Branding Is the Essence of Your Business


Establishing a strong brand is one of the most important things you can do for your business. But what is branding? By definition, it is the practice of creating a name, symbol or logo that for a product or service, creating an image in the consumer’s mind. A strong brand should differentiate a product or service from competitors and also provide the promise of quality and reputation in your market. When done effectively, a strong branding strategy will give your company the competitive edge.
Incorporating Six Sigma Methodology with Branding Efforts
The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is extremely critical in understanding what your brand is and its value.  Through the DMAIC process and the Define phase, you will begin to understand the customer’s voice, and be able to define the customer’s needs, wants and expectations for your brand.
By knowing the VOC, you can develop a branding strategy that will fulfill your target customer’s expectations and requirements as well as distinguish your business from your competitors. If you don’t take care of your customers, your competitors will. By using the VOC when you begin your branding strategy, you will be able to target the right customers for your business.
Your best defense in understanding your company and developing your brand is to sign up for one of our Six Sigma courses. They are a sure-win investment in the future of your business. One course we are very proud of is our Jumpstart course, which we recommend if you are a visceral type of learner. Our Jumpstart will provide you with a vast array of knowledge to get you started in Six Sigma projects. So by learning the basics that are in our White and Yellow Belt courses, and learning the first part of the Green Belt curriculum, the Jumpstart course will provide you a strong baseline.


You Can Buy More Time by Using Six Sigma’s DMAIC


Believe it or not, there is a way of prioritizing tasks that is considered correct, meaning there isn’t idle or wasted time from one task to the next. Each task is layered on top of the previous one, with the end resulting in a well-constructed process for your business.

Is it possible to run your personal daily activities or weekend errands in the same effective, well-managed way that you run your business?

Yes there is! Set your goal one errand or task at a time: get XYZ finished by a certain time. , you would put this in the Define portion of the DMAIC.

Why Use Six Sigma in Your Life?

Many people seem to complain that they don’t have enough time in their life to get important things done. Well, it isn’t that they don’t have enough time, it is that their mindset is not organized for accomplishment.

Part of the reason behind this is that most of us don’t feel that our personal lives or having spare time to do what we want is important. But our need to lead a stress-free life is extremely important.

Remember, stress can cause many health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. So, when you take the time to run through the Six Sigma methodologies for Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control and use them to free up time in your personal life, you’ll have the added bonus of getting all your errands done —which will free up all that stress!

Since the goal is to get certain thing done by a certain time, your creative survival mode will kick in and figure out how to do this. But what is also very important are the reasons why and measuring the time it takes you before you implement DMAIC. So make sure you go through the entire DMAIC process for assured success and the correct mindset.

For more information on our Six Sigma training courses and services, please visit

Best of iSixSigma: 2017

The best of iSixSigma 2017 features the highlights of this year’s content – as determined by our readers.

U.S.A.F. Uses Continuous Process Improvement on the B-2 Bomber: Part 1

In this case study, the 509th Maintenance Group of the U.S. Air Force used an eight-step continuous process improvement approach to balance its resources and meet both flying hour program requirements and aircraft availability needs. Part 1 looks at steps 1 through 4.

U.S.A.F. Uses Continuous Process Improvement on the B-2 Bomber: Part 2

Part 2 looks at steps 5 through 8.

The Five Fundamental Assumptions of Six Sigma

Six Sigma can be reduced to five fundamental assumptions. If these simple concepts are understood, all the tools, all the tollgate deliverables, and all the statistics and jargon are put in their proper supporting roles.

Developing Key Performance Indicators

KPIs are critical to ensuring a project team has the performance data it needs to evaluate and sustain improvements.

A Study of Estimates of Sigma in Small Sample Sizes

The options for estimating standard deviation with a small sample size are investigated in this comprehensive and thorough article.

Lean Six sigma master black belt JOB- Associate/Senior Associate -(Technical)

Apply Button will redirect you to recruiters resume management system

Designation Technical Resource Executive
Job Description We require 3 technical resources to be based out of (2 in
Delhi and 1 in Chennai).

