Simple Six Sigma Tools Can Achieve Great Results

Posted by on Nov 9, 2010 in Lean Six Sigma, Process Improvement | 0 comments

It doesn’t take advanced statistical tools to make a great impact on process improvement.  Just a few simple tools can allow you to make significant improvements in reducing process variation and eliminating waste.
First start by analyzing the process metric of interest using a histogram, run chart, control chart, etc., and look at the variation in the process.  If it is excessive, determine how much is acceptable.  Determine if there are times when variation is very low and times when it is very high.  Ask yourself what is the difference when the variation is low and when it is high, i.e., different people, different material, etc.
Next develop a detailed process map of the process to be improved.  At each process step, identify the output of the process step and the inputs required at that process step.  When identifying the inputs, think of the 6M’s, that is, Man, Machine, Method, Material, Measurement, and Mother Nature.  Next determine if the inputs are controlled, critical, noise, or SOP.
Your goal should be to make the overall process metric as consistent as possible at the desired level.  A simple strategy called “shift and squeeze” is utilized that first determines which way you need to shift the output to get to the desired level and then to squeeze as much variation out of the process as possible. 
Remember that the process output is a function of the process inputs.  By controlling the inputs and making them consistent you can have a large impact on the output.

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