Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

18.2.7 PDCA Activation Phase — DMAIC Control Phase

Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on tools used in quality activation. Identify deliverables of the Control phase.

Quality activation means activation of quality improvement.

This means active follow-up: The changes introduced have to be evaluated. The knowledge gained during the quality assurance phase must be compared with the targets set in the planning phase. Afterward, the decision can be made as to whether the change was good and should be continued, or whether it should even be applied to further activities, products, or processes, and what improvements must be made before doing so. This can possibly mean continuing on as before without implementing the change or making it standard work practice. Furthermore, the results have to be communicated, so that any subsequent iteration of the Deming cycle will be higher-level and thus achieve improvement a priori.

Analogous with this, the task in the Control phase of the Six Sigma method is to integrate the results into daily operations and document and communicate them within the organization. In addition, however, Six Sigma demands that measures be taken to maintain the gains of the processes in future. Here again, statistical evidence that the improvements are maintained is required.

The representation tools listed in Sections 18.2.3 to 18.2.6 can be applied. These include affinity diagrams (meaningful groupings of ideas to refine when brainstorming or moderating), relationships diagrams (such as mind maps), matrix diagrams, decision trees, network plans, decision tables, and flowcharts of some type, such as Process Decision Program Charts (PDPC). See here also [Mizu88]. These tools and methods are general in nature; that is, they are also utilizable in other management systems.

The deliverables of the Control phase can be reviewed and revisited as follows:

  • Has a system for monitoring consistent use of new methods been documented and implemented?
  • Have the new process steps, standards, and documentations become standard work practices?
  • Has the knowledge gained regarding the new processes been documented and shared in the organization?
  • Have responsibilities and accountability been identified, understood, and communicated in the organization?
  • Has ownership and knowledge been handed over to the process owner and his or her team, and the project officially closed down?

Course section 18.2: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes

  • 18.2 Quality Management Tasks at the Operations Level

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the Deming Cycle (PDCA Cycle) and the Shewhart Cycle as well as the Six Sigma Phases. Present the phases of quality planning, control, assurance, and activation of the Deming Cycle. Describe the Six-Sigma phases of define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Differentiate between continual improvement and reengineering.

  • 18.2.1 The Deming Cycle (PDCA Cycle) and the Shewhart Cycle

    Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on The Shewhart cycle developed in statistical quality control. Present the Deming cycle. Describe quality management tasks in the Deming cycle.

  • 18.2.2 DMAIC — The Six Sigma Phases

    Intended learning outcomes: Present DMAIC, the Six Sigma phases. Describe the tasks in the Six Sigma phases. Differentiate between DMAIC, RDMAIC, DMAICT, and DMADV.

  • 18.2.3 Quality Planning: PDCA Plan Phase — DMAIC Define Phase

    Intended learning outcomes: Identify the cause of differences between stakeholders’ expectations and actual product or process characteristics.