What is RACI? Free download RACI Matrix Templates for Six Sigma

What is RACI?

In Six Sigma, a well thought out and proper Process Design is very important for the process to be efficiently implemented for a longer term. A process can be designed for an existing process which has no proper design and documentation or of course a new process that is being created from ground up. For this exercise of process design, its very important to first identify the various tasks in that process then identify the roles (people or groups or departments) and finally their responsibilities for a given task. Not all roles have a responsibility towards a task and a given task may not be associated to all roles. Typically a task is associated with at least one role or in some cases multiple roles. This ‘Association’ of the role with a task can be divided into the following four association types:

  • Responsible
  • Accountable
  • Consulted
  • Informed

The above four types of association of a role to a task represented in a simple task vs Role diagram or Matrix is called RACI (pronounced ‘racey’) matrix. So basically the RACI matrix is a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM), designed to assign tasks, activities, responsibilities, accountability, decision making, supporting to team members of a process/project  and clarify expectations on the level of their participation.

There is another association type that is some times used in addition to the above four types: Read More »

What is Six Sigma Quality Function Deployment (QFD)? Download Free Excel QFD Template

In Six Sigma DMAIC, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a methodology and tool used in the Define stage. QFD is used to:

  1. Collect customer’s requirements/desires as specified by the customers in their own words
  2. Prioritize these desires
  3. Translate them into engineering/process requirements
  4. Establish targets to meet the requirements.

QFD is also termed as:

  • Voice of the Customer
  • House of Quality
  • Customer-Driven Engineering
  • Matrix Product Planning

QFD is a customer driven product or service planning process. It is a methodology for translating customer requirements into company requirements at each stage from Concept Definition (R&D) to Process Engineering and Production and into the marketplace. The QFD matrix is a tool to translate CCRs (Critical To Customers) into CTQs (Critical to Quality).

QFD collects the voice of the customer (VOC) in their own lingo and incorporates this VOC into the companies cross-functional team’s project management of the integrated development process. The QFD process establishes customer objectives and measures and records them on a series of matrices

This QFD matrix

QFD-Process-Translating-CCR-to-CTQ Read More »

How to create and use Six Sigma SIPOC tool? Download Free SIPOC tool Template in Excel Spreadsheet

What is SIPOC

SIPOC is a Six Sigma tool used in the phase 1 or the “Define Phase” of the DMAIC process, to gather information about any process. SIPOC stands for: Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Output and Customers. A SIPOC tool is usually an Excel spreadsheet which lists all the five elements into five columns as shown below. In this SIPOC diagram, we are describing a process of upgrading the memory of a laptop.


What does SIPOC Include?

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Six Sigma Scatter Plots – Download Free Excel Spreadsheet Six Sigma Scatter Plot template

A scatter diagram is a graphical representation of two variables, one on X axis and the other on Y axis. Hence they are also known as XY plots. A Scatter plot depicts the relationship between the two variables and determines if there is a correlation between those two variables.When one variable changes if the other variable changes, then a correlation is said to exist between those two variables. We can use the correlation to predict behavior. Its very useful if one variable is easy to measure and the other variable is difficult to measure.

Scatter plots show large amounts of data in a chart form. When the points on the scatter plot come closer making it a straight line, the correlation between the variables is higher and the relationship between the variables is stronger.

Correlation Coefficient (R) and Coefficient of determination (R Squared)

Correlation Coefficient is measured as:


R = [N * Sum(XY) – Sum(X)*Sum(Y)] / SQRT [N * Sum (X^2) – (Sum(X))^2] * SQRT [N * Sum (Y^2) – (Sum(Y))^2]

R is always between -1 and +1

Coefficient of determination is the square of R or R squared. This is always a positive number between 0 and +1 Read More »

How to create Six Sigma Histograms? Download free template in MS Excel Spreadsheet

Histograms are used to represent continuous data in the form of a diagram or chart. In the Analysis stage of DMAIC, Six Sigma histogram tools are used. Typically Histograms are represented as bar charts. Large amounts of data that is difficult to understand if represented in a tabular spreadsheet form.

In the Measure stage of DMAIC, the data is collected. Then this data is reviewed by the team. Typically the data collected is is of two types:

  1. Discrete data (true/false, fail/pass, success/failure )
  2. Continuous data (example: frequency, color, time). Histograms are best suited for representing this data.

Histograms can provide a visual display of such data by dividing this large data into a finite number of groups or buckets. Once the buckets are defined, you need to match and find out for every number what bucket it belongs to. Once a number is assigned to a bucket, you need to increment the frequency value of that bucket. Once all numbers are counted, you take the buckets and their frequencies and represent them in a bar chart with buckets on X axis and the the frequencies on the Y axis.

