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Use a Radar Chart to Determine Which Problem Is Most Critical

Flowcharts, swimlane diagrams, etc. are useful in understanding problems from an internal point of view, but when seeking external comparisons, a radar or spider chart can be a helpful tool.  The main purpose of the radar chart is to show graphically how a product is viewed by different customers and how they compare.  In conducting root cause analysis, the main application is to determine...

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Implementing Solutions Requires Planning & Careful Thought

You and your team have completed a root cause analysis and have identified solutions you want to implement.  Now the hard task turns to how best to implement those solutions, developing an implementation plan, and making sure you create acceptance for the change that will be made prior to its implementation.  This is an activity that is sometimes overlooked by many teams because they’re...

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Is Your Organization a Hedgehog or a Fox?

The hedgehog concept was first introduced by Isaiah Berlin, the famous British political theorist, philosopher, and historian, in his 1953 essay, The Hedgehog and the Fox.  In it, he divides the world into hedgehogs and foxes based on an ancient Greek parable from the poet Archilochus:  “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”  The analogy is that...

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Systems Thinking: Our Business Processes Involve Parts That Are Interrelated

Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way a system’s constituent parts interrelate and how these parts work together over time and within the context of larger systems.  A system includes all the interactions and interdependencies of the interrelated constituent parts. Traditionally, we are taught to analyze our processes and look at each part...

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The Art of Coaching Lean Six Sigma Projects

Coaching Lean Six Sigma students is a process that enhances their skills and capabilities.  It helps the student translate what they learn in class into applied learning and helps them develop confidence in their newly developing knowledge and skills.  The coach must listen, observe, and provide constructive feedback. In addition, the coach ensures the project stays on track and is completed in...

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