Blog

Use a Radar Chart to Determine Which Problem Is Most Critical

Posted by on Mar 6, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 which problem is most critical and to be able to compare the seriousness of problems and causes between customers, products, etc. A radar chart is a way...

read more

Implementing Solutions Requires Planning & Careful Thought

Posted by on Feb 28, 2021 in Implementing Solutions, Improve Phase | 0 comments

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 excited to have found the root cause and anticipate starting their next project.  Keep in mind that solutions that aren’t adequately implemented...

read more

Is Your Organization a Hedgehog or a Fox?

Posted by on Feb 21, 2021 in Hedgehog Concept, Strategy | 0 comments

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 hedgehogs are more the big idea people, more decisive while foxes are more accepting of nuance, more open to using different approaches with different...

read more

Systems Thinking: Our Business Processes Involve Parts That Are Interrelated

Posted by on Feb 14, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 separately.  The system, then, is the sum of all the individual parts.  It is the sum of all the employees, equipment, materials, methods, environment, and...

read more

The Art of Coaching Lean Six Sigma Projects

Posted by on Feb 7, 2021 in Lean Six Sigma, Project Coaching | 0 comments

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 a timely manner.  The coach should provide guidance and direction on how best to navigate any organizational barriers the team might encounter. ...

read more

Recognizing Lean Six Sigma Star Performers

Posted by on Jan 31, 2021 in Career Progression | 0 comments

Career progression is a part of an organization’s infrastructure that is often overlooked or simply dismissed.  As a result, employees may feel that the organization is not rewarding their willingness to take a risk by stepping up and getting a Lean Six Sigma certification. During my career, I saw a mixture of organizations that readily promoted star performers and others where career opportunities frankly didn’t exist, and employees got frustrated and left the company. For those organizations that have decided to put career paths...

read more

SWOT Analysis Helps Organizations Understand Their Business

Posted by on Jan 24, 2021 in SWOT Analysis | 0 comments

A SWOT analysis is a useful tool to help organizations understand both their internal Strengths and Weaknesses along with the external Opportunities and Threats that affect their organizations.  It can be used in strategic planning or as an effective tool in analyzing a project objective.  It helps you build on what you do well, address what you’re lacking, to minimize risks, and take the greatest possible advantage of chances for success.  The primary objective is to help organizations develop a full awareness of all the factors...

read more

Improvement Methodologies: PM, Six Sigma, DFSS, Lean – Choosing the Right One

Posted by on Jan 17, 2021 in Continuous Improvement, Design for Six Sigma, DFSS, DMADV, DMAIC Process, Efficiency, Goal Setting, IDOV, Lean, Project Selection Criteria, Six Sigma, VOC | 0 comments

  Organizations have a variety of tools and methods available to improve their products, services, and processes.  Deciding on which methodology to use can often become confusing because management does not understand how these methodologies are separated or used.  In this article, I’ll try to alleviate some of this confusion by providing you some examples of when it is appropriate to use each of these methodologies. Project Management:  Used When The Problem Solution Is Known Project management is defined as leading the work...

read more

Vilfredo’s Pareto Chart Exceeds His Wildest Dream

Posted by on Jan 10, 2021 in Pareto Chart, Quality Tools | 0 comments

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian engineer, and economist developed the Pareto principle in 1895 to show the distribution of riches in society and state his claim that 20 percent of the population owned 80 percent of the wealth, and hence, the famous 80/20 rule was born.  Never in his wildest dreams did he realize that it would someday become one of the simplest and greatest quality principles and tools in history. A Pareto chart is a useful tool that can help you in many ways.  Basically, it is a bar chart showing the bars in order from highest...

read more

Use A Run Chart To Understand Process Variation

Posted by on Jan 3, 2021 in Quality Tools, Run Chart | 0 comments

A run chart is a line graph that creates a picture of what’s happening in the process you are analyzing.  It can help you identify variation patterns and changes that occur from one time period to another that can yield valuable insights. The first step in constructing a run chart is to select a key measure to track over time.  The measure could be a quality measure, a productivity measure, or some other internal or external measure that is an indicator for making important decisions.  Examples of measures could be: Cycle time:  the...

read more