–  Bachelors Degree in Engineering required
–  Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified (Master
Black Belt Certification preferred)
–  5 + years of experience in Lean Six Sigma project execution
–  Should have handled and guided Lean Six Sigma
Green belt projects (Black belt projects will get preference)
–  Experience in Banking, Financial, Manufacturing industry
–  Masters/Advanced course in statistics preferred
–  Strong verbal and written communication skills
–  Willingness to travel approximately 70-75%
–  Willingness to relocate any of the locations (Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad)
–  Hands-on experience in MINITAB, SPSS, Crystal Ball, MS Project, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint and SharePoint skills

Roles & Responsibilities:
–  Must be willing to be deployed for long term or travel for short engagements across national/international locations
–  Deliver Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt trainings for diverse senior/middle level corporate customers
–  Be competent in preparing technical presentations
–  Be competent in handling technical queries for clients
–  Participate in solution design, approach note design and work on pre-sales activities
–  Work under strict timelines and travel all across
–  Drive projects at clients end. Should be able to guide teams from clients in Financial, Banking, Manufacturing sector.
– Be able to coach clients team
–  Manage the client relationship end to end
– Develop, update and maintain curriculum for training (Lean, Yellow Belt, Green Belt & Black Belt). Standardize industry
specific module
–  Communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely and ability to facilitate to a variety of audience and levels of leadership

Desired Profile
Experience 5 – 8 Years
Industry Type Accounting / Finance
Role Associate/Senior Associate -(Technical)
Functional Area ITES, BPO, KPO, LPO, Customer Service, Operations
Employment Type Full Time , Permanent Job
Education UG – B.Tech/B.E. – Any Specialization

PG – Any Postgraduate – Any Specialization

Doctorate – Doctorate Not Required

Compensation:  Not disclosed
Location ChennaiDelhi
Keywords lean six sigma certified black belt, minitab, excel, master black belt, green belt crystal ball, team management, project execution.

Introducing the E3P3 Process Improvement Methodology

Organizations involved with business process improvement use different methodologies, approaches, tools and techniques for implementing quality management programs. These management programs have different names in different organizations – TQM (total quality management), Six Sigma, operational excellence, etc. Regardless of the approach and name used, each organization needs to manage a proper selection and combination of its different approaches, tools and techniques to ensure a successful implementation process. Organizations that are looking for opportunities for business process improvement often begin with PDCA or Plan, Do, Check and Act, an iterative four-step management method.

The concept of the PDCA cycle was originally developed by Walter Shewhart in the 1920s and is often referred to as the Shewhart Cycle. It was taken up and promoted effectively from the 1950s on by quality management guru W. Edwards Deming, and is also known as the Deming cycle or Deming wheel. When any organization executes basic process thinking approaches, the main emphasis is on PDCA. All other methods and approaches have evolved from this revolutionary method.

Understanding PDCA

In PDCA, the four stages are as follows:

  1. Plan: The Plan stage focuses on selecting the project, establishing the objectives, defining the process and design, or revising business process components to improve results.
  2. Do: The Do stage refers to implementing what is planned – implementing the action plans and measuring their performance.
  3. Check: This stage verifies that the process achieved the desired results and checks the effectiveness of the corrective action taken.
  4. Act: Finally, the Act stage entails containment, disposition and correction, analyzing any differences and their causes, as well as taking action to improve things.

Quality management systems of the past have emphasized process thinking using PDCA to ensure, for example, the shipment of acceptable product to the customer. In most instances of its use, Check is synonymous with inspection activities – sometimes leading to more than 100 percent inspection of products and no clear verification of the processes. Organizations have been dependent on this inspection phase to ensure the removal of unacceptable products before shipment to the customers.

In actual practice, however, the Plan stage for organizations has become a black-box opportunity finder, waiting for problems to be noticed visibly from the business processes to act upon. And Act has become the weakest link in the complete PDCA cycle, where it is the least emphasized stage of a PDCA improvement cycle. Act is seen as either a standardization process or an improvement process. The input to act comes from Check, which provides inadequate and insufficient feedback for action. The data available from Check for analysis frequently appears as attribute type, leading to options such as OK/NOT OK, YES/NO and GO/NO GO. Root causes for such attribute decisions have been awarded to the only incoming sources of variation – the operators/technicians within the organization. The ultimate root cause leading to improvement is left to the technicians or operators, who are working on the shop floor; the ultimate improvement action leads to “training technician/operators.” The remaining incoming sources of variation (the other of the 6Ms aside from man – method, material, machine, measurement systems and milieu) are given less importance in improvement actions.

