Chapter 10
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Chapter 10. Principles of Six Sigma. Key Idea.

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Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Principles of

Six Sigma

Key idea

Key Idea

Although we view quality improvement tools and techniques from the perspective of Six Sigma, it is important to understand that they are simply a collection of methods that have been used successfully in all types of quality management and improvement initiatives, from generic TQM efforts, to ISO 9000, and in Baldrige processes.

Six sigma metrics

Six-Sigma Metrics

  • Defect– any mistake or error that is passed on to a customer

  • Defects per unit (DPU) = number of defects discovered  number of units produced

  • Defects per million opportunities (dpmo) = DPU  1,000,000  opportunities for error

Chapter 10

Six-Sigma Quality

  • Ensuring that process variation is half the design tolerance (Cp = 2.0) while allowing the mean to shift as much as 1.5 standard deviations, resulting in at most 3.4 dpmo.

Key idea1

Key Idea

Although originally developed for manufacturing in the context of tolerance-based specifications, the Six Sigma concept has been operationalized to any process and has come to signify a generic quality level of at most 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

K sigma quality levels

k-Sigma Quality Levels

Problem solving

Problem Solving

  • Problem: any deviation between what “should be” and what “is” that is important enough to need correcting

    • Structured

    • Semistructured

    • Ill-structured

  • Problem Solving: the activity associated with changing the state of what “is” to what “should be”

Quality problem types

Quality Problem Types

  • Conformance problems

  • Unstructured performance problems

  • Efficiency problems

  • Product design problems

  • Process design problems

Key factors in six sigma project selection

Key Factors in Six Sigma Project Selection

  • Financial return, as measured by costs associated with quality and process performance, and impacts on revenues and market share

  • Impacts on customers and organizational effectiveness

  • Probability of success

  • Impact on employees

  • Fit to strategy and competitive advantage

Problem solving process

Problem Solving Process

  • Redefining and analyzing the problem

  • Generating ideas

  • Evaluating and selecting ideas

  • Implementing ideas

Key idea2

Key Idea

A structured problem-solving process provides all employees with a common language and a set of tools to communicate with each other, particularly as members of cross-functional teams.

Dmaic methodology

DMAIC Methodology

  • Define

  • Measure

  • Analyze

  • Improve

  • Control




  • Describe the problem in operational terms

  • Drill down to a specific problem statement (project scoping)

  • Identify customers and CTQs, performance metrics, and cost/revenue implications



  • Key data collection questions

    • What questions are we trying to answer?

    • What type of data will we need to answer the question?

    • Where can we find the data?

    • Who can provide the data?

    • How can we collect the data with minimum effort and with minimum chance of error?



  • Focus on why defects, errors, or excessive variation occur

  • Seek the root cause

  • 5-Why technique

  • Experimentation and verification



  • Idea generation

  • Brainstorming

  • Evaluation and selection

  • Implementation planning



  • Maintain improvements

  • Standard operating procedures

  • Training

  • Checklist or reviews

  • Statistical process control charts

Tools for six sigma and quality improvement

Tools for Six-Sigma and Quality Improvement

  • Elementary statistics

  • Advanced statistics

  • Product design and reliability

  • Measurement

  • Process control

  • Process improvement

  • Implementation and teamwork

Design for six sigma

Design for Six Sigma

  • Focus on optimizing product and process performance

  • Features

    • A high-level architectural view of the design

    • Use of CTQs with well-defined technical requirements

    • Application of statistical modeling and simulation approaches

    • Predicting defects, avoiding defects, and performance prediction using analysis methods

    • Examining the full range of product performance using variation analysis of subsystems and components

Key idea3

Key Idea

All Six Sigma projects have three key characteristics: a problem to be solved, a process in which the problem exists, and one or more measures that quantify the gap to be closed and can be used to monitor progress.

Key six sigma metrics in services

Key Six Sigma Metrics in Services

  • Accuracy

  • Cycle time

  • Cost

  • Customer satisfaction

Lean production and six sigma

Lean Production and Six Sigma

  • The 5S’s: seiri (sort), seiton (set in order), seiso (shine), seiketsu (standardize), and shitsuke (sustain).

  • Visual controls

  • Efficient layout and standardized work

  • Pull production

  • Single minute exchange of dies (SMED)

  • Total productive maintenance

  • Source inspection

  • Continuous improvement

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