Improve and Control: Module Introduction
For the Green Belt, Improve and Control are combined into a single phase in which you will identify improvements, pilot and test solutions, evaluate the practicality of the solutions and implement a control plan. To better understand this concept, the ASQ Body of Knowledge provides the following topics: 

Design of experiments (DOE) 

Define and describe basic DOE terms such as independent and dependent variables, factors and levels, response, treatment, error, repetition, and replication. 

Interpret main effects and interaction plots. 

Statistical process control (SPC) 

Describe the objectives and benefits of SPC, including controlling process performance, identifying special and common causes, etc. 

Define and describe how rational subgrouping is used. 

Identify, select, construct, and apply the following types of control charts: Xbar and R, Xbar and s, individuals and moving range (ImR / XMR), median (X~ and R), p, np, c and u. 

Interpret control charts and distinguish between common and special causes using rules for determining statistical control. 

Implement and validate solutions 


Use various improvement methods such as brainstorming, main effects analysis, multivari studies, FMEA, measurement system capability reanalysis, and postimprovement capability analysis to identify, implement, and validate solutions through Ftest, ttest, etc 
. 

Control plan 


Assist in developing a control plan to document and hold the gains, and assist in implementing controls and monitoring systems. 
Improve and Control: Module Overview
Design of Experiments: Learning Objectives
At the end of this Improve and Control topic, all learners will be able to:
define and describe basic DOE terms such as independent and dependent variables, factors and levels, response, treatment, error, repetition, and replication.
interpret main effects and interaction plots.
Design and Analysis of Experiments
Design of experiments (DOE) are used to craft welldesigned efforts to identify which process changes yield the best possible results for sustained improvement. Whereas most experiments address only one factor at a time, the design and analysis of experiments methodology focuses on multiple factors at one time. DOE provides the data that illustrates the significance to the output of input variables acting alone or interacting with one another. 
ASQ defines design of experiments (DOE) as a “branch of applied statistics dealing with planning, conducting, analyzing and interpreting controlled tests to evaluate the factors that control the value of a parameter or group of parameters.” 
Design and analysis of experiments provides these advantages over other, 
more traditional methods:
Evaluating multiple factors at the same time can reduce the time needed for experimentation.
Some welldesigned experiments do not require the use of sophisticated statistical methods to understand the results at a basic level. However, computer software can be used to yield very precise results as needed.
The costs vary depending on the experiment, but the financial benefits realized from these experiments can be substantial.
DOE Components
The graphic below depicts an example of a relationship between the components that DOE examines. 
process input variables, normally referred to as x variables and as factors in design and analysis of experiments terminology 
process output variables, normally referred to as y variables and as responses in design and analysis of experiments terminology 
the relationship between input variables and output variables 
the interaction, or relationship, between input variables as it relates to the output variables 
DOE Terminology 

Certain terms used with Design of Experiments need to be defined clearly. 

Term 
Definition 

Independent 
A 
variable that can contribute to the explanation of the outcome 

Variable 
of an experiment. Also known as a “predictor variable.” 

Dependent 
A 
variable representing the outcome of an experiment. The 

Variable 
response is often referred to as the “output variable" or“response variable.” 
Factors 
A 
predictor (or independent) variable that is varied with the 
intent of assessing its effect on a response (or dependent) variable. Most often referred to as an “input variable.” A factor may be quantitative (such as a temperature in degrees F or cycle time in pieces per minute) or qualitative (such as a 

different production machine or a different mold). 

Levels 
A 
specific setting for a factor. In DOE, levels are frequently set 
as high and low for each factor. A potential setting, value, or assignment of a factor of the value of the predictor variable. If the experiment is to be performed at two different temperatures, then the “factor” temperature has two levels. For example, if the factor is time, then the low level may be 50 minutes, and the high level may be 70 minutes. 

Response 
A 
single level assigned to a single factor in an experiment. For 
example, cycle time at 300 pieces per minute is a treatment. A treatment combination is the set of levels for all factors in a specific experimental run. For example, a temperature of 150 degrees F, cycle time of 300 pieces per minute, and a blow pressure of 50 psi is a treatment combination. 

Treatment 
The specific setting of factor levels for an experimental unit. For example, a level of temperature at 65 degrees C and a level of time at 45 minutes describe a treatment as it relates to an output of yield. 

Error 
An error from an experiment reveals variation in the outcome of identical tests. An error is variation in the response variable beyond that accounted for by the factors, blocks, or other assignable sources while conducting an experiment. Many times referred to as “experimental error.” 

Replication 
Performance of an experiment more than once for a given set of predictor variables. Each of the repetitions of the experiment is called a “replicate.” Replication differs from repeated measures 

in 
that replication is a repeat of the entire experiment for a 

given set of predictor variables, not just repeat of measurements of the same experiment. Note: Replication increases the precision of the estimates of the effects in an experiment. Replication is more effective when all elements contributing to the experimental error are included. In some cases, replication may be limited to repeated measures under essentially the same conditions. In other cases, replication may be deliberately different, though similar, in order to make the results more general. 

