The Lean Six Sigma tool used in definition phase to identify and understand all stakeholders that are party to a business is the SIPOC diagram. This diagram usually provides information about suppliers, inputs, outputs, processes and customers. Suppliers and customers are the most important parties in a business. The needs of suppliers and customers should be identified and they should be met in order for success. Employees also play a vital role to the success of an organization.
The SIPOC diagram will help employees and managers to identify the primary stakeholders of the company. This diagram will help managers and employees to understand the value created by the different primary stakeholders. From the SIPOC diagram, one will get information about the different inputs used in different processes. It is vital to know the resources consumed by the different processes and entities that produce such resources.
Managers and employees should be involved in creating the SIPOC diagram. Mangers should organize employees into teams for purposes of creating this diagram. Members of each team should discuss amongst themselves and come up with their suggestions. The mangers should then organize a brainstorming conference where all the teams will present their suggestions.
Voice of the customer (VOC) tools are also common in define phase. These instruments are used to collect data from the customers. Data from customers will come in handy during the entire six sigma process. VOC instruments are instruments like interviews, comment cards, suggestion boxes, surveys, and questionnaires.
The main Six Sigma tool used in the measurement phase is the Cause and Effect matrix. This matrix is a tabulation of effects against causes. Causes are ranked using scores calculated by using this matrix. This matrix will show the inputs that contribute immensely towards the outputs. Such inputs should be focused on so as to improve the performance of a business.
Other instruments used in measurement phase are Pareto charts and control charts. Control charts are very useful when it comes to analyzing variations. A variation is the difference between actual performance and pre-determined performance. If the variation of a particular process is big, this indicates that the process is not efficient. However, if the variation is small, this indicates that a process is efficient and consistent. Pareto charts are used to summarize data. A Pareto chart will reveal the major problems in a business.
Lean Six Sigma tools are very important within the Six Sigma process. These tools are used in the define phase and also in the measure phase. In the define phase, employees and managers determine the primary stakeholders of a business. In the measure phase, gaps to be filled are identified.