x) or Y is a function of X. In this context Six Sigma DMAIC is used for improvement projects where key X's are determined and addressed in order to improve the output Y. For example, why are defect rates, customer complaints, or warranty claims so high? What are the key X's that drive Y, the defect rates or why is there so much variation in the cost and time it takes to process the same type of transactions? What are they key X's that drive Y, the total time to process transactions? If a new product, service, or process is required or if an existing product, service, or process is so broken that it needs to be redesigned then Design for Six Sigma or DMADV should be identified and selected.
Selecting the correct methodology for each type of project is important and when you do so you must also define the project scope and process boundaries. Project scope spells out what's included and what's excluded. For example, in scope is product K and its residential customers, but its commercial customers are out of scope. Process boundaries define the start and end points of relevant processes. For example, for a package delivery process when does the process start? Does it start when that package is dropped off by the customer at our drop-off location or does it start when a customer calls for a pick-up? When does the process end? When the package is delivered to the receiving dock of a factory or office building or does it end when that intended recipient gets the package at his or her desk? So depending on your company goals identify and select the correct projects, use the correct methodology, and define the right project scope and process boundary for each project.
Remember projects are simply the means to an end. Choose the correct means to get the job done.
Dr. Richard Chua builds upon his Six Sigma Foundations and Learning Minitab courses, and covers an array of topics, including measurement system analysis, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, design of experiments, statistical process control, and more.
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- Six Sigma and the organization
- Collecting the voice of the customer
- Project management basics
- Process maps
- Sampling in data collection
- Measurement system analysis
- Measuring performance using descriptive statistics
- Process performance measures
- Hypothesis testing
- Testing for means, variances, proportions, and independence
- Correlation and regression
- Using selection matrices
- Using failure modes and effects analysis
- Developing control plans
- Statistical process control