Bottlenecks are indefinite and arise when they are least expected. They are some undesired factors, which can slow down a fully-equipped smoothly running process. It annoys people to discover errors in processes, but little do they realize is this – If there are no bottlenecks, how else would you ever polish and fix those processes?
Six Sigma Against Bottlenecks
Having a vision before implementing a process is ideal, but errors can show us the shortcomings and potential issues. Great business leaders are capable of overcoming those shortcomings using Six Sigma. Six Sigma’s DMAIC technique is a distinct and straightforward process. This allows various industries to eliminate errors from certain processes and reach near perfection as close as 99.9999%. That clearly means- Zero Errors.
What Can DMAIC Do to Get Rid of Bottlenecks?
How can one identify bottlenecks in a process and create an absolute error-free environment in any industry? Switch to Six Sigma and see for yourself. But before you do that, let us show you how it’s done using DMAIC:
The first phase will define the problem, in our case – bottlenecks. In the manufacturing industry or any other industry, whenever a process breaks down, people start looking for what went wrong. This is when you comprehend that particular bottleneck in order to devise right solutions. Other than that, this phase will also involve envisaging overall project goals and discerning areas for improvement.
The primary focus of this phase is data collection to understand the extent of the damage caused by a bottleneck. Next, Six Sigma professionals will have a project charter prepared based on the gathered data to determine existing process standards. The data obtained helps them in setting goals and performance guidelines.
This phase is designed to analyze the bottlenecks and factors getting affected by those bottlenecks. In some cases, the entire process suffers due to one bottleneck. So, the ideal choice would be to first analyze how broken the process is. Once you find a solution, it needs analysis too, so that the implementation doesn’t cause any distress to other existing processes. But people usually spend a lot of time and resources in analyzing the solutions and forget to analyze the root cause, which may cause some negative impacts to solution implementation later.
Before you begin implementing the aforementioned solution, it’s always a good idea to have backup solutions just in case the first solution falls apart. These are called fallbacks. During the implement phase, evaluate your multiple diverse solutions to the problem and begin implementing the one that fits the best. Sometimes you may have to try implementing more than one solution to have a more aligned process, which is why you should always be ready to improvise. Also, people always perform a test case first by implementing different solutions to be able to implement the right solution later for significant performance improvement.
The best case scenario is to find out the right solution or simply eradicate that bottleneck; whichever method works best for your process.
The work doesn’t end at solution implementation because having a consistent smooth running process to avoid bottlenecks in a timely fashion is equally critical. And this should be the ultimate goal. In this phase, instituting a sorted workflow for future is the best choice for having a continuous improvement culture. The established workflow needs constant monitoring by leaders handling Six Sigma projects in order to sustain it. Not to mention, no process would ever be deprived of success if we have sustainability in our processes.
The process of DMAIC for eradicating bottlenecks from the existing system is an idea for bringing success to the business. Six Sigma’s ability to be implemented in any industry or process is what makes it unique.