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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The Role & Training of Executive Leadership In Deploying Lean Six Sigma

Posted by on Jan 26, 2020 in Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

Some of the questions asked when starting a new lean six sigma initiative is “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 where they want their organization to be the next 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years.  They need to determine a strong rationale for why the Lean Six Sigma initiative is needed by the business.  The rationale must be specific to the...

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Fix Low Hanging Fruit To Build Momentum

Posted by on Jan 19, 2020 in Continuous Improvement, Gemba Walk, Kaizen, Project Scoping | 0 comments

When starting any improvement initiative, it’s important to have early successes in your efforts.  The saying, “Nothing motivates a team like success” is so very true.  If a team has to wait months before it sees improvement in the process it’s working on, there will likely be a drop in motivation for the team.  To make sure this doesn’t happen teams should begin working on some of the obvious things in the process that need fixing, typically known as “low-hanging fruit.” One of the pit-falls with...

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Use Gemba Walks to Uncover Problems & Promote Accountability

Posted by on Jan 12, 2020 in Continuous Improvement, Gemba Walk, Lean, Learning Organization, Problem Solving, Process Improvement, Standard Work | 0 comments

Gemba is a Japanese word that means the real place where value is created.  A gemba walk is a management tool whose purpose is to have managers walk the front line where they can see problems as they are occurring, ask questions and allow them to create follow-up on problems and promote accountability.  Problems are most visible where they occur and the best ideas for solving them will come from those areas.   The actions that occur during a gemba walk are: Leaders are able to see for themselves what is happening in the process To...

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Walking The Talk Is More Than Lip Service

Posted by on Jan 5, 2020 in Lean Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma Deployment | 0 comments

More and more organizations dabble in Lean Six Sigma everyday.  Some see the chaos that exists in their organization and want to stop the bleeding.  Others see it as a means to become more efficient and thus save time and money.  Some see it as a way to increase revenue without increasing headcount therefore doing more with less resources. But how many organizations go all in and are committed to making Lean and Six Sigma their operational strategy?  Sure CEOs and company presidents see the improvements and gains made and talk about it...

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The Search For A Good Quality Definition- A New Meaning For A New Decade?

Posted by on Dec 28, 2019 in Process Capability, Process Improvement, Quality | 3 comments

As 2019 comes to a close, I’ve had the opportunity for the past week or so to stop and reflect about some of the things that have changed in my lifetime.  Being in the quality field most of my professional life, I thought about how the definition of quality has changed in the past 40 to 50 years and how it shaped my career.  I began by looking back at some of the “old quality books” in my library and seeing how quality was defined in the past. I next did a brief Google search and here are some definitions I came up...

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Use Scatter Diagrams & Correlation To Determine The Relationship Between Variables

Posted by on Dec 22, 2019 in Correlation Coefficient, Scatter Diagram | 0 comments

A scatter diagrams is a useful tool that shows the linear relationship between two variables.  The graph is show with one variable on the vertical axis (y-axis) and the other on the horizontal axis (x-axis). Let’s take a simple example.  Let’s say we want to determine if there is a linear relationship between the amount of money we make each month and the amount we spend each month.  We’ll make two columns, putting the amount we make in one and the amount we spend in the other.  We’ll label the amount we make as the...

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The Power of Hypothesis Testing in Decision Making

Posted by on Dec 15, 2019 in Hypotheis Testing, Six Sigma | 0 comments

A statistical hypothesis is a statement or claim about some unrealized true state of nature.   It helps determine whether something is likely due to chance or to some other factor of interest.   Hypothesis testing is a powerful statistical technique that allows you to determine whether a certain factor or variable is statistically significant or not. Hypothesis testing can help us make decisions.  Some examples might be: Average gas mileage differs depending on whether the gasoline is purchased at Shell or BP. The variability of...

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