Embrace the Automatic Transmission

Improvement Insights Blog

Embrace the Automatic Transmission

I learned to drive on a stick shift. Then automatic transmissions came along. What have you learned the hard way that has been simplified and automated? How much time and suffering could you save by embracing the automatic transmissions available in Quality Improvement?

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

“Now way back in the 60s when I was learning to drive (yes, I’m that old) they had the student [car], but it had a “three on the column” manual shift – an old Chevy Caprice or something like that. You know, it was an “H”: Up was Reverse, down was 1st, then over the H and up was 2nd, and down was 3rd. You had to learn how to work the gas pedal and the brake and do the clutch all at the same time, It was frustrating, right? Frustrating. But we all learned how to do that.

“It wasn’t too much longer after that that automatics became the standard of what you’d find in a car (unless you had a little sports car and you wanted to run through the gears because it made you feel special). But automatics are just so easy, right? You just step on the gas, you step on the brake… Pretty simple.

“So this is how everything tends to go. When we start out, we teach people complexity like how to how to run through a gearbox, and then we make a better way to do it called an automatic, and then pretty soon we get to the point where that’s the universal way that most things are done and nobody has to be trained on how to use a standard transmission unless you’re a truck driver or something like that.

“So… That’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Everybody everywhere is trying to make things better, faster, easier, more convenient, right? Our daughter has meals delivered to her home (I don’t know why), but rather than go out and shop and buy stuff and then make your own meals, they send you a meal plan, right? So it’s just easy-peasy. We all want that. We want the easy way forward.

“Start looking around because you don’t have to drive a manual your whole life. You don’t have to drive manual SPC software that makes you think through your decision trees, right? No! QI Macros’ Control Chart Wizard will do that for you. You don’t have to learn how to use Pivot Tables and Control Charts and Pareto Charts and Fishbones to build improvement projects because the QI Macros Data Mining Wizard, (if you give it the right data with the “when” and the “where” and the “what happened”) it’ll build entire improvement projects for you automatically. It’s an automatic transmission for project development! This is what’s possible. If you don’t look around every so often and see what’s new, you will not have any idea how easy your life can be.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight: Go out and embrace the good stuff, the easy stuff, the automatic transmissions of the world. When you do that, I think you’ll find that life gets easier and less complicated, and then you can get farther, faster. So let’s create a hassle-free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”