With the continuous demand of the customer in one hand and the ongoing needs of the customer on the other hand, methods like Lean Six Sigma play a major role, continually improving all business processes and products. Performance levels have reached single digits in terms of percentage of defects and, most of the time, following Six Sigma, in parts per million instead of a large proportion of defects.

Methodologies like Lean Six Sigma have been working relentlessly to ensure that all the aspects of a business are improved to achieve the process output to a level close to perfection, as demanded by the customers. In such cases, because of increasing product and process complexity and performance expectations, verifying the output for acceptance is no longer sufficient. Organizations must look at the output against robust target performance levels, trying to get as close to the target as possible. The deviation from the target must be understood and continually reduced. According to Taguchi’s philosophy, the goal is to produce closer to the target and continually reduce variability around it.

The Revolutionary PDCA Cycle

Figure 1 shows a map of the PDCA cycle.

Figure 1: PDCA Cycle

Figure 1: PDCA Cycle

Introducing the Evolutionary E3P3 Methodology

The evolutionary E3P3 (“e-cube, p-cube”) cycle is made up of six steps: Evaluate, Evolve, Execute, Perfect, Progress, and Preach and practice. The E3P3 cycle is based on the closed-loop feedback diagram shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: E3P3 Cycle

Figure 2: E<sup>3</sup>P<sup>3</sup> Cycle

The E3P3 methodology incorporates the philosophies of quality management gurus such as Shewhart, Karaou Ishikawa, Joseph Juran, Genichi Taguchi and Deming.

Table 1: Basics Steps Used in E3P3
Evaluate ·         Select project to find what and where to improve·         Define problem, set targets and schedules

·         All 6Ms are delivered as inputs to the process

Evolve ·         Provide assurance of good inputs (all Ms) to the process·         Manage appropriate, defined and foolproof resources proactively

·         Ensure the 6Ms can all do well

Execute Effectively execute the plan
Perfect Ensure that the process is performing as planned and that the process output is on target. (If the process input it not on target, the gap in the Perfect step must be recognized and acted upon.)
Progress Leads to improvement in the process (variation is reduced)
Preach and practice ·         Sustainability of the achievement·         Horizontal deployment

Shewhart’s techniques taught that work processes could be brought under control by determining when a process should be left alone and when intervention was necessary. This highlighted that business processes should be assessed at regular intervals to find the gaps available in the areas of improvement. Ishikawa stresses quality audits – internal as well as external – to understand the present as-is condition of the business or work process. The gap between reality and requirements will enable to determine if action is needed.

Similarly, according to Ishikawa, the most likely process inputs, the Ms, are grouped in the material, method, machine and manpower (4M) categories. These four Ms, the main sources of variation of any process, must be managed proactively instead of being sought after the postmortem through root cause analysis. To act proactively, the business processes of any organization need to be assessed on a regular basis to find out where exactly the process lies.

Table 2: Basic Steps Used in the E3P3 Methodology vs the PDCA Cycle
PDCA Cycle E3P3 Methodology
N/A Evaluate
  ·         Evaluate available area, business processes and/or opportunities·         Analyze current state

·         Develop baseline

·         Identify gaps/problems in areas/business processes

·         Determine the root cause(s) of the problem(s)

Plan Evolve
·         Plan a change or a test aimed at improvement·         Determine the root cause of the problem ·         Plan a change or a test aimed at improvement (who, what, when and where)·         Determine and analyze root cause(s) of the problem(s)

·         Determine the interventions necessary to correct the problem(s)

·         Determine the expected outcomes

·         Determine the responsible parties for the improvement of the problem

·         Prepare appropriate, well-defined and foolproof 6Ms required for improvement

·         Plan resources

·         Determine goals and targets

·         Determine and set metrics for improvement

·         Identify and define roles and responsibilities

·         Design optimal processes, scheduling the steps for correction

·         Set robust targets


Do Execute (Do Well)
·         Implement the plan and measure its performance·         Carry out the change or the test

