Imagine you’re at work. Your place of employment doesn’t subscribe to the methodologies of Six Sigma, but you need to communicate a possible solution to a problem. If you aren’t senior management or in an advisory position, you will need to be concise and make your point clear and effective. Here is a great preparation tool — it’s the Six Sigma DMAIC template.
You need to use this tool before you approach the powers that be…the boss! So what is the DMAIC template?
Define Phase: Define the problem and how it affects the day-to-day processes. Also, state how fixing the problem would benefit the company and any other benefits that come out of this project. You could create a SIPOC diagram and highlight the target step; this will help the viewer visualize the scope of the problem and the processes that it takes or impacts. Other tools to use are the Pareto chart and a process map —both make great visuals for instant comprehension.
Note: The SIPOC stands for Suppliers-Inputs-Process-Outputs-Customers
Measure Phase: Give the baseline or “as-is” current process. Provide any data that validates your point in the Define Phase. If you have any access to datasheets, you could create a Value Stream Map and Cause & Effect diagram.
Analyze Phase: Show, identify and validate the critical causes. In the Analyze Phase, this helps show all the possible failure modes of the current process. Another valuable technique used in Six Sigma is Regression Analysis, which predicts how one variable affects another shown in graphics without casting any positive or negative values.
Improve Phase: Give only the best potential solutions, this is after you have done your homework to validate those solutions. Perhaps you have developed pilot studies to implement, which will help prove your point.
Control Phase: Show the control plan you have created to sustain the new solution you’ve created. This must be a full-scale solution to show how this is not just probable, but a must-do. The tools you could use are control charts and poka-yoke. Also be ready, because anyone that is this thorough will get noticed and deserves to move up in the company!
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