improvement projects

Posts tagged "improvement projects"

1/8/19 Webinar

Almost 50 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating how to use some of the useful features of QI Macros, as well as some of the new features introduced in recent versions of the software.

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 “Find Tool” search feature or the automated Value Stream Map), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros, Webinar.

Making Process Improvements Stick

The Nov-Dec 2018 HBR reports that Lean, Six Sigma and Agile “always work well initially, but often the gains fade quickly.”

  • 21% of improvement projects failed to yield any improvements
  • Only one-third of improvements continued to yield results after two years.

What’s needed to sustain improvements?

  • Consistent measurement and monitoring (i.e., control charts)
  • Leadership support and coaching
  • Avoid initiative fatigue caused by jumping from one improvement initiative to another.

Start monitoring your improvement projects using QI Macros control charts.
Download a free trial at

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

VA Response Times

I have worked with various VA Medical Centers and the people I have worked with are committed to providing the best care, but the recent debacle makes everyone question everything.

In 2003 I worked with Sioux Falls, SD VA Medical Center. At the time, they had the best response time in the country for veteran requests. It was only 140 days, so response times have improved, but not as much as we would like.

The team met for two days. Most of the time was spent:

  • Checking the veteran’s records to confirm that their complaint matched their records (e.g., could it have been caused by falling out a Huey in Vietnam?).

Posted by Jay Arthur in Lean, Service, Six Sigma.

Magnet Improvement Posters

Last week, we exhibited at the Magnet conference for nursing quality. Every healthcare quality conference has posters about improvement projects: Magnet, NAHQ, and IHI. What struck me about these posters was the shortage of quality tools like control charts, pareto charts and fishbone diagrams. Those posters using charts often used the incorrect type of chart for the data.

Here’s an example. This chart has so many lines on it, how can you tell what story they are trying to tell?

Injury Falls

Here’s an example using a bar chart (instead of a line graph) and the dates are in reverse order:

Bar Chart

Here’s another bar chart with the dates in the correct order, but again, time series charts like this one should be shown as a line, run or control chart.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Six Sigma.