Six Sigma for Powerful Improvement: A Green Belt DMAIC Training System with Software Tools and a 25-Lesson Course, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Six Sigma for Powerful Improvement

A Green Belt DMAIC Training System with Software Tools and a 25-Lesson Course, 1st Edition

By Charles T. Carroll

Productivity Press

524 pages | 522 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466564695
pub: 2013-05-09

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Although the Six Sigma Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) methodology is a widely accepted tool for achieving efficient management of all aspects of operations, there are still many unwarranted concerns about its perceived complexity and implementation costs. Dispelling these myths, Six Sigma for Powerful Improvement: A Green Belt DMAIC Training System with Software Tools and a 25-Lesson Course clarifies the long-accepted statistical and logical processes of Six Sigma and provides you with tools you can use again and again in your own "real world" projects—removing any doubts regarding their simplicity and "doability.".

Not only does the book provide you with reasons for using the tools, it reveals the underlying doctrines, formulas, and steps required. Although the tools and techniques presented are specifically associated with the DMAIC philosophy, they are applicable across a wide range of management and improvement scenarios. Explaining Six Sigma processes in language that's easy to understand, the book starts with an overview, followed by specific techniques and procedures. It presents detailed, illustrated lesson segments that include an agenda, roadmap, objectives, and a list of takeaway concepts. It also:

  • Provides seven separate Excel tool templates—each with its own user guide and additional smaller tools
  • Presents completed Excel sample workbooks for each tool to facilitate your comprehension and utilization confidence
  • Includes a CD with a PowerPoint-based DMAIC training course, the aforementioned Excel-based Six Sigma tools and workbooks, and extensive instructor’s notes embedded in each lesson

Trained as and employed as a Black Belt and later as a Master Black Belt, the author presents doctrines and procedures with a strong pedigree and history of success. The book uses hundreds of figures and tables to illustrate key concepts and also makes them available in full-color on the accompanying CD. This is also true of the figures in the user guides that document the accompanying tools. For each of the tools, the book includes a completed sample workbook. The PowerPoint and Excel lessons and tools are provided in both 2007 and 97-2003 versions.

Table of Contents


Define Phase Overview

Define Phase Orientation within DMAIC

Define Phase Objectives

Identify Preliminary Requirements: Step 1

ID Preliminary Requirements Orientation within DMAIC

The Define Phase

Identification of CTQ Requirements of Your Customer

Sources of Customer Data

Voice of the Customer

Determining the VOC

CTQ Capture Guidelines

Tool Training: Voice of the Customer

What is the Voice of the Customer?

Why Care about the Voice of the Customer?

Where do You Hear the Voice of Your Customer?

The VOC Listening Process

Role of Customer Segmentation in VOC Listening Strategies

Information Segmentation/Categorization

How Should You Listen to Customers?


Focus Groups


Tool Selection and Using Tools in Combination

Sampling Bias

Instrumentation Bias

Response Bias

Sources of Bias

Response Bias Exercise

How do You Control Bias?

Organizing and Analyzing the Collected Voices of Your Customers

Affinity Diagrams

Structure Trees

Prioritizing Needs with Kano Analysis

Prioritizing Needs Through Customer Feedback

Working with Critical-to-Quality Requirements

Setting Targets and Specifications for CTQs

Introduction to Quality Function Deployment

Communicating the VOC Learning

Principles of Listening and Sharing Learning

Key Audiences

Developing the Communication Plan

Link Business/Organizational Strategy Success to CTQ Fulfillment

Research Ethics

Develop Team Charter: Step 2

Orientation within DMAIC

Project Charter

Five Major Elements of a Charter

Business Case

Problem and Goal Statements

Project Scope

In/Out Frame Tool


Project Roles

Stakeholder List

ARMI Model

Team Roles

Team Formation and the GRPI Checklist and Assessment

Good versus Bad Projects

Define a High-Level Process Map: Step 3

Orientation within DMAIC

What is a Process?

