Many reasons exist for a business failure but the technique to solve the business problem is not reinvented each time we face problems. The methodology to solve the business problem is merely conceivable through the ‘Continuous Process Improvement’. Continuous process improvement is considered as one of the techniques to react to the business problem or demanding environment. The business problem or demanding environment includes direct challenges from the marketplace competitors or technological disruption. The implementation of continuous process improvement provides a commitment to improve the company’s designs and process. However, the company has to shift from talk to action. While converting the talk to action ‘Six Sigma’ plays a significant role in the continuous process improvement. The obvious advantage of Six Sigma from other quality initiatives is it emphasis on the bottom line. Six Sigma improves the bottom line aligning with the company’s goal.
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a complementary approach to solve the business problem. However, Six Sigma not just solves the business problem but spells out the customer satisfaction, organization profitability, and growth. Many companies such as ‘Motorola’ have already established their companies by solving their business problem through Six Sigma methodologies. Company ‘Stoneridge Corporation’ along with the successful launching of multi-division Six Sigma initiatives has received the substantial return on investment.
Benefits realized out of Six Sigma
- Solves the business problem
- Improves significant process of the business
- Makes the employees understand the business problem and aligns the participants with overall business goals
- Improves the ‘bottom line’
- Management of projects
- Improves Market Share
- Improves customer retention
Six Sigma Methodology
The company may realize that something could have gone wrong in the business or something is not working in the business but assuming the problem alone doesn’t reveal the cause and solution for the problem. The problem requires a structural approach to identify the cause and solve the business problem. The approach used by Six Sigma to solve the business problem is the implementation of DMAIC.
DMAIC – Problem Solving Method
DMAIC approach consisting of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control stages helps to solve the business related issues irrespective of the industries – Manufacturing, Service, and Technology. DMAIC methodology identifies the business problem, utilizes the set of tools and techniques to validate the cause and arrives at a sustainable solution.
Define Phase – Provides clarity on the business problem including the participant details included in the project.
Measure Phase – Measures the current state of the problem and identifies the area that needs to be improved.
Analyze Phase – Collects the evidence of the objective and use them as a guide to manage the business problem.
Improve Phase – Gains greater understanding of the process that needs to be improved and monitors the behavior of the input factor.
Control Phase – Places the control on the entire significant factors that influence the output.
Common Sense questions placed during DMAIC approach for solving the Business Problem
DMAIC is a roadmap used for any project to solve the business related issues. It accelerates the business transaction through reducing variation in the business, improving product life-cycle. A successful implementation of DMAIC approach methodology is credible through the following series of common sense questions:
Define – What is the specific problem of the business?
Measure – What is the current performance?
Analyze – What are the potential causes that raise the specific business problem?
Improve – How can the causes be controlled or eliminated in the business?
Control – How the controlled causes can be sustained in the business?
The response to these queries will minimize and eliminate the problem placed by the business in the competitive position.
Remember, it’s up to you to use the 5 Whys to your advantage. Don’t let problems fester when they can be easily resolved!