Improvement Insights – Page 4 – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

Deming on Quality Improvement in Services

Almost 40 years ago, Deming knew that Quality Improvement in service industries was key. Here’s why:



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

“You know, I’ve belonged to the American Society for Quality for over 30 years, and predominantly the membership is people in manufacturing who work on factory floors. However, again, I was picking up my Deming book “Out of the Crisis.” This was published in 1986… 1986. That’s about four years before I got started in Quality Improvement. Here’s what he has to say

“Based on the census, 75 people out of 100 are employed in service organizations.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Fixing Special Causes is NOT Improvement

I have noticed that many Quality Improvement teams focus on special causes, not common causes. That’s not Quality Improvement. Here’s why:



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

“I was out working with one brewery, and they brought me into where the team was, and the team talked about all their little projects and everything else, but guess what? They were all doing special cause analysis.

“Workarounds are anti-improvement, focusing on nothing but special causes. That’s not improvement, that’s just dealing with day-to-day chaos. Improvement is when you start to reduce defects and errors, or increase patient satisfaction, or do something else.

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

Deming on Spec Limits vs. Variation

Deming contrasted US and Japanese focus: spec limits vs variation. Here’s the essence:



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

“I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I go back and read through books that I’ve gotten in Quality over the years. I went back into Deming’s “Out of the Crisis.” It was very interesting. There’s a thought he put in here and I’ll read it to you: “We in America have worried about specifications: meet the specification. In contrast, the Japanese are worried about uniformity, working for less and less variation around the nominal value…”

“What does he mean?

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

Crazy Cool Improvement Projects

At the IHI conference, many people told me stories of their crazy, cool improvement projects done with QI Macros. I asked them a simple question for which they had no answer. Here’s why:



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

“I was at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conference out in Orlando at the beginning of December. I was there and people were coming by and they were talking about QI Macros at the exhibit booth. You know, a number of them came up and told me a story.

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

Deming’s Insights on Control Charts for Workers

I was rereading Deming’s book “Out of the Crisis,” and discovered a way to use control charts that is new. Deming uses control charts to compare individual worker performance. Deming often asked leaders to drive out fear, but comparing individuals seems like a way to create fear unless you use the results to help train individuals to higher standards of performance. Here’s how:



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

“I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I go back and re-read books about Quality.

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

Form Storm Norm Perform Takes Too Long!

Traditional Form-Storm-Norm-Perform models of team development take too long. Here’s how to collapse the time and skip right to perform.



“I was looking at myASQ, and somebody was asking about the four steps of Team development: Form, Storm, Norm, Perform. You know, if you do it traditional (how it usually was taught), it takes a long time for a team to form (come together), storm (fight each other a little bit), normalize their behavior (so they get productive).

“Well, I found that that takes too long. I can’t get to results that way. What I discovered was if I could do the analysis and figure out how to pinpoint where the problem would be, then I can figure out who ought to be on that team to solve that problem.

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

Lean Six Sigma Implementation – Top Down or Middle Out?

Traditional Lean Six Sigma wisdom says to start top down, but that’s a sure fire way to fail. Here’s why:



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

“I think there’s a lot of conventional wisdom in in Six Sigma and Lean and Six Sigma that says, “Oh, you must start with the leadership team.” Well, I was reading this book that was recommended to me, “Creating A Lean Culture.” This was used by Virginia Mason up in Seattle to transform how they deliver health care. I thought this was interesting about how Lean typically starts and grows.

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

Is Decision Fatigue Hindering Your Improvement Projects?

People make 30,000 decisions a day! Too many choices makes decisions even more difficult. Knowing too much about Lean Six Sigma can hinder your success at problem solving. Here’s why:



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

“You know, you probably have experienced this, but we all make something like 30,000 decisions a day… a day! Oh my gosh, right? My friend Bob Wendover wrote a book called “Beating Burnout,” how top thinkers overcome overwhelm. He talks about what he calls “decision fatigue,” when you start making poor choices because your brain is overloaded due to the overwhelming demands of modern life.

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

Why Are We Still Talking about Cp/Cpk and Pp/Ppk Formulas?

I found a discussion on MyASQ’s Website about Cpk formulas. Why is anyone talking about how to calculate formulas by hand? It’s a waste of time. Here’s why:



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

“This morning I was out on the myASQ website, and there was a question about Cp and Cpk and Ppk formulas and stuff like that. And there was, you know, “Well, standard deviation” and “Why do we have to do R Bar over D2?” or whatever it was, you know. The answers were like, “Well, you know, standard deviation is pretty close to whatever…”

“I was [thinking], “What is the question here?

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

Seeing the Invisible

Absence blindness means that you can’t see what isn’t there. The tools of quality can help you see the invisible so that you can do something about it. Here’s how:



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

“There’s a concept called “absence blindness,” and basically what that says is you can’t see what isn’t there. That’s why it’s kind of difficult to see things that are working well, because they just work well, but a defect or some sort of complication or issue raises this ugly head and you can see that one.

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