Launching Six Sigma

Geoff Cotton

Quite Involved in Discussions
We are a light engineering company producing fasteners employing about 400 people, weve gone thgrough TQ, Kaizen etc. etc. and we are now moving into the Six Sigma arena. You guys have been there before so I hope you can advise me.

Are there any suggestions as to how we can promote Six Sigma internally?

Are there any pitfalls?

Thanks in advance

Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Bev Daniels

How to promote six sigma? well, I wouldn't use any metric that involves the number of projects. Similarly I would be careful about advertising cost savings. Not that I wouldn't do it, but $ are tough. IN the begining you'll work problems that cost a lot of money. BUt since project cost savings has a pareto dstribution, your later projcts won't save as much money as the earlier ones. This doens't mean the later projects aren't good, although the unitiated (including some senior managerS) may make that judgement. This would be a negative. Also, some projects are valuable because of their affect on cycle time - hard to quantify dollars there. I've worked projects where the defect caused rework that was pretty cheap - but a great many of th eunits were reworked. I could never "justify" the project based on cost, but the affect on cycle time was enourmous. In fact in several of these projects the affect of the slow cycle times put contracts in jeapordy because we couldn't meet the ordered capacities. Sometimes tiem si more valuable than money!

I would promote the defect rate coming down. Not in terms of theoretical (Cpk) defect rates but in terms that are more accurate and that everyone can understand: actual defect rates! That is your true (leading indicator) measure of success - the resulting cost savings or cuycle time affects are results of reducing the defect rate. Publish then the defect rate and thenthe resutling cost or cycle time savings as appropriate. And be clear the the cost & ccyle time savings are a result of the defect rate!! THis focuses the organiation on the right metric - the one they can directly influence using six sigma....

Bev DAniels
[email protected]
(The above opinions are not necessarily those of my employer - present, past or future.)
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