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Ensuring Success Of DFSS Projects Through Resource Planning

Apr 13, 2008
Since resource planning deals with the basic requirements such as the timely allocation of essential resources such as men, material, technology and infrastructure, businesses aiming to derive the benefits of Six Sigma improvement projects, just cannot afford to ignore it.

This is especially true if a business is planning to initiate a DFSS project, which stands for Design For Six Sigma. DFSS projects are usually much larger and since the stakes are almost always higher than they might be in other Six Sigma projects, businesses often do not have any other option but to use resource planning.

How It Helps During the Initial Design Phase

Resource planning is usually initiated right from the start (i.e. at the time when the DFSS project is first conceptualized). However, its use and applicability become more prominent only when the project starts to mature through the initial design phase. This is because it's only after the design phase that the management really feels the need to make an assessment of the resources that might be required further down the line.

At this stage, resource planning deals with many complex issues such as selecting the right technology, hiring additional staff having the requisite skills, comparing the merits of outsourcing and internal process improvements, and many others. All this is done to aid the critical selection process that deals with the identification of the most beneficial product or service design.

As such, it will not be wrong to say that resource planning contributes directly to the design and development of new products and services rather than just play a complimentary role, which is often the general perception in the industry.

How It Helps During the Final Deployment Phase

Resource planning unleashes its true potential during the final deployment phase when the decks are cleared for the launch of the newly designed product or service. During this stage, resource planning lays stress on making available all the resources as might be required by the DFSS implementation team. If it is a product, resource planning ensures that the raw materials reach the production site in time.

Procurement of other essential resources such as men and machinery is also done by the resource-planning department to ensure that the production process is carried out smoothly. Procurement of resources as might be requirement for delivering the goods to the end-user, also falls under the purview of resource planning. In services however, resource planning mostly deals with the procurement of human and technological resources as might be required for making available the new service to customers who might have subscribed to it.

Resource planning certainly helps, but if businesses want to derive the best possible results, they will have to induct it as a part of their overall management setup rather than just use it as a tool during DFSS projects. By doing so, businesses can easily develop a ready talent pool and a rich knowledge base, all of which will certainly contribute a lot to the success of other DFSS projects that might be initiated in the near future.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals such as, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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