Elements of a Process: SIPOC

Levels of Processes

Categories of Processes

Process Mapping

Benefits of Process Mapping

Perceptions of Processes

Build the Process Map

Evaluating a Process Map

Impacts Resulting From the Building and Analysis of Process Maps

Measure Phase


Measure Phase Overview

Orientation to the Measure Phase

Measure Phase Activity Synopsis


Using Statistics to Solve Problems

Selecting Relevant CTQ Characteristics and/or Project Ys

Defining Performance Standards

Measurement Systems Analysis

Using Statistics to Characterize Processes

Measure Phase Deliverables

Select Critical-to-Quality Characteristics: Step 4

Orientation within DMAIC


Quality Function Deployment

The QFD "Opportunity"

Formal Definition of QFD

Quality Function Deployment Flow

Building a "House of Quality

Abbreviated Example of a Service-Oriented QFD Using a Different Form

Common QFD/House of Quality Pitfalls

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

FMEA Calculations

Excel FMEA Tool

Building an FMEA

Data Types

Why is Data Type Important?

Tool Training: Excel Quality Function Deployment Workbook


"Home" Worksheet

The QFD Administrative Worksheet

QFD Stakeholder Worksheet

Stakeholder Representative Worksheet

CTQ Initial List Worksheet

Stakeholder CTQ Importance Survey Worksheet

Stakeholder CTQ Priorities Worksheet

CTQ Priority Worksheet

Process Member List Worksheet

The Process Member List Filter

The Scratchpad Worksheet

Process Impact Worksheets (3)

Assessing/Scoring Process Members’ Effect on CTQ Satisfaction

The Process Rank Worksheets (3) Summary

Define Performance Standards: Step 5

Orientation of Step 5 within DMAIC


Performance Standards

Purpose of Performance Standards

Operational Definitions for Performance Standard

Operational Definition Exercise

Tool to Use in Operational Definition Exercise

Review Basic Nature of Data

How Discrete Data Varies from Continuous Data

Completing the Performance Standard

Tool Training: 7 Process Improvement Tools


Scatter Plot Charts

Build a Scatter Plot

Run Charts/Control Charts

Continuous Data Run/Control Charts

Average and Standard Deviation Charts (X-Bar and s Charts)

Discrete Data Run/Control Charts

Summary of Chart Selection Logic



Making a Histogram in Excel

Pareto Charts

A Specialized Histogram: The Boxplot

Stratification Diagrams

Cause-and-Effect (Fishbone/Ishikawa) Diagrams

Establish Data Collection Plan and Measurement System Analysis: Step 6

Orientation within DMAIC


Data Collection Plan

Items to Consider

Pre-Data Collection Steps

During the Collection

Post-Data Collection Steps

Sample Data Collection Plan

Controlling the Measurement Environment

Sources of Measurement Environment Variation

Measurement System Analysis

Measurement Gauge Requirements

An MSA Checklist

Test/Retest Study

Test/Retest Study Example

Gauge Reproducibility and Repeatability Studies

Analyzing Gauge R&R with Attribute Data (AR&R)

Excel Attribute Gauge R&R and Equipment Gauge R&R Tools Provided with This Book

Excel Attribute Gauge R&R Tool

Excel Equipment Gauge R&R Tool

Working with Sample Size

Gauge R&R: Temporal Effects


Analyze Phase Overview


Orientation within DMAIC

Step 7: Establish Process Capability

How Do You Determine the Performance Objective?

Step 8: Define Improvement Objective for Y

Step 9: Identify Sources of Variation (Problems)

Establish Process Capability: Step 7

Orientation within DMAIC


Basic Statistics Review


The Normal Curve

Working with Continuous Data

Calculating Z (Z-Score)

Calculating Capability

Process Centering

Rational Subgrouping

Components of Variation

Working with Discrete Data

Discrete Data Definitions

Linking DPO to the Probability of a Defect

Sigma Product Report (L-1)

Process Yield

Can you Achieve Six Sigma Through Inspections?

