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The Six Sigma Approach

Question:

Discuss About The International Journal Six Sigma Advantage?

The Project is for developing the continuous improvement plan for a company. The company called as Latino Engineering is a midsize company which consists of 300 employees in a place called New South Wales in Australia. The founder of the company was Dominic Latino. The company offers the design, development and the production of the specialist engineering equipment for different oil & gas, utilities, construction and infrastructure industries. This company has covered many investors who wanted to become a stakeholder or even the owner of the company by buying it entirely. After spending 30 years in the company, Dominic wanted to sell the Latino Engineering. Dominic at the age of 65, sold his company. After the takeover, some of the senior engineers went for other opportunities. The new owner of the company tried the best to maintain the name of the company. But after one year of the takeover, the company received many issues from the client side. The issues are going to be discussed in the upcoming sections and the continuous improvement plan is going to be generated for resolving the issue. The root cause of the issue is to be identified and then the plan is to developed to resolve the mentioned issues. The Six Sigma approach is used for developing the continuous improvement plan for the Latino Engineering. The steps involved in the Six Sigma approach is followed for the continuous improvement plan. The tools techniques that are used in the six sigma approach is also discussed in this assessment.

Issues that are found in the Latino Engineering company after one year of the takeover is listed below.

  • Defects are found in the delivered engineering equipment.
  • Design issues and the development follow up issue with the client.
  • Taking more turnaround time to resolve the issue.
  • The Customer service team was not responsive.
  • In some of the cases, the engineering equipment was packed and delivered wrongly to the clients.

Six Sigma is the approach that is used in the organizations for improving the ability of the processes involved in the business. The increase in the performance and the decrease in the variation of the process makes the reduction in defects and it improves the profits, morale of the employee, product quality or service of the product. It is considered as a data driven approach and the experts of the six sigma use the quantitative and qualitative methods to improve the process of the organization (Rao, Bajpai and Verma, 2009). The six sigma methodology includes a two different methodologies called as DMAIC and DMADV as follows

DMAIC

D - Define

M - Measure

A - Analyse

Benefits of Using Six Sigma Approach

I - Improve

C - Control

DMDAV

D - Define

M - Measure

A - Analyse

D - Design

V - Verify

The above mentioned steps is used to identify the root cause of the issues and then the implementation of the solution to resolve the identified issues (Rao, Bajpai and Verma, 2009). The pictorial representation of the six sigma approach in the perspective of the project is in the appendix 1. This six sigma approach has some benefits. The benefits of using this approach is listed below.

  • Customer Loyalty is improved.
  • The use of six sigma manages time consumption of the project in an efficient way.
  • Cycle time gets reduced.
  • Employees involved in the project gets motivated.
  • Planning of the project follows a strategy.
  • Managing the Supply Chain (BPM, Lean Six Sigma & Continuous Process Improvement | Process Excellence Network, 2017).

The steps to be followed in the six sigma for the continuous improvement plan in the Latino engineering company is discussed in this section. The diagram for DMAIC is represented in the Appendix 2. The steps in the DMAIC are considered as the backbone for any process improvement. This DMAIC makes the team members of the project to identify and analyse the root cause of the issues, then to resolve the issue (Das and Roy, 2009). The plan is drawn and represented in the Appendix 6.

Define is the first step that makes the project success. The elements that are essential for the project is to be accomplished by using the following steps.

  1. Sponsorship attainment for the project.
  2. Project Charter and objective of the project
  3. ct establishment.
  4. Determining the stakeholders and the team members.
  5. Establishment of the team rules
  6. Planning and organizing the kick off meetings in an appropriate way.

Addition to the mentioned steps, Process maps and the maps for the deployment are to be determined for a successful project (Reddy and Reddy, 2010).

The second step in the six sigma approach is the Measure step. The decision has to be made on a gut feeling. There should not be any hesitation in making decisions. The base decision should be taken in the basis of data and its facts (Uluskan, 2016). The steps to be followed in the measure step is listed below.

  • Identification and define the operations of the key metrics
  • Development in the Data Collection plan.
  • Perform an analysis in the measurement of the system whether the deliverable is accurate.
  • The charts has to be drawn considering the baseline.
  • Charts and graph has to be represented so that the team members will understand the process easily and then the errors, defects can be reduced and the turnaround time can be minimized (Blog.iil.com, 2017).

The Analyse step is the process to find the root cause of the problem that the client face in the deliverable. The root cause for the issue is that not understanding the scope of the project and the mistakes that are made by the team because of the less coordination between the different sectors of the manufacturing process. The materials, methods, machines, and people involved in the process should be interrelated so that the mistakes can be avoided. The cause and effect relationship should be found among machines, materials, method and people. Considering the issues that are found in the Latino Engineering company, the root cause found is that the misunderstanding in the sectors or there is no thorough review on the products manufactured by the company. For instance, if the client complains that there is an issue or defect in the equipment, then it is the mistake of the quality team which missed to check the damage or quality of the product. Likewise each issue is concerned with every team of the project (Deshmukh and Lakhe, 2009).

