Improvement Insights Blog
Latest "Statistics" Posts
Ever noticed that when you describe something as a percentage people seem to draw a blank? They may nod, but not understand. Here’s why:
“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].
“I want to alert you to something that I discovered when I saw my friend, Dr. Jack ReVelle, speak. Now, if you know anything about control charts, you know that if you have an upper and lower control limit, well, 99.7% of all points should fit between those two things. And I saw Jack talk about this and I realized that nobody can make a picture of a percentage.
Continue Reading "Use Numbers Not Percentages"
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.
Continue Reading "Think SPC is Too Complex?"
Six Sigma students are often confused by terminology. Variable and attribute data are often confusing. Calling it measured or counted doesn’t help that much. Here’s a way to explain it that almost everyone can understand quickly.
“Early on when I was teaching Quality Improvement, people kind of struggled with the whole idea of variable and attribute data, and telling them that it was measured and counted didn’t seem to help a lot.
“As a programmer, the way I think about it is: If it has a decimal point, it has to be measured, right? If it’s an integer, it’s most likely counted, right?
Continue Reading "An Easy Way to Tell if Data is Variable or Attribute"
Do you spend too much time chasing why one number is too high or another is too low? Are these kinds of wild goose chases wasting time while the real problems go wanting? The XmR chart is the answer to your dreams.
“Dr. Donald Wheeler calls the XmR chart (or Individuals and Moving Range chart) “the Swiss Army knife of control charts.” You can use it for all kinds of things.
“I believe if every company in America started using XmR charts to track all of their key process indicators, I don’t care if it’s financial results or defects or patient length of stay or I don’t care what it is.
Continue Reading "Start Using XmR Charts for All of Your KPIs"
We’re all familiar with Pareto’s rule: 20% of causes produce 80% of the results. But are you familiar with Arthur’s 4-50 rule? Typically, 4% of any process – one step out of 35 – is the cause of more than 50% of waste, rework and lost profit.
“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].
“Now I’ve probably talked to you about this before, but we’re all familiar with Pareto’s rule that 20% of what you do produces 80% of the mistakes, errors, waste, rework, lost profit. 20% of your customers produce 80% of your revenue.
Continue Reading "Arthur’s 4-50 Rule – The Secret to Breakthrough Improvement"
SPC software companies keep trying to gain some edge by tweaking the formulas for various statistics, but is the quest for the next decimal place of precision useful? If you’re trying to send a rocket to Mars? Absolutely. If you’re trying to tune up a business process, not really. Here’s why.
“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software]. I’m going to talk to you about what I call The Next Decimal Place.
“Because I’ve been in the software business, [I’ve seen] people and try and change formulas. Let’s say it’s Cp and Cpk.
Continue Reading "The Next Decimal Place"
How you design software can slash the learning curve. Did you design it for college students studying statistics or a business man or woman who just wants to achieve a result with minimal time, effort and training?
“Hi, Jay Arthur with the QI Macros [software]. I wanted to talk to you today about Six Sigma SPC software.
“Now, there’s some big dogs out there, and if you look at them real closely, you’ll see they were designed by professors in the statistical department who wanted to create software to train students in statistics. It has every nook and cranny and option and tweak and everything that you can possibly do to teach people statistics, and fill up curriculums that’ll last an entire semester to focus on different things that you could do to tweak all these little statistics.
Continue Reading "How Six Sigma SPC Software Design Can Slash the Learning Curve"
Everyone thinks I’m a statistician by trade, but nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s my journey.
“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software]. I’m here in Maui Kaanapali Villas in Maui.
“One of the things that I want you to think about is because I wrote the QI Macros, everybody thinks I’m a statistician or something, but… the truth is a little bit further from that.
“Suzuki the Zen master had a story of four horses: One ran easily, one you had to flog it a little bit, one he had to flog a little more, and the fourth one you had to flog a lot to get it to move.
Continue Reading "Jay is the Fourth Horse of Statistics"
At the 2018 Magnet Nursing conference in Denver, I saw many improvement posters using line or bar charts with an added trend line to show improvement. Unfortunately, few of the trends were valid. Here’s why:
Continue Reading "Trendlines Are Rarely Improvements"
Too many quality professionals are clinging to the way things have always been done. There’s some sort of taboo about doing things quickly and easily. What are the differences between 20th and 21st Century Quality? Watch and find out:
Continue Reading "20th vs 21st Century Quality"