What You Need to Know About Pyzdek Institute LLC

The Pyzdek Institute is an accredited organization that offers online as well as coached Six Sigma training and certification. The institution is culmination of Thomas Pyzdek decades of work involving process excellence activities and Lean Six Sigma. Pyzdek has authored several books widely regarded as authoritative sources in process excellence. These books include; The Six Sigma Handbook, The Handbook of Quality Management, as well as The Quality Engineering Handbook. With a career within the quality management industry spanning over 45 years, Pyzdek is undoubtedly an expert in the field.

Online training platform

The Pyzdek Institute runs the online repository of quality and process improvement information SixSigmaTraining.com. The portal contains a catalog of published work by Pyzdek as well as a host of other experts in quality and process improvement. Unlike many other online training platforms, the information, video tutorials and other resources on the website are free of charge. The site doesn’t require any registration to gain access and encourages a significant level of interaction thanks to integration with various social media platforms.

Courses offered and accreditation

The Pyzdek Institute has received certifications from The International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC) as well as The Council for Six Sigma Certification to provide all levels of Lean Six Sigma certification. The institution has tailor-made training programs, offered either as self-study online packages or on coached basis.  The training leads to certification starting from white belt, yellow belt, green belt and finally culminates to black belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. Get in touch with us now for more details.

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From ‘The New Guy’ to Industry Champion with Six Sigma Training

Welcome to the first day of your new career. Your manager is taking you on the introduction circuit around the office, and you notice his introductions all include mention of colored belts. For example, “He’s our Master Black Belt.” or “She’s a Green Belt Candidate.” and you cannot figure out why so many people at your new office are into taekwondo. Of course you are too embarrassed to ask, so once you arrive home that evening you do a quick search online and discover it’s not taekwondo—it’s Six Sigma.

Six Sigma TrainingAfter a few clicks, you may wonder how your company can employ Six Sigma technique into its day-to-day practices. After all, your industry is accounting, publishing, health-care, government, etc., and the design of the Six Sigma approach is for manufacturing.

At its core, Six Sigma aims to make incremental improvements to processes in order to reduce defects and variance and to minimize the number of pain points that result in rework or the stoppage of work at the desk level. With this definition in mind, understanding the use of these technique across a variety of industries is much easier.

Does your industry want to reduce rework? Yes.

Does your industry want to move their product, whether it be intellectual property or medications to a patient, in the smoothest way without delay? Yes.

If your first day experience is similar to the one described above, the good news is your company has already embraced Six Sigma. The even better news is that with Six Sigma Training you can develop the tools and skills to not only become a better teammate to your co-workers, but an agile champion within your industry in removing roadblocks and streamlining processes to provide better quality products to your customers, both internal and external.

For more information on Six Sigma Training and Certification, whether you are brand new to Six Sigma and just learning the vocabulary or ready to lead your own projects, contact us for all your Six Sigma needs.

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Advantage Aviation Technologies (AAT) Integrates Lean Six Sigma Management Process Improvement Protocols With Great Success

Nine months after the initial launch, lean six sigma practices are now integral in every step of the manufacturing process at Advantage Aviation Technologies. Customer responses, data research, workforce feedback, and efficiencies reporting have all played an important role in the process improvement efforts. The company reports an increase in production, improved product quality, and stronger internal communications.

14603299198_4a610288cfAdvantage Aviation Technologies out of Dallas, Texas has recently announced the implementation and execution of lean six sigma management process improvement protocols.

Advantage Aviation Technologies is the industry leader in manufacturing technologies and processes that improve the performance of aviation and aerospace components in the commercial, general, and business markets.  The company operates a full-service repair and fabrication facility and has been in business for over 25 years.

The implementation of lean six sigma practices was started in January 2015.  The company hoped the introduction of lean six sigma would optimize performance, increase efficiency, and ultimately increase client satisfaction.  President Dennis Moore explained the company’s interest in adopting new process improvement protocols, saying, “The lean and six sigma system is critical for any company doing business in today’s manufacturing climate. This is especially true in the highly technical, quality and time sensitive aviation industry environment.”

Nine months after the initial launch, lean six sigma practices are now integral in every step of the manufacturing process at Advantage Aviation Technologies.  Customer responses, data research, workforce feedback, and efficiencies reporting have all played an important role in the process improvement efforts.  The company reports an increase in production, improved product quality, and stronger internal communications.

Reflecting on the benefits of implementing lean six sigma practices, Moore revealed that the company will be sticking with lean for the long haul, saying, “The lean process is an ongoing and comprehensive commitment.”  He credited lean six sigma with providing the foundation for the company’s standard of quality in production and is certain lean practices will play an important role in future growth.

No matter what industry you are involved in, lean six sigma can help your company realize its full potential and maintain the highest standard of excellence.  Visit our online store or contact us to learn more about lean six sigma training.

