Initiation Planning: Implementation of Six Stigma
My first step would be to clearly define to myself the importance of the system and why I think it beneficial for the business. I would draw up a proposal and present it to the owner before assembling the employees (I am considering approximately an industry of the size of 100-150) and presenting the system to them. Taking into account the complexity and seeming rigidity of the process, I (and the management) would need to have all on board before proceeding. We would need to clearly understand the details and involvements of the system aside from short- and long-term impact of the method.
I would also evaluate and analyze the characteristics of the organization and its employees to identify ways of making the Six Sigma the best match for them so that it can optimally work out.
I will divide the employees into a ranking hierarchy in order to ensure that all levels of the Six Sigma are met. Each of the hierarchies will have tis own leader; each will be thoroughly trained in requirements and specificities.
The hierarchy will be as follows:
Executive Leadership — these will be owner and assistant-owner ( / shareholders) who will be responsible for implementing and monitoring the Six Stigma program .They will do this in a flexible manner so as to enable and empower all team members to explore and work through new ideas when possible and if occurring
Champions — these will be drawn from management. (Maybe in my case of the small organization, they can be doubled ind duty). They will be responsible for monitoring process of the Six stigma and for mentoring employees in the Black Belt echelon.
Master Black Belts, _ these will be the 2 or 3 champions or the ‘top heroes’ who will guide Black belts and ‘green belts’; in training of the various minutia of th e system. They will be responsible in learning and applying the nuts and bolts of the system and in using statistical methods to test, identify, and verify each piece before running pilot tests and implementing.
Some organizations separated between ‘Champions’a nd ‘master black belts’ putting one above the other. This organization, being small, w ill integrate the two.
Black Belts — will focus all their time on actually implementing the Six stigma routine and task. This is different to Champions / master Black belts who identify the projects, mentor, do the more challenging tasks, and evaluate. These are less than Green Belts and may actually number only 10 depending on size of organization.
Green Belts – these are assisted by and introduce into the system by Black belt’s who act as ‘big brother’ to them. Unlike ‘black belt’s who devote all of their time to the system, ‘green belts’ are gently launched into it whilst implementing other tasks. They, in other words, gradually learn the system and slip into it incrementally. (Mikel & Schroeder, 2000).
Six Stigma certification will be given to each echelon when completing one level (e..g Green Belts) before going into the next. A rise in compensation will accompany certification. Progress and achievement of level will be evaluated by participation in a course followed by a project to complete (Keller & Keller, 2010). I may procure certification form various companies that offer it .
Certification Societies include:
n American Society for Quality
nThe International Quality Federation
nthe Institute of Industrial Engineers
nSix Sigma Qualtec,
nAveta Business Institute,
Training can be done via in-house or by hiring professionals. in-house usually takes longer and is more expensive.
The better choice in this case, therefore, would be to hire an outside firm who would train a small amount of people. These employees (the Champions) will then train others (Breyfogle et al. 2011).
Six Stigma is laid out according to two project methods that were created and innovated by Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. The 2 methods, each having 5 phases are, in turn, DMAIC and DMADV (De Feo & Barnard, 2005).
Using the DMAIC, the stages will be as follows:
Define the problem, particularly customer needs and requirements. Be specific.
Measure key aspects of the process and collect all necessary ands relevant data
Analyze the data to investigate and cause and effect relationships. Ensure that all causal relationships are indeed so and seek out reasons for possible, or existent, defects.
Improve or enhance the current process by employing strategies such as design of experiments, poka yoke or mistake proofing, and standard work . Experiment with pilot studies in order to test your ideas and conclusion
Control future processes to ensure that outcome and future strategies will not result in defect. Put into place control systems such as statistical process control, production boards, visual workplaces to ensure that defect is strictly controlled and that all is rigorously and continuously monitored
The stages of the DMADV will be as follows:
Define and design goals that conform to customer specification
Measure and identify factors that are specific to the critical elements of the product, the product capabilities, the production process capability, and the risks.
Analyze to develop and create a high-quality design, and to implement it risk-free.
Design the details, optimize the design, and plan f for steps that can test and proof design
Verify the design by setting up pilot runs, testing it, and ensuring that it is defect free before turning it over to those who will implement it
Choosing suitable projects
The system needs to have definite projects to work on as well as a certain appraisal system that will gage that projects have been successfully completed.
Since this is a small organization, only the most critical projects will be worked on (Burton & Sams, 2005). The Pareto model will be used to identify the most pressing issues since it explains that 20% of fixes can deal with 80% of the issues.
Management together with team members will sit down ti identify the most pressing issues as well as to separate one time occurrences from common occurrences (see later). Time and resources too will define the scope and particulars of projects (Patel 2004)
Measuring performance of stages
A effective performance appraisal orbits around three primary goals:
1.hard goals — these determine the rate of return
2.soft goals — these assess the way performers did their tasks
3.contextual goals – this part of the appraisal considers the context in which performance occurs.
These three sub-units will be used to assess the process and outcome. The appraisal places its greatest focus on the hard goals and the rest are sub-units to that. The goals of the organization are taken into consideration when preparing records and monitoring performance. Scales usually follow a rating spectrum of 1 to 5 where 1= extremely poor and 5 -= extremely high.