  • Histograms are used to understand how the output of a process effects customer expectations
  • They will help you find out if the process is capable of meeting customer requirements
  • Histograms are graphs of a distribution (frequency of occurrence) of data.
  • Histograms show centering, dispersion (spread), and shape (relative frequency) of the data.

Lets take the example of a part (a screw) which is manufactured at a plant. The ideal diameter of the screw is 52.3 mm. Lets measure the diameter of a random sample of 16 screws. The diameters are measured as below:

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How to select a Six Sigma project? Download selection grid template in Excel Spreadsheet

In any company there are many processes that need to be improved at any given time. When the time and resources are limited, we need to prioritize the options and pick those processes first, that give the quickest and best results in the short amount of time span and are relatively easy to implement. This can be compared to an apple tree where there are low hanging fruit that is easy and quicker to pick compared to the rest of the fruit. One should always pick the low hanging processes first and fix them for problems and proceed to fix the rest of the processes.

When the quality level of a process is not very high, we can use the basic six sigma tools. Typically the sigma level for such processes is 2σ or 3σ. Once the quality level gets better pass beyond 3σ, we will need to use more sophisticated tools such as DOE (Design of Experiments), SPC (Statistical Process Control) and DSS (Design for Six Sigma).

How to identify improvement opportunities ?

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Six Sigma Tools and Calculators – Calculations of DPMO, DPM, Sample Size and Confidence Interval

These Six Sigma online calculators help you calculate your process metrics such as DPMO, DPM, Sample Size, Six Sigma.

We have DPMO, DPM and Sample Size Calculators

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How to perform Six Sigma Pareto Analysis using Pareto Chart? download free template in Excel Spreadsheet

Pareto chart is a Lean and Six Sigma tool. Pareto chart can be used in Pareto Analysis to perform root cause analysis. Pareto rule is also known as 80/20 rule since it states that 80% of the problems are caused by 20% of the causes or issues. Pareto Chart or Pareto Diagram is named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto of the 19 th century.

Using this Pareto tool, one can visually identify the most occurring defects, most important factors or the most common problems. These “Most Important” factors are also known as “The vital few“.

Data for Pareto Analysis

Lets take the example of customer returns of toys made by a toy manufacturer. Lets start collecting data about these rejection over a fixed time period, say one month. 854 data points have been collated and grouped into 5 categories:

  1. Category 1 (Example: Damaged Packaging) 155 Occurrences
  2. Category 2 (Example: Color Faded) 221 Occurrences
  3. Category 3 (Example: Missing Part) 33 Occurrences
  4. Category 4 (Example: Missing Brochure) 112 Occurrences
  5. Category 5 (Example: Wrong Toy Sent) 333 Occurrences

Now lets take the above defect categories and sort them in descending order based on the frequency of the problem occurance.

  1. Category 5 → 333 Occurrences → percentage of total occurrences = 333 ÷ 854 = 38.99 %
  2. Category 2 → 221 Occurrences → percentage of total occurrences = 221 ÷ 854 = 25.88 %
  3. Category 1 → 155 Occurrences → percentage of total occurrences = 155 ÷ 854 = 18.15 %
  4. Category 4 → 112 Occurrences → percentage of total occurrences = 112 ÷ 854 = 13.11%
  5. Category 3 → 33 Occurrences → percentage of total occurrences = 33 ÷ 854 = 3.86%

Lets create an excel worksheet and place this data into it, sorted high to low. Column one is the Defect category, column 2 is the frequency of occurrence, column 3 is the percentage from the above list.

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What are Hidden Factory, Cost of Quality? The two types of cost of quality – Visible and Hidden

What is cost of quality defects?

Cost of quality defects is the cost incurred due to poor quality. The cost can be measured as a percentage of lost sales. For many companies, the costs for quality defects amounts up to 40% of total sales turnover. In other words, you can improve your sales by up to 40% by simply improving your quality.

It is difficult to increase sales turnover in bad economic conditions, recession etc but one can increase the company’s profit by reducing the company’s unnecessary costs for deficient product and/or information quality.

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What is Fishbone Analysis? Download Fishbone Diagrams & Charts in Excel & Powerpoint

What is a Fishbone diagram or Fishbone Analysis?

Fishbone diagram is an analysis tool to provide systematic way of understanding effects and the causes that create those effect. The design of the diagram looks like the skeleton of a fish hence, it is referred to as the fishbone diagram.

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control statistician, invented the fishbone diagram. Also referred to as the Ishikawa diagram. Also fishbone is referred to as a cause-and-effect diagram.

Fishbone diagram is a great value in assisting teams in categorizing the many potential causes of problems or issues in a systematic way and helps identifying root causes.

A fishbone diagram be used when:

  • The team needs to study a problem to determine the root cause
  • Want to study all the possible reasons why a process is having difficulties, problems, or breakdowns in the initial stages of the process.
  • Need to identify areas for data collection
  • To study why a process is not performing properly and/or producing the expected results

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