Repeated 
A 
repeated measure, or repetition, is the measurement of a 
Measures 
response variable more than once under similar conditions. Repeated measures allow one to determine the inherent variability in the measurement system. Repetition occurs when each run is conducted n times in a row. 

(Repetition) 
Interactions and Main Effects
Interactions are a condition when the effect of one factor depends on the level of another input factor. The condition’s combined effect is greater than the individual effect either factor would create on its own and the sum of the individual effects. For instance, the combined effect of medication X and alcohol causes more drowsiness than either the medication or alcohol does on its own. Think of this interaction as 2 + 2 = 5.
When studying a process in a Six Sigma project, many factors interact. Using experiments containing all combinations of all levels of all factors (full factorial) is very timeconsuming and not always costeffective. With fractional factorial(selected) experiments, not all interactions occur. Since advantages and disadvantages exist, you must carefully plan to improve the process.
You can view a main effects analysis of an interaction from the perspective of either variable. Keep in mind that one perspective may provide a better view than the other. The degree of nonparallel lines visually displays the interaction. You can determine a mathematical relationship by relating two points from each line and compute the relationship as follows:
A x B interaction effect = (A1B1  A2B1)  (A1B2  A2B2)
Statistical Process Control: Learning Objectives
At the end of this Improve and Control topic, all learners will be able to:
describe the objectives and benefits of SPC, including controlling process performance, identifying special and common causes, etc.
define and describe how rational subgrouping is used.
identify, select, construct, and apply the following types of control charts:Xbar and R, Xbar and s, individuals and moving range (ImR / XMR), median (X~ and R), p, np, c and u.
interpret control charts and distinguish between common and special causes using rules for determining statistical control.
SPC Background
"A phenomenon will be said to be controlled, when, through the use of past experience, we can predict, at least within limits, how the phenomenon may be expected to behave in the future."  Walter Shewhart 

Statistical process control (SPC) is not a particular technique or procedure, but a philosophy focusing on optimizing continuous improvement by using statistical tools for analyzing data, making inferences about process behavior, and then making a decision. 

Pioneered by Dr. Walter Shewhart in the 1920s and later enhanced by Dr. 

W. Edwards Deming, SPC is a collection of statistical techniques used to 

measure and analyze the variation in processes. A process is monitored by sampling data from the process stream. The data provide clues about the process operation from which consistency of process improvement can be measured. If the variability is large, the next step is to investigate root causes of the variability. 

The basic rule of SPC is to leave the variations from common causes to chance, and instead focus on identifying and eliminating special causes. Since all processes are subject to variation, SPC relies on the evidence rather than intuition. 
SPC Objectives
Dr. 
Shewhart’s pioneering work in the area of process analysis enabled 
generations of quality engineers to adopt an effective approach to data analysis and process monitoring. For use by any organization measuring processes (not just manufacturing), SPC is a feedback system for identifying the need for process intervention. 
Objectives of SPC 
Produce data to inform and guide process improvement 
Reduce variation 
Increase knowledge about the process 
Quickly detect occurrences of special causes shifting the process 
Uses of SPC techniques 
Monitor processes for maintaining control 
Detect outofcontrol conditions in processes 
Analyze process capability 
Serve as a decisionmaking tool 
Assures customers that product is produced consistently over time 
Enables proactive process improvement 
Increase profits and improve customer service by the following: 
Assuring customers that product is produced consistently over time 
Increasing product consistency 
Improving product quality 
Reducing the need for inspection 
Decreasing scrap and rework 
Increasing production output 
Streamlining processes 
SPC Tools
Basic Quality Tools 
The following are important SPC tools: 
Flow charts 
Run charts 
Pareto charts and analysis 
Fishbone diagrams 
Histograms 
Scatter diagrams 
SPC Methods 
Control charts 
Precontrol charts 
Process capability analysis 
Advanced Statistical Analysis Methods 
Regression and correlation 
Hypothesis testing 
Design of experiments
Analysis of variance
SPC Basic Statistical Concepts
These concepts are the basis for statistical process control.
Variation – A change in the process data, a characteristic, or a function that results from some cause.
Stability – The condition when observing only random variation around the process target; the absence of special causes of variation; the property of being in statistical control.
Capability – The performance of a process demonstrated to be in a state of statistical control.
Overadjustment – Making adjustments to a process based on limited data
Rational Subgrouping
Rational subgrouping is a subset defined by a specific factor. As a sample with variations caused by conditions producing random effects, the rational subgroup identifies and separates variations by special causes. Rational subgroups are our attempt to ask the right questions about the data. Selecting the appropriate control chart to use depends on the subgroups.
The issue of rational subgroups is perhaps one of the least understood ideas in all of statistical process control. As Donald J. Wheeler points out in Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, rational subgroups are part of the conceptual foundation of Shewhart charts.
Key Concepts in Rational Subgrouping
Select a Measurement 

Identify a significant process variable or product characteristic to track. 

