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Latest "Lean" Posts

Lean Water Work?

Denver Water sent us a letter back in October about upcoming road closures, then delayed it a month. They moved in a bunch of equipment one week. Then over a week later they jumped into action to install part of a new pipeline  just before a big snow storm. Then it was cold for a week. […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Lean, Service.

Quality Tool Usage at IHI 2016 Poster Presentations

I’ve been monitoring the use of quality tools at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement conference for over a decade. This year there was a slight uptick in the use of control charts, but still far below my expectations. How can healthcare hope to achieve and sustain improvements without control charts? There were over 500 posters, […]

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

The Great Training Robbery

October 2016 HBR article, Why Leadership Training Fails-and What to Do About It, calls the $160 Billion spent on training in the U.S. the Great Training Robbery. The authors say: “Learning doesn’t lead to better organizational performance, because people soon revert to their old ways of doing things.” Unfortunately, this is true of most Six Sigma […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Lean, Manufacturing, Service, Six Sigma.

Why Six Sigma Fails

Over the last 25 years, I’ve gotten to see Six Sigma failures and successes. But in spite of all of the belts trained and investments made, why isn’t product and service quality any better? Why is there so much hassle? Why aren’t more customer experiences hassle-free? I’ve developed a mental list of the most common […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

How is a Hospital Like a Car Dealership?

I got a call from a QI Macros customer who works at  a luxury car dealership. Customers were upset because their cars were spending too long in the shop. The dealership tracked the length of stay of every car, the symptoms and barriers to getting the car done when expected. I was struck by the similarities […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Lean, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

Cp Cpk Formula Mistakes

A customer sent me their home grown template for calculating Cp and Cpk and wondered why the QI Macros got such radically different values. It was easy to see from their data that they were using standard deviation, not Sigma estimator (Rbar/d2) to calculate Cp and Cpk. Use Stdev to calculate Pp and Ppk, not […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Manufacturing, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Statistics.

Most Valuable Career Skills

This month’s issue of Money Magazine discusses the 21 Most Valuable Career Skills. At the top of the list, statistical analysis increasing pay by 6.1%. Right behind statistical analysis is Data Mining at 5.1%. It’s incredibly easy to learn these two skills using QI Macros and Six Sigma. Also on the list, Customer Service Metrics […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Lean, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

ASQ 2016 Quality Tool Usage in Poster Presentations

At this years American Society for Quality World Conference in Milwaukee, winning teams improvement projects were displayed in posters in the exhibit hall. As I did at IHI in December, I took a stroke tally of the types of tools used. Like IHI, the vast majority of tools were line and bar charts, which are […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.

Lean Transformation using Agile

The May 2016 Harvard Business Review has an article about how Agile methodologies are transforming management. As an IT guy, Agile is Lean applied to software development. I wrote a book about a similar methodology called Rapid Evolutionary Development back in 1989. Both are about rapid iteration to converge on a deliverable solution when “the […]

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

I’m Just Taking a Six Sigma Class

About a third of people who download a 30-day trial of the QI Macros tell us they are “just taking a class” and don’t need to purchase. My question is, why are you taking the class if you don’t intend to use what you’ve learned? From a purely Lean perspective, unused training is waste: Waste of […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in healthcare, Lean, Manufacturing, QI Macros, Service, Six Sigma.