Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Six Sigma & Microsoft Project

6D's Six Sigma Methodology leverages Microsoft Project (Desktop or Project Server) and 6D's Project Catalyst products to provide a single seamless environment for Six Sigma teams to manage their Projects, processes, deliverables and roles and responsibilities.

6D's Six Sigma Methodology gives organizations the entire DMAIC methodology with all necessary tools inside the Microsoft Project or the EPM environment.

When & Why 6 Sigma Methodology?

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When an organization wants to implement a Six Sigma Methodology in a department or enterprise wide
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When an organization is trying to manage a number of Six Sigma projects and it is necessary to have a unified view of the different initiatives
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When it is imperative that everyone on the Six Sigma teams have a clear understanding of how to perform a task, use the tools and produce standardized deliverables
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When an organization has weak standard processes, tools-deliverables and techniques are used inconsistently by Project Managers and teams
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When an organization is committed to Managing by Projects and wants to benefit from repeatable processes across projects
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When an organization is seeking to implement a Process Improvement culture and wants to harness the learning from each Six Sigma project.

Benefits of Six Sigma Methodology

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Consistent use of Six Sigma Tools and Techniques
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Projects success and acceptance increases with standard Project Management deliverables. Templates that are part of 6D Six Sigma Methodology include: Business Case, Project Charter, Project Scope, Communications Plan, Risk Plan, Kickoff meeting agenda, and list of tools needed specifically for DMAIC
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Clear understanding of each person's Task specific Roles and Responsibilities
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Reduced learning time and Rework - information available at the time most needed
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Fast generation of Project Plans with all tools linked to tasks
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Integrated inside Microsoft Project no import/export
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Tool learning is minimal as the interface is intuitive
6D's Six Sigma Methodology is offered as a value added solution with our 6D Project Catalyst product.

Product Demo

Demo of Project Catalyst

Demo of Project Management Methodology

6D Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology

6D’s Six Sigma Methodology is a comprehensive, scalable and easy to deploy set of tasks that includes all the DMAIC processes. It is easy to assemble, tailor, deploy, maintain and improve your organization’s best practices.
 
The methodology provides a step-by step guidance to help you achieve repeatable project success. Everything you need to successfully manage a Six Sigma DMAIC project is clearly defined with extensive task descriptions, clear roles and responsibilities at the task level, comprehensive set of document templates and tools that cover all the important DMAIC deliverables.
 
The methodology is designed for use by all Six Sigma Project Stakeholders: Master Blackbelts, Blackbelts, Greenbelts, Customers and Management. Each tool template has descriptive information to help you understand how to best apply it to your current project.

Methodology Structure

We know that you need to deal with various sizes of projects and you may not need all the details of the 80 or so tasks defined in the methodology. You can tailor the methodology and reduce the size of your project’s WBS for better manageability.
 
For each task in the methodology there is extensive knowledge content to ensure full understanding of the task and the deliverables required. We have included all the major deliverables required by DMAIC. Special Kickoff Meeting Agendas with suggested topics and phase-end Checklists are all designed to help you implement the methodology fast and successfully.
 

Intuitive Project Interface

We have built the methodology directly inside the Microsoft Project interface so you can use familiar tools to manage all aspects of the methodology.

 

Task Topical Content - Screen Shot

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Tasks in the Six Sigma Methodology cover all aspects of the DMAIC approach. Each Task has many sections of information such as Overview, Objectives, Inputs, Deliverables, Tools and Techniques, Description or steps involved. All Topic headings such as Overview, Objectives, etc. can be tailored by you to suit your needs.

Task Roles and Responsibilities - Screen Shot

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For each Task there are clearly defined Roles and Responsibilities. The specific Role (e.g. Black Belt, Master Black Belt) and Responsibility (e.g. Primary, Review, Approval) can be tailored by you to suit your organization's standards.

The roles are defined at two levels: General Role Descriptions cover what the role does at the project level where as the Task Specific Roles describe what the role is supposed to do at the task level.
 
Roles and Responsibilities are summarized at the Phase (summary) levels.

Task Documents - Screen shot

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Document templates are linked to tasks. You can link Templates, Examples, Standards, Policies, Procedures, References or even deliverables from other related projects. The document templates can be copied (using the copy icon) to create an instance of the document template for your specific project.

The Enterprise version of Project Catalyst allows you to link Windows SharePoint documents.

 

Are you expecting wonders from your Six Sigma efforts?

 
Organizations expect wonders from their Six Sigma efforts, and they should. Six Sigma principles and methodology bring statistical discipline to the business processes. What that simply means is process improvement must be measured and proven we can't depend on just anecdotal evidence. Six Sigma has helped organizations achieve many fold increase in productivity and quality, making them competitive by reducing defects, costs and time to market.

Over the years the technical aspects of the Six Sigma methodology have be applied on thousands of projects worldwide. With this level of deployment and documented success by countless organizations, the actual Six Sigma technical process is not a mystery. You can visit a number of websites and pick up books to construct a very good Six Sigma Methodology.

There are two important Six Sigma methodology streams and then there are a number of variations:

  • DMAIC Methodology: This methodology is used when an organization wants to improve existing business processes. The acronym DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

  • DFSS Methodology: This methodology is used when organizations want to introduce a new business process. The objective of DFSS is to design the new process(es) from the outset to be compliant with the Six Sigma principles. The acronym DFSS stands for Designed for Six Sigma.

There is also a Lean Six Sigma, and many more variations. These variations are basically around the same theme but add specific best practices from different experiences of the authors.

But, how do you convert these methodologies and Six Sigma processes into actionable steps for the Six Sigma team members? This is where our 6D Six Sigma Methodology comes in.  But, first...

What is Missing from Six Sigma Methods?

What is lacking in these off the shelf methodologies (available over the web and in books) is the discipline of Project Management and making them actionable for the team members. Some organizations dive into Six Sigma based on classroom training and expect all team members to follow the generally overworked Black Belt. Many Black Belts are trained in the Six Sigma tools and techniques but lack Project Management skills.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) in USA, PRINCE in the UK, and many other organizations have studied the best practices that must be followed to ensure project success. The PMI has published its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) that outlines the processes necessary to ensure that the major stages of a project are successfully executed. They are: Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution and Control, and Project Closeout. See 6D's Project Management Methodology.

In Six Sigma projects there is also the added need to clearly define the roles and responsibilities, and deliverables.

Can your Project teams benefit from a clear description of their tasks at their fingertips along with standardized templates and tools so that they can effectively complete their assignments?  6D Six Sigma Methodology built inside Microsoft Project and Project Catalyst makes all this possible and easy!

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