·         Monitor results and collect data


·         Implement the plan and measure its performance on a trial basis·         Carry out the change or the text

·         Monitor results and collect data

·         Continuously check for efficiency

·         Permanently implement if the trial is successful

·         Measure for performance

·         Finalize

·         Train employees

Check Perfect (On Target?)
·         Assess, review and evaluate the result of the change·         Measure the progress

·         Check for unforeseen consequences

·         Complete the data analysis·         Verify that the process achieved the desired results against the set target value

·         Measure the process against the set target value (if not at target value, identify variation and remove)

·         Summarize learnings

·         Check for unforeseen consequences

Act Progress (Reduce Variability in Process)
·         Decide on changes needed to improve the process·         Standardize process changes

·         Communicate changes to all involved

·         Provide training

·         Decide on changes needed to improve the process·         Standardize process changes

·         Communicate changes to all involved

·         Execute learning from root cause analysis of deviation with the set target value, then optimize

·         Practice more to continually improve

N/A Preach and Practice (Sustain)
·         Identify any training needs or any developments needed for full implementation of improvement·         Fully adopt the solution for process improvement

·         Continue to monitor solution

·         Find other opportunities for improvement

·         Horizontal deployment

·         Sustain developments

Let’s look more closely at some of the E3P3 stages.

  • Evaluate: The Evaluate stage is not clearly defined, but assumed, in PDCA. In E3P3, it focuses on continuously assessing the business process (the process health) to look for improvement opportunities.
  • Evolve: This is the main preparation stage, where available good inputs or the best inputs to the process are assured before starting the improvement activities. This stage assures that the good 6Ms are going into the processes as a part of the process improvement initiative.
  • Perfect: The Perfect stage ensures that the process is performing as planned and that the process output is on target. If the process output isn’t on target, the gap in the “perfect” step must be recognized, and appropriate actions need to be generated and executed.
  • Preach and practice: This stage, which is assumed in the PDCA cycle, is to ensure horizontal deployment in similar processes or situations. It lays a foundation for continuous learning for employees and across all business processes within the organization.

Using PDCA or E3P3

Whenever any process improvement activities are to be initiated in any organization, going directly for the Plan stage, as defined by PDCA, cycle is difficult. The organization needs to identify and prioritize the vital few from the large number of projects that are available. In such cases, the Evaluate stage of E3P3 identifies and prioritizes those vital few improvement projects in a systematic way.

Similarly, the Perfect stage in E3P3 is more focused on checking against targets that are set from the beginning, which is subjective in nature under Check in PDCA. When implementing E3P3, the PDCA approach can be kept on a standby mode for people who still believe PDCA to be the relevant problem-solving approach. As the situation and requirements evolve, however, to cater to the requirements of customers, E3P3 can replace the PDCA approach in all improvement projects, from manufacturing to service industries.

E3P3 is a more appropriate systematic process improvement methodology for today’s business process improvement methodologies and tools. It comprises a combination of philosophies and principles of five significant quality leaders as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Philosophies Embedded in E3P3
E3P3 Steps Quality Leader
Evaluate (assess current state, find the gaps) Shewhart, Ishikawa
Evolve (proactively manage inputs, the 6Ms) Ishikawa
Execute (ensure execution at its best) Juran
Perfect (output on target) Taguchi
Progress (reduce variability) Deming
Preach and practice (sustainability) All

The E3P3 process improvement methodology can be implemented in any business process improvement initiative. E3P3:

  • Begins with a systematic understanding of the present situation of the business processes, continuously measures the health of the business processes,
  • Identifies the processes that needs improvement,
  • Prioritizes the vital few process improvement projects,
  • Executes as per the plan with assured good inputs to the process,
  • Verifies the output against a set target,
  • Makes necessary arrangement and modifications if the output does not match with the target value, and
  • Deploys the same learnings in similar processes across the organization.

Why Use E3P3

Consider that the initial Evaluate stage in E3P3 is not only for evaluating the problem, but also for evaluating key organizational support, identifying and evaluating the stakeholders and team members, and evaluating the exact needs of each and every stakeholder in the process.

