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Monday, May 18, 2009

Controling Many Small Changes: Taming the Culprit for Most Accidents or Failures

As changes creep upon our processes, methods and systems; we accumulate little bits of inefficiencies which eventually become large and cripple the system.

Six Sigma helps ensure continuous improvement, through the use of data collection to analyze and understand how a process works or changes. The focus in this case is to reduce variations to processes or design ultimately leading to less defects. Common approaches to identify these variations or deltas is through the voice of the customer (VOC), quality function deployment (QFD), failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) among many others.

Lean improvement approaches can also help address change creep consequences. The focus in this case is more on waste minimization and elimination. Common approaches are value stream analysis, the five S, Kaizen events, just in time, work standardization and error proofing.


Picture: The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt. Image depicts delta erosion.

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