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Deployment of Six Sigma Spells Real Savings

Implementing the Six Sigma methodology can translate into immediate and dramatic savings for a company. Six Sigma deployment is a company-wide strategy-a technique to achieve breakthroughs in productivity gains, PPM reduction, and in cycle time reduction. This means that every employee, whether involved in manufacturing or non-technical processes, can be challenged to achieve overall excellence by eliminating all internal inefficiencies and delivering top-quality products and services. The key to significant reduction-or elimination-of defects and out-of-control processes is the creation of a sustainable Six Sigma infrastructure.

Six Sigma Infrastructure

Effective Six Sigma deployment requires Senior Management training. Senior management should be trained to achieve an effective understanding of the Six Sigma Breakthrough Strategy and the Six Sigma Process. This training is followed by the selection of Six Sigma Champions and the delivery of Champion Training. Six Sigma Champions are typically persons with Profit and Loss responsibility in a plant and/or organization. Champions select the projects and become the drivers behind effective Six Sigma Deployment Strategies. Project selection is strategically crucial to effective implementation.

Champions select potential Black Belts to accomplish their projects. The potential Black Belts receive Black Belt training in support of the project and to become certified as Black Belts. They work on their projects between each weeklong training session, for four weeks. After certification, not only do they accomplish the project with savings of over $125,000, they can work on three to four additional projects. One Certified Black Belt can potentially provide $750,000 to $1,000,000 of savings per year. Green Belts are trained to support the Black Belts on improvement teams. This combination of Champions, Black Belts and Green Belts creates the basis of the Six Sigma infrastructure.

Key to Six Sigma deployment is the setting of company-wide goals for productivity improvement, ppm reduction, lead time and cycle time reduction. Organizational strategies need to focus on systemic, long-lasting process improvements rather than obsessing over counting of numbers or defects.

Employing the Classic Six Sigma Curriculum

Six Sigma Deployment is not training in statistics, but training in the context of building a Six Sigma Infrastructure. The training curriculum should not be theory based-but rather practical, hands-on and results-oriented. To graduate, Black Belt Trainees must effectively apply each of the techniques taught-in the real world-in their own project.

Black Belt successes in GE, Motorola, and AlliedSignal have led practitioners to follow a set of prescribed methodologies, taught in a very specific way. This approach is delivered in the context of the Six Sigma Infrastructure and the Six Sigma Breakthrough methodology. With this in mind, leading Six Sigma Practitioners continue to utilize and benefit from the core techniques that constitute Six Sigma Success. Companies such as GE are extremely successful in their implementation of Six Sigma because they have followed the classic Six Sigma curriculum while also building a strong infrastructure that focuses on challenging all employees from the top down as well as standardizing methodologies to include a much broader definition of quality.

Chad Kymal is President, senior consultant, and trainer for Omnex. He is on the Malcolm Baldrige Board of Examiners and has achieved BS from the GM Institute and MS degrees in Industrial Operations Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan

Dave Watkins President of OMEC, Omnex Management and Engineering Consultants and senior trainer/consultant, Dave has a wide range of international experience focused on enhancing his clients' ability to create value for customers and stockholders, and integrating quality and management systems to enhance performance.

To find out more about Omnex's workshops and consulting services in Breakaway Lean�, Excelerated Six Sigma� or Unified Lean/Six Sigma� please contact:

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