Lean Six Sigma Used to be Hard

Improvement Insights Blog

Lean Six Sigma Used to be Hard

Lean Six Sigma used to be hard. It’s not anymore. Here’s why:

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

“One of the things when I was growing up in my in my household (this was in the 50s and 60s, you have to understand) we had one phone. It was a rotary dial phone. It was one of those old heavy ones. It wasn’t even plastic; I think it was bakelite or something. There was an extension cord and so I would pull it into my room so I could talk to my girlfriend in high school, right? That’s all we had was one phone. If you went out on the street, you had to use a coin phone and put in a bunch of quarters to make a phone call. We don’t do that anymore, do we? Now we spend a lot of money on a phone, but that’s another story right there.

“This is the kind of thing where… when I was a kid and I was taking driver’s education, we had this old Chevy (I don’t know… a Caprice or something). It had a stick shift and the stick shift was on the steering column. That was called “three on the tree”; it wasn’t even “four on the floor”, no. Now most of us just drive automatics. We don’t have to learn how to shift gears and do all that stuff unless you go to Europe and then you might need to know how to drive a stick shift because they rent stick shifts over there.

“My mom, when she was growing up in Ohio in the in the 20s and 30s, they had an outhouse. They didn’t have an in-house bathroom, they had an outhouse, right?

“So I want you to get this idea that everything keeps getting easier, faster, better, simpler, right? It’s just more convenient. But if you look at Six Sigma, we’re still trying to teach it the same old way we did 20 or 30 years ago, right? That’s just too slow, right?

“One of the things I’ve done with QI Macros is try to automate all the stuff that used to be messy and manual and make it more “automagic” so that people can get on with analysis and problem solving and sustaining improvement. I don’t think it has to be that hard anymore. I have free rate training on my website: free yellow belt training, I have an Agile Process Improvement training. What you want to do is shift your thinking.

“Stop thinking it has to be done the way it was always done. That’s just not true anymore. Let’s create a hassle-free world; a hassle-free America. Let’s do it a lot faster than we’ve been doing it in the past because it’s too slow.

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