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City of Phoenix creates Lean Six Sigma ‘Lean Team’

More organizations continue to recognize the value of Lean Six Sigma training for their employees, and it’s not just in the private sector. All types of organizations can benefit from this methodology. Phoenix, Arizona is one of the newer government entities to adopt this comprehensive process improvement strategy.

iStock_000006187283XSmallMore organizations continue to recognize the value of Lean Six Sigma training for their employees, and it’s not just in the private sector.    All types of organizations can benefit from this methodology. Phoenix, Arizona is one of the newer government entities to adopt this comprehensive process improvement strategy.  The city’s Finance, Efficiency, Economy and Sustainability subcommittee recently voted unanimously to create a team of Lean Six Sigma experts to help make their city run more efficiently.

According to Mario Paniagua, deputy city manager, between 20 and 25 employees would be trained in the Lean Six Sigma strategies to create a “Lean Team”. This new Lean Team would help improve city processes and efficiency in different departments of the government by going out and helping them streamline their processes.  Cost estimates for developing this team are between $50,000 and $60,000.

Lean Six Sigma combines the business improvement methodologies of Lean with Six Sigma. Toyota originally developed Lean in the 1970’s with a focus on waste-elimination and the flow of value. Motorola originated Six Sigma in the 1980’s as a comprehensive approach to process improvement.  Both of these proven methodologies are combined in Lean Six Sigma to provide even more problem-solving techniques and tools.

Paniagua explained “Lean Six Sigma is actually a combination of processes. It’s about process improvement and making the city better for our citizens.”

The city looked at the successes of other cities and government organizations when choosing to implement Lean Six Sigma.  Melissa Sweinhagen, deputy public transit director, cited the successes of Lane County in Oregon, Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Washington Department of Licensing, and Hartford, Connecticut.

With any type of change, employees are sometimes concerned about losing their jobs.  District 3 Councilman and committee chair, Bill Gates, said “It’s not about reducing positions at all.  It’s about making the processes better, and we have a lot of processes in this organization as the sixth largest city.”

If you are looking for training, certification, and consulting programs to help you or your organization learn the tools of Lean Six Sigma please. contact us at The Pyzdek Institute.

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Research Center Benefits from Process Improvements

One successful example of Lean Six Sigma implementation focused on an AMRDEC process that had already been studied from an engineering perspective and was thought to be essentially waste-free. When AMRDEC engineers trained in Lean Six Sigma reviewed the process, they were able to introduce improvements resulting in a 98% time avoidance and a cost avoidance of over $7.5 million over a six-year period.

In an effort to eliminate waste, save money, and improve overall business processes,  the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) has implemented Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) measures that include Lean Six Sigma and Value Engineering tools.  The research center has benefited greatly from these process improvement measures, ultimately improving service to its aviation and missile customers.

According to the United States Army website, AMRDEC is the Army’s focal point for providing research, development, and engineering technology and services for aviation and missile platforms.  The center’s mission is to “deliver collaborative and innovative technical capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, product development, and life cycle systems engineering solutions in order to equip the Warfighter with the best technology today and tomorrow.”

Thanks to the introduction of Lean Six Sigma and Value Engineering practices, AMRDEC has been able to reduce obsolete items, decrease maintenance costs, and ensure product availability.

Reflecting on the success of process improvement measures, Susan Cole, director of the CPI Division at Army Material Command, said, “The Lean Six Sigma and Value Engineering tools yield financial benefits through cost savings and cost avoidance ultimately resulting in reduced depot/arsenal rates and improved equipment readiness.”

In fact, in 2014, AMRDEC reported $25 million in fiscal savings and cost avoidance, a stunning 215% of their anticipated $13 million goal.

AMRDEC Director James Lackey emphasized the importance of CPI, saying, “In an era of budget downturn, we must capitalize on efficiency of all of our operations.  Having CPI skill sets is important for AMRDEC to keep the lean focus.”

One successful example of Lean Six Sigma implementation focused on an AMRDEC process that had already been studied from an engineering perspective and was thought to be essentially waste-free.  When AMRDEC engineers trained in Lean Six Sigma reviewed the process, they were able to introduce improvements resulting in a 98% time avoidance and a cost avoidance of over $7.5 million over a six-year period.

Melissa Hildreth, an AMRDEC general engineer and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, worked on this project and was full of praise for the CPI methods utilized.  She explained, “CPI tools make us valuable and viable to the customer.  When you can help them become leaner, produce better products and services at a reduced cost, you become invaluable to the consumer, customer and ultimately the warfighter.”

Want to make your business more valuable and viable to customers, too?  Contact us to learn how Lean Six Sigma training can benefit your company!