Focus on the vital few, not the trivial many. 

Select the appropriate data for the charts you may want to use. 

Practice similar subgroup elements. 

Number of Subgroups 

Establishing rational subgroups is important for dividing observations. 

Compute statistics for each subgroup separately before plotting on the control chart. 

Define a minimal chance of variation within a subgroup: 

o Five subgroups of five typically provide more useful information than one subgroup of 25, because the elapsed time between samples is minimized, providing more opportunities to detect process shift. 

Defect or Defective 

Defect – An undesirable result on a product; also known as a 

“nonconformity.” (Note: 
The biggest difference between the term 
defect and nonconformity is that defect has product liability associated with it.) 

Defective ) – An entire unit failing to meet specifications; also known as a “nonconformance.” (Note: A defective part may have one or 

more defects.) 

Sample Size Generally, a sample size consists of five to ten items produced under essentially the same conditions. 
Rational Subgrouping Summary
Construct rational subgroups to allow for quick identification of the most important sources of variation. This is typically more important than the question of subgroup size, though more people seem to worry about subgroup size.
Without an appropriately designed control chart (one that detects the signals effectively and helps identify the sources of variation), control
charts simply become data collection devices that do not support the process of continual improvement (and, in fact, probably hinder it).
Rational Subgrouping Activity
Rational subgroups are subgroups of data collected under relatively homogeneous conditions, and structured in a way that allows for the monitoring of the sources of variation of interest. See below for an example of rational subgroups. Samples in a rational subgroup should be from the same set of causes. For example, samples manufactured on different machine processes would not normally be included in the same subgroup or monitored on the same control chart.
For Example
A quality engineer (QE) desires to monitor a process that manufactures PET (plastic) bottles for the beverage industry. The bottles are injection ‐ molded on a multicavity carousel. The particular carousel contains four cavities, and the QE initially decides to take three bottles from each cavity each hour and measure a critical characteristic. The data might look like the table below (where M1, M2, and M3 are the three measures).
Option 1: Every hour, take three samples (subgroups) of four bottles (n = 4) at random. Plot the process (on one chart).
Positives
Each hour has three averages and three ranges to plot.
The range indicates overall process variation.
The option provides overall assessment of the quality during the time period.
Option provides data for overall assessment of process capability.
This is the easiest method of sampling.
Negatives
Data are sampled without regard as to which cavity.
Do not provide data relative to individual cavities to assist in looking for causes of variation.
Option 2: Every hour, take three samples (subgroups) of four bottles (n = 4) of one bottle from each cavity. Plot chart for process on one chart.
Positives
Data records the cavity the bottle is from.
Each hour has three averages and three ranges to plot.
Data provides overall assessment of the quality during the time period.
Data provides a basis for overall assessment of process capability.
The range reflects the difference between the cavities.
Negatives
Procedure requires more time collecting and recording data.
Data would be available to perform assessment by cavity, but requires additional analysis, not immediate feedback.
The chart may indicate instability due to the mixture of the three cavities, even when the three cavities are stable.
Option 3: Every hour, take four samples (subgroups) and three bottles (n = 3) with each sample from a different cavity. Plot chart each cavity on separate charts.
Positives
Maintaining four separate charts (one per cavity).
Each chart has one mean and one range to plot each hour.
Easy identification of where (which cavity) changes in the process occur.
Areas of need for improvement can be readily targeted.
Subgroups provide data relative to capability by cavity.
Subgroups provide most information relative to the process.
Negatives
Requires more time for data collection and plotting.
Requires collecting more data to establish the control limits.
Key Questions
Each option is appropriate depending on the circumstances. Key questions to consider are the following:
How capable is the process?
Is monitoring overall quality more important than detecting shifts?
How easy is it to identify a special cause when it occurs?
How much does it cost to collect the data and perform the tests?
Summary
Rational subgroups are our attempts to be sure that we are asking the right questions about the data.
Creating rational subgroups is not the same thing as obtaining a random sample. When obtaining a random sample, each member of the sampling frame has the same chance of being selected (not the goal of rational subgrouping).
Construct rational subgroups to allow for quick identification of the most important sources of variation.
