Improvement Insights – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

Harness the Power of Excel Formulas

Few spreadsheets use the power of Excel formulas, which is like using a Ferrari as a push cart. Excel formulas are power tools for improvement. Here’s how to access them in QI Macros.



“A few years back, I went to an Excelapalooza conference (yes there is such a thing), and the keynote speaker was kind of the head developer for Excel, and she was talking about how Microsoft keeps track of what people do. I was stunned to recognize that only 5% (that’s five out of a hundred) Excel spreadsheets have any sort of formula in them, even division or multiplication or something simple like that.

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

Bucks or Bitcoin?

At an Agile Lean Six Sigma workshop I did for ASQ Phoenix, one participant asked me if I’d applied Six Sigma to Bitcoin. While I haven’t, my insightful answer surprised me and the participant.



“Last week I was doing a presentation, a nightly webinar on Agile Lean and Six Sigma for the ASQ section in Phoenix, and if your section wants me to do a one hour whatever for your section meeting I’m happy to do it. But anyway, in this section meeting we broke out into some work rooms and one gentleman asked me, “Well,” he asked. “Have you ever worked with Bitcoin?”

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

Doubt the Default Solution

All too often, improvement teams fail to question the default approach to doing business. They come up with countermeasures that simply parrot the status quo. I recently saw a TED talk on creativity. The presenter said: Doubt the Default. Sage advice. Here’s why:



“I saw an interesting TED talk this weekend. The professor was talking about creativity, and he used a phrase that I kind of liked. It’s “doubt the default.” Doubt the default. So whatever you’re doing right now is the default; doubt the default.

“Steve Jobs said “Hmm… you know, I don’t like these little tape cassette recorders.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, Improvement Insights, QI Macros.

The Two-hour Improvement Week to Maximize Results

Big Sigma wastes time and money. You can make a lot of progress in just two hours a week. Here’s how.



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

“One of the things that’s irritated me for a long time is the whole Six Sigma idea (I call it “big sigma”) where it’s like, “We have to do it wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling; everybody has to be on a Six Sigma project.”

“That’s wrong, okay? A very little portion of your business is broken – not the whole enchilada, right? So you can spend a lot of time trying to fix things out there in various places and never get to the few things that really are key to moving the business.

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

Drill Down to the 4-50 Rule to Get Results

You don’t have to fix everything, just the one thing out of 25 that causes over half the waste, rework and lost profit.



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

“I’ve talked to you about Pareto’s rule before, but I continue to come back to this time and time again: 20% of what you’re doing is producing 80% of the waste, rework, lost profit, [lost] productivity, patient harm… whatever it is. But within that 20% that Pareto rule still applies, which means that only 4% of what you’re doing is producing over half the mistakes and errors.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Data Mining, Improvement Insights, QI Macros.

Do You Use Data Selectively?

Do you use data to discover problems and innovative solutions? Or do you use data to confirm what you already believe and think you know? This is called confirmation bias.



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

“So in Quality Improvement we’re asked to pledge allegiance to science and evidence. A lot of people do that, but very often they get trapped because they like data that supports what they believe about how things work, and they don’t like data that contradicts what they believe. Does this make sense?

“So are you one of those people who selectively goes out and says, “Hey, this data supports me.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, Improvement Insights.

Time, Money, People and Training Are Bad Countermeasures

More time, money, people and training are poor, unsustainable countermeasures. Improvements should save money, time and people. Good countermeasures require more creativity.



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

“I recently mentioned a tool called TRIZ for doing analysis and coming up with countermeasures. One of the things I keep seeing is people think, “Well, if I only had more time or more money or more people or if we did a better job of training we’d fix all this stuff.” That’s dumb, okay? TRIZ suggests that you’re not being very creative.

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

TRIZ for Innovative Countermeasures

Do you and your team ever get stuck trying to figure out how to fix the root cause of problems? There’s a methodology for that. It’s called TRIZ – the Theory of Innovative Problem Solving. Here’s how it works.



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

You know, when I worked with teams I found sometimes they were very good at figuring out [and] getting to the root cause, but then they struggled with How can we fix that? It’s like they get stuck in their old ways of thinking about how things work.

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

Burnt Toast Society – Are You a Member?

Do you ever order toast, but it comes burnt? Do you eat it or send it back? How often does this happen to you? Yesterday it happened to me three times in one day. What can we learn from these quality failures?



“We’re babysitting our daughter’s dog; she’s only 10 months old and she needs some exercise, so we took her to the Hobnob daycare center. When we got there, the woman up front, kind of with a gruff tone, said “Well, you need to make a reservation.” My wife Shirley said “Well, our daughter made a reservation.” “Well, I don’t see it here,” you know?

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

Spaghetti Dinner Team Building

Getting quality improvement teams to come together and be productive is key to success. Here’s a story and insight into get results quickly.



 

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

“When I was a young’un, I was in programming and there was a guy named Tom DeMarco who’s very famous, actually, in… the whole software development environment. And so, one of the things that he told us was a story about how he was bringing a new software team [together] and getting them started.

“So what he did was he invited them all over to his house to make a spaghetti dinner but when they got there he admitted that he didn’t have anything to make a spaghetti dinner.

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