Total Quality Management (TQM) can also be used to assess outcome of each stage and of the whole. TQM focuses on all aspects of the six sigma application also using non-financial measures to assess performance quality. TQM would be ideal in this case since it would reduce the rigidity of the system and make all feel a collaborative part of the procedure.
Since this is a small organization, the number of individuals in each echelon will be reduced. So, for instance, management will constitute only president and assistant who will double over in many of the duties. The Champion level will constitute 2 or three key individuals who prove themselves ably skilled and superbly motivated, and the Black Belt level too will be comprised of only the most quality individuals (far less obviously than in a large organization) who have demonstrated that they have achieved the suitable level.
There will have to be open communication between employees and manager throughout so that the system will succeed. Champions an d black belts, therefore, will have to have excellent negotiation and leadership skills as well as superb communication and rapport and excellent teaching capabilities.
Support from top management is crucial to success (Patel, pg. 12 ),a s well as inserting flexibility into the various levels so that ideas can be exchanged and problems freely worked through.
In large organizations, the training process / implementation of the Six Stigma process can take a while as well as significant financial cost. Burton and Sams (2005,2, pg. 37) detail a training system where executive training alone (the champion level) occurs 4-8 weeks and this is the basics of the Six Sigma cultures. Training for Black Belt occurs within at least 5 months, whilst green belt training lasts five days. The average medium- large organization would take about a year to train in the system. Some organization (particularity very large and complex ones) may take as much as two to three years.
Being that this is a small organization, we will want to hurry the Process and condense the expense. The problem is that there are two characteristics with small organizations that can complicate the procedure. These are common cause variation (the problems that may arise often) and Special cause variation (the problems that may arise only rarely). Sine the organization is not large enough, they may be unable to differentiate between these two categories when they actually occur.
The special cause problem will need to be dealt with at the moment and then the organization move on. The common cause, on the other hand, w ill have to be looked into more at depth to ensure that its repetition does not occur.
Limited resources of the small organization can also be problematic since the organization needs the suitable software, population sample, expense, employees, and so forth with which t implement the system (Patel 2004, pg. 12 )
However, since Six Stigma is, in essence, more of a management system than a technical one it can as easily be applied to the small organizations as to the larger ones-w ith modification. Thomas and Barton (2004), in fact, showed one instance of a small organization (150 employees) successfully implementing the system, m.
In small organizations, with open and constant communication, the time frame can be quickened so that the entire system can be implemented in as much as half a year. People can be trained at th e same level and pace and the more intelligent and motivated ones promoted t o higher positions.
Benefits associated with projects
Six Stigma works towards mitigating quality costs (in six stigma language known as Costs of Poor Quality (COPQ)), that arise in organizations, Quality costs can sometimes be as much as 40% of an organization, and small organizations can little afford these exorbitant, and preventable, expenses.
The entire process works towards identifying and preventing possible defects so that huge time, expense, an negative reputation will be saved. This is a small step to invest tin when one considers the possible negative ramification ( at its worst resulting in bankruptcy) that may occur if defects are allowed to multiply.
Risks and how they can be mitigated
There are various potential risks involved in my introducing the organization to six sigma.
Six Sigma has become a veritable industry of certification, much of which takes advantage of naive personnel and can sell me faulty products with they themselves being inadequately familiar with system.
I would counter this by hiring one or two professionals who can guide me in introducing and implementing the system. They will point me to reliable accreditation bodies.
Six stigma has been criticized as being overly rigid focused more on screening out possible defects and errors than on introducing innovation and creativity into the organization. This may foster a rigid and constraining method into h organization aside from asphyxiating it. Critics have reported that Six Stigma has stifled creativity in their organization and they have thereupon removed it and become more successful (e.g. Hindo, 2007).
I will counter these valid observations by offering awards for creativity and being careful o place onus on creativity side by side with careful testing of ideas. In other words, the entire tempo of the organization will not be one that is dedicated solely to emphasizing and investigating possible defects. Rather, creativity will be encouraged alongside testing and searching for defects and the one will be practiced alongside the other.
Breyfogle, F. III, Cupello, J. & Meadows, B.. 2001.Managing Six Sigma: a practical guide to understanding, assessing, and implementing the strategy that yields bottom line success, Wiley, New York
Burton, T. & Sams, J. 2005. . Six Sigma for Small and Mid-Sized Organizations, J. Ross Publishing, Inc., Florida,
De Feo, J.A. & Barnard, W.. 2005. JURAN Institutes Six Sigma Breakthrough and Beyond – Quality Performance Breakthrough Methods. Tata McGraw-Hill
Hindo, B. 6 June 2007. At 3M, a struggle between efficiency and creativity. Business Week.
Keller, PA & Keller, P .2010. Six Sigma Demystified. McGraw-Hill
Mikel, H & Schroeder, R. 2000. Six Sigma. Random House
Patel, Dharmesh. 2004 Initiation and implementation of six sigma in a small organization, Wichita State University, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering 2004
Van Schalkwyk, J.C. 1998. Techniques: total quality management and the performance measurement barrier, the TQM Magazine, 10 (2), pp. 124 — 131.
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