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Yes, process improvement is vital to business success

Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two powerful and proven tools for process improvement. Lean improves organizational performance by eliminating waste from processes. Six Sigma uses statistical methods to reduce variations in the process.

Recently, the Marietta Daily Journal posted an opinion piece from Six Sigma black belt, Bill Bailey, in which he discussed how process improvement is vital to business success. Here are a few take-away points from that discussion.

  • Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two powerful and proven tools for process improvement. Lean improves organizational performance by eliminating waste from processes. Six Sigma uses statistical methods to reduce variations in the process. While neither is focuses on reducing costs, cost reductions are generally the by-product of waste elimination and variation reduction.
  • The need for process improvement in universal. Though Lean Six Sigma was originally developed for the manufacturing industry, it is a highly adaptable methodology for organizations, small and large, of all industries.
  • Lean Six Sigma changes an organization’s culture from gut-instinct reactions to a reliance on data and analysis. This project-driven strategy helps improve the quality of your products or services, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and an improved bottom line.
  • Lean Six Sigma certifications are offered at different belt levels. An individual certified as a yellow belt is equipped with basic improvement tools and a knowledge of the Lean Six Sigma methodology in order to assist green and black belt-led projects. A green belt has the ability to lead a department-level team or serve on a higher level team. A black belt is fully trained in the methodology and capable for leading a company-wide team.
  • Lean Six Sigma certification is highly recommended for anyone in your organization who is responsible for process improvement, including managers, engineers, and other team members.

For more information about Lean Six Sigma or to begin equipping your staff with these vital tools for business success, contact us.

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Is there room for improvement on your farm? Experts say yes.

He is just one of a number of consultants and experts who are turning to process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma in order to help farmers do what they do better.

Farms are getting larger and the processes are getting more complex with the addition of more regulations and the need to get more done with less money, in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. According to a recent article from CountryGuide, it begs the question of farming operations: Is there room for improvement on your farm?

Yes, says Dick Wittman, an Idaho farmer and consultant and also a teacher of process improvement for Texas A&M University’s program for agricultural producers. He is just one of a number of consultants and experts who are turning to process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma in order to help farmers do what they do better.

Wittman’s program stresses the importance of formal, step-by-step processes through standard operating procedures. Not only do these formal processes help to prevent on-the-job accidents, but they also allow for evaluation. By breaking the processes down into these step-by-step pieces in order to determine if they’re valuable to streamlining the information, improving production or quality, or saving time.

Finding efficiencies, evaluating them, and implementing them are, in the words of Wittman, “the highest payback for management and time.” Wittman takes a class of farmers — a group that generally likes to grow stuff more than it likes writing stuff down — and helps them to realize the importance of formal processes. Through documentation, repetitive jobs can be evaluated to determine if the tasks can be done in a more efficient, safer, more economical way.

Standard Operating Procedures, the article notes, provide a great way to remember how to do tasks that are only done once in a while. Additionally, in a farming business, they can be used as a checklist for rewards and consequences. Some of the farming functions that Wittman recommends developing a list of operating procedures for include office functions; harvest and equipment operations and servicing; crop agronomic practices; fuel and farm supply and storage; worker safety guidelines; food safety practices; herd health and stock-handling procedures; and value-added market access and certification.

Does Lean Six Sigma work for farming businesses? Yes. It works for any business looking to improve its efficiency and reduce errors. For more information, contact us.

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Lean Six Sigma: Implementing Process Improvement

The question here leans towards the reason why a firm should invest heavily in recording and analyzing process data.

Lean Six Sigma and the profitable process improvement in businesses go hand in hand especially where the main objective is to ramp up on productivity. The harsh economic downturn made it more important to look for methods to do more tasks with little resources. This is where the proven Lean Six Sigma concepts made their entry into the corporate platform. The model was quickly assimilated into various departments including accounting and other professional segments.

The most used of the six fundamental Lean Six Sigma concepts that have been resourceful is the manufacturing sector. Lean denotes the importance of executing task but with minimal resources while the Six Sigma model incorporates the principles of troubleshooting to increase profit. This involves upgrading service and product quality and avoiding operational discrepancies. The two form the best combination that enhances efficient, excellent and streamlined results.

With many businesses, there is a tendency to go for short term gratification in terms of productivity. Managers are always looking for the smalltime adjustments that will bring quick success within the firm’s processes. It is normal to ignore the long-term process adjustments since they take time to mature and show results. With process improvement and the Lean Six Sigma reinforcement, it is easy to devise processes that will allow the firm to priorities long term projects.

Clients versus Processes?

Clients in a company are superficially unaware of the process within the company. The question here leans towards the reason why a firm should invest heavily in recording and analyzing process data. However, it is through streamlining the standards, documenting and reporting that the firm is able to keep standards consistently. The three steps thus lead to improved results which is actually the biggest worry on a client’s point of view. It is foolhardy to detach clients from processes and results in any venture.

