Jay Arthur Blog

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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.

Two-Table Wedding Reception Kanban

I recently attended a niece’s wedding. There was a serving line for dinner, so they invited up one table and then another and then another until the line stretched out the door onto the patio. Most of us stood in line for 15-20 minutes waiting to be served.

I kept thinking wouldn’t it have been easier to invite just two tables and when the first table finished, invite the next table and so on. Sort of a two-table kanban system for weddings. Everyone else could have stayed seated, talked an enjoyed their drinks.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Service.

Three Simple Rules for Lean Organization

In The Organized Mind, author Daniel J. Levitin describes three rules for general organization:

  1. A mislabeled item or location is worse than an unlabeled item.
  2. If there is an existing standard, use it. Recycling bins, for example, are blue.
  3. Don’t keep what you can’t use. Discard it.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Manufacturing, Service.

Hospital Readmission Penalties

After a few adjustments to the data, CMS announced that 2,217 hospitals will be penalized this year, and 307 will be hit with the 1 percent maximum penalty. All in all, hospitals were assessed a total penalty of about $280 million this year.

Rooting Out Readmissions

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

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.

Lean Wine Making

I visited Florida for the NAHQ conference. Went to the Florda Orange Grove and Winery. They make wines from fruits like oranges, tangelos, pineapples etc.
Unlike traditional wineries that have to harvest grapes in the fall and process all of them, this “winery” works in smaller batches of 1,000 gallons at a time. Fruit is available virtually all year around, so they only make what they need based on customer demand. And tney’ve been growing because they can keep costs low and inventory low.

Small is the new Big!

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Lean Golf

Lydia Ko, winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Match, uses a different color for each of grips on her clubs. It helps her avoid using the wrong club like a 6 iron when she needs a 9 iron.
This is classic Lean thinking: make everything visual and self-explanatory. Color-code things to prevent errors.
I think I’ll change the grip on my 9 iron to differentiate it from my 6 iron. That’s the mistake I most often make and either fly the green or come up well short.
If you look closely, you can see Lean thinking in action almost everywhere, even on a golf course.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Marriott Website Causes Rework

Marriott sent me a nice email about an upcoming stay. I realized I had to change my departure date and there was a nice link to change/cancel my reservation.

I clicked on it, changed my departure date and clicked Submit. The website errored out and had me call reservations.

All these great user contact methods sometimes fail at the last moment, wasting customer time (mine) and causing preventable expense (call to reservations).

Is your website mistake-proof? Or does it cause unnecessary waste and rework.

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.