Steps for Developing the Continuous Improvement Plan

The improve step is the step that is to be processed after define, measure and analysis steps. The root cause found in the above steps has to be considered and the solution for resolving the root cause is to be implemented in this step. The resolution for the root cause is to ensure the better coordination among all the teams. For instance if an issue is complained by the client, then it is very important to take the issue immediately and work on it very quickly. To reduce the turnaround time for resolving an issue, the team has to split the work and it has identify the main problem and work on it soon (Mandal, 2012). A chart has to be drawn and represented in the pictorial form to ensure the clients that the improvements are made in the products in which they had a issue. The chart is represented in the Appendix 5. The coordination among the teams should be improved to solve the root cause of the issue.

The control step is the most significant step in the DMAIC steps. The improvement steps will be implemented in the process but initially the steps will not go good. It will take time to set. The aim of the control step is to make sure that the recommendation of the team has been implemented correctly and successfully. If there found any deviation in the implementation step, then it should be controlled in this step. If for an instance, because of the defective products the manager will force the quality team to cross check all the products to make sure that there is no damage in the product. For this reason, the quality checker should not take more time for one product, then it should be controlled. so that the consumption of time in testing the products will come into a control (Deshmukh and Lakhe, 2009).

The experts of the six sigma always use the qualitative and quantitative technique to make the continuous improvement plan in an effective way (Timans, Ahaus and Solingen, 2009).

  • A project charter should be drawn to determine the aim or scope of the improvement team.
  • Voice of the customer is to ensure the feedback of the client.
  • Value stream map has to be drawn to determine the overview of the whole project (Narasimhan, 2009).
  • Process map has to be drawn for monitoring the progress of the activities.
  • Failure mode and effect analysis to identify the product, service and failures in the process (Timans, Ahaus and Solingen, 2009).
  • The improvements in the process performance is made by finding the root cause of the problem.
  • The root cause is the starting point where the issue has started (Asq.org, 2017).
  • Control plan has to be developed to keep the improvement implementation in its current level.
  • Statistical process control is applied to monitor the behaviour of the process
  • Mistake proofing which is known as poka-yoke to make the errors completely impossible or instantly detectable (Narasimhan, 2009).

7 QC tools - Quality Control tools. The 7 QC tools is used to make the improvement in the process continuously. It was suggested by Walter Shewhart.

  1. Pareto Diagram
  2. Cause & Effect Diagram
  3. Histogram
  4. Control Charts
  5. Scatter Diagrams
  6. Graphs and Charts
  7. Check Sheets

Pareto Diagram is one of the 7 tools that is used to arrange the items in an organized order according to their magnitude of the contribution. This tool is used in the Statistical Project Control and in improving the quality for prioritizing the projects. The tool is used to tabulate the items in an order using X and Y axes (ToughNickel, 2017).

7 QC Tools

A cause and effect diagram is the tool that is used to represent the inter relationship between the results or the effects and its possible causes. It is one of the effective tools in 7 tools that generate ideas systematically about the major causes of the problem and to represent those causes in an uniform structured form. This diagram is also known as Ishikawa Diagram (ToughNickel, 2017). The inter relationship or the cause and effect diagram is represented in the Appendix 3. Here the methods, materials, methods and people are considered in the cause and effective diagram. As these are the main elements in the manufacturing industry, it is considered as the elements in the cause and effective diagram. After considering the main groups or element of the process, then it is very important to brainstorm to determine the causes and subsidiary causes that are possible in the groups that are identified.

Histogram is also called as the Frequency distribution diagram. It is represented in the form of bar charts. The bars can be either vertical or horizontal. Collect the data that is involved in the issue. Draw X and Y axis, decide the elements that are to be included in the x axis and that in the y axis. Draw the bars either vertically or horizontally to represent the frequency. A histogram is drawn to identify the issues involved in the wrong deliverable to the clients. Therefore the causes for the wrong deliverables issue is represented in the Appendix 4. The things that can be a cause for the wrong delivery are taken and bars are drawn with respect to those issues that are involved in the wrong orders (ToughNickel, 2017).

Variability is common in all production processes. These type of variations occurs in the process because of the two reasons that are Chance causes and Assignable Causes. The control charts can be p-chart, np-chart, c-chart and u-chart. P-charts are used in the case when the sample size is the constant value and the np-charts are represented when the sample size is a variable. C and U charts are used to plot the number of defects that are found in the process (Magar1 and B. Shinde2, 2014).

If a problem analysis is to be performed, then it is important to find the relation between the variables that are involved in the process. The relation may exist or it may not exist between the variables of the process. If it exists, then it may be either positive or negative. It may be simple or complex. A best tool to study the relation between the variables is the scattered diagram (Magar1 and B. Shinde2, 2014).

Types of Graphs and Charts

Graphs are the pictorial representation of the data. Pictorial representation of the data makes a clear understanding. There are various types of graphs as follows

Bar Graph       -           For comparing the size of the data.

