Define the problem and the goal. We cannot improve what we do not understand, nor can we improve if we fail to define "better."
Measure the output. Clearly define how you will measure the defects...how will you know if it is better? This doesn't always need to be a hard measurement, but it should be clear and consistent.
Analyze the root cause(s). What inputs are truly leading to the defects?
Improve the process. Seek methods to control special cause variation and eliminate common cause variation.
Control. Stay aware of changes by consistently measuring for changes in the process. Constantly seek new improvements.
Attila Dobai is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Project Management Professional (PMP). He holds an Advanced Master’s Certificate from Villanova University in Lean Six Sigma with a special concentration in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence.
He has 14-years of experience in a Fortune 500 business leading international continuous improvement projects, programs, and portfolios. He has been interviewed as a thought leader and written about continuous improvement in media such as the Gemba Academy podcast and the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Attila is available for comment on continuous improvement, business intelligence and analytics, and strategy execution. He can be reached by e-mail: Attila@Dobai.com or by visiting Dobai.com.