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1. If your Lean Six Sigma project has determined there are both special causes and common causes contributing to the problem, which should be solved first and why?
Special cause must be solved first to create a stable baseline for evaluating the impact of solving common cause problems
The order for implementing solution should be based upon cost, schedule and technical difficulty – not whether the cause was a special cause or common cause
Special cause should be solved first because they are usually easier to address than the system changes required to solve common cause issues
2. What is a typical approach used for creating a solution to a special cause problem?
Recalibrating the process so that the variation that occurs is within the allowed specifications
Using the 6 M’s to identify the enabling factors of the cause and eliminate or control them
Using a cause and effect diagram to isolate the cause
3. What is a typical approach used for creating a solution to a common cause problem?
Switch to a different process that has less inherent variation
Establish an early warning monitor to notify the process operators when the cause is present so they can take appropriate action
Create a value stream map and data boxes so as to calculate the roll-throughput yield in quantify and isolate the major contributors to the problem
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