Pareto Chart Tagged Improvement Insights

Improvement Insights Blog

Posts tagged "Pareto Chart"

Making Pareto Charts by Hand?

Sometimes you’ll hear people say that software isn’t necessary for Quality Improvement. Let me demonstrate how much time you’re wasting if you create ONE Pareto chart by hand, instead of using software.

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

“If you’ve listened to any of my Insight videos or seen me present at conferences or [had me] train you in a workshop, you know that I don’t believe you can do Quality Improvement without software. We have to stop doing Quality Improvement the 20th century manual, slow way. We have to start doing it the 21st century way, and we have to start doing it quickly.

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

2020 New Years Resolution Part 1 – Learn One Tool Per Month

Many people tell us that they have QI Macros, but they don’t know how to use it. Make a resolution to learn how! Here are my suggestions.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur and… it’s 2020. How did that happen? A new year; a new decade. Seems like just yesterday everybody was worried about Y2K. Somebody out there is thinking, “What’s Y2K?” That was a thing that happened back in the year 2000… you probably forgot all about it, but I’ve been at this for over twenty years now in the software field around Quality Improvement, so I’ve seen a lot of things.

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

Excel Bar Charts Hide The Signal in Noise

The July/August 2017 HealthLeaders magazine had a series of charts about the impact of Adverse Events. In general, the magazine used column charts:

But wouldn’t a Pareto chart illuminate the important adverse events more clearly? The first three accounted for over 57% of 2013 deaths.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Data Visualizations that Really Work

The June, 2016 HRB article by Scott Berinato examines how to use charts and diagrams to express ideas and statistics. I agree with Anmol Garg, Tesla data scientist quoted in the article, “You can’t find anything looking at spreadsheets and querying databases. It has to be visual.”

Bernato says: “Convenient is a tempting replacement for good, but it will lead to charts that are merely adequate or, worse, ineffective.” He separates visualizations into four components: idea generation, idea illustration, visual discovery and everyday dataviz. Simple line, bar and pie charts are great for idea generation and illustration, but terrible for visual discovery and dataviz.

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

The Correct Way to Draw a Pareto Chart

I first learned how to draw Pareto charts by hand using engineering paper if you can believe it. Our trainers were very specific about how they were to be drawn. One of the earliest references I can find is Kaoru Ishikawa’s Guide to Quality Control. Here’s the correct way to draw a Pareto chart using data from Ishikawa’s book:

Pareto Chart of Defect Data from Ishikawa's Guide to Quality Control
The bars should be touching and the cumulative percentage line should go from corner to corner of the first bar.

Unfortunately, most Pareto charts drawn by computer look like the following one, bars not touching and cumulative line running out of the center of the top of the first bar.

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros, Six Sigma.

IHI 2015 Poster Use of Quality Tools

In his speech Sunday at IHI, Don Berwick called for everyone to “recommit to improvement science” (step 5 in ERA 3 of healthcare transformation).

He sounded annoyed with the lack of use of Lean Six Sigma tools and methodologies.

I understand his frustration. I was there in 2006 when he asked everyone to “pledge allegiance to science and evidence.”

Over the years, I’ve done a stroke tally of the quality tools used in IHI poster presentations.

I gave each poster one checkmark for each type of tool used.


Sadly, even with all of the emphasis on control charts, Pareto charts and other tools of quality, they are used rarely in poster presentations.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Healthcare, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Deaths by Power Source Data

Seth Godin’s blog brought this data to my attention:

There’s lots of ways to display it, but I thought it would be fun to look at as Pareto charts.

Deaths from nuclear power are small compared to the power produced. Coal and oil are still the heavy hitters in the mortality department.

Posted by Jay Arthur in QI Macros.