Jay Arthur Blog

Improvement Insights Blog

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Your Friend, The QI Macros Website Search Box…

search bar

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.

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.

Miss Universe 2015 Cue Card Redesigned

Steve Harvey misread the results of the final ballot at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant. Was it the cue card or the teleprompter?

Here’s the cue card:






Could the card have been designed in ascending order?








Did the teleprompter operator misread the card or Steve?

Is this the same problem the U.S. had with the “hanging chad” in the 2000 presidential election in Florida?

Is bad form design causing mistakes and errors?

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

Looking for Lean Visuals

I have found that people understand Lean more easily when I can show them examples in the “real world.” Subway, for example, is a Lean work cell. Your kitchen is a Lean work cell.

And I also look for places where people have “made things visual and self explanatory,” One of the principles of Lean. Here’s a couple of images from my local gas station:

Gas Station Color Code

Color Coded Gas Tanks


Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Mistake-Proofing Taco Bell

When I went through Taco Bell’s drive through window this weekend and paid for my order, the cashier asked me if I wanted any sauce. “Mild, please,” I said.

Then she took the order from the next car in line, who I suspect asked for hot sauce.

When my order was ready, she grabbed some sauce and handed me the bag. Normally I would check, but I was in a hurry. Surprise, surprise, when I got home, I had hot, not mild sauce.

Usually Taco Bell cashiers wait until the order is ready to ask what kind of sauce I want, which is a great way to avoid the kind of mistake caused by the process above.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

How to Increase Your Luck

Dr. Richard Wiseman wrote a book called The Luck Factor that describes his research into what lucky people do that unlucky people do not do. I’d recommend it. Here’s the essence:

  1. Lucky people create, notice, and act on chance opportunities–synchronicity.
    • Create a network of lucky people
    • Be open to new experiences
    • Have a relaxed attitude that everything will work out.
  2. Lucky people make better decisions by listening to their gut feel and intuition.
    • Listen to your gut feel and act on it
    • Boost your intuition
  3. Lucky people expect the future to be so bright that they’ll have to wear shades.
    • Expect good luck to continue into the future
    • Lucky people persist in the pursuit of their goals long after unlucky people quit.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Sumo Secrets to Obesity

Sumo wrestlers are geniuses at gaining weight. Here, according to Mary Roach, contributing editor of Health Magazine is how they do it:

  1. Skip Breakfast – it slows your metabolism
  2. Exercise on an empty stomach – it slows your metabolism even more
  3. Take a nap after you eat – your body has to store the food instead of use it
  4. Eat bigger meals late in the day – your body has to store more food

So if you want to become a genius at weight management, do the opposite:

  1. Eat a hearty breakfast – the body needs fuel to boost metabolism
  2. Eat a light dinner – the body won’t have any food to store while you sleep
  3. Evaluate the short- and long-term effects of any food before you eat it.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Confused about causation and correlation (from Seth Godin’s blog)

Have you noticed that in most cities, every time there are lots of umbrellas, it’s raining?

From this analysis, the obvious way to make it rain is to be sure that everyone has an umbrella, preferably a black one, since that seems to be the kind that’s most visible during big storms.


Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.