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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.

Which Came First, Management Support or Results?

What’s the easiest way to get management support for Lean Six Sigma?



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

“If you’ve been around Six Sigma or TQM and all these other things, you often hear it said (and you know it’s one of Deming’s 14 points) that you need management commitment and support… to get results – to get anything going.

“I’m going to disagree. I’m going to suggest to you that if you start getting results and start improving things and saving time, saving money, saving lives using the tools of quality, you will get management support.

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

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.

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.

Six Sigma Project Birthdays

If you have to throw a birthday party for your improvement project because it isn’t complete, you’re not alone, but you’ve lost sight of the outcome.



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

“At the Lean Six Sigma World Conference I heard another phrase that I had never heard before: “Project Birthdays.” What? A project that has lasted so long, a year later it’s having a birthday and it’s still not done yet. In one of the studies the Green Belt teams had as long as 16 months to complete a project.

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

Six Sigma Unicorns

One session at the Lean Six Sigma World conference presented findings from of a study of successful Lean Six Sigma implementations. If you think your company can become a unicorn, watch now:



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

“I was in San Antonio at the Lean Six Sigma World Conference and there was a presentation by a couple of consultants about a study they’d done on successful Lean and Six Sigma deployments. Now, unfortunately it was a little skewed, because the minimum size of the company was 150 million dollars going up to about 750 million dollars, so you have Fortune 500 companies with deep pockets.

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

Are Limiting Beliefs Stopping Your Improvement Projects?

Everyone has limiting beliefs and they could be stopping your improvement projects. Here’s why and what to do about it.  



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. I want to talk to you about something that sounds a little bit out of the Six Sigma ballpark.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is people will develop limiting beliefs about what’s possible. They’ll say, “Well, I can’t fix that because…” or “I can’t do this because my boss won’t let me,” or “I can’t do this because management doesn’t understand control charts, performance charts,” …or whatever.

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

4/23/19 Agile Lean Six Sigma Webinar

Almost 50 people signed up for this webinar to hear Jay Arthur’s take on the 20th century origins of Lean and Six Sigma, and where he feels it’s headed in the 21st century.


Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Webinar.

Process Before Projects

You’ve heard the phrase “Cart before the horse?” Well one Agile company learned a similar phrase during their implementation. Save yourself a lot of time and effort by learning this simple phrase.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. I was at the ASQ Lean Six Sigma conference and there was a whole presentation on a company that had implemented Agile for software development, and I was kind of stunned to discover that I think they said they spent $15 million implementing Agile. Well, if you’re spending that much money, I’m not sure you’re being Agile, but anyway…

“So the one thing that they really said about implementing Agile for software improvement, the mistake they made was they started doing projects before they improved the process.

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

2/12/19 Agile Lean Six Sigma Webinar

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Webinar.