Author Archives: developers

The SIPOC Diagram – A Basic Process Mapping Tool

One of the first steps in any improvement project is to describe the current process using a map of some sort.  One basic mapping tool is the Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer diagram, commonly referred to as a SIPOC diagram.  Another commonly used tool is the cross-functional process map. Both of these tools are important first steps in understanding […]

Taguchi Methods for Robust Design and the P-Diagram

In previous articles in this series I introduced Designed Experiments (Article 28) and Taguchi Methods (Article 32).   In this article I will introduce the Parameter Diagram, aka P-diagram, and explain how the P-diagram is used in conjunction with Designed Experiments as part of the robust design process. The P-diagram is used to classify all of […]

68. Evaluating Attribute Inspectors Using Attribute Agreement Analysis

We typically think about the reliability and reproducibility of a gage in the context of measuring some characteristic using continuous (or variable) data.  Gage R&R studies conducted on this type of data are an application of the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method.  We evaluate how much variation is introduced by the people using the gage […]

What Is The Perfect Process and How Is It Achieved?

In an earlier article entitled Zero Defects – Realistic Goal or Dream?  I stated that achieving zero defects is not a dream at all but rather a realistic goal to be pursued.   In our Black Belt course, our students are challenged to complete an improvement project where they create an improved process that is […]

Increasing Your Personal Power as a Project Manager

In order to earn the Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate, our students are required to plan and execute a real world project that results in measurable improvement.  To help them to be more successful, I challenge them to find ways to increase the amount of personal power that they have as the manager of their […]

Six Sigma Certificate or Certification – What’s the Difference?

In my experience there is a good deal of misunderstanding among students who are seeking to enhance their professional credentials in the field of Six Sigma.  The source of the confusion is not recognizing that there is a fundamental difference between a Certificate in Six Sigma and Certification in Six Sigma.  It is important that […]

Standardized Work Instructions – Implementing the Improved Process

In Six Sigma our goal is to continuously improve our ability to deliver defect free products and services that meet customer requirements.  Doing so results in higher levels of customer satisfaction and lowers the cost of operations.   In the course of a typical improvement project we define a problem, collect data about the nature […]

Transforming Non-normal Data: Proceed with Caution!

Data that follow a distribution that is either not symmetric or that is symmetric but not bell shaped are said to be non-normal.   A common misconception among students is that all data should be normally distributed, and that there is something inherently wrong if their data is not normally distributed.  In fact, data is not […]

A Real World Application of Design of Experiments

Black Belt students are exposed to Design of Experiments (DOE) in their classroom training, but in my experience very few of them actually apply the technique while completing a project to earn their Black Belt certificate.  One of my students recently completed a project that made excellent use of a Designed Experiment, and his company […]