It Doesn't Matter How Much You Spend for Six Sigma SPC Software

Improvement Insights Blog

It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Spend for Six Sigma SPC Software

Have you ever spent a lot of money for something and then not used it because it was too complex or time consuming? The same thing is true of Six Sigma SPC software. Here’s why:

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

“I don’t know about you, but I think every teenage boy has a vision of the perfect car for them to ride around in. Back when I was a kid there were Corvettes and Camaros and Dodge Chargers and everything else, but I really liked the Jaguar XKE. Once I graduated from college and got out on my own I bought myself a 1968 XKE roadster… ragtop, because that was the car I always wanted.

“But the funny thing about that thing was it was more complicated. It had dual… I mean three dual carb… three carburetors on the thing, but you had to tune them all. (I can’t even say the words right. Right? It’s been a while, right?) So you had three carburetors, you had to tune them so it would all run consistently, and you had to do this fairly frequently. The funny thing about it was it was not a good car. Even though it was made in England, it’s not that good a car in rain or snow. I ended up buying a 68 Volkswagen Bug, which is what I drove around most of the time. Especially when I had to buy parts for the Jaguar. I ended up driving the Volkswagen most of the time, and the Jaguar every so often on special occasions when it was nice and dry out it, and wasn’t going to rain or anything like that.

“Now also, I want to tell you that our daughter bought a pair of designer shoes. I bet they cost a thousand dollars, and they’re enshrined in a special place in her wardrobe. I looked at them I said, “Wow those look pretty fancy.” I said, “Where do you wear those to?” She says, “Well I don’t wear them very much because they hurt my feet. Normally I just wear flats or something else. I don’t wear my designer thousand dollar shoes very often because they hurt my feet.”

“Now what does this have to do with Lean and Six Sigma and SPC? Well here’s the thing: Where I sit with QI Macros, I talk to a lot of people, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who bought very expensive SPC software – VERY expensive. They bought lots of them and then they discovered that their people weren’t using them. One guy bought 150 copies [of expensive software] for his manufacturing plant and nobody was using it. Well, ouch!

“I recently talked to a very prestigious training organization and they’ve been training people with a very expensive software package as well, and guess what? They found that when people went back to their jobs, guess what? They weren’t using that very expensive software. It’s not that… you know… whatever. I mean, my Jaguar cost probably five six times what my Volkswagen cost, and wow, it looked cool but I didn’t drive it very much. Those shoes look really cool but my daughter doesn’t wear them very much. I think if you have software that’s too hard on your head, you have to learn too many things and do too many things, press too many buttons, set up too many things and all these options that you can choose. Guess what? People don’t use it.

“So I want you to realize that it doesn’t matter how much you pay for your software. It doesn’t matter if you buy QI Macros or somebody else’s [software], we’re all going to calculate the formulas the same way, right? Our graphs may look a little different but they’re all going to give you the same answer. You can pay a lot more for that answer but it might be hard on your head to use it, so it doesn’t matter how much you pay for your software if no one uses it. Same is true of QI Macros. If you buy it and nobody uses it you still have a problem, but I have found that it’s so much easier for people to use QI Macros that they just don’t get threatened. Even Black Belts tell me “I use QI Macros all the time. I don’t pull out my very expensive software unless I absolutely positively have to for some really bizarre calculation, but that doesn’t happen very much because most [projects] don’t have those kinds of problems.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Stop spending too much money on software no one uses. QI Macros will serve just about everybody’s needs. Let’s create a hassle free America, and the only way to do that is when people use the software and the tools of quality. People aren’t using the tools of quality. Why? Because it’s too hard, but with QI Macros I believe it’s super simple.

“Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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