Standardization is the process of creating a consistent, repeatable method for doing a task. It ensures that all employees are working toward the same objective and following the same strategy. Documentation, on the other hand, is the act of capturing and storing process-related information. It serves as a guide for personnel and aids in the tracking of the process’s progress. Standardization and documentation work together to help companies improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
We will look at the significance of standardisation and documentation in Lean Six Sigma in this training module. We will look at several tactics and ways for incorporating them in business processes. You will learn how to generate efficient documentation and standardise processes in order to increase productivity and eliminate errors. We will also show how standardisation and documentation have been successfully adopted in many businesses.
You will have a thorough understanding of how to adopt standards and documentation in your lean six sigma projects, as well as how to use it to improve efficiency and effectiveness, by the end of this topic.
Table of Contents
The DMAIC Control Stage
What is the DMAIC Control Stage?
The Control stage is the fifth and final stage of DMAIC, a Lean Six Sigma approach used to optimise business processes. DMAIC is an acronym that stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. The control stage is where the changes gained during the Improve stage are put into action and maintained throughout time.
The primary goal of the Control stage is to ensure that the changes made are long-term and that the process is operating at peak efficiency. This stage entails developing a strategy for monitoring and controlling the process so that any deviations from the planned state are discovered and addressed as soon as possible.
Typically, the following steps are conducted during this stage:
Create a control plan: This plan describes the steps that must be performed to guarantee that the improvements last. It should include information such as who will be in charge of monitoring the process, how frequently it will be examined, and what triggers will be utilised to detect when the process deviates from the target state.
Implement the control plan: Once the plan has been prepared, it is put into action in the process.
Monitor and measure: To verify that the process is running within the desired parameters, it is monitored and measured on a regular basis. Any deviations from the desired state are rapidly discovered and remedied.
Document and Communicate: The control stage’s outcomes and findings are documented and presented to the appropriate stakeholders, such as management, team members, and customers.
Continuously improve: The process is checked on a regular basis, and improvements are made as needed to ensure that it continues to perform at its peak.
The Control stage is a crucial aspect of DMAIC because it ensures that the process’s improvements are sustained and that it is working at its optimal level. It contributes to the process remaining efficient and effective over time, as well as reducing the chance of the process reverting to its original state.
Common Tools used in the Control Stage of DMAIC
Various tools and strategies are used in the DMAIC Control stage to ensure that the process improvements gained during the Improve stage are sustained over time. These tools and procedures are intended to monitor and regulate the process, discover deviations from the planned condition, and, if necessary, take corrective action.
Here is a list of some common tools and techniques used in the Control stage of DMAIC, along with a brief explanation of how they are used:
Statistical Process Control (SPC): SPC charts, such as X-bar and R charts, are used to monitor and control a process by using statistical techniques to identify when the process is deviating from the desired state. By evaluating the obtained data, it is possible to detect patterns or trends in the process and, if necessary, take remedial action.
Control Charts: Control charts are used to graphically display data over time and identify patterns or trends that indicate a process is not in control. They aid in determining whether any particular cause variation exists in the process and, if so, in taking corrective action.
Checklists: Checklists are used to ensure that all steps in the process are being performed correctly and consistently. They aid in ensuring that the procedure is carried out appropriately and that no steps are skipped.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): SOPs are documented procedures that define the steps required to correctly complete a process. They verify that the procedure is done correctly and that all employees follow it consistently.
Process Audits: Audits are used to ensure that the process is being performed correctly and that the process is in control. They aid in ensuring that the process is followed correctly and that any deviations from the planned state are discovered and addressed as soon as possible.
Control Plan: A control plan outlines the activities that must be followed to guarantee that the improvements are sustained over time. It specifies who will be in charge of monitoring the process, how frequently the process will be examined, and what triggers will be utilised to detect when the process deviates from the expected state.
These tools and techniques are used in the DMAIC Manage stage to monitor and control the process and ensure that the process improvements are sustained over time. They aid in ensuring that the process is running at peak efficiency and that any deviations from the target condition are discovered and addressed as soon as possible.
What is the Control Stage of DMAIC Important?
The Control stage is an important part of DMAIC, the Lean Six Sigma approach for improving business processes. The Control stage is DMAIC’s final stage, and its main goal is to ensure that the changes produced during the Improve stage are sustained throughout time.