Subgroup size is important, but not more important than identifying sources of variation.
Without appropriate design, control charts simply become data collection devices that do not support the process of continual improvement.
Effective detection of signals and identification of the sources of variation results from appropriately designed control charts.
Rational Subgrouping Exercise
The following example is taken from The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook by Donald W. Benbow and T.M. Kubiak.
Suppose a candymaking process uses 40 pistons to deposit 40 chocolate pieces on a moving sheet of wax paper in a 5 x 8 array on a conveyor belt. Below are two options illustrating how a rational subgrouping of five are selected:
Option 1: The first five chocolates in each row formed by five different pistons.
Option 2: The upper lefthand chocolate formed in five consecutive arrays by the same piston.
Answer)Rightis2(Option:Answer
Control Charts
Originated by Walter Shewhart, control charts are a type of graph for studying how a process changes over time. Samples are entered onto a control chart in a timeorder sequence. By comparing data points to a central line average, with an upper control limit (UCL) and lower control limit (LCL), users can note variation, track common causes, and seek special causes. Alternative names are “statistical process control charts” and “Shewhart charts.”
Control Charts: Run Charts
Run charts display data measures over time without the central line average and the limits
Basic Control Charts
Use Basic Control Charts When 
Controlling ongoing processes by finding and correcting problems as they occur. 
Predicting the expected range of outcomes from a process. 
Determining if a process is in statistical control. 
Differentiating variation from nonroutine events or common causes. 
Determining whether the quality improvement should aim to prevent specific problems or make fundamental process changes. 
The process is in statistical control. 
Procedure 
1. Choose the appropriate control chart for your data (Information about specific type appears later). 
2. Determine the appropriate time period for collecting and plotting data. 
3. Collect data, and construct the chart with trial control limits, using rational subgrouping. 
4. Analyze the chart to determine process stability, looking for outof control signals. 
5. Resolve any control issues, looking for assignable causes. 
6. Recalculate the limits as necessary. 
7. Prepare charts and instructions for production use. 
8. Take samples and record data on the control chart. 
9. Look for outofcontrol conditions. 
10. When outofcontrol conditions occur, take appropriate action. Otherwise, leave the process alone. 
Control Chart Tips
Time is always the horizontal (X) axis.
Control charts must have:
o 
Centerline (grand average) 
o 
An upper control limit (UCL) and lower control limit (LCL) 
o 
Data points 
o 
Title 
o 
Legend 
o 
Labeled axes 
When starting a new control chart, the process must be in control.
The control limits calculated from the first 20 points are conditional limits.
Recalculate the control limits after collecting at least 25 to 30 timeordered
points from a period when the process is operating in control, or whenever a significant and known change to the process has occurred.
Developing a control chart with fewer than 2530 points may not be statistically valid.
If encountering an outlier when developing the control chart, investigate to see if there is an assignable cause; if so, eliminate the point from the analysis.
Control Chart Types
Different types of control charts exist depending on the measurement used. This topic reviews two basic categories of control: variable charts and attribute charts. 
Variable charts 
Constructed from variable data (data that consists of measurements like weight, length, etc.) 
Variable data contains more information than data that simply qualifies or counts something. 
Consequently, variable charts are some of the most powerful tools in quality improvement. 
Types: Average and range (Xbar and R), median and range (X~ and R), average and standard deviation (Xbar and s), and individual and moving range (XMR, IMR, or ImR). 
Samples are taken in a constant subgroup size of between two and ten at predetermined intervals with the statistic (mean and range or standard deviation) calculated and recorded in a timeorder sequence on the chart. 
Attribute charts 
Use attribute data (data that counts items, such as the number of rejects or the number of errors). 
Control charts based on attribute data are generally less powerful. 
Sometimes more difficult to interpret than variable charts. 
Types: pcharts, npcharts, ccharts, ucharts. 
Samples are taken from lots of material where the number of defective units in the sample are counted (for p and npcharts) or the number of individual defects are counted for a defined unit (c and u charts). 
Sample data are recorded in a timeorder sequence on the chart. 
Attribute charts that count defectives (p charts and np charts) are based on the binomial distribution. 
Attribute charts that count defects (c charts and u charts) are based on the Poisson distribution. 
The structure of both types of control charts is similar, but the statistical construction of the control limits is different due to the differences in the distributions. 

