Six Sigma Blog by Jay Arthur
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Climbing Mount Quality

Some people think they have to climb Mount Everest or do a fire walk to overcome their fears. Maybe it’s just as easy to do the thing you are afraid to do in your normal life. Maybe it’s time to climb Mount Quality. Maybe it’s time to create a hassle-free experience for your company’s customers.



  “My wife’s been watching these shows about people climbing Mount Everest. You see people, they’re waiting for the final the final [ascent] and there’s a huge queue of people waiting to go up to the top of Mount Everest… (It’s like [maybe] they should put in an express lane or something!) It [seems] like everybody’s doing it.

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

Line Charts Are Like Driving in a Blizzard

What charts do you need to stay safe and in control?



 

“Most of you have driven on a highway. It may have been a two-lane rural [road] or a four-lane interstate, but you know that the lines on each side of the road help you stay on track, keep you safe and know that you’re going in the right direction.

“But if you’ve ever driven in a blizzard, you know all those lines are totally obscured and you can hardly see. I had to go over Raton Pass once upon a time driving from Denver to Tucson to see my parents, and it was a pouring blizzard and I could barely see where I was going.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Six Sigma.

What Ought To Be vs What Is

Some people get confused about what ought to be and what is, especially in Lean Six Sigma. 21st Century Quality requires us to work on what is, not on what ought to be.



 

“I was reading Psychology Today and the editor’s introduction kind of caught my attention. She was talking about what they call “The Moralistic Fallacy.” This fallacy is committed when a truth that disturbs people is deemed false. I see quite a bit of this actually in Quality Improvement. It’s the difference between “What Ought To Be” versus “What Is.”

“When we talk about Quality, “Leadership should be on board with Quality…” Well, they are on board with Quality.

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

Control Charts for KPIs

Several attendees told me they had ripped out their line charts and started using Control Charts for their KPIs. Here’s why:



 

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

“We were out at the National Association for Healthcare Quality conference; I was speaking and we were exhibiting there. After I spoke, I had a couple people come up to me who said they’d seen me at the previous year’s convention talking about how to improve things and how line [charts] and bar charts can be harming patients and they said, “You know, I went back to my hospital and we ripped out all of our line charts and we put in control charts for all of our key process indicators.

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

No Design Survives Contact with the End User

No matter how well you design something using DFSS, users will find ways to use it or break it in ways you can’t imagine!



“In Six Sigma we have all these tools for designing for Six Sigma, so we have Quality Function Deployment and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis and all this other stuff; PPAP forms in automotive to help you design an entire sub-assembly or whatever it is… but what are these things designed to do?

“Well, they’re designed to help you come up with something that’ll come out at least a four signal level, maybe a four and a half signal level, but one of the things I’ve learned from software is “No design survives contact with the end user.” Somehow, they find ways to break stuff that you hadn’t even thought of, right?

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

I Love Improvers

I love people who fight the good fight of quality improvement. Problem solving isn’t sexy, but it’s vital to corporate health. Hugs!



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur. If you’ve been watching my Improvement Insight videos, you’re probably going, “Gee, Jay, you’re sharing all this stuff… What’s that all about?”

“Well, it turns out if you don’t know it by now… I love people who do Quality Improvement. They’re out chasing the big ugly things that are causing too much hassle in America and trying to eliminate them and eliminate waste and eliminate all the stuff that goes into landfills and into sewers and all kinds of stuff like this.

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

Not Everyone Likes Quality Improvement

There are a number of fears that make people hesitant to share data and or let you make improvements. Here’s why.



 

“Not everybody is in love with this whole idea of improvement. There are people who, when you come to them and say, “I need your data about such-and-such,” they don’t want you looking at their data because they don’t want to look stupid. If they’re the manager of that organization and they’ve had all this data and they can’t find what I call the “invisible low-hanging fruit,” they think that they’re stupid or something. No, they just don’t know how to analyze the data.

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

Flood-Proofing in Holland

While some European cities were devastated by fire, Holland has had to deal with flooding. What have they done to mistake-proof flooding since 1953?



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. “I recently had an Improvement Insight video about how they were burning down the capitals of Scandinavia repeatedly until the king said “Thou shalt build thy buildings out of stone” and so that stopped the fire problem. I discovered there was a 60 Minutes article on a recent Sunday, and they were talking about Holland.

Back in the 50s there was a massive flood and it tore down a lot of barriers because a lot of Holland is below sea level.

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

Fireproof Your Business

Spending too much time fighting fires in your business? Maybe it’s time to fireproof your business. Here’s how:



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“My wife and I recently cruised Scandinavia, and in almost every city where the tour guides took us around they told us the same story: “So Oslo (Stockholm, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg) back in the 1700s, the city had built up but they were all built out of wood, and of course they heated everything with wood or coal or something, and…” You know: Boom.

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

It’s Not My Fault!

I was on a cruise and almost everyone had an explanation for why things weren’t going as planned. Almost everyone said or implied: “It’s not my fault!” Isn’t it time to take responsibility for reporting all faults whether it’s yours or not?



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“I was on this Cruise in Scandinavia and we were in Oslo and we had to take a train over to Bergen to get to the cruise ship, and they said, “Well, unfortunately they’re working on the tracks and so we have to take a two hour bus ride to get to the remaining four hours of train ride.” And they said kind of like, “Well, it’s not our fault,” and then they said “Well, we can’t leave yet because the catering truck hasn’t arrived from Oslo with the food for the train.” Again, they say “Well, it’s not our fault.”

“They said that phrase over and over again.

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