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Six Sigma Redundancy Analysis

Aug 17, 2007
Innovation is necessary for the survival of a business organization and for its future growth and development. Successful businesses make it a point to use innovative methods and techniques for meeting and even exceeding customer needs and expectations.

However, one must always remember that using innovative techniques may not always give the desired results and may sometimes even lead to failures and redundancies. The same is applicable to Six Sigma implementation tools and techniques that aim at reducing defects and improving quality.

Identifying Causes Of Redundancy

The fact that a Six Sigma technique was successfully utilized in a particular business does not necessarily guarantee its success in all other organization. The general tendency is to employ Six Sigma concepts and techniques in any given process where an opportunity exists for reducing wastage. Employing the process without ascertaining the effects it can have on the business process is often the main cause of redundancy. This is why certified professionals analyze the techniques that were employed for finding out the root causes of redundancies.

However, finding the exact cause may not always be easy because implementations are achieved through multiple trials and errors spread over 4 to 6 months depending on the type of project. For ascertaining the root cause, certified professionals often look into various areas such as Choice of projects, Statistical process control, Assessment of measurement system, Analysis of variance using ANOVA, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA).

In addition to these, certified professionals also refer to the documents that were created during the implementation stage. Finding the root cause is a completely different function and is not related to Six Sigma audits that are fundamental to DMAIC and DMADV methodologies.

Resistance To Change: A Cause Of Redundancy

Although most redundancies are caused due to the use of wrong Six Sigma techniques, some redundancies may also occur due to the negative attitude of employees. Implementations are successful only when employees extend their full cooperation and support.

Employees often think that Six Sigma will ultimately lead to downsizing and as a result do not so much interest in the implementation project. Functional departments are also sometimes skeptical of these projects because it usually takes four to five months for achieving the desired results through the implementations.

Redundancy Analysis Tools

At present, no special tools are available that are specifically designed for finding the root causes of redundancies. Some certified professionals may utilize TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) for identifying root causes, but most other professionals use the same basic tools that were utilized during the implementations. The faultfinding procedures that were used during the implementations can be repeated for finding the existing causes of redundancies.

For ensuring the success of redundancy analysis initiatives, it is important that a senior employee, who has been working for the organization for a considerable period, handles the task. This employee will have thorough knowledge about existing systems and processes and as such, it would be easier for him to search and locate the root causes that are causing the redundancies. The additional benefit is that such an employee is most likely to have better relations with other employees of the organization and can help in changing the mindset of employees who have a negative perception about the Six Sigma implementation project.
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 lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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