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Enhancing VOC Data Collection To Jump Start Six Sigma Projects

Aug 17, 2007
VOC certainly helps in designing products and services based on specific customer needs and requirements, but the problem is that the data collection process is not easy. Lack of proper data can seriously undermine the successful implementation of Six Sigma projects and in turn, leads to frustration, reduced process capability and missed deadlines. In such a scenario, it would become quite impossible to satisfy the needs of the customers, leave alone delighting the customers, which is one of the primary aims of most Six Sigma projects. Given below are some of the techniques that can be employed by project managers to jump-starting Six Sigma projects.

Verifying The Applicability Of VOC Data Collection Tools

Six Sigma makes use of different types of standardized statistical tools for the purpose of VOC data collection. Each of these tools has a specific utility and is meant for use in specific business processes only. While selecting tools for a particular project, the project manager should carry out the necessary checks to ensure that the selected tool will be able to give the desired results.

Selecting tools for use in simple business processes is quite easy, but the task becomes quite difficult when the project involves making changes to complex business processes. In such cases, what that matters most is the experience of the project manager, which can be utilized for selecting the most appropriate VOC data collection tool. Qualifications and theoretical knowledge are also necessary, but it's the experience that counts when it comes to selecting the most effective data collection tool.

Understanding Customer Behavior

Analyzing the inputs provided by customers for understanding their specific needs is no doubt an essential task, but when you consider the amount of effort that goes into data gathering and analysis, its importance is certainly reduced. Large established organizations with unlimited resources at their disposal may not feel the pinch of carrying out such mammoth tasks, but small organizations are certainly not as lucky and have to plan properly if they do want to invest in carrying out a similar task.

The best option for these organizations is to skip this step altogether because if we think rationally we find that in reality most customers are not certain about their needs. The only things that they are sure about are the things that they do not want such as high prices, poor quality and late delivery. Therefore, instead of spending vast amounts on VOC data collection, the organization can simply concentrate on designing cost effective products or services, something that most customers really want. Skipping VOC data collection process is however not possible in case of products or services that are targeted at a niche market, where customers are far more critical of what is being offered to them.

Six Sigma may be based on standardized statistical theories and concepts, but it does not mean that it cannot be altered to suit the requirement of a specific business process or industry. More than anything else, Six Sigma is a practical approach for improving quality and increasing efficiency.
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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