Quantification of Defects: Escaping Defects

Tying It All Together

Define Performance Objectives: Step 8

Orientation within DMAIC


Defining Process Objectives


Nature of Benchmarking

Types of Benchmarking

Benchmarking Concept versus Process

What Benchmarking IS and ISN’T

Common Benchmarking Mistakes

Points to Remember and Questions to Ask about Benchmarking

Sources of Information for Benchmarking

Identify Sources of Variation and Waste (Problems): Step 9

Orientation of the Identify Variation Sources Step within DMAIC


Focus of Improvement

Tools to Identify Variation Sources

Cause-and-Effect (Fishbone/Ishikawa) Diagram

Alternative Cause-and-Effect Exhibits

Pareto Diagrams

Building a Pareto Chart

Process Maps

Nature of Work: Value Analysis

Process Map Analysis: Flow of Work

Process Disconnects

Cycle Time Analysis

Process Map Analysis: Interpretation

Excel Process Map Analysis Tool

Value-Stream Maps

Hypothesis Testing

Idea of Sampling

Sampling Methods

Data Analysis

Studying Stability

Studying Normality

Working with Non-normal Data

Working with Normal Data: Discrete X and Continuous Y

t-Distribution and Small Samples

Conducting Tests on Variances: ANOVA

ANOVA in General

One-Factor ANOVA Tests

Two-Factor ANOVA Tests without Replication

Testing for Goodness of Fit and Independence

Chi-Square Goodness-of-Fit Tests

Chi-Square Independence Tests

Sample Size, Degrees of Freedom: Confidence Intervals

Using the Confidence Interval Formula for Continuous Data to Derive Sample Size Formula

Using the Confidence Interval Formula for Continuous Data to Derive Attainable Precision Given a Maximum Sample Size

Three Ways to Estimate σ When It is Unknown

Excel Calculator for Sample Requirements for Confidence Levels and Process Improvements

Discrete Sample Sizes

Confidence Interval Calculator

Samples Needed to Confirm Defect Factor Reductions

Summary of Process and Population Sampling

Certify Process Problems

Tool Training: Change Acceptance Management


Nature of Change and Force Field Analysis

Dilemma of Change

Change Acceptance Management Methods and Techniques

Creating a Shared Need

Shaping the Vision

Mobilizing Commitment

Changing Systems and Structures

What are Systems and Structures?

What Portions of Systems and Structures Do You Want to Influence?

Internal Process of Change

Tool Training: Project Solution Recommendation Package Tool


Use of the Project Solution Recommendation Package Tool

Layout of the Excel Project Solution Recommendation Package Tool

Using the Project Solution Recommendation Package Tool

CTQ List Worksheet

Solution Packages Worksheet

Solution-CTQ Map Worksheet

The Options–Estimates Worksheet

The Selected Solutions Worksheet


Improve Phase Overview

Orientation within DMAIC

Improve Phase Objectives

Key Points to Consider

Improve Phase Strategy

Improvement Goal

Identify Vital Xs for a Given Y

Characterization of Xs

Experimenting with the Process

Testing Theories


Examples of Approaches and Solutions to Problems


Pilot High-Level Steps

Experimenting and Piloting: Step 10 (Screen Potential Causes) and Step 11 (Discover Variable Relationships)

Orientation within DMAIC


Improvement by Design

Design by Experimentation

Experiment Plan

Experiment Result Reports

Experimental Strategies: Design of Experiments

"Stick with a Winner"

One Factor at a Time (OFAT)

Factorial Layouts, Full and Fractional

Visualizing the Experimental Space

Factorial Patterns of Experimentation

Reducing the Sizes of Experiments

Fractional Factoring

Properties of a Properly Selected Half-Fraction Factorial Design



Randomization: Experimenter’s Insurance

Running Experiments

Experiment Definitions

Collecting the Experimental Data

Analyzing the Experimental Data

Factor Control Table

Experimental Raw Results

Examine Factor Effects

Excel 8-Run DOE Tool

Chart Worksheet Added to 8-Run DOE Tool

Screening Designs

Adaptation of the 8-Run DOE Tool to Run 8 Factor Plackett–Burman Analyses


When Should You Pilot

How Should You Prepare to Pilot?

