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It’s Not My Fault!

I was on a cruise and almost everyone had an explanation for why things weren’t going as planned. Almost everyone said or implied: “It’s not my fault!” Isn’t it time to take responsibility for reporting all faults whether it’s yours or not?



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was on this Cruise in Scandinavia and we were in Oslo and we had to take a train over to Bergen to get to the cruise ship, and they said, “Well, unfortunately they’re working on the tracks and so we have to take a two hour bus ride to get to the remaining four hours of train ride.” And they said kind of like, “Well, it’s not our fault,” and then they said “Well, we can’t leave yet because the catering truck hasn’t arrived from Oslo with the food for the train.” Again, they say “Well, it’s not our fault.”

“They said that phrase over and over again.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Cultures Want To Stay In Sync

To create a Quality Culture you will first need to be out of sync, then become the “cool kid” that everyone wants to sync with. Here’s how:



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“Seth Godin had a blog recently that I think applies to us. Here’s what he said: He said, “Culture, by its very definition, isn’t the work of being right. It’s the work of being in sync.”

“When I was growing up, all the hippies gathered in Haight Ashbury; they weren’t wrong, they were just being in sync.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Agile Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training for Results

21st Century Quality is changing how companies implement Lean Six Sigma. Here’s how:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“Over the last couple of years I’ve been going all of the Quality conferences, and I’ve seen some presentations that I think point us in a useful direction in terms of how to go about implementing Quality and getting results more quickly, and to accelerate, to develop some exponential growth in terms of how we achieve these results.

“About a year and a half ago I was at the Lean Six Sigma conference in Phoenix , and I saw Christus Health, and they talked about how they started out trying to do the traditional “Big Sigma Black Belt / Green Belt” whole thing, but they weren’t getting any results.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Exponential Quality 2.0

The keynote speaker at ASQ World Conference on Quality Improvement reiterated the exponential change challenge. It’s critical to quality professionals everywhere. Here’s what he said:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was at the ASQ World Conference in scenic Fort Worth, and oddly enough they had the same keynote speaker they had at the Lean Six Sigma conference in February in Phoenix. Now, I don’t know if ASQ is trying to save money by getting a bulk deal or if they’re trying to send out this message.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Sameness or Difference?

How you look at things can make all the difference in the results you achieve in the world. Here’s why:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I just got back from a whirlwind cruise of Scandinavia: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Copenhagen, Germany, St. Petersburg in Russia, Estonia… and one of the things that struck me about this is as you go around, how similar we all are. We all want to make a good living doing meaningful work, we want to raise successful children, we want to have our own home, all of these things we’re similar, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Where are the Quality Tools at ASQ WCQI?

Having reviewed the quality tool usage in posters at ASQ WCQI, I have to ask: Where are the Quality Tools?



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was at the ASQ World conference and I looked at the team posters – you know, the improvement posters that were located in the exhibit hall. Surprisingly, out of all of all these little posters that were out there were there only two control charts, there were about five fishbone [diagrams], maybe one Pareto chart, but most the rest of it was line and bar charts.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, QI Macros.

Agile – Fail Fast, Fail Forward

Agile Silicon Valley Companies have this motto: Fail Fast, Fail Forward. Here’s how it applies to Lean Six Sigma:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was out at the ASQ World Conference this year and I was observing this guy talking about exponential growth, and he was saying that in Silicon Valley they have a motto: “Fail Fast, Fail Forward.”

“Now I think everybody worries about failing in their first project or whatever it is. No, “fail fast, fail forward,” that’s the Agile approach to things: Rapid iteration to converge on a better world, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog.

Hacking Lean Six Sigma Training

In the early 1990s, I took a control chart class that lasted five days. We learned decision trees and how to calculate control chart formulas with a calculator. I knew that the phone company would never tolerate five-day trainings for 70,000 employees and I knew that few of our employees would tolerate calculating these formulas manually. The only way to remove this barrier was to automate it. Here’s how I did it.

Let’s stop teaching people things they don’t need to know. It’s waste. When I automated everything, it shortened the training and increased retention and results. You can too.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

One and Done

This phrase popped up at the Lean Six Sigma World conference. Here’s what it means: Don’t be a “one-trick pony.”



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was down in San Antonio for the Lean Six Sigma World Conference and I heard a phrase that I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. The phrase was, “One and done.” “One and done.”

“Now, it turns out what they were talking about was people were getting their Green Belt training and guess what? They do one project and then they’re done. They got their certificate… you know, they’re certified, and that gives them a little bit better job, but then they don’t go on to do any more projects.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Will It Work Here?

Agile Lean Six Sigma approach will rapidly answer this question. One-day Yellow Belt problem solving will get results where Green Belt and Black Belt training may not.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was out at the Lean Six Sigma World Conference in San Antonio there was a very interesting presentation about Yellow Belt trainings. What they found was that if they did it a certain way (which is the way I’ve been doing it for the last twenty years) that they got better results. Well, that’s kind of cool, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.