Educating, Training and Skills: The Difference Between Knowing How to Think and Making Improvements

Posted by on Jan 16, 2022 in Education, Skills, Training | 0 comments

Often we think of education and training interchangeably and this is a big mistake.  Education focuses on broadening an individual’s knowledge base and expanding thinking processes.  It helps employees understand concepts and accept increased job responsibilities, and prepares them for future jobs and leadership roles.  In other words, education helps individuals learn how to think. Training is considered a subset of education that focuses on increasing proficiency in a skill.  It refers to skill-based instruction and addresses the...

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Use A Charter To Define Your Project

Posted by on Jan 9, 2022 in Kaizen, Lean Six Sigma, Project Charter, Project Scoping | 0 comments

The charter is one of the most critical documents in conducting a lean six sigma project or kaizen event. It serves as a blueprint and forces you to think about what you want and how you want to do it. A clear and concise charter increases the likelihood of reaching the goals and ensures that the team knows what to do. It will also allow you and the team to determine whether the plan has been achieved. The charter should include the following key elements: What is the purpose of the project or event? (subject) What are the factors that impact...

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Histograms Help Visualize and Summarize Variable Data

Posted by on Jan 2, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A histogram is a bar graph that summarizes the frequency of information occurring over time. They visually display summarized data showing the information’s frequency, shape, and central tendency. The first action I take when dealing with variable or continuous data is constructing a histogram to see how the information looks. It helps me answer questions such as, “What does the distribution look like?” “Is it normal?” “Is it shifted from the target value?” And so on. Of course, you can easily...

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Fishbone Diagram Helps Us Understand Variation In Our Outputs

Posted by on Dec 19, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The fishbone diagram, or more formally called the Cause-and-Effect Diagram, was first developed by Dr. Kaouru Ishikawa in 1943.  It can help you relate the causes, or x’s, to the effect Y.  The effect or output (Y) is what we’re trying to improve, and the reasons (x’S) are the sources of variation in our process that need to be decreased.  Our goal is to determine the sources of variation that cause the Y to vary the most. Teams like this tool because it is easy to use.  They can brainstorm various sources of variation and put...

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Executive Leadership Role In Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Dec 5, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

Leaders contemplating starting a Lean Six Sigma program may ask, “What level of participation and involvement do we need from our executive leadership in deploying our initiative? and “What should their training consist of?” First, executive leadership should create a vision for their organization for three years, five years, and ten years. They need to determine a strong rationale for why the business requires the Lean Six Sigma initiative. The explanation must be specific to the organization and tie directly to benefits everyone can...

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Create A Powerful Toolset By Combining Lean and Six Sigma

Posted by on Nov 28, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

There still seems to be an ongoing debate about the benefits of combining Lean and Six Sigma and whether organizations should consider doing so. Both methodologies focus on the customer. Lean declares a “war on waste,” while Six Sigma declares a “war on variation.” Lean and Six Sigma empower people to create process stability and a culture of continuous improvement. Problem identification and problem-solving techniques exist in both methodologies. They include brainstorming, fishbone diagrams, 5-Whys, Pareto analysis, 8-Ds, FMEA, and...

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Some Things I’ve Learned Being A Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Posted by on Nov 14, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Having been a Master Black Belt for almost 20 years and instructing hundreds of students has been very rewarding. I enjoy teaching people new tools and techniques that make their lives and jobs more manageable and the coaching required to make their projects successful and help improve their organizations. Watching people make their processes more efficient, eliminate waste and variation, and save money to boot is a great feeling! I find that many people starting in Lean Six Sigma are hesitant due to their fear of statistics. This fear is...

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Make Better Decisions Using The Measurement Profile and Global Performance Measures

Posted by on Nov 7, 2021 in Decision Making, Metrics | 0 comments

There is no single perfect performance measure that, after improvement, achieves an organizational goal. However, using the following six measurement areas to measure a different dimension of organizational performance will help organizations meet their internal and external targets. The measures are: Throughput Operating expenses Inventory Response time Quality Due-date performance These measures can be used for managerial control, defining qualitative objectives, rewarding executives and employees, and supporting decision-making...

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Performance Measures Aid In An Organizations Decision Making Process

Posted by on Oct 31, 2021 in KPIs | 0 comments

Having performance measures or key performance indicators (KPIs) is an essential managerial tool. They are used to control activities within an organization to help them achieve their goals and objectives. They serve as an effective means for communicating management’s policies throughout the organization and can assist in decision-making. Performance measures assist in the goal of creating more value for an organization. Whenever the performance measure indicates improvement, the value of the organization is enhanced. However, if local...

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Operational Definitions Make Data Collection More Consistent

Posted by on Oct 24, 2021 in Data Collection, Operational Definition | 0 comments

Operational definitions are defined as a clear description of what is to be observed and measured, such that different people taking or interpreting the data will do so consistently.  It answers the question: “What do we mean by a defect?”  “A service?” “How do we measure a characteristic?” Here are a few examples that occurred because there wasn’t an operational definition: Recall the Mars Polar Orbiter that crashed onto the planet’s surface because a group of engineers had written procedures in English units...

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