Improvement Insights – Page 4 – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

Start with Safety and Housekeeping

How do you start a quality transformation? Maybe it’s in safety and housekeeping.



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

“I was telling you about John (the executive from the lumber company), and when he was in Japan they noticed something interesting: Everything was spotless. Even the corners and the production line were spotless. It led him to this idea that a place to start with quality is with safety and housekeeping because it tells the employees that you care about them. It’s not a bottom line thing, it’s about them, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

A PhD in Leadership – Deming Style

John, a senior executive who went to Japan said he felt like he got a PhD in leadership, but probably not the kind they teach at Harvard. Probably the Leadership Deming spoke of.



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

“I’ve been telling you a little bit about my discussion with John, who was a senior executive at one of the large lumber companies, who went to Japan for 30 days. He said he felt like he got a PhD in leadership… a PhD in leadership.

“Now I think this is the leadership that Dr.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Cabinet Making Quality Story

John, a senior executive who went to Japan, told this story of using the “Weapon of Quality” to help out a cabinet making business:



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

“I’ve been telling you my story about John, who was a senior executive at a lumber and wood company. It was interesting to me just listening to him talk.

“Once he retired, he was just sitting around and one of his friends who ran a cabinet making business gave him a call and said, “Can you help me out?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

When Did Your Light Switch Turn On?

John, a senior executive with a large lumber company, went to Japan with 30 other leaders for 30 days. They struggled to connect what they were seeing in Japanese manufacturing plants until one day toward the end of the trip. Here’s what happened:



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

“This summer my wife and I took a river cruise that we booked for 2021 (but of course, that didn’t happen). They had these community tables where you’d sit around for lunch. One day we’re sitting with another couple of couples and somehow we got on the subject of “What do you do?”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Who is to Blame for Quality Problems?

Ever noticed that some people want to blame customers, suppliers or coworkers for problems? They’re looking in the wrong place.



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

“I don’t know about you, but have you ever noticed there are certain people and they want to blame their supplier or their customer or their boss or their subordinates or their friends or their family or their co-workers? Right? They’re always pointing at somebody else. Let me share with you that if you’re the only one at the scene of the crime of all of these things, it’s not them… it’s you, all right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Ever Noticed that Things are Getting Easier?

We used to need a pay phone to make a phone call; now we use cell phones everywhere. Websites were difficult to build; not they’re not. So, why does everyone think Lean Six Sigma has to be learned the same way it was taught in the last century?



“Have you ever noticed that things are getting easier? A lot of things are getting easier.

“You know, we used to have land lines, now we have cell phones we can take with us everywhere that do all kinds of things like take pictures and do text memos, and we can talk to people face to face.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Have We Become Mediocristan?

With almost every business I buy from, the level of apathy among the workers is astounding. Every once in a while, I have a great experience and I realize it doesn’t take much to provide a great customer experience.



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

“I don’t know about you, but it seems like a lot of places where I go to do business or buy something, everybody’s kind of grumpy. You know, they’re just not very interested in being able to help me. They’re slow. They’re error prone.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Do You Think Six Sigma Should Be Serious?

People often think Six Sigma is serious. There’s a better approach.



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

“You know, it’s curious: a lot of people seem to want to make Six Sigma serious. There’s no easier way to kill an improvement group than to make everything serious, right? Let’s start having fun!

“Let’s start looking at data, figuring out how to solve problems, and have fun doing it. I think it could be fun. I have a lot of fun doing it, right?

“So if you think it’s too serious… you’re veering off track.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

My First Statistics Project

In my 30+ years in quality improvement, I finally got to use basic statistics to save millions of dollars. And it was easy. Here’s how:



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

“I recently had a chance to help a food company that had frozen meats of various kinds – you know, poultry and so on – and they’d had a chemical spill. Well, what the USDA wanted them to do was prove that it had not affected their food and so somehow I got called in to help with that.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Juran vs ASQ Focus on Statistics

Joseph Juran felt that the American Society for Quality focused too heavily on statistics and not enough on quality as a management discipline.



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

“Again, I was looking through my old Quality Progress [issues] about Juran, and in here he said he was very dissatisfied with the statistical orientation of the American Society for Quality. He thought there was too much emphasis on that. He did think one of the biggest barriers to anything is just plain old resistance to change, and an interesting thing in this article [was that] people thought that the whole part of Total Quality Management… they thought that Deming was really “Mr.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.