To Ensure Your Project Is A Success, Make Sure The Team Is Working Effectively

Posted by on Aug 2, 2020 in Team Effecitveness, Team Work | 0 comments

Have you ever been involved with a group or team trying to accomplish a task or solve a problem where someone never says anything or has nothing to contribute?  Maybe the person was voluntold to attend the meetings but has no interest and thinks it’s a waste of their time.  The person may be very knowledgable and have a lot of expertise, but for some reason doesn’t want to contribute to the team’s success. You’ll not always have the luxury of picking who will be on the project teams you lead or coach.  For teams to...

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Don’t Let Small Problems Crowd Out The Big Ones

Posted by on Jul 19, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

How often do we react to problems and not take the time to think about the bigger issue at play?  The urgent things that really matter? Let’s take the example of nurses.  Every day, they deal with missing or incorrect information and contend with missing or broken equipment.  In one particular case, a nurse on duty was preparing to discharge a new mother from the hospital and noticed that the woman’s newborn wasn’t wearing a security tag.  After a quick search, the nurse found the tag in the baby’s bassinet.  Then,...

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Solving Nagging Problems Requires Ownership

Posted by on Jul 12, 2020 in Problem Solving | 0 comments

Does your organization have a nagging, frustrating problem that carries over from one year to the next and never gets resolved? If you ask, “Who owns the problem?” do you get a clear answer, and if so, why aren’t they doing anything about it? Problems tend to go on and on without resolution when no one steps up and decides to own the problem.  Let me give you an example. In his recent book, Upstream, The Quest To Solve Problems Before They Happen, Dan Heath gives an example of the travel website Expedia.  In 2012, the head...

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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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