Lean Blog by Jay Arthur

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Lean" Posts

Trying to Save Money on Software Can Kill Your Six Sigma Results

Consultants and trainers keep trying to save money on Six Sigma software while charging a small fortune for training. Without tools to to the job, all of this training is wasted and improvement projects will fail to sustain results. Are you trying to save a few dollars on software or maximize the results from Six Sigma?



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“I’ve been eternally frustrated over the last 20-something years because Six Sigma trainers and [others] will go out and train companies, spend weeks training people in a company, but then not give them the software to do the job.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Tools Looking for Problems to Solve

People trained in Six Sigma want to take an advanced tool and apply it to a problem. They spend a lot of time looking for a problem where they can use the tool. That’s the wrong approach. What should you do instead?



“I’ve been detecting sort of an interesting pattern, at least recently. There’s all these people being trained as Green Belts and Black Belts, and when they’re done with all that training they have all these tools and then they decide they’re going to take one of those tools – maybe it’s Attribute Agreement Analysis or Design Of Experiments or something more complicated – and then they go out and they look for a problem to solve using that tool.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Time, Money, People and Training Are Bad Countermeasures

More time, money, people and training are poor, unsustainable countermeasures. Improvements should save money, time and people. Good countermeasures require more creativity.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“I recently mentioned a tool called TRIZ for doing analysis and coming up with countermeasures. One of the things I keep seeing is people think, “Well, if I only had more time or more money or more people or if we did a better job of training we’d fix all this stuff.” That’s dumb, okay? TRIZ suggests that you’re not being very creative.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean.

Burnt Toast Society – Are You a Member?

Do you ever order toast, but it comes burnt? Do you eat it or send it back? How often does this happen to you? Yesterday it happened to me three times in one day. What can we learn from these quality failures?



“We’re babysitting our daughter’s dog; she’s only 10 months old and she needs some exercise, so we took her to the Hobnob daycare center. When we got there, the woman up front, kind of with a gruff tone, said “Well, you need to make a reservation.” My wife Shirley said “Well, our daughter made a reservation.” “Well, I don’t see it here,” you know?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Spaghetti Dinner Team Building

Getting quality improvement teams to come together and be productive is key to success. Here’s a story and insight into get results quickly.



 

“Hi I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“When I was a young’un, I was in programming and there was a guy named Tom DeMarco who’s very famous, actually, in… the whole software development environment. And so, one of the things that he told us was a story about how he was bringing a new software team [together] and getting them started.

“So what he did was he invited them all over to his house to make a spaghetti dinner but when they got there he admitted that he didn’t have anything to make a spaghetti dinner.

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

Jargon vs Clarity

Ever noticed how long it takes people to learn to speak the jargon of Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement? Maybe it’s time for a change.



 

“Hi I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“Over my 30+ years in Quality Improvement I’ve learned all kinds of Japanese words like “kaizen” and “gemba” and “Ishikawa.” Nothing’s worse than “statistical process control” because nobody likes statistics, everybody thinks processes are boring and control is something that nobody in the United States of America likes, right? They just don’t.

“So, I think we become jargon-rich and clarity-poor.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Leaders and Managers May Not Be Your Friend

Have you ever noticed that some leaders and managers aren’t that excited about quality improvement? Do they actively resist improvements? Here’s why:



“Well hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“You know, I like to read thriller novels. I just find them fascinating, and there’s always a good guy trying to defeat a bad guy. But the good guy isn’t just fighting the bad guy, the good guy invariably has to deal with the bureaucracy and somebody in their own organization who’s a problem, who’s trying to slow things down, stop things, or interrupt things, and they have their own personal agendas.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Is Lean Six Sigma Mired in Old Think?

Is Lean Six Sigma stuck in last century thinking? Maybe we just can’t see it. Here’s what I discovered recently.



“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“Recently, I discovered something and it got me thinking. Now, if you know anything about calculating formulas for an XbarR chart, you know that what you do is if you have some numbers like a subgroup, maybe they got 3.3 and 3.4 or something like that, what you do is calculate for this subgroup what’s the average of the X’s. Well, in this case it’d be 3.3.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma, Statistics.

Lean Voice Mail

Does voicemail ever annoy you? It does me. If we used Lean on voicemail to achieve what the customer wants, it would be quite different. And this has lessons for every business.



“I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of calls from people who want to sell me something or want me to take a survey so that they can sell me something or want me to donate money to something. I screen all those calls but some of those calls go to voicemail.

“I don’t know about you but when I call my voicemail, what does it do?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean.

QI Macros Software Demo – 2021 ASQ World Conference on Quality & Improvement

Thanks for attending the 2021 ASQ World Conference on Quality & Improvement. Click below to see a quick demo of how QI Macros can help you prevent waste, rework and lost profit. 

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