Tunnel visualization

Every staff member has a specific role cut out for him/her. The tendency to allow routine dictate individual attitudes can be a disaster when planning process improvement. Managers need to think outside the box if the environment within the firm shows such tendencies. The need to reinforce completeness and efficacy can only be supported by proper documentation.

Process improvement procedure

While documenting a process, the first step should be identifying a common grouping of activities that support each other to give the best quality to clients. From here, you will need to document the process at hand and analyze it fully to understand the dynamics involved. If you have devised a new process format, consider raising awareness on what needs to be done. Finally, implement the basics of the new process as the standard way of executing tasks within the company. If the process improvement is well organized and supported by Lean Six Sigma ideals, the company should experience a complete turnaround in operations and productivity. If you have to hire a process improvement guru, it will be handy until the new process is well adapted by your workforce. Further, you can subscribe to the concept with the Thomas Pyzdek website. Contact us and learn more.

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Theory of Constraints and Flexible Processes

Constraint Illustrated
Step 2 is a Constraint

I was asked by a student to explain constraint management and flexible processes, with simple examples. Here is my response.

Very briefly, the theory of constraints (TOC) is based on the premise that in any sequence of process steps, or on a larger scale any sequence of processes in a value stream, there is one step or one process that limits the throughput of the entire process or value stream. (For simplicity I will use the term “process” for both multi-step processes and multi-process value streams.) This “bottleneck” requires special treatment. In addition, the way in which constraints are handled has an impact on the choice of Six Sigma projects, as described in this article.

Flexible processes are arrangements of inputs (space, equipment, people and materials) that can be quickly reconfigured to produce a variety of different outputs (products or services) and quantities in response to changing customer demand. Ideally a flexible process will use only a limited amount of specialized equipment and the personnel will possess the skill sets needed to adapt to the different process configurations. Flexible process design is at the heart of Lean production. Compared with mass production processes, flexible processes use less capital, fewer employees and a smaller area to produce a given amount of output.

The coming together of TOC and flexible process design occurs when TOC principles are applied to the management of flexible processes. That is, once a set of inputs is configured to form a given process, the process designer considers the 5 steps of TOC and prepares a process management plan that incorporates this. The 5 steps are:

  1. Identify the system’s constraint(s).
  2. Decide how to exploit the system’s constraint(s).
  3. Subordinate everything else to the decision made in step 2.
  4. Elevate the system’s constraint(s).
  5. If, in the previous steps, a constraint has been broken, go back to step 1.

I.e., each process configuration is a new system and the constraint will likely be different for each configuration. Process improvement and Six Sigma project selection depends on knowing which process step is the constraint and managing the constraint as well as process steps prior to and subsequent to the constraint properly, as discussed here. This article shows a simple example of a process with a constraint and describes how knowing which step is the constraint impacts process management and process improvement activities.

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Successful Companies Understand the Strength of Using Lean Six Sigma throughout the Organization

When organizations today look for ways to get back in the game in this post-recession economy, many realize they lack the processes, discipline, and culture to embrace meaningful innovation continuously, according to the IBM executive brief, “Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma.” 

Moreover, organizations that found the most success aimed beyond merely operational improvements and sought innovation throughout the enterprise. Their goal was to create a company culture in which innovation was instinctive. And Lean Six Sigma had a major impact beyond process improvement and cost reduction. In fact, this perspective was seen as “shortsighted.” 

The leading companies we studied are proving that the Lean Six Sigma approach has applications far beyond process improvement; they are using it to innovate in all areas of their businesses – their operations, their products and services and even their business models. 

Traditionally, Lean Six Sigma has offered operational assistance in areas such as:

  • Reduced lead time
  • Reduced material waste
  • Increased value-added processes
  • Reduced labor costs

However, Lean Six Sigma offers companies the opportunity to rethink their entire business and create a more innovative environment, according to the IBM executive brief. Specifically, the organizations highlighted in the brief found success through:

  • Strong leadership. When there was “a high degree of CEO commitment and a top-down corporate deployment approach,” teams saw the impact of their efforts and how they contributed to the whole
  • The ripple effect. Innovation in one area of the business led to a “transformation in another”
  • Factual discovery. Instead of relying on “guesses and assumptions” companies gained insight into areas that required improvements

Ultimately, the common characteristics shared by these successful companies included:

  • An innovation vision based on factual customer and market insights
  • Leadership committed to perpetual innovation
  • Alignment across the extended enterprise
  • Organizational capabilities that made innovation habitual

Clearly, Lean Six Sigma approaches can significantly affect innovation throughout business operations. It’s just a matter of whether or not your organization is ready to take the next step.

For further information on Lean Six Sigma and the training programs we have available, contact us today.

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