Why and How to achieve excellence on projects through Six Sigma, BP Trends and Kanban
Most of the companies have started to realize that to stay top ahead of their competitors, they need to achieve the excellence in the industry’s game.
A greater emphasis is now being placed on process improvements to achieve the excellence, and the results are that many organizations have started to create greater values and achieve better results.
Process improvement is the driving force that ensures the objectives related to your organization are achieved. It encompasses the process of creating an approach and re-shaping the culture to bring consistency in the whole project.
Companies all over the world use the process improvement to achieve their business goals in a more efficient way.
The process improvement, to go beyond, includes producing project charts, timelines, and colorful dashboard. The competitive world calls for a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology such as Lean Six Sigma, BP Trends and Kanban to drive the continuous improvement projects.
These methodologies provide a way to learn and manage the risk, time and costs along with other traditional practices.
They have been put together specifically for you to learn what they’re about, choose one to study and then develop your skills to achieve excellence on your projects and also a smoother-sailing success in your organizations;
Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma is a highly structured methodology that sets the framework for Business Process Management. It’s main objective is simple: Achieving the perfection of the process, with no mistakes, not even 0.1%.
The DMAIC/DMADV approach of Lean Six Sigma improves the capability of any business from manufacturing to service industries.
Companies like Motorola have already realized the bottom-line results of $16 billion in savings through Six Sigma efforts. Hence, applying the tools and techniques appropriately during the performance improvement will result in potential cost-savings.
Key statistical tools and techniques such as Brainstorming and Cause and Effect applied in Six Sigma will help to achieve excellence in results.
Brainstorming during Lean Six Sigma projects helps to generate ideas. The basic format of the brainstorming session is to bring a group together and receive possible ideas on the process from everyone.
Two best brainstorming tools are Fishbone and Affinity Diagrams.
Fishbone Diagrams otherwise known as Ishikawa is the basic powerful brainstorming tools to capture all the potential factors. The bone in the Fishbone diagram represents the man, machine, Technology, materials, management and environment.
Affinity Diagram, a special form of brainstorming, provides an opportunity for each team member to share their ideas in writing. The written ideas on sticky notes are placed on the wall and the ideas listed are grouped based upon the categories.
BPTrend is a comprehensive, integrated approach that incorporates the existing tools and techniques at Process level, Enterprise level, and Implementation level.
The objective of this methodology is to improve and enhance the cycle of the process, speeding or reducing it.
BPTrend boosts the efficiency and increases your organization’s focus.
BPTrend has already proved an impressive result on a European office of a global bank which has over 300 branches. It’s Implementation has reduced the expense ratio and reduced the error percentage from 25-30% to 3-5%.
With the right tools and techniques, Balanced Scorecard will provide the highest possible performance and return on investment.
The objective of the Balance Scorecard tool is to support and evaluate the managerial performance.
There are, of course, different approaches that would serve the purpose to organize the performance evaluations for process managers, but Balance Scorecard has moved beyond the basic model, and uses strategy to align the performance evaluation with the process and organizational goals.
Balance Scorecard considers the four types of measures:
- Internal Process Measures- How good are you to the organization?
- Financial Measures – What is your financial contribution to the Shareholders?
- Innovation and Learning Measures – Do you continue to improve and create value for your organization?
- Customer Measures – How does customer judge you?
A matrix has been proposed to illustrate the Balance Scorecard of a hypothetical company – “Electronic Circuits Inc.,” (ECIS’s) based upon these four types of measures;
Kanban is an effective tool to improve the manufacturing efficiency. It’s contained on the six-sigma methodology, and it’s been so well succeeded that we decided to explain a bit here.
Kanban supports to connect the power of visual information. It uses sticky notes to create a picture of your work. The sticky note stuck on a whiteboard communicates the status and receives the context for the work.
Kanban, along with following the four core principles includes the knowledge of the Toyota Production system, W. Edwards Deming, and Donald Reinertsen.
- Visualize Work – Kanban creates a visual model of your work and workflow to increase the communication and collaboration.
- Limit work in process – Kanban avoids the problems caused by switching up the task and limiting the unfinished work in process.
- Focus on Flow – Kanban System improves the smooth flow of work by limiting the work-in-process, and indicates the future problem by analyzing the workflow.
- Continuous Improvement – Kanban is the cornerstone of continuous improvement on productivity and efficiency. It identifies the area of inefficiency and tracks the flow and quality in order to improve it.
Tools and techniques of Kanban offers an end-to-end platform for managing, executing and analyzing your work flow. The Cumulative flow diagram of Kanban tool helps to understand an issue, identify the bottlenecks and remove them from the systems. It also tracks and forecasts the projects in a manner that helps you to easily check the current status, what is the progress, how much work it has been done, and how much is still in the backlog.
The breakdown chart shows the quick insight of the project status and represents the number of tasks at each stage with different colors.
- Blue and Navy area indicates the task that needs to be done.
- Purple represents the finished tasks.
- Red shows the work-in-progress. Any increase in this area indicates that there are some problems or bottlenecks along the way that could delay the project.
Is it really important to use these methodologies?
The unstructured organization includes different people and consumes lot of unnecessary time to run a project.
If the projects are well planned with these strategies, they’ll be more efficient, manageable and capable to achieve their results in a relatively short time.
A project with these methodologies will have the right people involved, a good plan with concrete milestones and will not involve any effort to check when a task or phase is to be completed.
The tools and techniques listed under these methodologies are simple and effective.
They will also help the employees to understand their roles and responsibilities on the way to achieve the excellence in a project delivery.