Control Charts Roadmap
The roadmap below leads users to the appropriate control chart. To introduce a control chart type in upcoming sections, this map will reappear highlighting the path (characteristics) of the particular control chart. Study each to learn the characteristics of each control chart.
XBar and R
The average and range chart or Xbar and R chart is the first type of variable control chart we will explore.
Calculating XBar and R
Xbar and R charts are commonly used as Xbar evaluates the process’s central tendency over time, while the range (R) evaluates the process spread over time. Calculating Xbar and R requires the steps presented on the following pages.
Collect Data by Subgroup
Calculate the Mean for Each Group
Calculate the Range within Each Group
Find the Appropriate A2 Value
Calculate the UCL and LCL for the Mean
Find D4 and D3 from Reference Table
Calculate the UCL and LCL for the Ranges
Finished
Completed Xbar and R Graph
The image below is an example of a completed Xbar and R graph.
Median (XTilde and R)
The median control chart or X~ and R chart is easier to use and requires fewer calculations than the average and range chart or Xbar and R chart. The median, rather than the average of the sample, is plotted. The advantage of using a median chart is the ease of using arithmetic.
X~ and R charts are similar to Xbar and R charts, but plot the median of the sample rather than the average. The median chart is often used when outliers are expected.
Xbar and s
The average and standard deviation chart (Xbar and s) is quite similar to the average and range chart, except that the statistic used to measure subgroup dispersion is the subgroup standard deviation, instead of the subgroup range.
Meanandstandard deviation (Xbar and s) control charts are conceptually similar to Xbar and R control charts. Instead of using the subgroup’s range, the Xbar and s use standard deviation (a measure of dispersion). With subgroups greater than 10, Xbar and s are more efficient than Xbar and R, but more difficult to calculate and understand.
Moving Range
Various control charts may be applicable depending on the situation and available data. Given the unknowns of future projects and situations, the Certified Quality professional may prefer to use the individual and moving range (XMR, IMR) control chart. 
Quality professionals often use this chart with limited data, such as when production rates are slow, testing costs are very high, or there is a high level of uncertainty relative to future projects. The individual and moving range chart is also used where data are plentiful, such as in the case of automatic testing of every unit where no basis exists for establishing subgroups. 
On a typical moving range chart, calculate the range between two successive units (n = 2), but more successive units may be included in the range calculation. The factors for calculating upper and lower control limits on the MRchart are the same as those used in the Rchart. 
On the Xchart, plot every observation, and calculate the upper and lower limits using the factor 
E2. 
XMR
The individual and moving range chart (XMR, IMR) is applicable when the sample size used for process monitoring is n = 1. 
Also called IMR, it is named moving range because of the calculation of a constant changing range between two successive values. 
Good for: 
individual measurements or situations where there is not a basis for rational subgrouping 
infrequently repeating processes 
process operating differently at different times 
pCharts
The pchart is one of the mostused types of attribute charts. It shows the proportion of defective items in successive samples of equal or varying size. The proportion is the number of defectives divided by the number in the sample. To develop the control limits for a pchart, consider this example, in which we are inspecting a variable sample size and recording the number of nonconforming items in each sample.
pchart Concepts
Variable Sample Sizes 
Sample size n does not affect the centerline on a pchart. However, the calculation of the upper and lower control limits is dependent on the sample size. 
Where a sample size is variable, a common technique is to calculate the upper and lower control limits using the average sample size. 
When using a chart with control limits, evaluate any points occurring near the upper or lower control limits to determine if, when the actual limits of the sample size are used, an outofcontrol condition exists. 
Alternative Methods 
Once establishing the process average p , alternative methods are available to handle variable sample sizes. 
If using a computer to monitor the process, it is common to calculate the limits based on every sample size. Some refer to this process as having moving limits. 
OR 
Put two sets of limits on the chart, calculated using the maximum and minimum anticipated sample sizes. 
Then evaluate the points falling in between these two limits to determine if, when actual limits for the sample size are used, they signal outofcontrol conditions. 
npCharts
The npchart, number of defective units, is related to the pchart. The npchart is a control chart of the counts of nonconforming items (defectives) in successive samples of constant size.
The npchart can be used in place of the pchart to plot the counts of nonconforming items when there is a constant sample size. In effect, using npcharts involves converting from proportions to a plot of the actual counts.
Summary of p and np Charts
The pchart is used for fraction nonconforming and is used most often. It provides an estimate of the ongoing quality level, and it is easy to use. A customer might request using a pchart to ensure that a certain quality level is being obtained. Recall that pcharts have the advantage of being applicable when subgroup size varies. The npchart, a pchart cousin, is more difficult to use when the subgroup size varies.
The centerlines in pcharts and npcharts may not be midway between the control limits because sometimes the lower control limit is zero.
Binomial distribution serves as the statistical model for both pcharts and np charts.Thus, quality professionals often misuse p and npcharts because they fail to realize that the data does not meet the conditions of a binomial model.
Is a Binomial Model Appropriate?
There are several conditions to meet before the binomial model is applicable and p and npcharts are appropriate:
Each item must either possess or not possess the characteristic in question to the quality standard (items judged as acceptable or not acceptable, good or bad, etc.).
The probability that a given item possesses the characteristic of interest is independent of whether there are or not preceding items.
Quality professionals often use XMR charts instead of p and npcharts, especially when there is doubt about meeting the binomial model conditions.
Introducing c and ucharts 