The Control stage is critical for a number of reasons:
Sustainability: The Control stage guarantees that any changes produced are long-term. It contributes to ensuring that the process remains efficient and effective over time, and that it does not revert to its initial state.
Continuous improvement: The Control stage involves not only keeping the improvements made, but also continuously monitoring the process and implementing more improvements as needed. It aids in keeping the process up to date and identifying and acting on new chances for improvement.
Compliance: The Control stage ensures that the process complies with any applicable legislation or standards. It reduces the likelihood of noncompliance and any associated penalties or legal action.
Cost savings: By monitoring and regulating the process, companies may immediately identify and remedy any deviations from the ideal condition, reducing waste and improving efficiency. This can result in cost savings for the company.
Quality: By monitoring and managing the process, companies can ensure that it is working at peak efficiency and that the product or service is consistent and of high quality. This can aid in increasing client happiness and revenue.
To summarise, the Control stage is an important aspect of DMAIC because it assists organisations in maintaining the improvements made, continuously improving the process, complying with regulations and standards, reducing costs, and maintaining quality, which ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction and profitability.
Standardization and Documentation
What is Standardization
The process of developing a uniform, repeatable procedure for performing a task is known as standardisation. It entails setting explicit norms, procedures, and protocols that all personnel within an organisation must follow. Standardization’s purpose is to ensure that all employees are working toward the same goal and taking the same method, which improves efficiency and reduces errors.
Standardization can be applied to many parts of a business, including procedures, products, services, and even the workplace. It guarantees that everyone adheres to the same set of rules and procedures, which can lead to better production and quality. Standardization also reduces training time for new staff because they may refer to established procedures to understand the process.
Standardization is an important component of Lean Six Sigma, a methodology that assists firms in improving their processes and increasing efficiency. Organizations can detect inefficiencies, decrease waste, and improve quality by standardising operations, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and revenue.
What Types of Standardization Tools are there?
Standardization is a vital part of Lean Six Sigma, and having the correct tools to implement it efficiently is essential. Here are some examples of standardisation tools that organisations can use to standardise their processes:
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Standard Operating Procedures are documented procedures that define the steps required to complete a process appropriately. They provide clear instructions and recommendations for how a specific activity or process should be conducted, and they ensure that the process is followed consistently by all employees.
SOPs are an important standardisation technique since they help to ensure that the process is followed accurately and that no steps are skipped. This improves efficiency, reduces errors, and raises the quality of the product or service. They also provide a clear understanding of the process, which can be useful for training new staff and auditing the process to ensure that it is being executed appropriately.
It is critical to create SOPs that are clear, concise, and simple to understand. They should be written in straightforward language, with step-by-step instructions, illustrations, or flowcharts if needed. It is also critical to give information on any equipment, materials, or resources required to complete the procedure.
SOPs should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that they are up to date and correct. Before they are implemented, they should be reviewed and authorised by the appropriate stakeholders, such as management, team members, and customers.
SOPs can be utilised in a variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and food service, among others. They give a clear and consistent method of carrying out a process and can be used as a reference for training, auditing, and maintaining regulatory compliance.
Overall, Standard Operating Procedures are an effective tool for standardising operations and ensuring that they are carried out consistently and accurately by all employees, resulting in enhanced efficiency, fewer errors, and higher quality.
Standard Work Instructions (SWIs)
Standard Work Instructions (SWIs) are detailed instructions that explain how to perform a specific task in a standardised way. They are used to ensure that a task is performed consistently and correctly, and are an important tool for standardisation in organisations.
SWIs provide clear and simple step-by-step directions on how to complete a specific task, including any necessary equipment, materials, or resources, as well as any safety measures. They also include information on the quality controls in place to ensure that the task is completed correctly and that the product or service is of consistent quality.
SWIs are frequently used as a reference for training new personnel and auditing tasks to guarantee proper execution. They are usually checked and updated on a regular basis to guarantee that they are up to date and accurate.
Overall, SWIs give a clear and consistent method of executing an activity, which can help organisations enhance productivity, minimise errors, and improve product or service quality. They are also an effective tool for standardising jobs and ensuring that all employees complete them regularly and accurately.
