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Solving The Most Complicated Problems

Posted by on Jul 5, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

Solving the easiest of problems takes a lot of effort, but trying to solve complicated problems is something that is beyond most of our ability.  It’s hard enough to get our arms around simple things but much harder to try to assimilate everything that is going on in a complicated situation.  And that is why complicated problems drag on forever without any sign of improvement. Take, for instance, homelessness, drug abuse, low graduation rates, or gun violence.  Can these issues be solved or improved?  It’s easy to say that...

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Problem Solving Is All About Turning Data Into Useful Information

Posted by on Jun 28, 2020 in Data Collection, Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis | 0 comments

To solve problems, collecting the right data is important, and being able to turn that data into useful information is paramount in determining the right countermeasure to solve a problem.  The place to accurately capture the true state of the workplace is the workplace itself.  If we can catch defects on the spot, we can find the true cause and immediately take countermeasures. Problem-solving begins with having a good problem statement.  Think about and answer the questions related to the who, what, when, where, why, and how much.  The...

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Developing A Successful LSS Program Takes A Lot Of Work, But The Rewards & Payback Are Tremendous!

Posted by on Jun 21, 2020 in Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

The following are guidelines and tips that I have found over the years to be beneficial in the deployment of a Lean Six Sigma initiative.  Lean Six Sigma is a management strategy and, like any strategy, needs to have the necessary resources and commitment allocated to make it successful.     Top Management Without top management support, the Lean Six Sigma effort is doomed to fail.  Lean Six Sigma is as much a management strategy as it is an improvement process.  The role of top management is to: Develop and implement a steering...

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Determining Which Tool or Technique to Use Gets Easier With Experience

Posted by on Jun 14, 2020 in DMAIC Process, Quality Tools, Six Sigma | 0 comments

Deciding which tool or technique to use is sometimes challenging, but usually becomes less of a problem with experience.  As an MBB I have certain favorite tools and techniques I use more often because I am more familiar with them and am more comfortable using them. I personally like tools that are graphical in nature, tools such as Pareto charts, box plots, run charts, control charts, VSM, etc.  The reason is that they give me a mental picture of the data and help me visualize what’s going on.  They are also easier to explain to...

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Error Proof and Mistake Proof To Prevent Human Error

Posted by on Jun 7, 2020 in Error Proofing, Mistake Proofing, Poke-yoke | 0 comments

Human error is a huge problem.  It is the third leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals. Researchers estimate that 250,000 people die every year from medical errors in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, human error is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.  These are staggering numbers.  In addition to the life and death consequences related to human error, consider all the scrap, rework, and inspection generated by organizations due to human error. Human error means someone screwed something up and made a mistake.  An...

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Control Your Lean Six Sigma Success

Posted by on May 31, 2020 in Control Phase, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma | 0 comments

The control phase is one of the most important in the DMAIC process, for it is this phase that makes or breaks the success of your project.  Up to now, you’ve done a lot of hard work collecting and analyzing data, identifying the root causes of the problem, developing and implementing solutions to address those root causes. Now it’s time to document what you’ve done and make sure the project owner has everything they need to maintain the gains you and your team have achieved before the project is closed. Project...

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Think Your Way Through The Improve Phase

Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Improve Phase, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma | 0 comments

You and your team have identified the causes of your problem and are now ready to develop solutions that will keep the problem from ever occurring again.  In this phase, the team will develop, test, pilot, and implement the solutions for the problem or issue they’re trying to improve. Some critical checkpoints for this phase are: Try to generate several possible solutions.  The goal is to implement a solution that is the most effective and the least costly as possible.  My experience has been that the more possible solutions...

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The Analyze Phase Is Similar To Putting A Puzzle Together

Posted by on May 17, 2020 in Analyze Phase, DMAIC Process, Six Sigma | 0 comments

By the analyze phase, you and your team should have the project well defined, smart goals and objectives identified, the scope of your project narrowed, a project metric established, and pertinent data collected.  You’re now ready to determine which of the x’s is causing the variation in your product, process, or service.  Hopefully, the team has spent considerable time at Gemba observing the current condition and asking questions of those that work there every day.  Everything acquired to this point must be assimilated into the...

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The DMAIC Measure Phase Requires Diligence and Patience

Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Data Collection, DMAIC Process, Lean Six Sigma, Measure Phase, Six Sigma | 0 comments

The measure phase is important for a number of reasons.  It is in this phase that the team gets into the nitty-gritty of the project.  Because of this there are a number of things that can go wrong for an inexperienced team.  Here are some of the more common pitfalls that can occur: Failure to go to gemba.  I’ve never seen a problem or issue that’s been resolved in a conference room.  You have to go to the area and observe what’s going on.  Not only observing but also talking with those that actually do the work,...

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To Ensure Your Project Is A Success Focus On The Define Phase

Posted by on May 3, 2020 in Define Phase, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma | 0 comments

The define phase of any Lean Six Sigma project is critical to its success.  It is the phase of DMAIC that makes or breaks a team’s ability to make rapid improvement.  Many of the project’s benchmarks are developed and formed in the define phase and a team’s failure to get it right can spell disaster as the project proceeds.  In myy experience as a Master Black Belt and consultant, here are some of the problems I’ve seen teams make in this important phase: Failure to limit your project scope and allowing scope...

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