Six Sigma Blog by Jay Arthur

Improvement Insights Blog

Latest "Six Sigma" Posts

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.

How Do You Make Countermeasures Stick?

How do you make improvement countermeasures stick? The answer might surprise you.



 

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

“You know, one of the things about countermeasures is when somebody else invents the countermeasure and makes you do it, guess what? You don’t like it very much. So when we were all told to wear masks, wash our hands, stay out of crowds… guess what? Some people really hated that. Now me as a Quality guy, I said “Oh, they know what the countermeasures are. I should wear my mask, wash my hands, stay out of crowds,” but not everyone does that.

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

Spreadsheets are Slow – Smart Charts Are Fast

Ever noticed how long it takes for people to analyze a spreadsheet? Too long. How can a smart chart eliminate the delay and accelerate understanding?



 

“One of the things I’ve learned is spreadsheets… People do a lot of spreadsheets. 54% of the Excel spreadsheets out there have no formulas in them, or anything else for that matter; they’re just little reporty things.

“Now, one of the things for you to think about with a spreadsheet is, it’s an auditory process. You’re reading it cell by cell, by heading by heading, by whatever by whatever, and reading (an auditory thing) is a very slow process.

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

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.

Why Aren’t Things Getting Any Better?

I’ve been in quality improvement for 30 years. Why aren’t things getting any better?



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

“I started in quality back in 1989 or 90, so I’ve been at this for 30-odd years. The other morning I was sitting there and I was just kind of depressed. I thought, “Why aren’t things any better?” Right? It still seems like there’s things that are missing, things that don’t work. You can’t get the right order at your fast food restaurant, if you order something at a restaurant sometimes it isn’t what you ordered, it wasn’t cooked properly… oh my gosh.

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

Think SPC is Too Complex?

Most people are terrified of “statistical” anything. Do you think SPC is too complex? You may not like the alternative.



“Whenever I talk to people about Statistical Process Control, first the word “statistical” scares the living crap out of them. But they say, “Well, you know, uh… I’m not that good with math and formulas,” and I say, “Well, you don’t have to know math and formulas. We’ve got software that’ll do all that for you. What you have to do is know what the chart tells you about what you should do about your process. They’re all a little surprised.

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