Ccharts and ucharts are based on the Poisson distribution. These attribute control charts are used to monitor the count of individual defects rather than the number of defective units. Quality professionals use c and ucharts where there are opportunities for many defects per defined inspection unit. 

With c and ucharts, it is very important to define the defects and the unit. The unit is the area of opportunity to count the defects. 

Inspection Unit 
Type of Defects Counted Weld defects Blemishes, snags Solder joint defects, damaged components Incorrect data entry, missing data 

50 
miles of pipeline 

10 
yards of cloth 

50 
circuit boards 

100 forms 
cChart formula
The c‐ chart formula assumes counting the number of defects in the same area of opportunity. The c in the formula is the number of defects found in the defined inspection unit, and that is plotted on the chart. For example, if the inspection unit is 100 forms, count the defects on a sample of 100 forms and plot that number on the c‐chart.
cCharts
Use the cchart (c standing for counts) when you are interested in the number of defects per inspection unit. The formulas for the control limits for the cchart (and the uchart, discussed later) are based upon the Poisson model.
uChart Formula
With a uchart, the number of inspection units may vary. The uchart requires an additional calculation with each sample to determine the average number of defects per inspection unit. The n in the formula is the number of inspection units in the sample.
uCharts
The uchart monitors the defects (nonconformities) per unit when the number of inspection units is allowed to vary.
For Example
A firm generates 250 forms in a given day and inspection found 27 errors.
Since a sample contains 100 forms, 2.5 inspected units were examined (250 forms / 100 forms/sample).
To calculate u (defects per unit), divide the number of errors by the inspection unit (27 errors / 2.5 inspection units).
Plot the u = 10.8 defects per unit on the control chart.
u and Variable Sample Size
Because the uchart equations for the upper and lower control limits are dependent on the number of inspection units (n), use the same alternatives relative to handling the variable sample size as with the pcharts:
Use the average sample size to develop the limits, and evaluate points close to the limits.
Calculate the limits for each sample based on n.
Summary of c and u Charts
Use the cchart to monitor the number of defects (nonconformities). The application of the c chart requires the inspection unit to be defined clearly and the areas of opportunity to be consistent. 

The uchart monitors the defects (nonconformities) per unit, and does not require a constant sample size. This is the reason you had to calculate two sets of limits in the example. It essentially changes the counts into rates in cases where the area of opportunity varies from sample to sample. 

The Poisson model is the statistical model that is the foundation of ccharts and ucharts. Like the binomial model for pcharts and npcharts, the Poisson model has several conditions that must be met: 

The counts must be discrete events. 

The counts must be clearly defined with an unambiguous area of opportunity described. 

The events must be independent. 

The defects (nonconformities) must be few compared to the areas of opportunity. 

Advantage 


Can be used where the nonconformities from many potential sources may be found in a single inspection. 
Disadvantage 


Requires a constant sample size. 
Summary of Attribute Charts
Quality professionals often use attribute charts to monitor the quality of a complex unit when the data are easy to obtain. Many companies are including attribute gauging in their measurement systems. Attribute charts are some of the first charts a quality professional may attempt to use. They will likely discover that a critical process characteristic needs to be monitored with a variable chart. 
pChart 
The most often used, the pchart employs fraction nonconforming data. It provides an estimate of the ongoing quality level, and it is easy to use. A customer might request using a pchart to ensure that a certain quality level is being obtained. Remember that pcharts have the advantage of being applicable when the subgroup size varies. 
npChart 
The npchart records the number of defective units (nonconformances) and is more difficult to use when the subgroup size varies. 
cChart 
The cchart monitors the number of nonconformities (defects) and requires the inspection unit to be defined clearly and the area of opportunity to be consistent. 
uChart 
The uchart monitors the nonconformities (defects) per unit. It essentially changes the counts into rates in cases where the area of opportunity varies from sample to sample. 
Analyzing Control Charts
Every process varies, and the purpose of control charts is to identify how the process is doing against the customer’s target and specifications. Six Sigma links control charts to process capability diagrams. Control limits are 3σ on each side of the targe,t and incontrol processes have 99.7% of the results within the limits.
Control limits set the process boundaries for detecting variations. Since variable data control charts (X and R, X~ and R, X and s and XMR) have two graphs, if either graph shows data outside the limits, the process is out of control. Control charts also serve as the process’s historical record.
Identifying Causes
Interpreting control charts is an art grounded in continual analysis over time. Many common anomalies (such as spikes and points outside the limits) may be obvious; however, some special causes are subtle, and noticed only by the keen observer using the control chart. Control charts help detect special causes that must be found and eliminated.
On the bottom image, notice the difference between first and second shift. Where are special causes noted? Common causes?
Common Signals
To see some of the common signs of an abnormality on a control chart, roll over each term below to see a chart example. When finished, see the next screen for Western Electric guidelines for interpreting control charts.
Common Signal Rules
Wheeler lists Western Electric’s four outofcontrol signal rules: 
Rule 1: A point outside a threesigma limit is taken as a signal of exceptional variation that is attributable to a dominant assignable cause. 
Rule 2: Two out of three successive values on the same side of the centerline and more than two standard deviations away from the centerline are taken as a signal of a moderate but sustained shift in the process. 
Rule 3: Four out of five successive values on the same side of the centerline and more than one standard deviation away from the centerline are taken as a signal of a moderate but sustained shift in the process. 
Rule 4: Eight successive values on the same side of the centerline are taken as a signal of a small but sustained shift. 
Wheeler states that “the presence of any one of these four conditions implies that enough evidence has been accumulated to make you reasonably confident that there has been a change in the process.” 
Implement and Validate Solutions: Learning Objectives
At the end of this Improve and Control topic, all learners will be able to use various improvement methods such as brainstorming, main effects analysis, multivari studies, FMEA, measurement system capability reanalysis, and postimprovement capability analysis to identify, implement, and validate solutions through Ftest, ttest, etc .
Implement and Validate Solutions: Introduction
After the Analyze phase of the Six Sigma process, you have identified significant X’s through the statistical testing process. The next step of the Improve and Control phase of the Six Sigma process is to implement and validate solutions through a fourpart process:
Implement and Validate Solutions: Identify Solutions
Step 1: Identify solutions to address critical X’s. 

