Example Six Sigma projects in HR
In HR, the following types of projects are commonly carried out. The list only shows examples and is by no means exhaustive.
• Reduce the time required to hire an employee
• Improve employee on-boarding and orientation processes
• Reduce expenditures for Recruitment
• Improve timeliness and the value of employee performance reviews
• Reduce absenteeism
• Improve training efficiency
• Improve employee satisfaction
• Identify and correct retention issues
• Reduce Incentive Compensation errors
• Eliminate Overpayments to Terminated Salaried Employees
• Improving grievance handling process.
• Consolidation of employee information databases
• Integration of multiple payroll systems for remote locations
• Increase job posting hit rate
• Design of job posting templates for recruiters
• Increase retention using exit interview information
Critical To Quality – CTQ
CTQs are the internal critical quality parameters that relate to the wants and needs of the customer. They are not the same as CTCs (Critical to Customer), and the two are often confused.
CTCs are what is important to the customer; CTQs are what’s important to the quality of the process or service to ensure the things that are important to the customer.
A quality function deployment (QFD) or CTQ tree relates the CTQs to the CTCs. For instance, car door sound when closing might be a CTC, while the dimensional tolerances and cushioning needed to produce those conditions are CTQs for the auto maker.
What is FMEA-
Also called: potential failure modes and effects analysis; failure modes, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA).
Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service.
“Failure modes” means the ways, or modes, in which something might fail. Failures are any errors or defects, especially ones that affect the customer, and can be potential or actual.
“Effects analysis” refers to studying the consequences of those failures.
Failures are prioritized according to how serious their consequences are, how frequently they occur and how easily they can be detected. The purpose of the FMEA is to take actions to eliminate or reduce failures, starting with the highest-priority ones.
Failure modes and effects analysis also documents current knowledge and actions about the risks of failures, for use in continuous improvement. FMEA is used during design to prevent failures. Later it’s used for control, before and during ongoing operation of the process. Ideally, FMEA begins during the earliest conceptual stages of design and continues throughout the life of the product or service.
Begun in the 1940s by the U.S. military, FMEA was further developed by the aerospace and automotive industries. Several industries maintain formal FMEA standards.
What follows is an overview and reference. Before undertaking an FMEA process, learn more about standards and specific methods in your organization and industry through other references and training.
The Pugh Matrix is a criteria-based decision matrix which uses criteria scoring to determine which of several potential solutions or alternatives should be selected. The technique gets its name from Stuart Pugh and has become a standard part of Six Sigma methodology. It is typically used after the development of the VOC (Voice of the Customer) and after the creation of a QFD (Quality Function Design).
The Pugh Matrix may be know by a number of other names, including:
- Selection matrix/grid
- Problem matrix
- Opportunity analysis
- Criteria rating form
- Criteria-based matrix
The Pugh Matrix:
- Allows the analyst to organize various criteria (or features) of a solution in a structured way for easy comparison
- Facilitates a team-based process for disciplined concept generation and selection
- Allows the analyst to develop a optimal solution which is a hybrid of other strong solutions
Multistep method used to estimate future demand for a product or service whereby a special group of experts in economic forecasting exchange views and then each individually submits estimates and assumptions to an analyst who reviews all the data received and issues a summary report. The summary report is then discussed and reviewed individually by the group members who each submit revised forecasts to the analyst, who then reviews the material again and issues a secondary report. This process continues until all participants reach a common ground.
Method of providing members of a group with the ideas of others without a face-to-face meeting. An individual member writes down his thoughts on a problem and submits them to a coordinator.
The coordinator then compiles all comments received from the members and sends them to every member for review. Each member then provides feedback on the other members’ comments and submits recommendations to the coordinator. Finally, the coordinator attempts to reach a consensus of opinion based on all comments received
McKinsey 7S model
While some models of organizational effectiveness go in and out of fashion, one that has persisted is the McKinsey 7S framework. Developed in the early 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, the basic premise of the model is that there are seven internal aspects of an organization that need to be aligned if it is to be successful.
The 7S model can be used in a wide variety of situations where an alignment perspective is useful, for example to help you:
• Improve the performance of a company.
•Examine the likely effects of future changes within a company.
•Align departments and processes during a merger or acquisition.
•Determine how best to implement a proposed strategy.
The Seven Elements
The McKinsey 7S model involves seven interdependent factors which are categorized as either "hard" or "soft" elements:
- Shared Values
"Hard" elements are easier to define or identify and management can directly influence them: These are strategy statements; organization charts and reporting lines; and formal processes and IT systems.
"Soft" elements, on the other hand, can be more difficult to describe, and are less tangible and more influenced by culture. However, these soft elements are as important as the hard elements if the organization is going to be successful.
The way the model is presented in Figure 1 below depicts the inter-dependency of the elements and indicates how a change in one affects all the others.
Let's look at each of the elements specifically:
•Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition.
•Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom.
•Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done.
•Shared Values: called "superordinate goals" when the model was first developed, these are the core values of the company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic.
•Style: the style of leadership adopted.
•Staff: the employees and their general capabilities.
•Skills: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company.
7S Checklist Questions
Here are some of the questions that you'll need to explore to help you understand your situation in terms of the 7S framework. Use them to analyze your current (Point A) situation first, and then repeat the exercise for your proposed situation (Point B).
•What is our strategy?
•How do we intend to achieve our objectives?
•How do we deal with competitive pressure?
•How are changes in customer demands dealt with?
•How is strategy adjusted for environmental issues?
• How is the company/team divided?
•What is the hierarchy?
•How do the various departments coordinate activities?
•How do the team members organize and align themselves?
•Is decision making and controlling centralized or decentralized? Is this as it should be, given what we're doing?
•Where are the lines of communication? Explicit and implicit?
• What are the main systems that run the organization? Consider financial and HR systems as well as communications and document storage.
•Where are the controls and how are they monitored and evaluated?
•What internal rules and processes does the team use to keep on track?
• What are the core values?
•What is the corporate/team culture?
•How strong are the values?
•What are the fundamental values that the company/team was built on?
• How participative is the management/leadership style?
•How effective is that leadership?
•Do employees/team members tend to be competitive or cooperative?
•Are there real teams functioning within the organization or are they just nominal groups?
• What positions or specializations are represented within the team?
•What positions need to be filled?
•Are there gaps in required competencies?
• What are the strongest skills represented within the company/team?
•Are there any skills gaps?
•What is the company/team known for doing well?
•Do the current employees/team members have the ability to do the job?
•How are skills monitored and assessed?
7S Matrix Questions
Using the information you have gathered, now examine where there are gaps and inconsistencies between elements. Remember you can use this to look at either your current or your desired organization.
Go through the following steps:
• Start with your Shared Values: Are they consistent with your structure, strategy, and systems? If not, what needs to change?
•Then look at the hard elements. How well does each one support the others? Identify where changes need to be made.
•Next look at the other soft elements. Do they support the desired hard elements? Do they support one another? If not, what needs to change?
•As you adjust and align the elements, you'll need to use an iterative (and often time consuming) process of making adjustments, and then re-analyzing how that impacts other elements and their alignment. The end result of better performance will be worth it.