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Improvement Insights Blog

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Three Signs that You Need Lean Six Sigma

Here’s three simple signs that you need Lean Six Sigma.



“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma For Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software].

“There’s three clear signs that you need Six Sigma.

“[1:] First off, you spend more time fixing stuff than you do actually making stuff.

“[2:] Customer complaints have risen to an all-time high and you spend too much time dealing with that.

“[3:] You spend more time mending fences than plowing new fields. You know, that’s a clue that these tools can help you.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week.

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

Quality Improvement is Not Hard

Most people think Quality Improvement is hard. It’s not. It’s surprisingly easy. Here’s why:



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

“I think too many people spend a lot of time pretending that Quality Improvement is hard; it’s not, right? You’re either out of control but you might be in spec, or you might be in spec and out of control, or… in control and out of spec, or you can be in control and in spec. That’s not too hard.

“You know, with a handful of tools you can solve most of the problems involving defects, mistakes, errors.

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

7/18/23 Healthcare Data Analytics Webinar

Over 250 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating how to implement Healthcare Data Analytics to save time, save money, and (most importantly) save lives.



You can view a short two-page illustrated guide to the Zero Harm – Trillion Dollar Prescription by clicking HERE.

If you’d like to see a short demo video to see how our software is used in healthcare organizations like yours, click this DEMO link.

If you’ve never used QI Macros and would like to try it out for free, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial at THIS link.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Data Mining, Healthcare, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Webinar.

It’s the System!

One guy told me that defects, mistakes and errors are like the wind and the waves. There’s nothing we can do about it. He’s so wrong. Here’s why:



“I was talking to somebody the other day, and we were talking about defects and mistakes and errors and things going on. They said, “Oh, that’s like the wind and the waves.” I said, “No it’s not. It’s not cosmic forces and atmospheric conditions. It’s a system, and the system is forcing people to make those mistakes or letting them make those mistakes and errors. All we have to do is fix the system.”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

7/11/23 QI Macros webinar

Over 70 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.



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 or the automated Process Change Wizard), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Send an email to support@qimacros.com and we can help, for instance in generating a quote to upgrade all the users at your organization or just guiding you through the purchasing process.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Defects Aren’t Spread All Over Like Butter On Bread

People often think defects are spread evenly all over the business, like butter on bread. Not true. Here’s why:



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

“I’ve said this before, but people out there seem to think that defects and mistakes and errors are like butter spread on a slice of bread. It’s just, like, everywhere in your organization, right?

“Not true. It’s more like mold somewhere on a loaf of bread. All you have to do is fix that little piece that’s in trouble in that one [slice] of bread and that’ll keep it from spreading to the rest of the organization.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Juran and the Pareto Principle

Juran borrowed the work of Vilfredo Pareto to describe the uneven distribution of defects. Vilfredo focused on wealth. Juran expanded it to defects. And I narrowed and expanded it to include almost anything. Here’s what it means to you:



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

“I was rereading Juran, and he was talking about how he misnamed the Pareto Principle but then it stuck. When he was in his mid-20s, as a young engineer he observed that quality defects are unequal in frequency. They seemed to just be in specific places, and so on.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

How Many KPIs Do You Need?

Most companies have way too many KPIs (key process indicators). How many do you need?



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

“I go out and I see people, and very often they have too many Key Process Indicators. They’ve got giant dashboards full of all kinds of stuff, and it turns out that that makes it difficult to figure out what to do. A lot of the dashboards are speedometer charts or line graphs or bar charts or some combination of all that stuff, which means you don’t really know if there’s anything going wrong, bad or whatever.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Analytical Honesty

Some people want the data to confirm their gut feelings. Others want the data to tell them something they don’t know. Analytical Honesty wins. Here’s why:



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

“I want to talk to you about analytical honesty. I’ve found all too often, people want the data to prove what they want to believe, not what’s actually true.

“So what do we want to do? We want to take the data and let the data lead us to clarity, then we can take action to make improvements, right?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Overcome the Frustration Barrier

Most quality improvement professionals have long forgotten how hard it was to learn QI. What if you could help newbies overcome the frustration barrier?



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

“I was out at the American Society for Quality conference last week in scenic Philadelphia. One of the things that I’ve noticed is when we talk to people, most people forget how hard it was initially to get through the frustration barrier to learn Quality when they began. They forget how hard it is. Just like childbirth, women forget how much it hurt; they just… “Oh, yeah, I got a baby.”

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