« Hear the great Hags on global finance transformation | Main | Remote Infrastructure Management anyone? »

Jun 15, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I enjoy reading the article and the ensuing commentary.

I've used Lean and Six sigma over the last 10 years to manage outsourcing relationships with multiple firms on several continents. Whether you are using the tools to design a marketing and sales campaign (DMADV/ANOVA/DOE), establish a baseline and transition work (MSA) or govern the operation (DMAIC), you need to realize the limitations in the tools, the quality of the data available and choose the appropriate approach to get value out of Lean Six Sigma.

Project selection with business champion involvement will help you focus on the right things to pursue (defect/KPI). A trained blackbelt with sufficient background in the analytics behind the tools and data collection methodology or a Lean Sensei with the skills to work the value stream will help you drive the appropriate methodology. But most importantly, you need a culture that expects continuous improvement and leadership that is held accountable for performance.

I agree that 6s tools and principles can be adopted to improve the sourcing lifecycle, for buyers and suppliers alike. Last year, I helped a Korean client struggling to measure the success/ failure of its offshore center in China, better measure and manage the offshore processes using a PMCS toolkit.

Worthwhile article, thank you.

The article and subsequent comments reflect my own views. Whether you implement a 'full' 6 Sigma program or not, you need -some- level of measurement, key performance indicators, in order to be able to make effective decisions.

So many organizations measure...nothing. My preference is to avoid 'over' measuring. Think through your processes, start with selective areas to focus on, and evolve from there.

As for Orlando, who cares? Over the years, I look for a place easy for 'everyone' to travel to, with good infrastructure, hoteling, and convenience (e.g. <1/2 mile hike from hotel to conf. room in same bldg), alongside capacity.

I've been to two major events hosted by Disney in Orlando. They met the criteria above just fine. In February, that's nice. August, well...

Thanks for the great comments. Just to clarify for Allen and Anupam - my point was to think about using Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) as a tool to build a sourcing methodology (not a full-blown 6s black belt program). I've done it effectively in the past. Written out the whole methodology actually! It provides strong logic for decisions, creates predictable outcomes, and forces feedback loops to control for downstream variation.

Cynthia, no Customer Meet in a Disney property. Got it. Thanks.

Holding a sourcing forum in Orlando is a big mistake. Many grown-ups have set as a life goal to avoid Orlando like the plague forevermore. However, I'm excited about HCL - so maybe the next event will be in NYC!

Allen has a very relevant point. For those of us that view six sigma as a "religion" as opposed to guiding principles, beware. The author was accurate in stressing the fact that the spirit and methodology of 6 sigma are often applied successfully. I still would not shy away from using LEAN, DFSS, and DMAIC "tools" in a low volume, high variation environment. I have yet to find a process that cannot be improved by at least using the 6 sigma road map even when a full blown black belt project is overkill.

I agree with Allen Laudenslager's comment that Six Sigma (or any other variation thereof), works best in low variation environment. In order to achieve "Six Sigma quality", you need to have the following:

1. Standard Work
2. Low Variability
3. High Volume
4. Strong Executive Sponsorship & Leadership

Before you commit to 6 Sigma, remember that it works best in a high volume low variation environment. If your work is high variation, low volume 6 Sigma will be very misleading.

Also remember this quote

Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.
Albert Einstein

The comments to this entry are closed.

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Follow me on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter


    My Photo