In PDCA, Plan is defined qualitatively and devoid of any scope for setting a concentrated target value (unlike in E3P3). In PDCA, implementation is geared toward only finding a solution to the present issue/problem, with no set target to match the requirements of the client and competition.


While PDCA has been used for decades, this methodology was ripe for its own process improvement. E3P3 is the next step in organizational excellence.

1-2-3 Model for Successful Six Sigma Project Selection

Providing Six Sigma project leaders with appropriate project definitions is an underestimated challenge in managing Six Sigma initiatives. Project charters typically contain project scopes too broad or too high level, with weak or unclear problem and goal statements. This can cause newly trained project leaders to use their precious time trying to “boil the ocean.”

One of the key success factors for Six Sigma programs is establishing good project starting points through appropriate problem definitions. How should this be approached? A simple 1-2-3 model (Figure 1) can explain roles and responsibilities in selecting projects. The 1-2-3 model shows that strategic improvement initiatives need to be started at the top, and that a natural downward flow, in which everyone understands his or her role, is critical

The 1-2-3 Model

Level 1. Top management decides to launch Six Sigma to confront serious business challenges (the big Ys).

Level 2. The next step is to establish people, usually in middle management, as process owners and project sponsors. The process owner is a role required in any company serious about process management. Project sponsors may even be recruited from senior management if their influence will effectively help the team overcome roadblocks.

Players on Level 2 look for improvement potential within the corporate process landscape. To do this, they need to translate the business goals into process goals. They have to identify those processes whose outcomes (the little y’s) are currently not meeting targets and are constraints to achieving the higher level business goals.

Figure 1: The 1-2-3 Model

Figure 1: The 1-2-3 Model

Level 3. The resulting improvement ideas from level two are distributed to project leaders – Green Belts and Black Belts – as first draft project definitions. The Belts fine-tune their assigned project definitions, gather data and analyze the root causes of variation in their assigned y-variables.

Though this sounds simple enough, in practice, many organizations initially fail to grasp or choose to overlook the importance of following the ordered top-down deployment flow. They follow a pattern of 1-3-2 instead of 1-2-3.

Arguably, this pattern might have some advantages, explaining why it is so common. For example, an organization may jump from level one directly to the launching of projects at level three to get fast process improvement and financial results. Or perhaps middle management is too busy or hesitant to participate in yet another quality program, so its formal involvement is postponed until later.

However, the 1-3-2 approach often results in some serious problems that can stall a Six Sigma program and threaten its long-term success.

An Example of Not Following the 1-2-3 Model

Top management at one company decides to launch Six Sigma and does so with much fanfare. Leadership wants to see significant project results within the year, as this will win over the skeptics and get stakeholders on board quickly. To this end, a large-scale Black Belt training program is immediately launched to train people as improvement project and business unit leaders. Department heads are asked to identify candidates and supply them with suitable project definitions to bring to the first day of training.

So far so good? Not really. Level one (top management) and level three (project leaders) have been formally mobilized by now. Middle management, however, has merely been asked to cooperate. They may be inadequately informed about Six Sigma goals and the roles they are expected to play as process owners and project sponsors. They also have not been told what constitutes suitable Black Belt project definitions.

The results are almost predictable. Black Belt candidates are handed project charters from inexperienced process owners. The projects have broad titles such as “Reduce Excessive Costs at Plant A” or “Increase Falling Sales for Product B.” Of course, high costs and falling sales are important business issues, but they are not the type of process-specific problems that are the starting points and focus of Six Sigma improvement projects.

The Black Belts-in-training must spend weeks, or even months, trying to comprehend the cost structures of plant A, or customer complaints and sales patterns for product B. This is not the job of a Black Belt in a properly defined project. Such broadly drawn project charters could send them down the wrong path.

As Black Belt training nears its end, many trainees are still struggling with project definitions. Unfortunately, this leads to misunderstandings with disappointed managers who assumed all their business headaches would be solved in a single project. The Six Sigma engine is sputtering, and frustration is mounting on all fronts.

The confusion and loss of momentum could have been avoided through a consistent, top-down Six Sigma deployment.

A Better Example of Six Sigma Deployment

To stay competitive, top management at another company determines costs must be reduced and customer satisfaction increased. A Six Sigma program is initiated to address these urgent issues and to prepare for future issues.

