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New Year’s Resolution – Go On a Raw Data Diet

Most data is preprocessed or overprocessed. All the nutrients that you need to solve problems are gone. Solution: Go on a Raw Data Diet

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining.

Lean Water Work?

Denver Water sent us a letter back in October about upcoming road closures, then delayed it a month. They moved in a bunch of equipment one week. Then over a week later they jumped into action to install part of a new pipeline  just before a big snow storm. Then it was cold for a week. […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Lean, Service.

Quality Tool Usage at IHI 2016 Poster Presentations

I’ve been monitoring the use of quality tools at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conference for over a decade. This year there was a slight uptick in the use of control charts, but still far below my expectations. How can healthcare hope to achieve and sustain improvements without control charts? There were over 500 posters, […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Statistical Bullies

At IHI, I spoke with one Quality Improvement Adviser who was getting blow back from certain statisticians in her organization. They were challenging her methods and tools and analysis. As I have written before, I call these folks “Stat Bastards” because they belittle others rather than help them. As a member of the American Statistical […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Six Sigma, Statistics.

Bad at Math?

At the IHI 28th Forum in Orlando, one visitor to our exhibit booth said: “I’m bad at math.” She was worried about needing to learn formulas. I hear this same concern from most people thrust into quality improvement. I told her: “You don’t need to know formulas. You just need to know how to select […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

The Great Training Robbery

October 2016 HBR article, Why Leadership Training Fails-and What to Do About It, calls the $160 Billion spent on training in the U.S. the Great Training Robbery. The authors say: “Learning doesn’t lead to better organizational performance, because people soon revert to their old ways of doing things.” Unfortunately, this is true of most Six Sigma […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Lean, Manufacturing, Service, Six Sigma.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Spreadsheet!

Nobody wants to read your spreadsheet! No matter how hard you try to make it pretty, create great labels or whatever, the only person who can read your spreadsheet is a CFO or Excel spreadsheet geek. And the Excel geek is going to tell you 10 ways to make it prettier. The purpose of data […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Why Six Sigma Fails

Over the last 25 years, I’ve gotten to see Six Sigma failures and successes. But in spite of all of the belts trained and investments made, why isn’t product and service quality any better? Why is there so much hassle? Why aren’t more customer experiences hassle-free? I’ve developed a mental list of the most common […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

How to Craft an Improvement Story

In 1975, I went to work at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. I was introduced to Unix and the Shell programming language. The cool thing about Shell was the hundreds of tools that each did simple things and could be cobbled together into scripts that would do amazingly complex things. I later wrote a book, […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Visual Mistake-Proofing

What’s wrong with these recycling containers? Hint: One says PLASTIC ONLY, the other says CANS ONLY, but what do they show?  

Posted by Jay Arthur in Six Sigma.