Uncategorized

Histograms Help Visualize and Summarize Variable Data

A histogram is a bar graph that summarizes the frequency of information occurring over time. They visually display summarized data showing the information’s frequency, shape, and central tendency. The first action I take when dealing with variable or continuous data is constructing a histogram to see how the information looks. It helps me answer questions such as, “What does the...

Read More

Fishbone Diagram Helps Us Understand Variation In Our Outputs

The fishbone diagram, or more formally called the Cause-and-Effect Diagram, was first developed by Dr. Kaouru Ishikawa in 1943.  It can help you relate the causes, or x’s, to the effect Y.  The effect or output (Y) is what we’re trying to improve, and the reasons (x’S) are the sources of variation in our process that need to be decreased.  Our goal is to determine the sources of...

Read More

Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen! What Is The Best Direction For Your Organization?

Methodologies are almost as numerous as the tools they use. Organizations sometimes struggle with where to start their improvement effort especially when resources are few and funds are in short supply. It really gets down to thinking about your organization’s problems and then selecting the right CI method to address those needs. If your organization is struggling with quality issues and...

Read More

Trust The Process, Not Your Gut Instincts!

A process is defined as a series of steps taken in order to accomplish a particular end.  We all have processes we follow every day — getting up and getting ready for work, making a pot of coffee, taking the dog for a walk, cleaning up, and doing dishes after a meal — these are processes we typically execute with very little thought.  But it is surprising how few people can actually...

Read More

Use a Radar Chart to Determine Which Problem Is Most Critical

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...

Read More

Systems Thinking: Our Business Processes Involve Parts That Are Interrelated

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...

Read More