Improvement Insights – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

Detective Number Two

Detective shows usually have two detectives: one who leaps to arrest an obvious suspect and one who continues investigate the evidence. Which one are you?



“If you’ve ever watched detective shows, there’s always one detective that wants to leap to a solution and arrest the wrong person and just get him off the off the books, right? Then the other detective [says], “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa… wait… wait a minute. We haven’t looked at all the evidence.”

“I see the same thing in Quality Improvement. Every time a team comes together, they all think they know what the right answer is.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

If It Don’t Fit You Must Forget

Trendlines are often fake news. How can you separate fact from fiction? It’s easy.



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

“One of the things that really irritates me about Excel is it’ll add a trend line to any data, but it does not add a “goodness-of-fit” metric automatically. It’s called “R squared,” and R squared should be like .8 or 80% fit in general.

“I’ve seen lots of charts and lots of posters at lots of improvement conferences where the goodness of fit metric is less than 50%. What?! So it’s not really an improvement.

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

More than One Way to Ken a Stat

There’s often more than one way to get an answer with statistics.



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

“The other week we had somebody call in and say, “Can you do XYZ stat?” Well, by that name I didn’t understand what they were talking about, but then I looked up XYZ stat and it was our ABC stat in the QI Macros. Right?

“There’s more than one way to do things in statistics. There’s all kinds of things, all right? I just found out about something called Dixon’s Q and Grubbs’ Outlier Test for small samples… okay.

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

Lean Kitchen Confidential

In Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain describes the essence of a chef’s station, which could apply to any lean cell design.



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

“I was reading Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential, which is about the high-end cooking business out there, but I found a passage that I think applies to Lean Cell Design. I’ll read that to you:

‘As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system – it is profoundly upsetting if some other cook or, God forbid, a waiter – disturbs your precisely and carefully laid-out system.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Automate Measurements to Sustain Improvement

DMAIC suggests that we need to Define and Measure something. Doing it manually won’t work long term. Here’s why:



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

“I have an Apple iPhone and I carry it along and it has a little Health app in it. At the end of the day I can open it up and see how many steps I did that day: 3,000, 5,000, 8,000… whatever it is. It’ll tell me if it was above or below what I’ve done for the last weeks or so.

“What I want you to do is get this idea about measurement: Measurement, as much as possible, should be automated so that it just happens… it just happens.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Zero to Hero

Is it possible to learn anything quickly? To go from Zero to Hero in just a few hours? Yes, I believe so. Here’s why:



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

“I may have told this story before, but it bears repeating again. About eight years ago I was in Hawaii and I found out there was a free ukulele class next door taught by a guy named Jason: Jason Jerome [with] Lahaina Music. Now, Lahaina Music just burnt down [in the 2023 wildfires] but Jason is still teaching classes up and down West Maui.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Traditional Wisdom

In Six Sigma we keep hearing the same messages over and over. Are they wisdom or just tradition?



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

“I saw a quote the other day that I really liked, which said, “Traditional wisdom is often more tradition than wisdom.” I think around the Quality Improvement world we keep hearing the same old stuff: “You must have top leadership commitment.” That’d be great, but that doesn’t mean that that’s what you’re going to get. You need to be the one doing the Quality Improvement stuff. If you’re waiting on your leadership team to get on board, good luck to you.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Start With The Worst First

Don't waste time on simple problems. Start with the worst first!

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Agile Process Improvement Discovery at ASQ Lean Six Sigma Conference

I gave away copies of my Agile Process Innovation book at ASQ’s 2023 Lean Six Sigma conference. One recipient was a man from Norway who told me he “scoffed” at the idea of training people and getting results in a day or two. I was surprised when I saw him again at ASQ LSS 2024. I was even more surprised when he told me what he’d learned!



“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software]. I also wrote a book called “Agile Process Innovation.”

“I went to the American Society for Quality Lean Six Sigma conference back in February of 23 (so, over a year ago).

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Have You Got Jargon Monoxide?

Are you asphyxiating people with Jargon Monoxide? Maybe you need some oxygen language.



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

“I ran across an interesting phrase and I loved it, it was great. They said, “Everybody suffers from… jargon monoxide.” (There, I finally said it!) Jargon monoxide: The asphyxiation through jargon.

“I think Six Sigma is burdened with it from the very start. The words “Six Sigma” make everybody blanch from the get-go. “Sigma? Oh my gosh, that’s statistical! I don’t underst… oh my gosh!” Right? They start to asphyxiate and can’t breathe.

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