How Important Measure Phase is in a Six Sigma Project?

How Important Measure Phase is in a Six Sigma Project?

How Important Measure Phase is in a Six Sigma Project?

Importance of Measure Phase in a Six Sigma Project

In the Measure phase of a Six Sigma project, data is collected about the problem or issue being faced by the organization, so the question is How Important Measure stage is in a Six Sigma Project?The answer to a key question in Measure stage has to be found:

Is the reason behind the problem known? Is there sufficient data available which
Can be relied upon to help us in reaching a definitive solution?

Measuring Project Target (Y)
First of all, a suitable mechanism to measure y’s output has to be designed. Many times, it is already present in the organizations which make the task easier. Current output of y has to be calculated so that it is known where we are standing and where we have to reach at the end of the project.

Definition for Defect
A definition of defect has to be formulated which is affecting y. This will also help in understanding which things have to be controlled so that defects do not occur in the process.

Data Collection Plan
A suitable Data Collection Plan has to be formulated so that data for y is collected. This will help in assessing the current capability of the process and focus attention towards achieving the target mentioned in the Goal statement of the Project Charter. The upper limits and the lower limits for the y have to be mentioned. The mechanism of how the data has to be collected such as equipment being used to capture data, formula used, etc are also defined. Also, It has to be assessed what sample size is required from the population data. The sample data should be so collected that it should represent all the sub-groups present in the population data for correct analysis and getting correct conclusions.

Measurement System Analysis
A Measurement System for validating data has to be designed to verify the accuracy of the collected data. It has to be verified whether the sample data collected truly represents the population data or not – if all the sections of population data are present in the sample data?

Calculating Process Capability
Finally, after the data has been verified to be accurate, the current process capability has to be calculated through any of the Six Sigma methods such as DPMO, Z score, Cp & Cpk, etc.

Is Measure Stage Needed?
In many organizations, data is collected through an automated process due to which many organizations tend to skip Measure stage as they consider the available data to be accurate and free from any bias. Still, it can happen that equipment used for measuring data is not working properly or people operating the equipment due to some reason fail to provide the correct data. Hence, some amount of data should be verified. Maybe the duration of Measure stage or sample used for verification can be reduced. Because the same data is to be used for analysis in Analyze stage and solutions have to be designed and implemented for problems in the Improve and Control stage. Hence, it is better to verify the accuracy of the data before any wrong conclusion is reached in the later stages.