Continuous Improvement

Importance of Monitoring Processes and Having Good Data

We’ve all been taught that without data our understanding of problems is just an opinion and in order to understand a problem or make a decision we must have good data.  During our training in continuous improvement and Lean Six Sigma we are taught the importance of a good data collection plan, having an accurate measurement system and the need to establish operational definitions if...

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VOC: An Important Source of Customer Information & Improvement Projects

  VOC or voice of the customer is a set of tools, method, and techniques that allow an improvement team to methodically collect and analyze customer needs and how customers value those needs.  Some basic needs are unspoken and expected.   If those needs are not met, the result will be extreme customer dissatisfaction.  An example might be buying a new car and finding it won’t...

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Making Sense of Process Capability

Process capability is the inherent variability that a process exhibits due to the variability in the process’ inputs.  To better understand what this means, let’s take a look at a simple IPO (Input, Process, Output) diagram for making a morning pot of coffee. Our output for this process is a strong, bold cup of coffee.  We designate the output of our process as the Y and it can be...

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Affinity Diagrams – A Process For Organizing Your Thoughts For Improvement

Affinity diagrams are a useful in that they can help you organize your thoughts and develop action plans when you are overwhelmed with many problems and not sure where to start.  They are also useful when issues seem too large and complex to grasp or when group consensus is needed to take action.  They can also be used when you need to analyze verbal data such as survey results and can help to...

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Make Sense of The Improvement Data You Collect

Most organizations can honestly say they have an abundance of data, but many flounder when it comes to having the right information to lead their companies to improvement.  We collect data on all kinds of things but we rarely take the time to analyze it properly to learn what it tells us. Some Basics Regarding Data First of all, data is all around us!  Everything we do produces data, every...

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Standardize Work Process To Provide Customers Better Products & Services

Much of the work we do consists of repetitive tasks:  changing a die in a stamping press, closing the books every month or running a weekly or monthly meeting.  These repetitive tasks can be studied and improved to make them more efficient, reliable, easier, safer, and more productive.  We  then document the best method and teach it to everyone associated with the task.  This will make...

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