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Improvement Insights Blog

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2/9/21 QI Macros webinar

Over 50 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 Jay Arthur Blog.

Belting Out A Lean Pull System

Here’s the craziest Lean Pull System explanation I’ve ever seen, but it stuck with me:



“A long time ago I was introduced to Lean. We asked the consultants that were helping us with it, “What’s Lean, and what’s a Pull System” and they surprised us all because they started undoing their belts like this.

“They pulled [the belts] out and they said, “If you have a system and you try and push product through it, guess what? You get slack in the middle.” Does this make sense? You get all this work in process and everything else piling up. If you make one end faster the other ends aren’t keeping up.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Histograms and… tire stacks?


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Even though I haven’t been driving my car much lately, I know better than to ignore regular maintenance. Since it had been quite a while since my last oil change, I called a small local shop I know and booked an appointment.

When the time came, I drove in and was greeted in the parking lot by the owner, Greg. I started taking my cars to Greg when he first opened his first shop and have been a regular customer ever since. In addition to Greg’s warm, friendly and easygoing attitude, he knew more about fixing cars than anyone I’d ever met.

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros Monthly Newsletters.

Are You Doing Black Belt Work or No Belt Work?

My childhood doctor did it all. Now I almost never see a doctor. Are You Doing Black or Green Belt work, or “No Belt” work?



“When I was growing up as a kid, our family doctor, Dr. Pierce (and what an unfortunate name)… anyway, Dr. Pierce was actually a MASH 4077 kind of a doctor, right? He was he was in Korea [where] they were doing meatball surgery. But back in the 50s, he’d come in and take your temperature, check your pulse, and he would give you the shots and anything else that was there: write the prescriptions out long hand and rip them off a pad and hand them to you.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Jay Arthur Blog.

Are You Sewing Your Own Six Sigma Toolkit?

Mom used to sew all of her own clothes, just like many people in Six Sigma are creating their own chart templates or code. Mom figured out a better way. You can too.



“Growing up in the 50s, my mom made all of her own clothes. She would go to the fabric store and pick out fabrics and pick out patterns. She’d come home and on this big cardboard thing she’d lay out the pattern on the thing and cut out all the pieces. Then she’d have bought thread, and then she’d sit there at the sewing machine and she would sew blouses and skirts and dresses.

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

Arthur’s 4-50 Rule – The Secret to Breakthrough Improvement

We’re all familiar with Pareto’s rule: 20% of causes produce 80% of the results. But are you familiar with Arthur’s 4-50 rule? Typically, 4% of any process – one step out of 35 – is the cause of more than 50% of waste, rework and lost profit.



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

“Now I’ve probably talked to you about this before, but we’re all familiar with Pareto’s rule that 20% of what you do produces 80% of the mistakes, errors, waste, rework, lost profit. 20% of your customers produce 80% of your revenue.

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

1/15/21 QI Macros webinar

Over 100 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 Templates 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.

2021 New Year’s Resolutions for Quality

Here’s three New Year’s Resolutions to accelerate your quality improvements: 1) Raw Data Diet, 2) Quality Tools and 3) Worst First. Here’s why these will change your future and your company’s:



“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur. It is the New Year and so it’s time for some New Year’s resolutions. Here’s some resolutions I’d like you to consider.

“First, go on a raw data diet. That means you need to know everything about each individual defect, mistake and error, and then you can summarize that. If you start from summarized data you don’t know where the raw data is, and so most of the time you can’t actually figure out what to fix without the raw data.

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

Snowy Rides and Short Run Charts


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I had just finished clearing the snow from my front walk and come inside when I heard the text alert tone from my computer. After kicking off my shoes and hanging up my coat, I checked my phone and found a text from a past client.

“Need help. Would you be available some time for a video call? – Andrew Joseph”

I sent him a message that I was available now if he’d like, and a few minutes later I was sitting in front of my computer with a steeping mug of Earl Grey tea connecting with Andrew.

“Hey there! ” I greeted him.

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros Monthly Newsletters.

Six Sigma Dogma

When I started in quality improvement, everyone preached Total Quality Management (TQM). Before that it was quality circles. I’d like you to consider that the gospel of Six Sigma is holding back progress. Here’s why:



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

“The other day I was [presenting] a webinar for one of the ASQ sections; I’ve been doing Agile Lean Six Sigma webinars for the Agile sections that want something to do during this pandemic. One of the guys said, “Well, you’re sort of telling me that that we don’t need Green Belts and Black Belts to do a project.

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