Making Quality Improvement More Contagious

Making Quality Improvement More Contagious

Quality improvement isn’t very infectious, is it? What can we do to make it more contagious? As you can imagine, it can’t take weeks to catch the bug. Here’s a way to spread to idea faster.

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

“I got to thinking about the pandemic: in COVID-19, for every one person that gets in infected, they infect like three other people. That’s why it’s such a problem, right? It’s much more infectious than even the flu is. I thought about that in terms of Quality Improvement. Whether you call it: Lean Six Sigma, Operational Excellence, Process Improvement… I don’t care what you call it, it’s Quality Improvement to me. One of the things I wonder is [Quality Improvement] is not very infectious, right? I’ve been at this for 30 years. If it was really infectious, everybody would have the bug but they don’t.

“Over the years I’ve been trying to figure out how do we make Quality Improvement more infectious? What I’ve been doing with the QI Macros is trying to collapse the cycle time, the learning cycle, to get people to a point where they can learn the essential tools in maybe two, three, four hours and start applying them and apply them to their own data and get the zing of actually figuring something out and knowing that they can fix whatever it is that they discovered.

“That’s how I think we have to do this. We have to find ways to collapse the learning curve down to a day or less, and the QI Macros will help you do that. I created a whole training [concept] called Agile… Agile Process… Agile Lean Six Sigma Trainer Training (I can’t get it out of my mouth) Agile Lean Six Sigma Training to teach you how I do that. Can we collapse the learning curve to the point where people get the bang of, “Ooo, we figured something out!” “Ooo, we can fix something that we didn’t know how to fix because we thought it was impossible because we’ve tried everything.” (No, you just didn’t use a little data to pinpoint what you need to fix.)

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Let’s find a way to make Quality Improvement more infectious, and I believe we do that by shortening the learning curve to a day or less and helping people solve problems in a hurry. When they do that, they’ll get that little, “Ooh, yum! That was pretty good,” and they’ll want more of it.

“Let’s create a hassle-free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”