Improvement Insights – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

How Do You Make Countermeasures Stick?

How do you make improvement countermeasures stick? The answer might surprise you.



 

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

“You know, one of the things about countermeasures is when somebody else invents the countermeasure and makes you do it, guess what? You don’t like it very much. So when we were all told to wear masks, wash our hands, stay out of crowds… guess what? Some people really hated that. Now me as a Quality guy, I said “Oh, they know what the countermeasures are. I should wear my mask, wash my hands, stay out of crowds,” but not everyone does that.

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

Jargon vs Clarity

Ever noticed how long it takes people to learn to speak the jargon of Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement? Maybe it’s time for a change.



 

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

“Over my 30+ years in Quality Improvement I’ve learned all kinds of Japanese words like “kaizen” and “gemba” and “Ishikawa.” Nothing’s worse than “statistical process control” because nobody likes statistics, everybody thinks processes are boring and control is something that nobody in the United States of America likes, right? They just don’t.

“So, I think we become jargon-rich and clarity-poor.

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

Countermeasures Mean the Absence of Pain

How do you know when your countermeasures are working? Nothing bad happens. But it’s often difficult to notice unless you look back into past. We all have absence blindness – we can’t see what isn’t there.



 

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

“Now, I don’t know about you, but I spent the last year and a half wearing a mask, washing my hands and staying out of crowds. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t get COVID and my wife and I went to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and went to Hawaii on vacation, but we didn’t catch COVID.

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

Spreadsheets are Slow – Smart Charts Are Fast

Ever noticed how long it takes for people to analyze a spreadsheet? Too long. How can a smart chart eliminate the delay and accelerate understanding?



 

“One of the things I’ve learned is spreadsheets… People do a lot of spreadsheets. 54% of the Excel spreadsheets out there have no formulas in them, or anything else for that matter; they’re just little reporty things.

“Now, one of the things for you to think about with a spreadsheet is, it’s an auditory process. You’re reading it cell by cell, by heading by heading, by whatever by whatever, and reading (an auditory thing) is a very slow process.

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

Leaders and Managers May Not Be Your Friend

Have you ever noticed that some leaders and managers aren’t that excited about quality improvement? Do they actively resist improvements? Here’s why:



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

“You know, I like to read thriller novels. I just find them fascinating, and there’s always a good guy trying to defeat a bad guy. But the good guy isn’t just fighting the bad guy, the good guy invariably has to deal with the bureaucracy and somebody in their own organization who’s a problem, who’s trying to slow things down, stop things, or interrupt things, and they have their own personal agendas.

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

Is Lean Six Sigma Mired in Old Think?

Is Lean Six Sigma stuck in last century thinking? Maybe we just can’t see it. Here’s what I discovered recently.



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

“Recently, I discovered something and it got me thinking. Now, if you know anything about calculating formulas for an XbarR chart, you know that what you do is if you have some numbers like a subgroup, maybe they got 3.3 and 3.4 or something like that, what you do is calculate for this subgroup what’s the average of the X’s. Well, in this case it’d be 3.3.

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

Speed and Toyota

One of my Quality Cohorts challenged my assertion that Lean is about Speed. He threw Toyota at me as a counterexample. Here’s my thoughts.



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

“I made a comment on one of the articles about quality, and I said “Lean is about speed.” One of my friends that I know in the Quality universe came back and [responded] “Lean’s not about speed, that’s just wrong.” Then he threw Toyota at me, “But it’s not about speed at Toyota.”

“Toyota is a unicorn, they’ve been at this for 50 or 60 years creating a Quality Improvement culture where things like this happen all the time.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Force Multipliers for Maximum Productivity

Hand Tools or Power Tools? What will you use to maximize productivity and profitability with Six Sigma?



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

“Now, out there in the world there are things called force multipliers. If you think about it, if you’ve ever done a little improvement project, would you rather use a handsaw or a power saw, right? Would you rather use a screwdriver or would you rather use a little power drill, right? These are the kinds of things that make life easy and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get them, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Lean Voice Mail

Does voicemail ever annoy you? It does me. If we used Lean on voicemail to achieve what the customer wants, it would be quite different. And this has lessons for every business.



“I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of calls from people who want to sell me something or want me to take a survey so that they can sell me something or want me to donate money to something. I screen all those calls but some of those calls go to voicemail.

“I don’t know about you but when I call my voicemail, what does it do?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean.

How Many SPC Books and Formulas Do You Need?

Most people are terrified of statistical formulas. How many do you need to know? I think my answer will surprise you.



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

“Next to my desk at the office I have dozens of books about Statistical Process Control and Quality Improvement and all the other stuff. How many of those formulas do I think you all need to know?

“My answer is zero. The software will do all of that for you. You do not need to know a single formula. I go to these conferences and I talk to people and I talk about control charts and people all start to get anxious about, “Oh my god, do I have to learn any formulas?”

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