Latest "Lean" Posts

Unnecessary Online Credit Card Field

Ever notice that most online order forms ask what kind of credit card you are using? This field is unnecessary. Amex cards begin with a “3”; Visa with a “4”, Mastercard with a “5” or “2”; Discover cards begin with a “6”. You can get this information from the card number. So asking for type […]

Posted by Jay Arthur in Lean, QI Macros.

Mistake-Proofing Checkout

My wife and I were on a cruise recently. The day before checkout the cruise director recommended that we put one of our shoes we planned to wear to the airport inside the lockbox in our room. Obviously too many people leave valuables behind. What are you doing to mistake-proof your customer’s experience?

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

Are We Teaching Students the Unnecessary Things?

I’m here at the IISE (Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers) conference in Pittsburgh. One professor had been teaching students how to use Excel to create control charts, but he was beginning to feel like that was a waste of classroom time (duh!). I beat him up a little for teaching DIY Excel stuff to […]

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

Top Leaders Deliver Reliably

May-June 2017 HBR discusses the results of a 10-year study of what makes CEOs great. Of the four traits, number 4, Delivering Reliably, was found to be the most powerful of the four essential behaviors. Reliable CEOs were 15 times more likely to succeed. I have found that one of the most effective ways to […]

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

Lean Insights from “The Founder” Movie

Early in the movie, the McDonald’s brothers describe how they came up with the concept for speedy service. It’s Lean. They had too many menu items, so they decide to simplify down to burgers, fries and soft drinks. (Think Lean inventory.) They go to a tennis court and use chalk to lay out a possible […]

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

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.