The current state is the as is, or present circumstances. When looking at the current state it is very important that the review is done not as it should be happening but as it is happening.
Cycle stock is the average amount of inventory a business needs to meet customer demand. The stock will generally deplete gradually as a business or organization receives orders from customers and replenish according to a cycle as suppliers provide the necessary orders.
Does your company make goods only after receiving an order? Do they make goods before and then stock them? These two questions can help clarify how your organization plans and schedules the production or execution of goods and services. There are many different methods that companies may use, some examples are: Make to stock, Make to order and Assemble to order. Whichever strategy a company selects will have a varying degree on the amount of inventory a company holds, how they will produce and how resources are spread through the organization. The biggest impact is the amount of inventory the company carries which as you may know already is cash availability.
The chase strategy is one method organizations use to maintain a level inventory while producing at varying rates in order to support demand. The chase strategy is sometimes referred to as demand matching because the strategy varies production to meet demand.
The main benefits associated with a chase strategy are:
When you go to a restaurant for food and place an order the staff will normally pull supplies from a "stable inventory" level and make the order, or in other words "chase the demand."
A countermeasure is a measure or action that is taken to counter or offset another one. In the context of Lean Six Sigma the countermeasure is an action that either a team or an individual takes to bring something back into conformance or compliance with the expected level of performance.
A lean six sigma champion is an individual with a firm understanding of the company's vision, mission and values. They help to deploy and support the success of an organizational strategy and projects associated with the strategy. Champions also assist in identifying resources, team leaders and in removing roadblocks. The champion is accountable for the results of projects and the recognition, definition and assignments which will help achieve a defined level of performance.
A cross-functional team is a group of people with different functional expertise, working towards a common goal. It may include people from operations, engineering, quality and human resources departments. Generally, employees from all levels of an organization are included. Some members may come from outside the organization to add experience, expertise or a neutral unbiased view.
Cross-functional teams often function as self-directed teams assigned to a specific task which calls for the input and expertise of numerous departments.
Reference: Wikipedia - Cross-functional team.
The fishbone diagram is a structured analysis tool used to organize potential causes associated with a speciffic effect.
**Download your template today**
The control chart is a graphical comparison of process performance that is used to study how a process might vary over time. The control chart usually will include predetermined control limits which are shown as the UCL (upper control limit) and the LCL (lower control limit). The control chart also shows a "mean" or average line which is based on historical data. The control charts primary purpose is to show a comparison of the current data to the historical data that is plotted on the chart. Doing this helps the user see whether the variation in a process is consistent (controlled) or the process has random variation (out of control, also referred to as special causes of variation).
When should you use a control chart?
Using a Control Chart:
1. Select the appropriate control chart: variables - X chart, R Chart, σ chart Attributes - p chart, np chart, c chart.
2. Establish the time period that you will be collecting data for.
3. Collect data
4. Analyze data looking for "out of control" signals.
5. Work to find the root cause of any "out of control" signals.
Concurrent engineering is a concept which refers to the simultaneous engineering or participation of all functional departments in the product or service development and design. This activity normally includes suppliers and customers in the design process too. Concurrent engineering decreases the amount of time it takes to develop products and services and reinforces the importance of crossfunctional design. Concurrent engineering also ensures that the final design does in fact meet the needs of stakeholders, customers and helps to minimize costs while maximizing the quality.
For more information check out these books:
Common causes of variation are the causes of variation that are inherent in a process over time. Some degree of variation will naturally occur in every process these are the common cause variations. These types of variation generally effect all outputs (Y's) of a process.
Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to complete an individual operation or task from start to finish. Cycle time can be calculated with a stopwatch.
How to calculate Cycle time:
1. Define the start and end point.
2. At the start begin counting with a stopwatch, phone or other timekeeping device.
3. Stop when the operation or task is complete.
Challenge - Calculate the amount of cycle time it takes to pour a glass of water. Post your answers in the comments tab below.
A Customer is any party that receives or requests goods or services. Customers can be both internal, meaning that the customer is downstream of your process step or external like in the case of someone who has requested for you to fulfill a need or want. Customers receive outputs from upstream process steps.
John makes valve covers and passes them onto Bill who then polishes the valve covers. Bill then sends the valve covers to Martha who packages the valve covers and ships them from Valves Made Easy to Valve's R' Us. Who are the Internal Customers in this process and who is the External Customer in the Process?
**Place answers in the Comments Box Below**
The control phase is the final stage of the DMAIC methodology. It ensures that the improvements made continue to work and meet the requirements of the customer. The control phase all documents are finalized and monitoring plans are put into place along with response plans in order to ensure that everyone knows what to do if a process falls out of control.
The control plan is a tool used in the control phase of the DMAIC method. The tool is used for documenting the functional elements of quality control that are to be implemented in order to ensure that quality standards are met for a particular product, process, project or service. The intent of the control plan is to formalize and document the system of control that will be utilized in such a way that everyone can understand, while minimizing and controlling variation in the process, product or service.
The cost of poor quality are the costs associated with providing poor quality products or services either internally or externally. There are four categories that costs can be placed in: Internal Failure costs, External Failure Costs, Appraisal Costs and Prevention Costs. Read more in our recent post on The Cost of Poor Quality.
Understanding the cost of poor quality:
The iceberg is a great representation to use when understanding the cost of poor quality. The visible portion of the iceberg is often depicted as the visible costs associated with poor quality, such as:
Discussion Opportunities (Comment Below Please)
A changeover is the work required to change a specific machine, resource, work center or line from making the last good piece of an item to making the first good piece of another item. That means that if the first good piece after the changeover is not good the changeover is not complete.
1. Teardown of equipment after production is complete.
2. Preparation of equipment for the next scheduled item.
To learn more about changeovers and how you can improve changeover times visit our recent post in Listen to the Gemba entitled: Changing things Around.
A constraint is any factor or element such as cost, schedule and scope that prevents a system from performing at the highest level possible in relation to its objective. There are many types of constraints that prohibit performance.
1. Cost/ Resources
2. Schedule/ Time
3. Scope/ Quality
5. Policy or Procedure
The change control process is a sequence of steps which are used to control changes within an organization.
Example of Change Control Process:
A cell is a close arrangement or setup of people, machines or workstations for the purpose of fulfilling a processing sequence. Cells can be in many different shapes and attempt to spread work evenly amongst the resources in the cell.
The cause and effect diagram, fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram is a tool used to discover possible causes of an effect. The tool makes the initial symptom or effect visual at the head of the "fishbone" and categorizes possible causes into groups then sub groups. The fishbone diagram can be used to discover root causes and is commonly used in partnership with a 5 Why analysis.
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. For a free template click on the link below.
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.
The ABC's of