Demystifying Six Sigma - a Company-Wide Approach to Continuous Improvement

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Demystifying
Six Sigma

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Demystifying
Six Sigma
A Company-Wide Approach to
Continuous Improvement

Alan Larson

American Management Association
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Larson, Alan.
Six sigma demystified : a company-wide approach to continuous improvement / Alan Larson.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8144-7184-6
1. Total quality management. 2. Six sigma (Quality control standard) 3. Customer services—Quality control. I. Title.
HD62.15 .L372 2003
658.4'013—dc21
2002152003
© 2003 Alan Larson.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
This publication may not be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in whole or in part,
in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of AMACOM,
a division of American Management Association,
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
Printing number
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

CONTENTS

Preface

ix

SECTION ONE: THE BASICS

OF

SIX SIGMA

1

Chapter 1 The Grass Roots of Six Sigma
Why It Had to Be Invented
The Birth of Six Sigma
Black Belts and Green Belts
The Required Components
Notes

7
7
9
13
17
18

Chapter 2 Creating the Cultural Structure
Senior Management Roles and Engagement
Organizational Development
Requirements for Change
Note

19
19
23
27
31

Chapter 3 Preliminary Tasks
What Do You Want?
Selecting Projects
Collecting Data
Identifying Required Teams

32
32
34
37
37

v

vi

CONTENTS

SECTION TWO: A SIX SIGMA CONTINUOUS
IMPROVEMENT TEAMING MODEL

39

Chapter 4 Step 1: Create the Operational Statement
and Metric
49
Operational Statement
49
Internal and External Defects
53
Metric
57
Variable Data
58
Attribute Data
60
Creating the Metric
63
Chapter 5 Step 2: Define the Improvement Teams
Identifying the Required Teams
Pareto Diagram
Staffing the Teams
Determining Required Skills and Knowledge
Roles and Responsibilities
Rules of Conduct
Notes

68
68
69
73
78
78
82
86

Chapter 6 Step 3: Identify Potential Causes
Flowcharting
Brainstorming
Fishbone Diagram
Prioritizing

87
87
99
103
105

Chapter 7 Step 4: Investigation and Root
Cause Identification
Action Plan
Check Sheet
Stratification
Histogram
Scatter Diagram

108
108
112
122
126
130

CONTENTS

vii

Chapter 8 Step 5: Make Improvement Permanent
Institutionalization
Work Method Change
Physical Change
Procedural Change
Training
Notes

138
138
142
142
145
145
148

Chapter 9 Step 6: Demonstrate Improvement
and Celebrate
Back to Focused Metric
Success of the Enterprise
Team Recognition

149
149
151
153

SECTION THREE: GETTING STARTED

157

Chapter 10 Start Your Journey
Do Something
The Fallacy of Zero Defects
First Steps
Before and After

159
159
160
163
169

Chapter 11 Managing Change
Overview
Leadership
Participation
Training
A Six Sigma Change Management Model
Your Six Sigma Journey...
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