At a briefing, middle managers learn that the major business targets (and big Ys) are to reduce costs and customer complaints at plant A. Local management at plant A is asked to take steps within given budgets to meet the new targets.

After receiving Six Sigma awareness training and participating in workshops to learn basic tools and better understand their jobs within the overall program, the local managers now know that after accepting their business assignments, they must move from the business level into the process level and become process owners seeking process improvement potential.

Figure 2: 1-2-3 Model to 3-2-1

Figure 2: 1-2-3 Model to 3-2-1

Instead of launching massive improvement projects with broadly stated goals, the new process owners work together in a team to drill down from the original business issues to discover the individual process problems. To do this, they use their dashboard process performance results and other high level data as well as standard Six Sigma tools such as voice of the customer research and SIPOC (suppliers, inputs, process, output, customers) diagrams in a form of pre-analysis.

The pre-analysis identifies a series of little-y issues such as employee discipline (e.g., absenteeism), slow cycle times, high product defect rates and machine downtimes. These, in turn, are causing plant A’s high costs at the big Y level. After prioritizing these problems and identifying the corresponding processes that require immediate attention, individual project charters are drafted to address them. These are then distributed to Black Belt candidates, who are about to begin their training. They are then asked to form a team and formally kick off their assigned projects to validate the root causes for the well-defined y-variables.

Depending on the number of Black Belts available, finding all the potential for achieving the full business goal of reduced costs at plant A could take one or two years. But the project pipeline is now flowing. And a system (Figure 2) has been put in place to implement Six Sigma further down in the organization.

Conclusion: Another 1-2-3

Three key factors for Six Sigma project success are:

  1. Define projects in the processes themselves – not on the balance sheet or in the boardroom – to provide project leaders with suitable starting points.
  2. Improvement projects should address specific problems within limited scopes in order to avoid overwhelming resources and overextending project timelines.
  3. Engage middle management as the program is being deployed and, in the long run, have the process owner doing the pre-analysis work as the main link – or translator – between business imperatives and process issues.

Mining for Lost Gold in the Transactional Environment

Searching for lost gold in the transactional environments that are major components of all organizations is a Six Sigma imperative. A number of ways are available for successfully mining transactional processes, thereby reaping significant savings.

Transactional- or service-focused Black Belts and Green Belts address problems which center on the elimination of process chaos. Transactional chaos results in long wait times, missed deadlines and reactionary, expensive firefighting. Finding the culprit of lost time and money is the objective.

Most metrics in a service organization are based on averages (average wait time, average audit days, mean claims processed). This view can lead to a false sense of security that the process is working properly when, in actuality, there is significant rework and variation causing chaos to those involved in the process. To the point: If a person has one hand in boiling water and one hand in a block of ice, on average, their hand temperature is comfortable. Extreme variation in process time can be more devastating than a consistently lengthy process.

If time equals money, then time variation equals gold. Finding the root cause or causes that drive process variation is finding Six Sigma gold. For example, if order-to-delivery time which varies from between two and eight days can be improved to a consistent four days, every link in the supply chain can reduce their safety stock, advise their customers correctly of the arrival time, plan their staffing, reduce expensive expediting and focus more on core tasks.

Cycle of Measurement and Analysis

What is the best way to go about finding and mining lost gold? Within the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology, there is a repetitive cycle of measurement and analysis. This is a productive cycle, as it helps identify the areas that could be causing a problem and eliminates others that do not correlate with the failure. Using the following steps to mine for the culprit(s) has proven effective:

  1. Hypothesize
  2. Graph and test
  3. Reject or select
  4. Repeat or complete

Hypothesize – Usually it is easy to get people who are involved in the process to hypothesize why there is so much variation. To capture all these insights, a cause-and-effect diagram – affectionately referred to as a fishbone diagram – can be used to identify and categorize as many potential causes as possible. In subsequent reviews, consensus should be reached on the probable causes. If casual identification is difficult, the potential causes should be weighed for the following factors: potential (likelihood of it happening), impact (severity if it does happen) and frequency (how often it could happen). These numbers multiplied together will help prioritize what to check first.