Measure the Pilot Performance and Analyze Its Results

Pilot-Information Technology (IT) Linkages

Piloting Tips and Traps

Confirming Solutions, Setting Tolerances, and Documenting: Step 12

Orientation within DMAIC


Selecting Final Experiments

Detectable Effect Size

Using the DES Formula

Finalize Response Variables to Control

Establishing Tolerances

Principles of Tolerancing

Tolerancing Example: A Weight-Loss Program

Tolerance Summary


Why Use Simulation?

When Should You Use Simulation?

Modeling and Simulation Processes

Monte Carlo Simulation

Stochastic Model Example

Deterministic Simulation

Deterministic Models

Building and Executing a Deterministic Model


Why Do We Document?

Who is the Audience for Process Documentation?

What is Included in Process Documentation?

What Formats Should Be Used for Process Documentation?

Documentation Tips


Control Phase Overview

Orientation of Control Phase within DMAIC


Control Objectives

Maintaining Control

Process Standardization

Primary Control Mechanisms

Confirming Your Solution before Implementation

Assess the Effectiveness of Your Improvement

Make Your Improvements Permanent

Project Closeout

Validate Measurement System and Confirm Solution to Management: Step

Orientation within DMAIC


Validate and Make Provision for the Measurement System for Post-Implementation Use

Confirm Your Solution to Management

CTQ Score

Short-Term Sigma Improvement

Costs and Benefits

Build Process Control Plan: Step 14

Orientation within DMAIC


What is a Quality or Control Plan?

Quality Plan versus Control Plan: What is the Difference?

Example of Control Plan Exhibit

Keys to Process Controls

The Monitoring Process

How Can You Detect Changes in Your Process?

The Auditing Process

Additional Example of a Process Control Plan

Risk Management

Key Steps of Risk Management

Methods to Identify Risks

The Elements of Risk

Rating Your Risks: Two Excel-Based Tools

Risk Management Calculator for Projects and Processes

Risk Calculation Procedures for the Risk Calculator

FMEA and Risk Mitigation Tool

The FMEA Worksheet

Mistake Proofing

Types of Human Error

Mistake Proofing Techniques

The Control Plan

Transfer Solution to Process Owner and Close Project: Step 15

Orientation within DMAIC Objectives

Conduct a Structured Transition

Recommend System and Structure Modifications to Retain your Improvements

Turnover Briefings

Training and Orientation Packages

Project Storyboard

Project Storyboard Contents

Process Transfer Documentation

SPC Recommendations

Selecting Appropriate Charts

Closing Your Project

Administrative Tasks

Implementation Summary

Lessons Learned

IT-Specific Tasks (When Appropriate)

Project Wrap-Up Summary Document



About the Author

Charles Carroll is an independent consultant. Initially educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, he later earned an MS in Systems Management at the University of Southern California and served as a Supply, Logistics and Systems Officer in the Marine Corps. He then worked at Sprint Corporation and General Electric’s Employers Reinsurance Corporation (ERC), where he was trained and certified as an internal consultant in GE’s Six Sigma Quality processes,served as a Master Black Belt for the IT Department, administered the local and offshore outsourcing programs, automated project management, and established a global Project Management Office within ERC’s IT department.

Charlie serves as an independent consultant in project/program/PMO management, process improvement, and application development. He has written articles for a number of professional publications, spoken at domestic and international conferences, and developed a number of project management and Six Sigma tools and training for clients. He can be reached at

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