Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Story Of Process Variation - 2

I mentioned about variation within member of management could be a key contributor to Six Sigma program failure, I dare to make such statement because I personally seen this happen in my past experience. A well running Six Sigma program, could just turn into red just because a small group of people in the key management team having different opinion about the program.
We have to admit there is no perfect program set up that fulfill everybody’s expectation, therefore the variation come in. We can’t eliminate variation, what we can do is trying to minimize it.
When such variations exist within the management team, it triggers a political issue. Peoples that do not align with the big direction will start to build up barrier to isolate themselves or even their organization within their control to get involve.
Sometime, I feel pity to the peoples who spend lot of effort to drive the program successfully for the sake of company benefit, but their effort was just end up destroy like that by the key guys who have different opinion in their mind without giving a good reason.
I face a similar problem recently ( in fact, this the second time face such issue ), a successful Six Sigma program, running well in the past two years and now facing some challenge due to such kind of variation. I don’t know the reason behind a new management shows such a negative attitude toward the program, but for sure, motivational level of a group of Six Sigma practitioners within the organization were badly deteriorated. I foresee, sooner or later the people will just give up the good practice and go back to the old way due to lack of management support , for those who would like to continue the practice, most probably, they will just take away the knowledge and continue their career at the competitor site.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Story Of Process Variation - 1

When we talk about Six Sigma process, it refer to a process variation that at least 6x smaller than the gap of process center to its specification limit. In short, maintaining a small process variation is the key success factor of a process to achieve Six Sigma level.
A “Process”, is a series of activity arranged in sequence to from a product or service. Therefore, every single task we do in the shop floor could be part of the process, don’t forget, we introduce variation to the task we did. A small variation may not be critical to the process, but a big variation that we introduce, could be serious enough to result a process failure.
In fact, managing the Six Sigma program also involving a complicated process, especially in a multi-national company, where various peoples with different background, different culture, different interest and different leadership style meet together to form a so call “Management Team”. The process of bringing them together and get them align to a common Six Sigma Program direction is always complicated. From my previous experience, the variation within the management team members is anytime higher ( much higher ) than any process variation in the shop floor. A often I see Six Sigma program fail main due to one or two management team member who have different perception to the program.
 Therefore, as program leader, while staying focus in minimizing the process variation in the shop floor to delivery great saving, you shouldn’t forget the variation introduce by the group of funny peoples who determine the overall program performance.
Ok… I will continue my story in the coming post… stay tune…