Integrating Accelerated Problem Solving into Six Sigma Process Improvement Methodology

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Title: Integrating Accelerated Problem Solving into Six Sigma Process Improvement Methodology
Author: Gilbert, Elana R.
Advisors: Dr. Jacqueline M. Hughes-Oliver, Committee Member
Dr. Roger Barker, Committee Member
Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey, Committee Member
Dr. Timothy G. Clapp, Committee Chair
Abstract: Six Sigma has revolutionized the world of business and has presented a new measure of success in customer satisfaction and quality. Six Sigma uses an array of statistical and analytical tools to apply a data-driven, root-cause analysis to existing processes to minimize variation and aim for zero defects. The purpose of this thesis is to study the purposes, tools, goals of Six Sigma's scientific discovery process and find areas conducive to the integration of accelerated problem-solving techniques, in hopes of deriving a more complete methodology. A typical Six Sigma project may encounter a variety of issues that either stem from or contribute to the process problem of the project's focus. The problem solving theory presented in this thesis discusses these issues in terms of the dimensions of problem solving which are orientation level, solving stage, and tool/problem type. Viewing Six Sigma in the light of this theory revealed a need for the addition of tools that addressed issues associated with personnel and belief system limitations, 'stuck thinking', and innovative solution generation. The accelerated problem-solving tools integrated to address these issues are as follows: Six Hats Thinking, Mind Mapping, elements of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ), the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and elements of Kepner-Tregoe's management model. A hybrid Six Sigma model was developed to address each dimension of problem solving. The new model was applied during a Six Sigma Green Belt project at a nonwoven manufacturing facility. The author acted as a Six Sigma Coach to the team and used accelerated problem-solving tools to address obstacles in project progress and thinking. The hybrid model was useful in increasing the quality of communication among team members, providing breakthroughs in thinking and promoting the use of the existing DMAIC tools
Date: 2003-11-19
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1497


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