Jay Arthur Blog

Improvement Insights Blog

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ASQ World 2018 – Team Case Studies

Here’s a Pareto chart of case studies by country at ASQ World 2018. Notice any trends?

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

DevOps and QualOps

At ASQ LSS Conference in Phoenix, I heard an interesting presentation on digital transformation. Ben Lavoie of Anheuser-Busch asked:

How can LSS Stay relevant in a Digitally Transformed world that thrives on real-time changes?

Bad news: Need for real-time will disrupt DMAIC – leadership teams have no patience for delayed analysis and decision making

Good news: Still need people

Great news: Digital tools need LSS to solve the right problems


I think this speaks to the need for Agile Lean Six Sigma.

Ben also mentioned DevOps, how companies are integrating IT with operations in a continuous feedback loop:

I think if we substitute PDCA for the left loop and link it to operations feedback, we can get the same real-time results with Six Sigma.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Testimonial from ASQ Phoenix

At the ASQ Conference in Phoenix, and got some wonderful comments from one of the attendees who uses QI Macros:

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Reducing Patient Falls – A Case Study

The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (Feb 2018) has an article entitled “Temporal Trends in Fall Rates with the Implementation of a Multifaceted Fall Prevention Program.” Ouch!

I believe the story could have been told easily with quality improvement tools, so here’s how I’d go about it. First, there are a number of tables (i.e., spreadsheets of performance data) like the one below.

The first year, 2003, had only 200 falls because they started measuring in July. The first full year of measurement was 2004.

It would be easy to turn these into control charts, but the authors chose a boxplot with a trend line of predicted falls.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Your Friend, The QI Macros Website Search Box…

If you’ve used QI Macros for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly run across something you had questions about. Let us clue you in to a secret weapon: The QI Macros search box.

Located on the top right corner of every page of the QI Macros website, this can come in handy if you’ve got questions

  • Show Process Change: If you’ve got a chart of your process before and after you changed a process that affected the results, how do you show that? Input “show process change” into the QI Macros search box and one of the results will be this video.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Signal versus Noise

“Our evolutionary instincts sometimes lead us to see patterns when there are none there. People have been doing this all the time – finding patterns in random noise.” – Tomaso Poggio

People just need a way to separate the Signal from the Noise.

Here are some insights from the book by Nate Silver.

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

Focus of Lean Six Sigma Projects

At the Shingo Conference in Atlanta this week, Professor George Easton presented findings from a study of two company’s Six Sigma projects. He split them in many ways, but the simplest view uses operations management metrics: quality, cost, delivery, flexibility and innovation. Here are Pareto charts of the two companies. Both focus on quality, but one is more focused on delivery; the other is more focused on innovation and cost. Professor Easton suggests that this might indicate a difference in strategy.

What do your Lean Six Sigma projects say about your corporate strategy?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Mistake-Proofing Simplified


Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Correlation not Causation

As John Johnson and Mike Gluck point out in their book, EVERYDATA, ice cream consumption and murder rates both go up in the summer, but that does not mean that eating ice cream causes murder. Rising summer temperatures seem to be involved.

They also provide a link to Tyler Vigen’s website, Spurious Correlations.

Does U.S. spending on space, science and technology cause suicides? No, but they are correlated at a 99.79%. These and other crazy correlations are available.

So don’t confuse correlation with causation.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Six Sigma, Statistics.

Hassle Week 5/7/16

This week CenturyLink cancelled our voicemail seemingly at random. Had to call to have it restored. My problem: unnecessary rework; time 30 minutes. Root cause? unknown.

There was a 25% off coupon in my mailbox for my local Ace Hardware. But when I went to check out, the system wouldn’t accept my coupon. I had retrieve the flyer to prove the coupon was valid. Problem: rework, time 30 minutes plus driving. Root cause: Marketing not in sync with sales systems.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Six Sigma.