Technology Today

2012 Issue 2

Raytheon Six Sigma™ Promotes Success

Raytheon Six Sigma (R6σ®) has a legacy of contributing to the success of our company. In keeping with that rich heritage, we recently launched our Raytheon Six Sigma Rethink Success campaign, which ushers in a new era for R6σ. Based on employee and customer input, we've implemented improvements during the past year that make the program even more rewarding for practitioners and more successful for Raytheon and our customers. Our programs, customers, suppliers and partners are all being challenged to do more with the same — all with greater agility. In essence, R6σ continues to improve.

R6σ is Raytheon's disciplined, knowledge-based approach empowering us to increase productivity, positively impact the business and achieve customer satisfaction.

The classic Six Sigma approach, developed by Motorola, has its underpinnings in hardware design and manufacturing. Traditional Lean aspects are derived from the Toyota Production System and also trace back to a manufacturing environment. In 1998, Raytheon introduced a consolidated approach to applying these two tool-based methods and added customer and culture as focal points. This comprehensive and unique approach to process improvement was named Raytheon Six Sigma.

From helping teams reach organizational goals, to reducing program risk, to ensuring robust products and services, the R6σ strategy gives every employee the tools and resources needed to improve results and deliver greater value. Each stage of the R6σ journey challenges team members to think differently. As they progress, they acquire new insights that allow them to improve efficiency and produce impactful results.

R6σ and engineering go hand in hand. Engineers are routinely tasked to lower cost and maintain performance, to increase yield and to reduce the impact of variation. Applying R6σ makes managing this responsibility easier. Its evolving resources help engineers deliver data-driven, analytical solutions; robust designs with sufficient margins; and cost-effective products and processes. Examples of engineering activities supported by R6σ include:

  • Developing trade studies and cost as an independent variable (CAIV) analysis.
  • Developing design margin analysis and yield improvement projects.
  • Performing test optimization using design of experiments (DOE).
  • Optimizing processes using statistical methods.
  • Performing root cause analysis (RCA).
  • Designing and analyzing simulation experiments.
  • Applying agile engineering methods (Scrum, Extreme Programming, Unified Process, Evolutionary Project-Management).

R6σ is here for us and for our customers as we work together to meet the challenges of today's environment.


Brian Depree

Brian Depree

Director of Business Development Operations, Raytheon Australia,
Raytheon Six Sigma™ Expert

As director of Business Development, Brian Depree works closely with present and prospective customers to satisfy their needs through the application of Raytheon's technologies using sound and reliable processes enabled by R6σ®. Prior to this, he held a variety of lead roles in program management, R6σ and risk management. Before joining Raytheon, Depree spent 24 years with the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an aircraft maintenance engineer. He has expertise in the fields of project and risk management; continuous improvement; cultural change; six sigma; aeronautical maintenance; management of workshops, contracts and project teams; as well as expertise in training and quality assurance.

On having recently received his expert certification at Raytheon, Depree comments, "the R6σ Expert role was a unique opportunity to become involved across the business and understand the company at a strategic level. I would encourage people to consider becoming involved in the R6σ community for two reasons: the opportunities they will be exposed to throughout the Raytheon business and the personal development opportunities for their career."

One of the highlights of Depree's expert journey was working with on-site teams, managers and customers to introduce improvements to maintenance processes on the Squirrel Light Utility Helicopter Servicing (SLUHS) program. This work resulted in enhanced program performance and, most importantly — a satisfied customer.

On his R6σ experience, Depree remarks, "R6σ has exposed me to a wide variety of people and functions within Raytheon Australia — all have added to the challenge and enjoyment of taking the R6σ journey. I enjoy the variety that comes with the operations role and the opportunity to develop this role so it continues to provide value to both Raytheon Australia and our customers. R6σ is instrumental in helping me to support the business development team and to deliver the results our customers require."


Joanna Wood

Joanna Wood

Head of Performance Excellence, Raytheon UK
Raytheon Six Sigma™ Expert

Joanna Wood is the head of Performance Excellence and a member of the Raytheon UK Engineering, Technology and Quality Assurance leadership team.

In this role, Wood has overall responsibility for ensuring cross-site governance of all engineering processes and tools, and for deploying continuous improvement initiatives across the whole of Engineering in the U.K. She is also responsible for creating and driving the engineering strategy to transform the engineering function from the as-is to the desired to-be state.

"I enjoy looking after the strategy for Engineering in addition to the governance for the same reason that I became a systems engineer," Wood states. "I love to be able to see the big picture and break it down into initiatives we can run to transform and improve the Engineering and Quality function."

Prior to her current role, Wood was formerly the head of Engineering for the Raytheon Uxbridge site, also in the U.K. In this role, she held the responsibility for managing resources associated with all engineering projects and bids at the Uxbridge facility, as well as ensuring that bids, estimates and engineering work from this site were accurate and reflected engineering best practices and implementation.

Wood speaks to the importance of process: "I love to work across the diverse range of technologies that we have in the U.K., and across Raytheon as a whole. My training as a Raytheon Six Sigma Expert has really helped me with everything that I do in my day-to-day role. Managing every task and initiative, considering how it relates to the Raytheon bottom line, and being able to carry out improvements in a systematic and controlled manner are very important to me and the work that I do."

Wood earned her bachelor's degree in physics with Space Science from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and she holds a master's degree in nuclear physics.


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