quality improvement
Blog

Posts tagged "quality improvement"

Why Are People Using Line and Bar Charts, not Control Charts?

If you look at improvement project posters at quality conferences around the country, you’ll find that almost everyone is using Excel line and bar charts. Even after decades of Six Sigma training and association membership. What’s the hold up? Here’s my take:

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

“Every year I look at lots of improvement posters and I keep wondering, “Why isn’t anyone using the tools of Quality?” Control charts, Pareto charts, histograms… Most of them are just using plain old Excel line and bar charts. Now it might be because they don’t know about the power and beauty and how easy it can be now to do Control charts, Pareto charts and fishbones.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Predators are Lazy

Predators are lazy. So are humans. Here’s why that’s a problem:

“I was out in Hawaii and I saw these people doing shore fishing. I thought, “That might look fun.” I went to this one store that sells sporting goods stuff and I said, “Is there anybody who has a class or anything on shore fishing?” He said, “No, no; nobody does that,” he said. “But all you have to understand is that predators are lazy.”

“I think I’ve talked about this before, but essentially, the predatory fish come in on the tide and then they go out on the tide.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Punishing the Masses for the Sins of the Few

Gut feel often leads to wasteful solutions to almost everything. Here’s why:

 

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

“When I was working at U.S. West in the phone company we had a little problem in Iowa. We were doing about 12,000 repair appointments a month; that’s where they would come out and fix your landline phone. (I know you don’t have those any more but we used to have landline problems.) Anyway, customers were complaining because we would tell them we would fix their phone four days from now, so on Monday we’d tell them Thursday and so on.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Is It Time to Rethink and Simplify Quality Improvement?

At the ASQ Lean Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix, keynoter Gregory Watson asked: “Is it time to rethink and simplify quality improvement?” I believe Agile is the answer:



 

“I was out at the ASQ Lean Six Sigma conference in Phoenix [earlier this year]. Dr. Gregory Watson, the keynote [speaker], was also the keynote [speaker] at the very first conference back in 2000. He said, “Is it time to start to rethink what we’re doing in Quality? Can we simplify what we’re doing?”

“I say the answer to that question is yes, obviously, because I’ve been talking about Agile Lean Six Sigma: How do we take the skills of Agile and apply them to Lean and Six Sigma so we can get results in a day or two; not in weeks and months and years.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

The Cost of Lean Six Sigma Training

Traditional Lean Six Sigma Training takes weeks when it’s possible to train people and get results in one day. Here’s why it costs so much to train people using last century strategies:

“I want to talk to you about the economics of a Six Sigma class.  All right, so as much as I hate pie charts, I’m going to use one to demonstrate this.  Let’s say you have a classroom and let’s say you have 20 odd people or something go in there.  Now, I can tell you in advance every class is filled with three types of people:  Prisoners, Vacationers and Learners. 

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

Are You Skipping Stones or Diving Beneath the Surface of Your Business?

Are you skipping Six Sigma stones across the surface of your business or are you finding people who take to it like a duck to water. People who can dive beneath the surface to find the invisible low-hanging fruit?

 

“Have you ever skipped a rock across a lake? Maybe the first time you threw it out there it just went “sploosh.” Then you figured out that flatter rocks skip better, so you started throwing them out and they’d go “skip-skip-sploosh,” or maybe get three or four or five “skip-skips” and “sploosh.”

“Then a duck came flying in, put out its landing gear and just kind of eased into the water.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

FOLB – Fear of Looking Bad

Humans, by nature, have a fear of looking bad (FOLB). And we have a fear of looking stupid (FOLS). These are slowing COVID-19 response and quality improvement. Here’s why:

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

“You’ve all probably all heard some of these acronyms that are running around like FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Well, I wanted to introduce you to a couple more that I’d like you to consider. FOLB: Fear Of Looking Bad.

“Now when I’ve gone out to work with companies in consulting roles, some of these managers think, “I’m supposed to be in charge of fixing everything.

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

Stop Projecting the Past Into the Future

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t keep doing things the same old way. The status quo isn’t working for us anymore. We have to stop projecting the past (the way we’ve always done it) into the future. The future doesn’t have to be an endless rerun of the past.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Agile Process Innovation” and QI Macros [software]. Here’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Stop projecting your past into your future.

“Way too many people do this, right? We start thinking, “Well, we’ve always done it that way so we have to always do it that way.”

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

Are Your Systems Ready for Mother’s Day?

The busiest day of the year for long distance calling is Mother’s Day. The recent COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inability of our systems to handle the load. Is your business ready for Mother’s Day?

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

“When I worked in the phone company they were very proud of the fact that they had engineered the entire switching system to handle one day out of the year. That one day out of the year was Mother’s Day, because everybody called their mother on Mother’s Day. If we didn’t have ways of switching and routing things and [finding] an empty trunk line… If I was going to call my mom in Tucson from Denver, guess what?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights.

How Long Should Lean Six Sigma Projects Take?

Should a project take 4-16 months or 4-16 hours? Should you measure projects with a calendar or a stopwatch? I think the answer is obvious, but here’s my take on it.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur. Every year, we exhibit at lots of conferences with QI Macros so I get to go to presentations by all kinds of folks. Now, last year I saw a presentation by some consultants who said they’d done some research into how long Six Sigma projects take. They found Six Sigma projects take anywhere from four months to 16 months.

“I [thought], “What? How’s that possible?” That makes no sense to me, because I’ve done multimillion-dollar projects in between 4 and 16 hours.

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