Six Sigma Blog by Jay Arthur
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Sameness or Difference?

How you look at things can make all the difference in the results you achieve in the world. Here’s why:



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

“I just got back from a whirlwind cruise of Scandinavia: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Copenhagen, Germany, St. Petersburg in Russia, Estonia… and one of the things that struck me about this is as you go around, how similar we all are. We all want to make a good living doing meaningful work, we want to raise successful children, we want to have our own home, all of these things we’re similar, right?

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

Which Came First, Management Support or Results?

What’s the easiest way to get management support for Lean Six Sigma?



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

“If you’ve been around Six Sigma or TQM and all these other things, you often hear it said (and you know it’s one of Deming’s 14 points) that you need management commitment and support… to get results – to get anything going.

“I’m going to disagree. I’m going to suggest to you that if you start getting results and start improving things and saving time, saving money, saving lives using the tools of quality, you will get management support.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, Six Sigma.

Hacking Lean Six Sigma Training

In the early 1990s, I took a control chart class that lasted five days. We learned decision trees and how to calculate control chart formulas with a calculator. I knew that the phone company would never tolerate five-day trainings for 70,000 employees and I knew that few of our employees would tolerate calculating these formulas manually. The only way to remove this barrier was to automate it. Here’s how I did it.

Let’s stop teaching people things they don’t need to know. It’s waste. When I automated everything, it shortened the training and increased retention and results. You can too.



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur.

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

One and Done

This phrase popped up at the Lean Six Sigma World conference. Here’s what it means: Don’t be a “one-trick pony.”



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

“I was down in San Antonio for the Lean Six Sigma World Conference and I heard a phrase that I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. The phrase was, “One and done.” “One and done.”

“Now, it turns out what they were talking about was people were getting their Green Belt training and guess what? They do one project and then they’re done. They got their certificate… you know, they’re certified, and that gives them a little bit better job, but then they don’t go on to do any more projects.

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

Will It Work Here?

Agile Lean Six Sigma approach will rapidly answer this question. One-day Yellow Belt problem solving will get results where Green Belt and Black Belt training may not.



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

“I was out at the Lean Six Sigma World Conference in San Antonio there was a very interesting presentation about Yellow Belt trainings. What they found was that if they did it a certain way (which is the way I’ve been doing it for the last twenty years) that they got better results. Well, that’s kind of cool, right?

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

Six Sigma Project Birthdays

If you have to throw a birthday party for your improvement project because it isn’t complete, you’re not alone, but you’ve lost sight of the outcome.



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

“At the Lean Six Sigma World Conference I heard another phrase that I had never heard before: “Project Birthdays.” What? A project that has lasted so long, a year later it’s having a birthday and it’s still not done yet. In one of the studies the Green Belt teams had as long as 16 months to complete a project.

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

Six Sigma Unicorns

One session at the Lean Six Sigma World conference presented findings from of a study of successful Lean Six Sigma implementations. If you think your company can become a unicorn, watch now:



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

“I was in San Antonio at the Lean Six Sigma World Conference and there was a presentation by a couple of consultants about a study they’d done on successful Lean and Six Sigma deployments. Now, unfortunately it was a little skewed, because the minimum size of the company was 150 million dollars going up to about 750 million dollars, so you have Fortune 500 companies with deep pockets.

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

Are Limiting Beliefs Stopping Your Improvement Projects?

Everyone has limiting beliefs and they could be stopping your improvement projects. Here’s why and what to do about it.  



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. I want to talk to you about something that sounds a little bit out of the Six Sigma ballpark.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is people will develop limiting beliefs about what’s possible. They’ll say, “Well, I can’t fix that because…” or “I can’t do this because my boss won’t let me,” or “I can’t do this because management doesn’t understand control charts, performance charts,” …or whatever.

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

Are You Hesitating to Improve?

Lots of people hesitate to get started on improvements. Here’s why and what to do about it.



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

“I have noticed that a lot of people, when they get trained in Six Sigma or whatever, they hesitate to get started. You know it’s like, “I’m afraid of not doing it right,” or “I’m afraid of not tackling the right problem,” or “I’m afraid of somebody [making me feel] stupid or somebody criticizing what I’m doing,” or whatever it is…

“Well, I hate to tell you this, but you have to be bad to start, right?

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

Speed Learning for Minimally Invasive Training

How can you help people learn Lean Six Sigma quickly and easily? It’s a simple three step process that will slash the learning curve for everyone.



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

“In a recent video I talked to you about the whole idea of “minimally invasive training.” How do we teach people in an hour everything they need to know to start solving problems? To do that you have to think about all the advances that we know about in speed learning.

“If I’m teaching Lean what do I do?

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