Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy New Year Xigma.com Readers

Another year is almost over. I want to take this opportunity to thank all Xigma.com readers for a wonderful year, wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

This is what Ella Wheeler Wilcox had to say;
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

We define, we measure, we analyze, we improve and we control. That's the burden of perfecting the process.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Immersive enginering - Six sigma combined with virtual reality

Ok - We all know that he military has always been interested in advanced technology and here is one project that is based on six sigma among others.

This is called " Immersive Engineering."

It combines virtual reality technology wiht Six Sigma and it saves time, money and could potentially save lives at the end since it involves the military.

Take a look at the research here, http://www.sixsigmaiq.com/article.cfm?externalID=3651 and let us know what you think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Week at Xigma

Here are a few wonderful articles about Six Sigma if you have not had a chance to look at them, yet.

Reg Goeke's article named "Business Process Excellence Certification: Implications of a Shift in Focus" is a must read for those trying to figure out the difficulties from an internal to external focus.

And two other news for those looking to get certified in Six Sigma.

Starting Sept. 15 in New Albany, Purdue University will offer training in Six Sigma business practices for which professionals can earn certificates.
Online registration is available at http://www.mep.purdue.edu/events under Six Sigma

And in a press release, MoreSteam.com, a provider of online Lean Six Sigma training reports an increase in enrollments for its Green Belt and Black Belt Certification programs. MoreSteam has revised its program to meet the standards established by the Center for Operational Excellence (COE) at The Ohio State University. MoreStream has announced that the number of enrollment quadrupled since June of this year and this shows the growing interest in the methodology.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Fail at Six Sigma?

People resist change and do not like getting out of their comfort zones. So, as a Six Sigma professional trying to implement change in organizations, failure is likely to come as is success. People are the main reason some otherwise successful planned six sigma projects can fail at some organizations. So, we need to learn from mistakes and accept this as a lesson part of a potent education.

Jeff Cole has an excellent article outlining the 10 ways to make Six Sigma change fail. Catchy title, uh? No, he is not proposing to set your projects to fail but rather to show why some projects fail and usually for reasons we might think made sense at the moment such as explaining everything without thinking about stopping for a moment to listen.

Here are the 10 ways to failure for your Six Sigma projects;
1. Don’t tell people the change is coming
2. Don’t listen - just keep talking
3. Don’t measure or govern the rollout
4. Don’t bother your sponsor
5. Ignore the culture
6. Allow multiple work-around solutions
7. Ignore resistance
8. Wing it
9. No consequence management
10. Ready or not — here it comes
Go ahead and read the article which explains in detail some of what is noted above. While the titles in most explain what the problem is, some in-depth explanation is always useful.
Remember, the workforce is who will be applying the changes and they are critical to the success of the project. Having a couple of meetings before the project start and explaining why changes are implemented goes a long way and make a lot of difference. Prove everything with data. You are not there to motivate people with your people's skills but always use your skills to prepare and adopt people to change.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Xerox Implements Process Improvement in Ink Facility

Xerox leadership has been principal advocates of process improvement through using Lean Six Sigma starting with the former CEO Anne Mulchany and it continues under the leadership of current CEO Ursula Burns. Xerox, like GE, is making it a corporate habit to implement Lean Six Sigma in everyday project selection, problem solving and process improvement.

The latest example for Xerox is at the solid ink Jetstack operation team in Oregon. The team in Oregon has recently completed various Six Sigma projects that improves the efficiency and optimizes the manufacturing process to meet the strict requirements.

The team mainly used Kaizen - A DMA (define-measure-analyze process) - and they were able to come up with approximately 200 new and knowledge based ideas that could improve the efficiency and solve problems.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Learn Six Sigma in Atlanta Area - Earn Certificate

Emory University in Atlanta is offering non-credit certifications for those interested in learning and practicing Six Sigma in an academic setting. The professional Learning Programs offered by Emory is ideal for people living in Buckhead, Decatur, Midtown, and Downtown Atlanta.

The two certification programs offered by Emory are Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB) and Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB). One major advantage of this offering is the applied exercises and real-world case studies to improve the learning experience. Also, a portion of the Black Belt classes are spent developing a full scale independent project by the students using their employer organizations real life challanges.

