Root Cause Analysis – Lean Six Sigma Moneybelt

Improvement Insights Blog

Posts tagged "Root Cause Analysis"

Form Storm Norm Perform Takes Too Long!

Traditional Form-Storm-Norm-Perform models of team development take too long. Here’s how to collapse the time and skip right to perform.



“I was looking at myASQ, and somebody was asking about the four steps of Team development: Form, Storm, Norm, Perform. You know, if you do it traditional (how it usually was taught), it takes a long time for a team to form (come together), storm (fight each other a little bit), normalize their behavior (so they get productive).

“Well, I found that that takes too long. I can’t get to results that way. What I discovered was if I could do the analysis and figure out how to pinpoint where the problem would be, then I can figure out who ought to be on that team to solve that problem.

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

The Myth of the One Right Answer

In school, they always made you search for the one right answer. In real life, things are rarely that simple. There are often many right answers. Here’s how to choose the best among those:



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

“I don’t know about you, but in school – first grade all the way through college – it seemed like they were preaching that there was always one right answer to a question. You had to get that one right answer to be able to get a hundred percent on your test (unless it was an essay thing, and then that was a different thing).

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

Root Cause Analysis in the Time of COVID-19

That's root cause analysis: What are the common patterns? Where's the Pareto principle?

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

COVID-19 Root Cause Analysis and Countermeasures

I started wondering, what would the COVID-19 pandemic look like as an improvement story. We have charts about cases and deaths. What might be the root causes and potential countermeasures? Here’s my draft Ishikawa-fishbone root cause analysis diagram and countermeasures. Root causes circled in red.

covid 19 root cause analysis

COVID-19 Countermeasures

We screen for guns in luggage and knives on passengers, why not temperatures? 

As of 4/12/20, NYC accounted for over a third of U.S. COVID-19 cases and almost 50% of deaths. It’s a hot zone. According to one employee, Denver General Hospital has not had a single COVID-19 patient. It’s a cold zone. What are the boundaries of the cold zone?

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

2020 New Year’s Resolution Part 2 – Improve

Many people take Six Sigma classes but only do one project. “One and Done” as it’s known in the trade. Make a resolution to start making improvements every month! Here are my suggestions.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur. It’s 2020, and last week I suggested that you go out and learn one new tool in the QI Macros every month. Now I’m also going to suggest that you set a New Year’s Resolution to make one improvement a month as well.

“Set a goal to do one improvement every month and by the end of the year, you’ll have made 12 improvements and dramatically reduced the amount of waste and rework and lost time and overtime and everything else that is involved in your world, right?

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

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.

Solutions Masquerading as Root Causes

Does Your Root Cause Analysis Fail The Last Why Because It Presupposes A Solution?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights, Six Sigma.

Bad Root Cause Analysis and Countermeasures

After the recent terrorist attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, some zealous, knee-jerk root cause analysis led to simple, easy-to-understand, wrong-headed countermeasures: passengers shouldn’t be able to get up during the last hour of any flight, anywhere.

Punishing millions of passengers to protect against a few extremists is a bad countermeasure stemming from bad root cause analysis. Random screenings of elderly women who have had knee replacement surgery or young children, a sampling technique, also seems to be silly.

Root cause analysis should get to the root of the problem: Why was a known extremist allowed to board any flight, anywhere?

Posted by Jay Arthur in Six Sigma.