Difference Between SOPs and SWIs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Standard Work Instructions (SWIs) are two types of standardisation used to ensure that a process or activity is completed consistently and accurately. There are, however, some key differences between the two:
Scope: SOPs focus on an entire process, while SWIs focus on a specific task within a process. SWIs provide precise instructions on how to accomplish a specific activity, whereas SOPs provide a high-level overview of a process, including its scope, goal, and important steps.
Level of detail: SOPs are often less detailed than SWIs. SWIs contain precise step-by-step instructions on how to do a specific activity, whereas SOPs define the overall process, including the important phases and responsibilities.
Use: SOPs are used to ensure that an entire process is performed consistently and correctly, while SWIs are used to ensure that a specific task is performed consistently and correctly.
Auditing: During audits, SOPs are often used to ensure that the process is followed correctly, whereas SWIs are used to guarantee that a single task is executed appropriately.
Training: SOPs are frequently used to train new employees on a process, whereas SWIs are used to train new employees on a single activity.
Efficiency: SOPs focus on the overall process, and how to improve it. SWIs concentrate on a certain task and how to improve its efficiency.
In conclusion, SOPs provide a high-level overview of a process, whereas SWIs define how to do a specific activity. SOPs and SWIs are both useful tools for standardisation, but they serve different functions and are used in various ways.
Key Features of SOPs and SWIs
An SOP’s primary features are as follows:
Clear and concise instructions: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be written in plain language and provide clear and concise directions on how to carry out the process. They should contain step-by-step instructions, illustrations, or flowcharts as needed.
Scope and purpose: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should clearly identify the scope and purpose of the process, as well as explain why it is important.
Responsibilities: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should clearly explain the responsibilities of the personnel participating in the process, such as who is accountable for performing specific tasks or making specific decisions.
Resources: SOPs should list any equipment, materials, or resources that are needed to perform the process, and explain how they should be used.
Safety precautions: SOPs should include any safety precautions that need to be taken when performing the process, and explain how to handle any potential hazards or emergency situations.
Quality controls: SOPs should detail the quality controls that are in place to ensure that the process is performed correctly and that the quality of the product or service is consistent.
Document control: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should provide information on how the document should be controlled, such as who should have access to it and how it should be updated and evaluated.
Compliance: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be in accordance with any applicable legislation or standards, and should include any necessary information for compliance.
Review and update: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that they are current and correct.
Organizations may verify that the process is executed consistently and accurately by including these critical characteristics in SOPs.
Checklists for standardisation are lists of elements that must be verified or completed in order to ensure that a process or job is consistently and accurately performed. They are a basic but powerful standardisation tool since they provide a clear and straightforward manner of ensuring that all necessary procedures are done and no important elements are ignored.
Standardization checklists can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- As a guide for performing a task: checklists can be used to ensure that all necessary steps are taken and that no important details are overlooked when performing a task.
- As a training reference: Checklists can be used to instruct new staff on how to do a task correctly.
- As a tool for auditing: checklists can be used to ensure that a task is being performed correctly by auditing it against a checklist.
- As a tool for process improvement: checklists can be used to discover areas for process improvement by identifying areas where errors or inconsistencies occur frequently.
Standardization checklists typically include things such as:
- The procedures that must be followed to complete the assignment Any necessary equipment, supplies, or resources
- Any steps that must be taken for safety
- Quality controls in place to ensure that the activity is completed appropriately
- Any applicable norms or criteria that must be obeyed
Checklists are basic but effective tools for standardisation because they provide a clear and consistent method of executing a work, which can help businesses enhance efficiency, minimise errors, and improve product or service quality. They are also an effective tool for standardising jobs and ensuring that all employees complete them regularly and accurately.
In conclusion, DMAIC Control, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Standard Work Instructions (SWIs), and Checklists are all important tools for standardising improvements. DMAIC Control is an approach that assists organisations in improving their processes through the definition, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control of their performance. SOPs, SWIs, and Checklists are all papers that give staff with clear, step-by-step instructions to ensure that tasks are completed consistently and accurately. Together, these tools assist firms in improving their processes, increasing efficiency, and decreasing errors, resulting in improved overall performance. It is vital to note that these tools are not a one-time fix and must be examined and updated on a regular basis to remain successful.
Now you have an understand of some basic control methods we will look at what Control Charts are and how they can be used to monitor and control improvements.