Improvement Insights – Page 5 – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Improvement Insights" Posts

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.

Joseph Juran – Let’s Get Off the Dime!

In 2004, Joseph Juran thought the U.S. was falling behind in quality. Here’s what he had to say:



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

“I was again looking at this article about Juran, and one of the things he said in here is he felt that Japan was the quality leader and they’re bringing along South Korea, China and other places. America only has the lead in a few Industries. He says:

“We need to get off the dime. Breaking the impasse is not going to happen easily.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Juran – Purchasing Improvement for Lend-Lease

Purchasing departments are sluggish and error-prone. Joseph Juran used the tools of quality to simplify, streamline and optimize Lend-Lease purchasing during WWII. You can too.



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

“I was wandering through my old collection of Quality Progress magazines. This one’s from 2004, it was about a hundred years of Juran. Now, he was born in Romania in 1904 and immigrated to the Minneapolis region at about 12 years of age. I was reading through this, and one of the things in here struck me: during the war, he used his statistical skills and engineering to improve purchasing, budgeting and paperwork gridlock for Lend-Lease.

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

Three Signs that You Need Lean Six Sigma

Here’s three simple signs that you need Lean Six Sigma.



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

“There’s three clear signs that you need Six Sigma.

“[1:] First off, you spend more time fixing stuff than you do actually making stuff.

“[2:] Customer complaints have risen to an all-time high and you spend too much time dealing with that.

“[3:] You spend more time mending fences than plowing new fields. You know, that’s a clue that these tools can help you.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week.

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

Quality Improvement is Not Hard

Most people think Quality Improvement is hard. It’s not. It’s surprisingly easy. Here’s why:



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

“I think too many people spend a lot of time pretending that Quality Improvement is hard; it’s not, right? You’re either out of control but you might be in spec, or you might be in spec and out of control, or… in control and out of spec, or you can be in control and in spec. That’s not too hard.

“You know, with a handful of tools you can solve most of the problems involving defects, mistakes, errors.

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

It’s the System!

One guy told me that defects, mistakes and errors are like the wind and the waves. There’s nothing we can do about it. He’s so wrong. Here’s why:



“I was talking to somebody the other day, and we were talking about defects and mistakes and errors and things going on. They said, “Oh, that’s like the wind and the waves.” I said, “No it’s not. It’s not cosmic forces and atmospheric conditions. It’s a system, and the system is forcing people to make those mistakes or letting them make those mistakes and errors. All we have to do is fix the system.”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Defects Aren’t Spread All Over Like Butter On Bread

People often think defects are spread evenly all over the business, like butter on bread. Not true. Here’s why:



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

“I’ve said this before, but people out there seem to think that defects and mistakes and errors are like butter spread on a slice of bread. It’s just, like, everywhere in your organization, right?

“Not true. It’s more like mold somewhere on a loaf of bread. All you have to do is fix that little piece that’s in trouble in that one [slice] of bread and that’ll keep it from spreading to the rest of the organization.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Juran and the Pareto Principle

Juran borrowed the work of Vilfredo Pareto to describe the uneven distribution of defects. Vilfredo focused on wealth. Juran expanded it to defects. And I narrowed and expanded it to include almost anything. Here’s what it means to you:



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

“I was rereading Juran, and he was talking about how he misnamed the Pareto Principle but then it stuck. When he was in his mid-20s, as a young engineer he observed that quality defects are unequal in frequency. They seemed to just be in specific places, and so on.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.