If you are living around Atlanta and interested in learning Six sigma, Emory's Six Sigma program is worth a look.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welch Discusses Six Sigma

Jack Welch, a well-known supporter of Six Sigma implementation in organizations, discusses internal issues and impact on the customer in Six Sigma oriented companies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Increase Communication in Six Sigma Teams

Communication is critical in project management especially within teams that operate in multiple locations. This is a very good article that discusses the solutions for remote six sigma teams looking to increase communication within members of the team.

Brief summary of 7 solutions written by the author, Thomas Ostasiewski:

1.Push very hard for an initial face-to-face meeting for the entire team. (face-face interaction is critical)
2.Personally reach out to each member and get to know them. (know others)
3.Let the team get to know you. (let others know you)
4.Get as many in-person events as you can afford. (interaction with others)
5.When you can’t meet in person, use video conferencing. (Use of technology)
6.Discuss the project and its needs with the remote team members’ boss.
7.Keep your sponsor very well informed every step of the way.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Comparison of (CPI) approaches - Lean, Six Sigma and TOC-

Industryweek recently published an article that analyzes the implementation of various Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) approaches such as Lean, Six Sigma and TOC at Brazilian mines and metalurgical plants. The author, Reza Pirasteh, gives an insightful analysis of the conditions, implementation and the results achieved by the methodologies implemented in the plants.

More importantly, this article compares the effects and contributions of Lean, Six Sigma and TOC to the organizations in several ways; if applied in logical sequences versus each CPI method applied all by itself.

It is an interesting read not only for those in the mining industry but for everyone that is in need to compare each methodolgy and decide which is more effective in environments with different characteristics.

Article and the case study can be found by following the link below;
Integration of Lean, Six Sigma & TOC Improves Performance by Reza Pirasteh.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Government ogranizations

Intersting article by James Gauci about the implementation of lean six sigma in organizations known for their bureaucratic structures such as government agencies.

Gauci discusses the consequences of bureaucracy and effective techniques to deal with it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Case Study about the implementation of Six Sigma

Here is a good case study that shows the importance of senior management involvement in application of Six Sigma principles in a company.

Most of the managers usually have no idea of what to do in the beginning phases of implementation and resist change in operations. Responses like “This is the way we have always done it,” and “The process is working just fine” is very common in many companies and that is exactly what happened at eflexgroup.com in the beginning.

Visit this link to read how Ric Joyner of eflexgroup.com chose Six Sigma, overcame management oppostion to change and had his company implement it bottom-up into their operations.

Six Sigma applied to achieve athletic excellence

Steven Falk, a certified tennis instructor and a certified umpire and referee of the USTA (United States Tennis Association) published his book; "Six Sigma Tennis". Falk is also a former tennis instructor for Stanford Tennis where he applied many different methods including TQM, Lockheed Martin Zero Defects, ISO Standards other than Six Sigma methodologies. Falk gained his corporate experience while working for companies like GE, Lockheed Martin, Siemens and The Walt Disney Company.

Application of six sigma principles in sports is definitely an interesting idea. Falk discusses in "Six Sigma Tennis" the application of these methodologies to achieve athletic excellence. This is the first time I heard about Six Sigma being applied to athletics.

Falk also mentions that he has seen fantastic results with his own students and had feedback from other coaches, parents and students that similar success was achieved by the other participants applying the principles in their training. This is definitely a very interesting case that needs to be further followed-up on.

To order the book, visit http://www.sixsigmatennis.com/
It is currently being sold for $49.95

Monday, April 5, 2010

Six Sigma Implementation by a Chicago Law Firm

Six Sigma today has a much wider reach than it used to when only manufacturing companies was interested in the methodology. Today the methodolgy is widely used even in service industries.

Seyfarth Shaw, a Chicago law firm, has been toying with the idea of implementing Six Sigma into their operations for over 5 years. During this 5 years, the methodology started to take over at Seyfarth and today the law firm wants to be known as a company implementing Six Sigma for all their operations.

J.Stephen Poor, the managing partner of the firm discusses in this video how Six Sigma is working for his firm.

Xigma Blog

Welcome to Xigma.com, a resource of Six Sigma methodology, information, resources and news.

We are TQM consultants and students of business with a specific focus on Six Sigma methodology to improve productivity and achieving measurable and quantifiable financial returns with the implementation of this methodology.

Here at Xigma,com, we will share our experience related to our Six Sigma projects, provide information and resources on the implementation of the 6 sigma methodology and hope to bring together a community of Six Sigma experts to share everything related to Six Sigma.