Nursing Informatics

Nursing Informatics Self Study- Six Sigma : Well-selected and -defined improvement projects equal better, faster results

What is Six Sigma?

  • A comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining and maximizing business success.
  • is uniquely driven by close understanding of customer needs, disciplined use of facts, data, and statistical analysis, and diligent attention to managing, improving, and reinventing business processes.
  • The goal of Six Sigma is to eliminate all defects
  • Six Sigma implies a goal of no more than 3.4 defects per 1 million opportunities

six sigma

The five-phase improvement process of Six Sigma: DMAIC

  • Define: define the problem/ opportunity, process, and customer requirements.
    • Important tools used in this phase include a project charter, a description of customer requirements, process maps, and Voice of the Customer (VOC) data.
      • Examples of VOC data include complaints, surveys, comments, and market research that represent the views and needs of the organization’s customers
  • Measure: define measures and then collect, compile, and display data.
    • Measures are defined in terms of defects per opportunity
  • Analyze: Scrutinize process details to find improvement opportunities.
    • A project team working on a Six Sigma project, normally referred to as a Six Sigma team, investigates and verifies data to prove the suspected root causes of quality problems and substantiates the problem statement.
    • An important tool in this phase is to fishbone or Ishikawa diagram
  • Improve: Generate solutions and ideas for improving the problem.
    • A final solution is verified with the project sponsor, and the Six Sigma team develops a plan to pilot test the solution.
    • The Six Sigma team reviews the results of the pilot test to refine the solution, if needed, and then implements the solution where appropriate
  • Control: Track and verify the stability of the improvements and the predictability of the solution.
    • Control charts are one tool used in the control phase

The Six Sigma “belt” system:

  • Yellow Belt: receive the minimum level of training, which is normally two to three full days for project team members who work on Six Sigma projects on a part-time basis
  • Green Belt: usually participate in two to three full weeks of training
  • Black Belt: normally work on Six Sigma projects full-time and attend four to five full weeks of training. project managers are often Black Belts.
  • Master Black Belt: experienced Black Belts who act as technical resources and mentors to people with lower-level belts

Resource: Schwalbe, K. (2016) Information technology project management. (8th ed.)

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