Solutions are meant to improve the output (Y) through modification and control of the process and possible removal of one or more of the significant X’s. The following are tools and exercises to generate solution identification: 


The critical X summary chart is a popular tool used to state the critical X’s identified through the DMAIC process. 
Identify solutions to address critical X’s (continued) 

Step 1: Identify solutions to address critical X’s (continued) 


A brainstorming session is a tool for generating as many ideas or solutions as possible to 
a problem or issue. In this case, a datadriven brainstorming session is used instead of a 

“gut” feeling, “I think,” or “I feel” session. At the beginning of your project, a fishbone diagram was used to classify the sources of defects in the process. For the Improve and 

Control phase, potential solutions can be classified in the fishbone diagram using the same categories that you used earlier in the project to identify potential X’s. In the fishbone diagram under the causeandeffectcategory name, click Solution to see a solution example for each category. 


Select and Screen Solutions 

Step 2: Select and screen solutions. 

You will not implement all potential solutions discussed as a result of brainstorming. Selection of the best solutions will depend on other factors beyond the statistical significance of X’s. You need to consider factors such as cost, effort, return on investment, risk and timing. 

The solution selection matrix is a tool to assist in prioritizing potential improvements based on three criteria: 

Cost to implement 

Impact of improvements on critical X’s 

Potential risks of implementing an improvement 

Solution selection matrices are templates, and may vary in format to best fit the industry or business of interest. Keep in mind that just because something has been proven to have a statistical impact does not mean it has a practical impact! 
Pilot  Implements Solutions
Step 3: Pilot  implement solutions.
After completing the FMEA exercise in Step 2, characterize and compare the improvements with high RPNs. The team should discuss how improvements might be implemented and the cost compared to the benefits provided.
If possible, pilot the solution to demonstrate results and to verify that there are no unintended side effects. You can use a DOE to test potential solutions in pilot form. An example of a pilot would be:
during a threemonth time period (quarterly), the manual exception processing within the corporate account department was removed from 80% of the wholesale lockbox transactions.
this data was tracked, collected, and analyzed to compare to the existing process to see if there was an improvement. Using a statistical software program such as Minitab and multivari studies, the results are shown on the next page.
Pilot  Implement Solutions (continued)
This test is used to determine if the process defect rate (proportion, p) of one sample differs by a certain amount D from that of another sample (i.e., before and after improvements are implemented).
H 
_{o} : p _{1} = p _{2} 

H 
_{a} : p _{1} ≠ p _{2} 

Sample 
X 
N 
Sample p 

1 
1417 
2106 
0.672840 

2 
421 
2106 
0.199905 

Estimate for p(1)  p(2): 0.472934 

95% Confidence Interval for p(1)  p(2): (0.446604, 0.499264) 

Test for p(1)  p(2) = 0 (vs. not = 0): 
Z = 35.20 
pvalue = 0.000 

The pvalue <.05 (.0000), so the null hypothesis is rejected (H _{a} : p _{1} ≠ p _{2} ). They are statistically different. This test shows that implementing the suggested solutions will statistically improve the wholesale lockbox process within the corporate account department. 

The improved process “should be” maps are modified based on pilot data and analysis. 
Validate Solutions
Step 4: Validate solutions. 

After implementing solutions, it is important to validate the solutions to see 

if 
the process has been statistically changed. To complete this step, use 
various tools such as measurement system capability reanalysis, post improvement capability analysis, and multivari studies: 

1. The measurement system capability analysis (Gauge R&R) used during the Measure phase can be used here to see if there is an improvement with repeatability, reproducibility, and accuracy. Re administer the Gauge R&R study from the Measure phase and compare results. 

2. To estimate process improvements gained through the project’s life, compare the current process performance to the improved process performance. Complete a process capability study during the Measure phase to see how “capable” the process is currently performing and then again as a postimprovement capability analysis to see how “capable” the improved process is performing. 

