Before implementing a Six Sigma project, it is advisable to prepare a roadmap often known as the Master Deployment Plan. The plan can be designed and divided into four phases: Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control, acronymized as MAIC. These phases are described as follows:
Table of Content
- 1 MAIC Six Sigma
- 1.1 Measure Phase
- 1.2 Analyse Phase
- 1.2.1 Define Business Goals based on the Organization’s Strategic Plans
- 1.2.2 Evaluate Existing Process’s Performance
- 1.2.3 Identify Six Sigma Improvement Projects
- 1.2.4 Define Key Performance Indicators for All the Six Sigma Projects
- 1.2.5 Create a Reward and Recognition System
- 1.2.6 Form a Quality Service Team
- 1.3 Improve Phase
- 1.4 Control Phase
MAIC Six Sigma
The role of the top management does not end just by initiating the Six Sigma project in the organization. In fact, throughout the project life cycle, management support is a critical success factor in the Six Sigma project. Just after initiating the Six Sigma process, the organization should undertake activities to develop a commitment to and create awareness about the necessity of quality improvement. It is at this point that the organization starts designing and deploying the required infrastructure. Some important aspects of the Measure phase are:
Establish Leadership, Involvement, and Commitment of The Management
To ensure the success of the Six Sigma effort, the top management should allocate all the resources necessary for the project apart from providing their commitment to project implementation. The management commitment should continue till the project is completed. The top management must also allocate a management champion to lead the project.
Further, the top management must communicate to the entire organization that the person appointed as the management champion has been given the authority and responsibility of the entire Six Sigma project, and all project members must provide all the possible support to him/her.
Create the Six Sigma Core Team
The top management needs to create a core project team headed by the management champion. The core team is entrusted with the task of planning, developing, executing, and managing Six Sigma implementation.
On-board External Quality Consultants When Required
Organizations that do not have internal Six Sigma SMEs may seek assistance from experienced outside consultants for Six Sigma implementation. These consultants usually coach the core team and provide necessary training to all Six Sigma project participants related to system deployment, project management, and utilization of quality tools.
Provide Six Sigma Deployment Training
It is highly recommended that the representatives of the top management and the core team members should get familiarised with the Six Sigma methodology and its advantages. The core team should also attend the training sessions related to the development, deployment, and management of six Sigma projects.
Schedule Periodic Top Management Reviews
During the preliminary stages of the Six Sigma project, the top management should review the project frequently. At a later stage, the project team should keep the top management informed about the project’s progress. It should also reiterate its commitment to the Six Sigma project effort and spread it to the remaining organization.
The Analysis phase focuses on identifying gaps between the current process performance and business objectives. It is important to convert these gaps into continuous improvement projects and establish a system for supporting the implementation of these projects. Some important aspects of the Analysis phase are as follows:
Define Business Goals based on the Organization’s Strategic Plans
The core team must be well-versed in the purpose of the organization, its hierarchical structure, and the process flows. It should also be familiar with the organization’s interface with other organizations and primary customers.
The core team shall evaluate and incorporate all relevant corporate policies and procedures within the Six Sigma Quality Management System (QMS). The core team also needs to define short-term and long-term business goals.
Evaluate Existing Process’s Performance
The core team should identify major processes that add value to products/ services supplied to end customers subsequently. A high-level gap analysis is carried out by the core team and the results of this gap analysis are reviewed by the top management.
Identify Six Sigma Improvement Projects
Based on a high-level gap analysis, the core team and the management decide the scope and objectives of Six Sigma improvement projects. Improvement projects may be related to process management, human resource development, training systems, customer management, vendor management, quality tools, and so on.
Define Key Performance Indicators for All the Six Sigma Projects
Based on the gap analysis, all key performance measures must be incorporated into the organizational information system. Whenever possible, the information system of the organization should be updated to include the status of individual Six Sigma projects along with the status of the overall Six Sigma implementation in the organization.
Create a Reward and Recognition System
The top management of the organization needs to design and implement new reward and recognition systems to motivate employees and keep them engaged in the overall Six Sigma implementation plan.
Form a Quality Service Team
The core team needs to create a Quality Service Team which helps in implementing the Six Sigma plan. The Quality Service Team provides training and consulting services to the Six Sigma project teams related to the use of quality tools.
At this stage, the core team needs to create Six Sigma teams for improving projects and subsequently provide relevant Six Sigma training to all team members. As the progress of the project, the management should review and monitor the status of each project periodically.
Form Six Sigma Project Teams
The core team shall identify and form as many Six Sigma project teams as required. Each Six Sigma project team has the responsibility of successfully executing the projects and achieving the stated goals.
Plan and Deliver Six Sigma Implementation Training to Project Teams
The core team develops a training plan after analyzing the training needs of all team members. The core team also has the responsibility of hiring a Six Sigma consultant or a master trainer who would provide the required training to all project members. Such training should ideally focus on providing the Six Sigma overview, MAIC discipline, and the use of quality tools.
The current processes should be evaluated by the project team and the activities described.
Monitor and Review Each Project’s Status
A communication system between project teams and the core team should be devised so that they can keep the core team updated about the activities being carried out by each Six Sigma project team. The core team should review activities periodically and provide its inputs or suggestions on an ongoing basis. The core team also provides the necessary direction and support to the project teams.
In this phase, the core team needs to evaluate and assess the success level of each project which is measured by assessing project gains after improving processes. Here, it is also important to continuously adjust the strategic plans of the business and also restart the implementation cycle.
Audit of Project Outcomes
After the project completion, the results and reports are audited by the core team, and the senior management is assured that the outcomes of the project are as expected.
Maintain the Improved Systems
The new or improved processes and systems must be made the new normal by making the necessary changes in the policies, procedures, operating instructions, and other related management systems.
Recognize and Reward the Team Members
Based on project performance, all team members should be given appropriate incentives and recognition.
Incorporate Continuous Improvement Mechanism
Revise the organization’s strategic plan and related action plans as per the project performance. Derive new Six Sigma projects based on the revised strategic plan.