Tuesday, 1 March 2016

SIPOC and other Lean Six Sigma concepts

I am now taking a new course at University of Toronto.  It's called Lean Six Sigma (a continuous improvement methodology) and I'm glad I took it.   Just by looking at the course title, I first had second thoughts about taking it because it's not a common course and the Six Sigma part seemed scary - come to think of it - what are the first five? LOL.

Because I breathed and lived the ISO Management Systems (9001, 14001 and OSHAS) that I helped implement (and get certified), I didn't have problems learning the course because this type of learning are one of my favorites.  The concepts are the same but more which is I really like - I'm craving for more.  Like how I implement these concepts to our household - (yes we have 5S and other checklists, work instructions, KPIs, audit, etc. LOL), I am now excited to share to my children the Lean Six Sigma tools I'm learning.

As our first assignment, we were asked to come up with an elevated speech about Lean Six Sigma.  Here is what I submitted:

Any organization (or family like ours haha) will benefit the Lean Six Sigma methodology because of the following:

•A Lean Six Sigma effort starts with understanding "value" through the eyes of the customer (or my children and myself). Anything that does not add value is waste. And variation from the target or ideal state is a potential source of added cost.  Lean Six Sigma efforts tackle both waste and variation with a focus on our customers and their needs.

•With this philosophy,  costs are reduced, productivity is raised and customer satisfaction is enhanced.

•Six Sigma leads to improvements in efficiency by ensuring we are “doing things right.”

•Lean focuses on doing the right things by eliminating waste.  Six Sigma helps us do things right by reducing variation. Together, Lean and Six Sigma become a powerful business improvement continuum focused on ensuring that the right things are done right.

"We will be successful in this endeavor of exceeding the customer expectations if we imbibe the methodology, speak the same language  and continuously improve on our processes.  The culture of excellence will produce positive outcomes."  

SIPOC - this is similar to the Input - Process - Output (IPO) concept I learned in my Computer Science degree but this included the Supplier and Customer.  The idea is to map out the relevant steps in producing a product or service.  They can be broken down to ideally 6-7 major processes. and each one can be a sub-process in itself.  Of course, I wouldn't let that day I learned SIPOC pass without asking my children to create one.  The picture above is my 7-yr old son's SIPOC on how to bake a cake. Look at the last customer of the cake - You (meaning me - the mom).

PROCESS FLOW MAPS - SWIMLANE (Handoffs) - the identified process blocks in SIPOC are now mapped out based on the  Responsible person/role/machine.  The handoffs are indicated with arrows when the process moves from one lane to another.

Because the Lean Six Sigma is really about value, doing things right and giving what customers need, anything else that does not satisfy these is waste.  I will have another post the different types of wastes but I want to mention here that something led me into thinking about Lean Six Sigma and the Philippine Government.  While I am studying all these concepts, I am wishing that there is a leader or "presidentiable" who would have this vision or plan to implement this in the government.  Imagine all the different types of SIPOCs, VOCs, Process Mapping,  WASTES and Variation that the current scenario possess.  I hope that happens that the new President who is serious in cleaning up the "system" would implement this.  I am willing to provide my service as a concerned Filipino at heart and a very eager Lean Six Sigma practitioner.  Is Duterte up to this kind of implementation after cleaning up crime, drug syndicates and other NON-VALUE elements in my beloved country? 

LEAN, QUALITY, EXCELLENCE - "musts" not only for change but for development and continuous improvement to soar high.  It can be done, nothing is impossible with God.

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