Hello again everyone. I hope 2016 is treating you well so far.
We have been identifying some tools that help boost productivity, by defining and prioritizing what to do, to achieve greater customer satisfaction, e.g:
CTQ , SIPOC, “NOWTIME” (the 7 Types of waste), Pareto and Kano diagrams.
This time, let’s focus on some ideas to help mitigate risk.
Engineers use Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), to quantify and prioritize risk within a process, then track actions to mitigate the risk.
FMEA is a list of process steps, showing where/how/when each step may fail, e.g:
Sample FMEA table, showing mitigating risk of missing customer’s call
- Identify the process.
- List potential failure modes (what could go wrong).
- Rate Severity (S), Occurrence probability (O), Detectability (D).
- Calculate Risk Priority Number (RPN) = S * O * D
- Prioritize actions.
- Create actions to reduce risk.
HOW YOU CAN USE THIS? FMEA helps earmark and prioritize which failing process to fix more urgently.
POKA-YOKE (and that’s no joke!)
Poka-yoke is a Japanese term translating to error proofing. It represents a cause/effect relationship to identify simplest solutions to eradicate future errors.
For a process, this could simply be a checklist for employees to follow sequentially, guaranteeing consistent completion of essential steps.
Error proofing could range from generating a warning when an error is detected to totally eliminating the chance of making the mistake in the first place.
The Andon cord enables anyone in the organization to stop production if an observed defect cannot be fixed immediately.
Andon is encapsulated by Toyota’s paradox “Stop production so that production never has to stop,” bringing work to a halt as soon as a huge quality breach surfaces, forcing immediate investigation.
A fundamental aspect of lean manufacturing, quality must not be sacrificed to save time.
Issues with quality result in slowdowns later, in the guise of rework, customer dissatisfaction and reduced morale, eroding resources, time and money.
Andon can also be equated to producing smaller batches at a time, enabling quality control at more frequent intervals, reaffirming more frequently what the customer will receive, thereby encouraging more numerous cycles of continuous improvement.
Interestingly, even though Toyota has been replacing cord with wireless electronic buttons, to reduce clutter and offer a cleaner, safer environment, the “andon” concept remains entrenched in Toyota factories, to find and fix issues sooner/faster, realizing savings in the longer term.
HOW YOU CAN USE THIS? Quality can significantly improve by preventing and/or detecting errors/defects as early as possible in the process.
To round out today’s session, lets RUMBA!
Specifications are the voice of the customer, dictating the customer’s accepted expectation or experience, e.g. the timing, temperature, size, colour, taste or feel of the delivered product. Specifications can have upper or lower limits of the customer’s tolerance or an exact target value.
RUMBA is an acronym for evaluating appropriateness of a specification.
Reasonable: is the customer’s need realistic?
Understandable: is the specification clearly defined, leaving no room for different interpretations?
Measurable: is the product/service’s outcome measurable against the required specification?
Believable: does your organization believe such a specification can be met?
Attainable: can the target or acceptable range of tolerance be achieved?
HOW YOU CAN USE THIS? Often major process improvement can be achieved by simply reviewing, then adjusting, one of its associated specifications.
Today we saw how FMEA and the Andon cord can easily be applied to identify and reduce risk. And, in keeping with our overriding goal of exceeding the customers’ expectations (always while having fun), we learnt how to RUMBA.
Please return next week for our final chapter in this Process Improvement series, when we will hone in on root cause.
Have a great week.
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KellyLawless. (2013). Fishbone BadCoffeeExample.jpg (Own work).