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A New Paradigm Shift Is Still Unthinkable In Many Organizations

Posted by on Apr 5, 2020 in Continuous Improvement, Paradigm Shift | 0 comments

A management paradigm is the way people think and act in conducting business.  It consists of the values, beliefs, practices, methods, tools, etc. that members of a social group construct to integrate the thoughts and action of its members. Paradigms typically change slowly.  Science evolves as new theories are advanced.  Current views are regarded as more valid and truthful.  As science progresses, it shifts from one paradigm to another.  Just look at the evolution in scientific thought as it changed from Copernicus to Newton to...

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Understanding Sample Statistics & Population Parameters

Posted by on Mar 29, 2020 in Confidence Limits, Inferential Statistics, Population Parameters, Sample Statistics | 0 comments

Many students new to statistics struggle with understanding population parameters, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and statistical inference.  I usually try to help them by drawing the above picture on a white board and discussing the data their organization collects.  I explain to them that the data they usually collect is a sample and how that sample is different from the population from which the sample is taken. The population is a complete set of the things we are interested in.  It can be a complete set of the SAT scores...

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Use Pareto Charts To Allocate Scarce Resources

Posted by on Mar 22, 2020 in ABC Classification, Pareto Chart, Quality Tools | 0 comments

Most everyone is familiar with Pareto Charts and how they can be used to help prioritize issues, ideas, and so on.  But in addition to helping you prioritize your actions, you can use them with the addition of a ABC Classification to help you allocate limited resources, and become more focused and efficient in your job. Pareto charts were named after the Italian economist, Vilredo Pareto, who discovered in the time he lived that roughly 20% of the population possessed 80% of the wealth.  Some of us know this as the 80/20 rule or the...

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Multi-vari Charts Help Identify Sources of Process Variation

Posted by on Mar 15, 2020 in Multi-vari Chart, Quality Tools | 0 comments

    A multi-vari chart is a useful tool to help you determine the sources of variation in a process.  The chart was first described by Leonard Sedar in 1950.  To develop a chart, the quality characteristic of interest is plotted across three horizontal panels that represent: Variability on a single piece Piece-to-piece variability Time-to-time variability The problem solving team first develops a sampling plan based on families of variation.  Samples are then collected from the process and measured.  The sampling plan is...

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Effective Problem Solving Isn’t About The Tools You Use – It’s How You Think!

Posted by on Mar 8, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

How we think and react to situations is unique to humans beings.  No other species on earth has this ability.  But as employees how many of us try to solve problems on a daily basis?  Do we try to make things better or are we content with the status quo? A good problem solver has three important traits.  They must be: quick and decisive resourceful and creative systematic and organized This is where critical thinking meets problem solving. As problem solvers we need to be able to define the problem, come up with a list of solutions,...

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Utilize Six Thinking Hats To Better Solve Problems & Make Decisions

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Creativity, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Six Thinking Hats | 0 comments

The Six Thinking Hats, co-designed in 1983 by Dr. Edward de Bono with Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Eric Bienstock, was developed to improve creativity and lateral thinking.  It helps us overcome one of the biggest enemies of thinking which is complexity.  When thinking is clear and simple, it becomes more enjoyable and more effective. Unlike when I was growing up, very few people today wear hats.  Hats today tend to define a role and are used as part of a uniform, which itself defines a role. With regard to how we think, using hats to...

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Root Cause Analysis Takes Practice, Patience, and Perseverance

Posted by on Feb 23, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

Root cause analysis is a broad term that is used to describe a wide range of approaches, tools, and techniques used to uncover the causes of problems.  It is a structured investigation whose purpose is to identify the true cause of a problem and the actions necessary to eliminate it. I think people often get confused when problem solving because problems sometimes have more than one cause.  Let me give you an example that will clarify what I mean. Let’s say your problem is high scrap.  A problem solving team might start by putting...

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Want To Be A Kick-Ass Problem Solver? Nine Lessons I’ve Learned Watching Murder Mysteries

Posted by on Feb 16, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

  My wife and I recently cancelled our TV cable subscription and began streaming our television programs.  In addition to all the local and national stations, ESPN, etc. we also get to watch some of the old favorite shows like Cheers, Mash, Seinfeld, and Columbo.  For those of you not familiar with the show, Columbo was a homicide detective that worked for the L.A. police department and was played by Peter Faulk.  In the show, Lt. Columbo has the uncanny ability to solve the most sinister murders by reconstructing the evidence using...

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Measure & Monitor Employee Training To Ensure Success

Posted by on Feb 9, 2020 in Training Effectiveness | 0 comments

Every day employees around the world are sent to training classes, conferences, and seminars with the expectation that they learn a new skill or come across some new idea that will ultimately benefit their organization.  Every field you can think of has some kind of on-going training and billions of dollars are spent every year for employees to attend. But as an organization, how do you know for sure if you’re receiving the benefit of those training classes and getting some return for your training investment?  Is there a way you can...

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Design For Six Sigma – Not Just For Engineers!

Posted by on Feb 1, 2020 in Design for Six Sigma, DFSS, DMADOV, DMADV, IDDOV, IDOV, New Process Design | 0 comments

There’s a common misconception that Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) only applies to engineering designs.  In reality, it can be applied with equal effectiveness to a variety of tasks such as billing, marketing, customer service, and just about anything that can benefit from innovative, streamlined, customer-friendly designs – which is almost everything. DFSS is all about focusing on prevention instead of cures.  It complements the Six Sigma improvement methodology by attacking the flaws of products and processes during the design stage. ...

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