Failure mode and effects analysis or FMEA is a tool used to identify possible failure modes of a process, product or design. FMEA also helps determine the overall impact of the failures on sub-items. The FMEA process establishes a measurement risk priority number that is often used in continuous improvement initiatives.
External Failure Costs are one of four types of failures measured within COPQ. They are any costs that are incurred to fix, remedy or mitigate defects that pass through the organization and are discovered by those external of the organization such as a customer. To learn more about External Failure Costs enroll in our Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Course by clicking on the link below.
Benchmarking is the practice of comparing one's own Organization or individual self against the performance of others that are best in class. The objective of benchmarking is to improve areas of performance, build relationships and share best practices. In general there are seven different types of benchmarking: competitive benchmarking, financial benchmarking, functional benchmarking, performance benchmarking, process benchmarking, product benchmarking and strategic benchmarking.
Weibull distribution is a flexible continuous probability distribution. The graph is used with reliability in various engineering applications. Parameters are often tailored or molded to fit product characteristics throughout a product life cycle. A very good read for more information on the Weibull analysis is Weibull Analysis by Bryan Dodson.
Upstream is a term used to refer to any given process step that occurs before the current step. Looking upstream often can be a valuable technique used to find the actual causes of an initial effect. You will hear this term used in reference to value streams or process maps.
The 3P's represent people, process and product. The 3P's are the focus of the continuous improvement strategy TQM or Total Quality Management.
1. People - Ensure expectations and satisfaction of both internal and external customers are met to the best of your ability.
2. Process - Continually strive to get better in all processes.
3. Product - Conform to specifications and requirements of all product characteristics.
Critical to Quality or CTQ are the measurable characteristics that have to be met in order to satisfy and meet your customer's specifications and requirements. The CTQ measurements can be based on both internal and external customer definitions. The CTQ measures are often mapped on a CTQ tree.
The voice of the customer is a process that is often used in business to collect requirements, needs, wants, expectations and feedback from customers. The voice of the customer is both internal and external. The voice of the customer allows organizations and individuals to be proactive in understanding the customer allowing them to be innovative and make the proper changes to meet customer expectations. A great resource when using the voice of the customer in Lean or Six Sigma is a book entitled Voice of the Customer: Capture and analysis.
Jidoka is a term that describes one of the key pillars of the Toyota Production System. Sakichi Toyoda first invented Jidoka or Autonomation back in the mid 1890's. He created a stop so that when a broken thread occurred the machine would detect the abnormality and stop the loom from spinning, saving material. The phrase jidoka can be defined as "automation" with a human touch. The automation of machines gives operators the unique ability to run more than one machine while ensuring if anything goes wrong the machine will stop giving someone an opportunity to remove the cause and contain the abnormality. There are four critical stages involved in Jidoka:
1. Detect the abnormality.
2. Contain or stop the abnormality.
3. Fix the abnormality.
4. Solve the root cause and ensure it does not happen again.
An input is a product, service, information, data, labor material or any other type of resource which is added to a process step usually by a supplier. In the case of reverse supply chain the input is sometimes added by a customer. The input is most commonly added to a process or product with the intention of transforming the input into an output. In a SIPOC map the input represents the second stage. Inputs can be measured in terms of quality, volume, time and financial impact on a process.
An effect is the result or output of an action being taken. The effect is as it pertains to cause and effect is what happens, while the cause is why it happens.
Zero defects was a strategic goal that Mr. Philip Crosby made popular. The objective was to achieve zero defects and required management to support and commit their efforts to not only never passing on a defect but doing things right the first time.
The Project charter is an informal contract between the organization and the team. A project charter will define the focus of a project, the problem, the goal, the scope, team and metrics linking the team's objectives together. The project charter often is revised multiple times throughout a project.
DPU or Defects per unit is the average number of defects observed in a sample lot or batch. The defects per unit is a fundamental measurement used in six sigma. As shown above in the formula the measurement means that a process producing U (the total number of units) outputs, with D (total number of defects observed) then on average each unit will contain such number of defects per unit (D/U).
The C&E, XY, Cause and Effect matrix can be used to evaluate the correlation or impact that inputs have on outputs. The tool is most often used to prioritize possible improvements in a project. To learn more about the C&E or XY matrix visit our article entitled The C&E/XY matrix.
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