3. Determine improvement validation using multivari analysis comparing the “before” process to the improved process to see if a statistically significant gain will be realized from implementing the proposed solutions. The test statistic used for improvement validation is dependent on the type of data. Follow the hypothesis testing roadmap as seen in the Analyze lesson of this course to help you choose which statistical test is appropriate for your data. 
Validate Solutions (continued)
Step 4: Validate solutions (continued) 

The following is an example of a multivari analysis test to discern if there is a statistical difference in the “before” process and the “after” process: 

Chisquare test 

XYZ Human Resources Department completed a Six Sigma project to improve the employee turnover rate. Shown below are the results of comparing data for the last threemonth period before improvements were made to the most recent threemonth period after changes were implemented using a Chisquare table and Minitab: 

H _{o} : p _{b} = p _{a} 

H _{a} : p _{b} > p _{a} 

Sample 
Employees 
Turnovers 
Total 
1 
852 
23 
875 
858.38 
16.62 

0.047 
2.446 

2 
852 
10 
862 
845.62 
16.38 

0.048 
2.483 

Total 
1704 
33 
1737 
Chisquare = 5.024, df = 1, pvalue = 0.025 

The pvalue of 0.025 < 0.05, so the null hypothesis is rejected (H _{a} : p _{b} > p _{a} ). 

The employee turnover rate from the “before” process compared to the “after” process is statistically different, reflecting a lower turnover rate during the latter time period. 
Control Plan Module: Learning Objectives
At the end of this Improve and Control topic, all learners will be able to assist in developing a control plan to document and hold the gains, and assist in implementing controls and monitoring systems.
Control Plan Introduction
A 
control plan is a written summary that explains the systems used to describe, 
monitor, and control a process. Control plans are critical to holding the gains of Six Sigma and ensure that improvements are sustained over time. The plans also identify continual opportunities within the process. 

If 
the gains are not held, all the efforts to make improvements and the time and effort 
spent learning Six Sigma processes are wasted! Therefore, it is imperative that Green Belts assure that control plans are robust and followed, allowing for continuing long 

term competitiveness of the organization. 
Control Plan Basics
The control plan:
provides a systematic memory of the improved status of a process.
provides for timely process troubleshooting and repair.
describes the needed process controls to ensure that the project objectives are maintained over time.
fosters process knowledge transfer to new process team members over time.
facilitates training and audit activities.
displays the targets controls and reaction plans to sustain process improvement.
concentrates on the Xs to ensure that the customer Ys are met.
describes actions needed to ensure that process owners sustain the gains of process improvement.
documents the control activities of a Six Sigma project prior to completion.
The control plan is a collaborative effort created by the project team. As a Green Belt, remember to include representatives of all functions involved in the process, especially the process owner.
Depending on the industry and the organization, control plans will vary in format and content. For the purpose of this course, typical control plan elements will be discussed.
An action/control plan summarizes the:
improved process depicting the process flow.
key process indicators (metrics).
responsibility of the Six Sigma project team members.
Control Plan Procedure
The following are steps in constructing a control plan. See below to learn more.
1. Describe the process.
The mailroom for At Your Service Bank receives commingled mail from the post office. The mail is then sorted by the cost center with return mail separated, bundled, and logged. The return mail is then routed to the respective business unit where it is reviewed for address changes.
2. List the process output user.
The departments within At Your Service Bank are the process output users.
3. List the department/persons.
The departments with incoming/outgoing mail from At Your Service Bank are the persons required to perform the process steps.
4. Provide the process map.
5. Determine the specifications.
Customer requirements: return mail volume of multiple customer relationship items is < 5% of total outgoing mail.
6. Determine the quality indicators.
Quality indicators are used such as control charts, frequency, and sample size to verify that the requirement is met (such as once a day, when the error occurs, 100%, etc.).
Use an Xbar and R chart to track the number of return mail items from customers with multiple relationships with correct address and other account(s).
Check 10 weekly samples.
7. Identify the process control method.
Examples of process control methods are reports, templates, forms, etc.
Review the multiple customer relationship report.
8. Identify the reportable condition.
Return mail volume of multiple customer relationship items > 5% of total outgoing mail.
9. Determine course of action.
Submit a universal system exception note to the IT department to review the multiple relationship maintenance feature.
Improve and Control: Lesson Summary
Design of experiments 
The final phase of the DMAIC process is designed to help the Green Belt identify improvements and test them through the design of experiments (DOE), main effects, and interaction plots. 
Statistical process control 
The control portion of the phase provides tools to continue measuring the process and evaluate the results through the use of various control charts. 
Implement and validate solutions 
Solutions must be developed, tried, and implemented with the support of data. To accomplish this, solutions should be developed using a planned, systematic approach aimed at eliminating or reducing the impact of the identified root cause. 
Control plan 
A successful project is one in which the solutions are implemented, documented, and monitored to prevent the process from reverting to the previous preimprovement state. The goal of the control phase is to "sustain the gain." 
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