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4 Steps To Understanding Six Sigma Redundancy Analysis

Aug 17, 2007
Innovation and growth are the only ways to company survival and prosperity. Consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations requires intensive efforts at minimizing process variation aided by creative thinking. One must remember that creative thinking involves risk of failures as all methods of experimentation call for freedom from the accepted way of doing things.

Reverse Engineering To Identify Redundancy Roots

The very same Six Sigma implementation techniques that are so successful also have the potential to lead to redundancy. The normal tendency of a novice in six sigma implementation will be to apply Six Sigma principles to anything and everything to reduce variability, which adds to wastages due to nonproductive, unplanned activities.

The techniques involved in implementation are the places to look for root causes of defects. Although this is a typical area for Six Sigma with multiple trials and failures for many years in a company, it can throw some insight into the root causes of error generators. The following is a partial list of areas that you must pay close attention to:

* Choice of projects
* Statistical process control
* Assessment of measurement system
* Analysis of variance using ANOVA
* Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

The need to revisit the documentation made during the implementation with the same approach and zeal can not be over emphasized. One must not be under the impression that redundancy analysis is a kind of audit of Six Sigma. But the fact of the matter is that checks and balances are treated as inbuilt stages in DMAIC or DMADV.

Redundancy Due To Resistance To Change

Resistance to change is one of the major areas to look for while analyzing the redundancy factor. A Black Belt need not construe these changes as notional resistance, as most modern organizations have efficient ways of producing desired results depending on appropriate inputs. The mere suggestion of process changes have a danger of being viewed as variance to their old established paths. Secondly, departments like finance and materials management will not be able to see results of Six Sigma deployment as quickly as other divisions in the company, such as the production department.

Tool Of Redundancy Analysis

There are no special tools for analyzing redundant implementation in Six Sigma, although some practitioners propound TRIZ, (Russian acronym for Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) to identify redundancies. However, the very same tools generally used in implementation come in handy even in this case. The procedure by which the tools revealed error generators prior to implementation should be repeated for exposing present errors. Analytical and statistical tools clearly contrast pre- and post-data with the utmost accuracy.

The Mindset Of The Redundancy Analyst

It helps to be a company's internal man for analyzing redundancies. An experienced person with long service within the organization has some advantages to begin with. It is important to understand that resistance to change is mostly due to inertia and what it takes to cut the ice with heavy reliance on formal mechanisms is through the right depiction of the big picture. One must be careful to avoid falling prey to frustrations when faced with redoing statistical analysis. The one thing that the redundancy analyst must keep in mind, above all else, is that wastage kills any profitability.
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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