Lean Six Sigma: PROJECT APPLICATION AND START UP

As the output of the Infrastructure Studies, the devotion, cooperation and support of the senior management must be achieved. Under these circumstances, the projects and the teams that will carry out these projects must be defined. Lean Six Sigma Training must not start before the projects, teams and project sponsors become clear.

The most important point here is: getting training and defining projects are not enough by themselves to create value by the Lean Six Sigma method. Projects and project teams must also be managed well, they must be motivated to be successful, and they must be directed by specialist professionals. Therefore, as S.P.A.C. Consultancy, while we construct our clients’ Lean Six Sigma expansion, we also plan consultancy and revision operations in addition to the training, with utmost care. We should remind that, Six Sigma Projects applied without the aid of project consultancy has a 75% failure rate.

After the managerial revision dates and getting the signatures from mid management for the project declarations, application calendar is generally executed in 5 steps that are defined according to the application types. Lean Six Sigma training is not performed as a single block. It continues in parallel with the project applications in an order like this: Training, project application, project consultancy, manager revision meetings and retraining.

The contents and period of training can be shaped in accordance with the client’s processes and needs. However, a typical Lean Six Sigma Black Belt program consists of 25 days of training and accordingly prepared project applications, consultancy and revision meetings that are executed in 5 steps. These steps are as follows:

 

• DEFINITION

During this step, the correlation between project’s aims, indicators and client’s expectations are specified. The Black Belt nominee must clarify the project’s indicators, target and borders for everyone, she/he must explain the effect of the projects on the client, she/he must reach to a mutual understanding with the project Champion, finance department and team members about the project indicators and the targets.

Furthermore, in this step, the potential process inputs that may cause any errors about the outputs must be specified with the aid of Detailed Process Maps, and foreknowledge must be obtained for the data collection plan.

• MEASUREMENT

If you cannot measure something, you cannot make it better. One of the fundamental aims of Lean Six Sigma is to make processes measurable. To reach this aim, it is expected from the Black Belt nominee to ensure the Measurement System Adequacy. Subsequent to guaranteeing Measurement System Adequacy, data related with process output and potential inputs will be used to define the efficiency of the existent process and during the analysis studies. Likewise, Value Stream Maps (VSM) will be prepared to define existing process’s flow, to calculate the buffer stock and bottlenecks, to specify process cycle efficiency and to predefine the improvement points.

• ANALYSIS

During this step, it is expected from the Black Belt nominee to examine the information that she/he acquired from the Definition and Measurement stages thoroughly, by using statistical techniques different than the conventional methods. By this way, she/he must differentiate the “vital few” that may have a potential influence on the output from the “inessential many”. By the help of this, the necessary foreknowledge can be obtained to be able to reach the roots of the problem, to find the source of inefficiency and wipe out the reasons that prevent the value adding endeavors. Furthermore, by using techniques like Kaizen, rapid improvements can be achieved.

• IMPROVEMENT

Some interactions that we cannot detect through conventional methods are the things that lie behind the problems that cannot be solved for many years. In this step, it is expected from the Black Belt nominee to identify the improvement method that will be used in her/his project. With the help of scientific tools like the Design of Experiment, the essential inputs that create the instability of the process, and their calibration levels are clarified. The interactions of the inputs with each other, along with the most desirable conditions for the output are all determined in this step.

• CONTROL

To maintain the success level that was reached is as important as improving a process. During this stage, the Black Belt nominee inspects the improvements that were made by her/his project and examines to see if it is continuing as planned or not. With the help of quality control plans and reliability analysis, she/he prepares post-project procedures and instructions. After observing the results of the project for some time and being sure that the financial targets are achieved, a project report will be prepared by the Black Belt nominee.

The Black Belt nominee can only get her/his certificate of success, if the management of the company approves that the project is completed.