How to successfully run the Six Sigma Strategy with the help of DMAIC approach?
In any manufacturing process, a slightest of a technical glitch can severely impact the entire functioning of a production or processing unit. Undoubtedly, a business entity may encounter oodles of technological glitches that might result in procedural logjams during the course of implementation of ISO standards.
The Six Sigma is a meticulous risk management and production enhancement strategy that seeks to accentuate on the advancement of the quality management system by enlisting and computation of all the technical errors existing in a project, process or a product and methodically eradicate them until the stage where almost no defects are present in a project.
#1. How to conduct the Six Sigma strategy?
The Six Sigma approach works on the basis of 2 methodologies that have been inspired by Dr Walter Shewhart's PDCA concept. These are:
- DMAIC ( Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) project methodology and
- DFSS (Design For Six Sigma)
Both of these strategies are suggested in ISO 9001 certification. Out of these 2, we will be discussing the DMAIC scheme.
#2. What is all about the DMAIC process?
DMAIC is one of the two highly effective management systems that help in a steady streamlining of the projects that need advancement. Following are individual stages in this approach:
- Defining the system, and the needs of the client and their concerns, along with the main aims of the project
- Measuring the key aspects of the entire process in question; calculating the level of Capability of the Process.
- Analyzing the data to examine and check the cause-and-effect relationships. Defining the work relationships and ensuring that all factors have been taken into consideration. The aim is to detect the root cause of the defects.
- Improving the current process on the basis of the data analysis assisting techniques such as the design of experiments, future state process etc., thereby running pilot projects to ensure the process capability
- Controlling the process to make sure that any variation from the key targets are rectified any defects occur in future.
#3. What is to be done at the ‘Define’ stage?
This is the first phase of the Six Sigma process. In this phase, the project heads grasp the client needs, lay out a “Project Plan”. In this, they are required to visualise a panoramic view of the process, on the basis of their understanding of the needs of their customers.
Here is what all you need to define:
- Define the problem:
The team must carefully understand the current problem. Based on their perception of the problem/issue, the team must create a Problem Statement that describes Severity, Business Impact and affected departments.
- Define the goal:
Set the Goal and create the Goal Statement should reflect the Problem Statement.
- Define process:
Now, decide the process and create a high-level process map. Based on that, the team can then decide a key area for commencing the action or the process. Finally,
- Define the customer and the customer needs.
#4. What is to be done at the ‘Measure’ stage?
After defining, next comes the ‘Measurement’ stage. This is to be accomplished on the basis of the process map created in the earlier stage. Accordingly, the team will determine the starting point or baseline of the process to begin the action. This will provide the clues to get to the root of the problem.
Once the baseline and root cause data has been determined, the team must now consider how much and from where to collect the data regarding the problem, and by whom. It has been recommended in all ISO standards that a good data collection yields a precise and reliable information.
#5. What is to be done at the ‘Analysis’ phase?
Upon creation, verification and investigation of the comprehensive process maps, the team must now conduct Process Analysis, under which:
- Time Analysis: To ascertain the time needed for a task to be done against the actual time taken.
- Value Added Analysis: This involves visualizing and evaluating the process through the eyes of the client to reveal the operational costs.
- Value Stream Mapping: For combining the process data with the Value Added Analysis map as to help in Waste removal.
Thereafter, the team needs to verify the causes of the problem and their effect and eliminate them.
#6. How to conduct the ‘Improve’ phase?
- One the process has been analyzed and the cause-effect relationships have been established, it’s important to understand that how to fix the problem.
- The project team can then create a list of solutions to their glitches, and select the best alternative.
- To ensure that the alternative selected is right, here the team can adopt the PDCA cycles approach.
#7. How to conduct the ‘Control’ phase?
This conclusive stage is all about the maintenance and retaining of the advanced QMS as per the ISO 9001 directives. Throughout the DMAIC process, the team has been constructing or renovating a sort of infrastructure. So, during the Control phase, it is important to record and pass the structure on to other employees.
A careful conduct of the DMAIC process as explained above can yield the desired result of the 6Σ approach and optimize the ISO 9001 QMS.
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