No Time for Quality Improvement?

Improvement Insights Blog

No Time for Quality Improvement?

Never seems like there’s enough time for Quality Improvement. The urgent trumps the important. Here’s what I’ve done:

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

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but everybody keeps talking about, “We have to make time for Quality Improvement and Six Sigma.” I hate to tell you this: There ain’t no time. Right? There’s just not going to be ever enough time, and they’re not going to dedicate a thousand people to go do this with the right number of Black Belts and Green Belts and Yellow Belts.

“There are companies who have deep pockets who do that, but they don’t start there. They get there eventually, but very often we have to squeeze out a couple of hours and do some data analysis. I used to have to do this when I was in the phone company: squeeze out a few hours, do some data analysis. If I found something, then I could take it to somebody and we could see if we could start a team.

“Now a lot of that data analysis took a long time, because back in the dark ages we didn’t have software to make it easy. But then in 2016 and ‘17 I got this idea that I could automate what I’d been doing and so I created the Improvement Project Wizard. You take raw data about the when, the where and the what has happened, take that and turn it into an improvement project in seconds. Then I could really quickly get into actually saying, “Hey, let’s go tackle this problem or that problem,” but that’s only something I created recently because I finally figured out how to do it consistently.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week: You have to make some time, and I don’t care how you do it and with what you do the analysis, but you’re going to have to make some time. Narrow the focus down to something that’s actually actionable and that’ll tell you who should be on your team (because you will not know in advance) and grab that that bit of data and those people and then go do some root cause analysis, come up with countermeasures, implement solutions and start getting results. That’s what management is going to want from you: results. Nobody wants Six Sigma; nobody wants that. Nobody wants Process Improvement, nobody wants this stuff… they want the results they hope they’re going to get from it.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s create a hassle-free America; hassle free healthcare. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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