- What should I implement and when?
- Will it help?
- How much will it help?
- Does it really matter?
- Shouldn’t I just implement all “best practices”
- These age old questions probably date back to Socrates.
These age old questions probably date back to Socrates. How many of us ask these questions when we get to implementing our team’s good ideas? Often we only concern ourselves with gaining the team’s consensus, not a majority vote, more like “I can live with that” type of philosophy. Sometimes, these questions keep us up at night – if we’re doing our job right! Don’t get me wrong, team consensus is an important part of the process, VERY important!
None the less, these questions ALL need to be answered before we get to actual implementation and should be part of the team consensus building process. So, the real question to be asked is, “How much confidence do we need to have before we implement,” or rather, how much analysis is enough?
Years ago when asked what I did for a living, I used to reply, “I answer expensive questions.” It’s not hard putting together a Cost Benefit Analysis or an ROI and comparing them. I’m talking about the real hard, complex systems design with different combinations and permutations that are not quite as easily put together. This is where Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) comes into play. One should use the best of DFSS when you can’t afford to be wrong the first time. We each have capital in play, not just financial capital but also political capital. This is when you need your “big guns” so to speak. No one will deny that DFSS is a robust, systematic, customer-oriented design but how does one get that kind of a design especially the first time right out of the blocks?
Whether we’re using Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify (DMADV) or DMDOV (Define-Measure-Design-Optimize-Verify) the best tool in the Six-Sigma or Lean Toolbox is in my humble opinion… wait for it ………… Process Simulation. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the only tool that can accurately determine process variation and performance with Six-Sigma accuracy. I’m not saying that it should be our only tool but when we absolutely, positively must get it right the first time, it is the preferred tool of choice. FMEA, DOE, SPC or any of the other tools won’t get us there with Six-Sigma accuracy in predicted system performance.
I want to quickly go over the questions above and rank simulation’s potential to answer the question.
|Question||Rank out of 5 Stars|
|What should I implement and when?||5 stars|
|Will it help?||5 stars|
|How much will it help?||5 stars|
|Does it really matter?||5 stars|
|Shouldn’t I just implement all “best practices”||Please, never do this.|
However, there is a lot of bad simulation going on out there. If you are one of those, get help! Find a good mentor! Do a project or two together and learn what makes simulation bad and good! Find out what makes Simulation a Six-Sigma capable tool as far as accuracy is concerned. We’ll answer that another day!