Graph and Test –These potential root causes (hypotheses) need to be investigated to determine if they are legitimate causes. The first step is to graph data collected around the potential cause and look for something to jump off the page. Since newly trained Green Belts and Black Belts are overwhelmed with a lot of new information and new tools, a quick reference guide like the one below helps in choosing the right tool.


Recommended Tool

What to Look for

Time-related cause (seasonality)

Run Chart

Trends (up, down, patterns, spikes)
One or more categories or departments are causing the failure

Pareto Chart

80/20 Rule (one or two major drivers)
One or more of the process steps are causing the failure

Box Plot

Tall boxes (indicates high variation)
High boxes (indicates high mean)
The interaction of two inputs is causing the failure

Scatter Plot

Grouping around a 45-degree angle

Reject or Select – Using these graphical tools gives the first indication of whether a potential cause should be eliminated from consideration. In addition to these visual determinations, if a finding is questionable, there are mathematical tests such as a two-sample t-test that will determine if the identified cause is statistically different enough from other possibilities. With these tools, a project team will begin to reject some of its theories and select others to investigate further.

Repeat or Complete – As necessary, a project team will repeat the process until the investigation is complete and the deeply buried cause is found.

An Example of Successful Mining

Below is a real-life example of this measure-analyze investigation loop. It is based on investigating the potential causes of large variation in processing time: 1) commodity difference, 2) seasonality and 3) departmentdifference.




Some commodities take longer (Figure 1)


No difference between commodities (fairly flat chart) – reject hypothesis
Certain times of the year there are more claims to process, increasing time (Figure 2)


No indication that busy time of year is when processing takes long (flat run chart) – reject hypothesis
Some departments have more variation than others (Figure 3)


Two of six departments had much larger variation (taller boxes) – initially accept, statistically test, dig deeper
Difference between two methods of processing within the department (Figure 4)


One of two methods has a much higher mean (box higher on the left axis) – initially accept, statistically test, dig deeper
When Method 1 (automated database) fails to import all open claims the first time, claims remain open until the next batch


Statistically significant difference between claims imported and claims remaining for next batch – accept, found gold!

Figure 1: Errors by Commodity – No Significant Differences

Figure 1: Errors by Commodity - No Significant Differences

Figure 2: Claim Process Time – No Obvious Seasonal Impact

Figure 2: Claim Process Time - No Obvious Seasonal Impact

Figure 3: Department Variation – B and C Vary Significantly (Investigate)

Figure 3: Department Variation - B and C Vary Significantly (Investigate)

Figure 4: Difference Between Two Methods of Processing

Figure 4: Difference Between Two Methods of Processing

The automated claims process was reprogrammed to capture all open claims. This improved the average processing time and significantly reduced the variation of all claims processed across departments. This reduced phone inquiries, the need for expediting, manual overrides and a lot of frustration.

Conclusion: Guidance, Practice and Tenacity

Fluid use of the available Six Sigma tools does not have to be difficult. It just takes a good guide, practice and tenacity. Going after process time variability is like going after a huge gold mine that everyone else has been ignoring. The results will be eliminating fluctuations that were previously deemed “normal business,” identifying opportunities to reduce rework, improving internal and external customer satisfaction, and preparing the organization to look at other areas of opportunity.

Master Black Belt JOB- Operations Manager


Mandatory requirements : (Supply Chain Domain) 
Functional experience Drive improvement initiatives through teams
Experience on driving automation projects. (preferably not limiting to opportunity identification)
Domain knowledge is an added advantage Digital Services
Team leading experience
Leadership presence

Preferred Skills
Six Sigma Master Black Belt with good knowledge of Lean practices
Strong Knowledge of Quality Principles and Techniques essential
Needs to have worked in a BPO Operational Excellence (or similar) function
Certification in Lean and other quality practices added advantage
Strong communication and presentation skills

Position Objectives
1. Drive Improvement projects on processes to improve
Improve SLA performance
2. Interact with client/ internal stakeholders to drive and influence improvement objectives
3. Lead a global projects in OE
4. People manager for a team
5. Drives the OE program for a client/ clients in a site/ across sites
6. Acts as a mentor to Six Sigma and Lean projects for his influence

Salary: INR 17,00,000 – 27,50,000 P.A.
Industry: BPO / Call Centre / ITES
Functional Area: ITES, BPO, KPO, LPO, Customer Service, Operations
Role Category: Operations
Role: Operations Manager
Employment Type: Permanent Job, Full Time
Keyskills: Six Sigma, Lean Master Black Belt, Business Excellence Operations, Operational Excellence, People Management Team, Leading Supply Chain, Opportunity Identification.

