variation techniques - Six Sigma

The second key focus of the DMAIC project is the reduction of variation. As we have already seen, variation drives waste and cost in organizations and reducing it will result in increased customer satisfaction as well as financial benefit. The goal for an effective process is to be on target with minimum variation. Broadly speaking variability reduction has 3 phases:

Juran’s Quality Trilogy (Modiied from Defoe and Juran, 2010)

  • Planning:The planning phase should be driven by the learning from previous product, process or service implementations. We plan the new system in the light of what we learnt improving the previous one so that it should be closer to the improved state rather than the original.

  • Control:In the control phase we learn about the new product, service or process performance by monitoring variation and establishing a stable baseline performance by removing special causes.

  • Improvement:Once the process is stable, we have a basis to experiment. We can reduce the common causes of variation to produce an improved stable zone of performance; nearer to target and with reduced variation. The learning from this phase should feed back into the planning phase for future products, services or processes.

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