Six Sigma methodologies focus on improving processes by reducing waste and defects. So in the world of Six Sigma, is multitasking considered bad?
Well it depends. If the computer you are using has a program that is able to execute a few jobs at once, then the answer is no. The reason for this is that you are only doing one task — you are working on the computer.
On the other hand, if you are using two different processes concurrently, then this type of multitasking will create variations, and a variation is considered an error or defect. Consistency in your product line is the reason your customers keep coming back.
Since Six Sigma focuses on defects that happen from variation, the natural inclination is to reduce variation. Here are some easy ways to reduce variation:
- See how the process you are trying to improve works, and then look for non-value added steps that could be removed, such as bottlenecks. A bottleneck is a step in the process that limits the volume it can handle.
- Reduce common cause variation by using the 5 Whys tool and the Cause & Effect diagram (also known as the Fishbone diagram).
- Use a check sheet, also referred to as a tally sheet.
- Use a Pareto chart (also known as a bar graph). This chart is a great visual that depicts when situations are at their worst.
- Flowcharts are great to show the workflow of a process. The flowchart also shows the separate steps of a process in the order performed. Using a flowchart makes it easy to spot non-value added steps that can be eliminated.
Regardless of the Six Sigma tool you decide on to reduce variation, it is imperative that you do so. Your product or service has earned its good name on being consistent, and jeopardizing that will only bring your business or organization down. Always be mindful of changes and variations in your business processes.