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Improvement Insights Blog

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8/10/21 QI Macros webinar

Over 75 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating some of the software’s most frequently used tools and answering questions asked by attendees.

Some attendees were familiar with the software and already use it, some had only begun to use it; all were interested in learning new ways that QI Macros can help them with their Agile Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement efforts. (You can hear him answering questions and comments typed in by webinar attendees.)

 



If you saw a feature demonstrated in the webinar that might have been added to QI Macros after the version you’re using (for instance, the Improvement Project Wizard, the Fixed Limit indicator or the automated Process Change Wizard), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, Excel, QI Macros, Webinar.

Brainstorming is a Terrible Way to Start a Team

Did your quality instructors teach you to gather a team and brainstorm a problem to solve? That’s terribly bad advice. Use data to pinpoint the problem. Then, and only then do you know who should be on the root cause analysis.



I don’t know about you, but when I first got my quality training they said, “Get a team together and brainstorm a problem to solve and then go start trying to find the data, define the data, measure the data,” or something else. Now that’s the dumbest damn advice I ever got in quality training. I’ve looked at a lot of different training packages over the years and they still have all that same stupid stuff in there.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, Improvement Insights, QI Macros.

How Do You Make Countermeasures Stick?

How do you make improvement countermeasures stick? The answer might surprise you.



 

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

“You know, one of the things about countermeasures is when somebody else invents the countermeasure and makes you do it, guess what? You don’t like it very much. So when we were all told to wear masks, wash our hands, stay out of crowds… guess what? Some people really hated that. Now me as a Quality guy, I said “Oh, they know what the countermeasures are. I should wear my mask, wash my hands, stay out of crowds,” but not everyone does that.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Six Sigma.

Jargon vs Clarity

Ever noticed how long it takes people to learn to speak the jargon of Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement? Maybe it’s time for a change.



 

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

“Over my 30+ years in Quality Improvement I’ve learned all kinds of Japanese words like “kaizen” and “gemba” and “Ishikawa.” Nothing’s worse than “statistical process control” because nobody likes statistics, everybody thinks processes are boring and control is something that nobody in the United States of America likes, right? They just don’t.

“So, I think we become jargon-rich and clarity-poor.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Countermeasures Mean the Absence of Pain

How do you know when your countermeasures are working? Nothing bad happens. But it’s often difficult to notice unless you look back into past. We all have absence blindness – we can’t see what isn’t there.



 

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

“Now, I don’t know about you, but I spent the last year and a half wearing a mask, washing my hands and staying out of crowds. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t get COVID and my wife and I went to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and went to Hawaii on vacation, but we didn’t catch COVID.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Improvement Insights.

7/13/21 QI Macros webinar

Over 80 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating some of the software’s most frequently used tools and answering questions asked by attendees. Some attendees were familiar with the software and already use it, some had only begun to use it; all were interested in learning new ways that QI Macros can help them with their Agile Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement efforts. (You can hear him answering questions and comments typed in by webinar attendees.)

 



If you saw a feature demonstrated in the webinar that might have been added to QI Macros after the version you’re using (for instance, the Improvement Project Wizard, the Fixed Limit indicator or the automated Process Change Wizard), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Data Mining, Excel, QI Macros, Webinar.

Spreadsheets are Slow – Smart Charts Are Fast

Ever noticed how long it takes for people to analyze a spreadsheet? Too long. How can a smart chart eliminate the delay and accelerate understanding?



 

“One of the things I’ve learned is spreadsheets… People do a lot of spreadsheets. 54% of the Excel spreadsheets out there have no formulas in them, or anything else for that matter; they’re just little reporty things.

“Now, one of the things for you to think about with a spreadsheet is, it’s an auditory process. You’re reading it cell by cell, by heading by heading, by whatever by whatever, and reading (an auditory thing) is a very slow process.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Excel, Improvement Insights, Six Sigma.

Leaders and Managers May Not Be Your Friend

Have you ever noticed that some leaders and managers aren’t that excited about quality improvement? Do they actively resist improvements? Here’s why:



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

“You know, I like to read thriller novels. I just find them fascinating, and there’s always a good guy trying to defeat a bad guy. But the good guy isn’t just fighting the bad guy, the good guy invariably has to deal with the bureaucracy and somebody in their own organization who’s a problem, who’s trying to slow things down, stop things, or interrupt things, and they have their own personal agendas.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma.

Is Lean Six Sigma Mired in Old Think?

Is Lean Six Sigma stuck in last century thinking? Maybe we just can’t see it. Here’s what I discovered recently.



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

“Recently, I discovered something and it got me thinking. Now, if you know anything about calculating formulas for an XbarR chart, you know that what you do is if you have some numbers like a subgroup, maybe they got 3.3 and 3.4 or something like that, what you do is calculate for this subgroup what’s the average of the X’s. Well, in this case it’d be 3.3.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Lean, Six Sigma, Statistics.

Speed and Toyota

One of my Quality Cohorts challenged my assertion that Lean is about Speed. He threw Toyota at me as a counterexample. Here’s my thoughts.



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

“I made a comment on one of the articles about quality, and I said “Lean is about speed.” One of my friends that I know in the Quality universe came back and [responded] “Lean’s not about speed, that’s just wrong.” Then he threw Toyota at me, “But it’s not about speed at Toyota.”

“Toyota is a unicorn, they’ve been at this for 50 or 60 years creating a Quality Improvement culture where things like this happen all the time.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.