Prince 2 job- Project Manager

Functional Skills:
Understanding of different software development methodologies (Waterfall, Agile, etc.) advanced level
Demonstrated experience in IT Service Management and Cloud computing domains intermediate level
Articulate the BMC Global Services approach and benefits of BMC solutions – intermediate level

Technical Skills:
Microsoft Project – advanced level
Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint – advanced level
OpenAir – advanced level
Knowledge of effective use of SharePoint basic level

Soft Skills:
Communications oral and written – listens and communicates effectively advanced level
Customer relationship management influencing, conflict resolution, problem solving, negotiating advanced level
Organization, time management advanced level
Attention to detail advanced level
Business acumen, analytical and problem solving skills advanced level
Interpersonal and coordination skills advanced level

Qualifications / Certifications:
o Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
o PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
o PRINCE 2 Practitioner or other formal training in Project Management methodology (may be optional if PMP certified)
o ITIL v3 Foundation
o BMC Excellence badge
o Knowledge of BMC solutions and the ability to articulate – BMC product certification recommended

It is the policy of BMC Software to afford equal opportunity for employment to all individuals regardless of race, color, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, history of disability, ancestry, citizenship status, political affiliation. BMC Software helps leading companies around the world put technology at the forefront of business transformation, improving the delivery and consumption of digital services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC delivers innovative IT management solutions that have enabled more than 15,000 customers to leverage complex technology into extraordinary business performance – increasing their agility and exceeding anything they previously thought possible. BMC Software.
It’s amazing what IT was meant to be.

Salary: Not Disclosed by Recruiter
Industry: IT-Software / Software Services
Functional Area: IT Software – Application Programming, Maintenance
Role Category: Project Management
Role: Project Manager-IT/Software
Employment Type: Permanent Job, Full Time
Keyskills: Project Management, PMP, Prince2, PMI, ITIL, Project Communications, PMO, Project Scheduling, Project Delivery, Project Governance.

Lean Six Sigma A3 Process Keeps Problem Solving Organized


When problem solving, staying in an organized systematic path is extremely important, otherwise new issues could arise. That’s why the Lean Six Sigma approach called A3 is so genius. Basically, the A3 process is a structured template for solving problems in a continuous matter.

The A3 approach is also known as SPS, which stands for Systematic Problem Solving. This approach is based on the principals of PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act).

The reason for the A3 approach is to provide structure to problem solving, and helps determine what caused the problem.

A3 Process of Problem Solving

Background: Select an issue you want to resolve. State how this issue impacts your business, your customers, and processes, and of course your bottom line or financials.

Problem Statement: Make a detailed statement of the issue. Quantify exact issue and define detailed specifics so that the impact of the issue is communicated to others.

Goal Statement: Make a goal statement and what you want to accomplish by taking on this A3 project. You can map out what exact goals you will accomplish. Include timeframe for accomplishing this goal.

Root Cause Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis as to what might be causing this particular issue.

Countermeasures: These are the steps that you are going to take to make the necessary changes. Make sure you are addressing the root causes that you have found.

Develop the New Target State: Illustrate how you will address the root causes of the issue. You will use a diagram on how the newly proposed process will work. When communicating your countermeasures, make sure you note the projected or expected improvements.

Implementation Plan: This is your well-thought out workable plan. Include a list of actions that need to get done so that the countermeasures can take place and improvement can be obtained.

Follow-up Plan: This is to make sure that the target goal was met. Check on it at a regularly scheduled time to make sure the target has been met.

Discuss with Affected Parties: You must communicate all changes to those it affected and see how the progress has improved. Here is where concerns should be addressed if there are any.

Get Approval: Make sure everyone is onboard with the new plan.

Implementation: Execute the new implementation plan.

Evaluate the Results: Measure the results and make sure you hit your goal if you haven’t hit it.

Your goal is to then repeat implementation plan until the goal is met.