Line Graph      -           Used to represent the changes evolved in the data.

Gantt Chart     -           for planning and scheduling.

Radar Chart    -           To differentiate the data before changes and after changes.

Band Graph    -           To represent the data before applying changes and after applying it (Magar1 and B. Shinde2, 2014).

Check Sheets are the tools that can be used for the data collection. Data that are collected using the check sheet, should be classified in a meaningful way. The classification makes to understand the relation between the data and the data dispersion. This is called as the Stratification Analysis (Magar1 and B. Shinde2, 2014).

Conclusion

The assessment is the analyse about the company called Latino Engineering which is located in New South Wales in Australia. The Company has taken over by the investors. The issues are complained by the clients regarding the engineering equipment of the company. The root cause of finding the issue has been discussed using the six sigma approach. The Six Sigma approach consists of 5 steps namely Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve and Control. The six sigma tools that are to be used in the resolution of the issue is discussed. The 7 QC tools which are used in the manufacturing process traditionally is explained in detail. According to the 7QC tools, some of the diagrams are drawn and represented in Appendices. The 7 QC tools has to be applied in the process to resolve the issues. The company would have come across some idea about the issues that are involved in the delivery of the product. Six Sigma approach is the effective approach that is used in the continuous improvement plan for the Latino Engineering Company. If this project management strategy is followed by the company, then it may be easy to find the issues of the process. Then the resolutions for the identified issues can be determined easily.

References

Ashok Sarkar, S., Ranjan Mukhopadhyay, A. and Ghosh, S. (2013). Improvement of claim processing cycle time through Lean Six Sigma methodology. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 4(2), pp.171-183.

Asq.org. (2017). Six Sigma Tools | ASQ. [online] Available at: https://asq.org/learn-about-quality/six-sigma/tools.html [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Blog.iil.com. (2017). Applying the DMAIC Steps to Process Improvement Projects – The IIL Blog. [online] Available at: https://blog.iil.com/applying-the-dmaic-steps-to-process-improvement-projects/ [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

BPM, Lean Six Sigma & Continuous Process Improvement | Process Excellence Network. (2017). 6 unexpected ways Six Sigma can benefit your company. [online] Available at: https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/lean-six-sigma-business-transformation/articles/6-ways-six-sigma-can-benefit-your-company [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Das, P. and Roy, S. (2009). Reducing defect generations in e-learning business: a Six Sigma approach. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(2), p.113.

Deshmukh, S. and Lakhe, R. (2009). An innovative model of Six Sigma for SMEs: the T-DMAIC model. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(2), p.187.

Examples of Continuous improvement plan. (2017). [online] Available at: https://www.lbschools.net/Asset/Files/Local_Control/Continuous%20Improvement%20Plan%20-%20Samples.pdf [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Gray, J. and Anantatmula, V. (2009). Managing Six Sigma projects through the integration of Six Sigma and project management processes. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(2), p.127.

Magar1, V. and B. Shinde2, D. (2014). Application of 7 Quality Control (7 QC) Tools for Continuous Improvement of Manufacturing Processes. International Journal of Engineering Research and General Science, 2(4), p.8.

Mandal, P. (2012). Improving process improvement: executing the analyze and improve phases of DMAIC better. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 3(3), pp.231-250.

Narasimhan, K. (2009). Six Sigma: Basic Tools and Techniques20093D.C.S. Summers. Six Sigma: Basic Tools and Techniques. Pearson Prentice?Hall, 2007. 415 pp., ISBN: 0?13?171680?8 £20.99 (Softback). Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 19(5), pp.631-632.

Pqa.net. (2017). Continuous Improvement Through Six Sigma. [online] Available at: https://www.pqa.net/ProdServices/sixsigma/W06002004.html [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Rao, P., Bajpai, L. and Verma, P. (2009). Six Sigma and its implementation in medium/small sized organisations – a case study. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(4), p.325.

Reddy, G. and Reddy, V. (2010). Process improvement using Six Sigma – a case study in small scale industry. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 6(1/2), p.1.

Senthilkumar, D. and Raffie, B. (2016). Six Sigma Single Sampling Variables Plan Indexed by Six Sigma AQL and Six Sigma AOQL. International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management, 3(6), pp.482-489.

Timans, W., Ahaus, K. and Solingen, R. (2009). A Delphi study on Six Sigma tools and techniques. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 5(3), p.205.

ToughNickel. (2017). 7 Tools for Continuous Quality Improvement. [online] Available at: https://toughnickel.com/business/Continuous-quality-Improvement-Quality-Tools [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Uluskan, M. (2016). A comprehensive insight into the Six Sigma DMAIC toolbox. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 7(4), pp.406-429.

Wojciech Macek, W. (2011). Methodologies of Project Management. Contemporary Economics, 4(4).

Wright, J. and Basu, R. (2008). Project management and Six Sigma: obtaining a fit. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 4(1), p.81
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