Six Sigma in a Nutshell

Over the years, I've worked on many Six Sigma projects. While I've learned hundreds of improvement tools, virtually every project was done with five tools used in a particular order. The multi-million dollar projects were all accomplished with these tools in a matter of days, not months or years as some people believe is necessary. You can easily create breakthrough improvements using these tools and the QI Macros for Excel.

  Six Sigma in a Nutshell
1 pivot table

Excel PivotTables summarize massive dumps of data about defects, mistakes and errors. It doesn't matter if you're in manufacturing or healthcare; every business tracks data about mistakes and errors. When you use PivotTables to summarize this data, it becomes easy to create breakthrough improvements.
(QI Macros PivotTable Wizard)

2 control charts Control Charts to measure and monitor the performance of any process. Without control charts, you cannot sustain improvements.
(Control Charts)

3 pareto charts Pareto Charts identify the most frequent types of defects, mistakes and errors.
(Pareto Chart)

3 histograms

Histograms help analyze and reduce deviation and variation.

Note: Use Pareto Charts for defects and Histograms for deviation.

4 fishbone
Ishikawa (fishbone) diagrams identify the root causes of the problem.
(See the new, automated Fishbone diagram at: (Improvement Tools-Ishikawa/Fishbone Diagram )

5 checksheetcountermeasures

Matrix diagrams like check sheets, countermeasures and action plans collect data and prioritize corrective actions.

Often, a simple checksheet is all that is needed to gather data about specific defects, mistakes or errors identified by the PivotTable/Pareto analysis. A countermeasures matrix identifies the most desirable corrective actions.
(Improvement Tools-Countermeasures Matrix) and checksheets.

Master the tools in this order and you'll be well on your way to creating breakthrough improvement with Six Sigma. QI Macros will support you every step of the way.

To learn more about Breakthrough Improvement with the QI Macros and Excel, get my new book (click here) and watch the supporting videos (click here).

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2014 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537,"

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