Implementing a six sigma manufacturing style
Six sigma really has become a lean manufacturing tool all of its own.The dictionary definition of six sigma is, a measure of quality that strives for perfection.It is a data driven philosophy and method for eliminating defects in the product.It is a measure of goodness; a methodology and set of tools used to reduce quality problems to less than 3.4 defects per million or better.Here are some tips for implementing a six sigma manufacturing style.
1. Understanding your company's performance is the first step in implementation.The focus of six sigma is to improve profitability instead of just improving quality.Understanding and knowing the cost of poor quality is a great starting point, because it gives you the chance to see how much money is actually being wasted.If you can get a handle on the wasted money, then you will begin to see how to change that.
2. Benefiting from Six Sigma.Ask yourself the question, "Will my company truly benefit from six sigma?"Here are some characteristics to look for to help you determine if your company will benefit from it:
- Upper and senior management don't thank quality has anything to do with profitability.
- Upper management looks busy at doing practically nothing and would rather bug employees than get anything of importance done.
- Your objectives are not clearly defined or even communicated.
- All of the decisions are made by upper management
- Employees feel like nobody really cares about them
3. Training.Once you have made the decision that six sigma is right for your company, your will need to do some training.Start by training your upper and senior management in the six sigma methodology.In other words you need to teach them what six sigma is all about.The most important thing is that they understand the requirements and expectations of everyone in the company including them!They also must understand that everyone will need to actively participate for six sigma to work.
4. Employee Participation.Once you have trained your upper management, they will each need to select a small group of employees to train in the six sigma program.They will want to choose employees that have a desire for change and improvement, are success oriented and positive.
5. Implenting Six Sigma.In order to understand where you are starting, you will need to do a financial analysis.You will then need to determine your company's profitable objectives and measure everything that contributes to a profit.Establishing clear business objectives is also important as you go over everything with your management and employees.In your endeavor to implement six sigma, try to find a firm that is supportive of the technique to help with some training.You want to find a company that will give helpful guidance, so choose a company that specializes in the Six Sigma techniques.
6. Choose a Project Manager.This will be the person you choose to implement the process.Start in small areas so you can test things out before you decide to go forward with other projects.
7. Continual Training.Make sure that you continue to provide training for the Six Sigma technique.Try to solve problems and figure out solutions to help reduce the amount of waste you have, and monitor the progress of on going projects.
8. Celebrate.And lastly, make sure that you celebrate your success with everyone.Let them know how things are going; successes and failures.Eventually you may be able to take the Six Sigma Company wide.