Map Your Process For a Better Understanding

Posted by on Mar 27, 2022 in Flow Chart, IPO Diagram, Process Mapping, SIPOC, Swim Lane Diagram, Value Stream Map | 0 comments

Going to Gemba is the first step in understanding what is going on in the process you’re trying to improve.  The next step is to document the process.  There are different tools you can use to do this.  Here are a few of the more common ones. IPO Diagram A simple IPO (Input, Process, Output) diagram is an easy way to start understanding the outputs of a process and the necessary inputs required to achieve that output or requirement. In addition, as you walk Gemba and observe what is going on, the inputs can be classified as either...

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Use A Mind Map To Collect Your Thoughts

Posted by on Mar 20, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have a presentation to make, a speech to give, or a report to prepare; you may want to start by using a mind map to collect your thoughts.  Mind mapping is a simple technique for drawing information in diagrams instead of writing it in sentences. All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color, and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. Mind Mapping converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable,...

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Guidelines & Tips for Successful Lean Six Sigma Projects

Posted by on Feb 13, 2022 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

The following are guidelines and tips that I have found over the years to aid in deploying a Lean Six Sigma initiative. Lean Six Sigma is a management strategy and, like any process, needs to have the necessary resources and commitment allocated to make it successful.       Top Management Develop and implement a steering committee to oversee the progress of your lean six sigma initiative. This group should meet monthly to identify opportunities and weaknesses and make corrections. Select a deployment champion to lead the charge...

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Use a Pugh Matrix to Compare Choices

Posted by on Feb 6, 2022 in Pugh Matrix | 0 comments

A Pugh matrix is a business analysis tool used to objectively compare choices.  It is a useful technique to identify which concepts are the most important to pursue. The matrix helps you rank concepts or potential solutions, using weighted criteria that are important to your project and/or organization. The attached diagram shows an example.  Here we have three concepts that are compared to the current baseline concept using eight different evaluation criteria shown on the left.  Each criterion is weighted based on customer feedback and you...

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Sampling Plans: Choosing The Right One

Posted by on Jan 30, 2022 in Sampling | 0 comments

Determining the appropriate sampling method to use is often confusing for green belts and black belts.  Statistical sampling is a highly useful quality tool as long as we follow the basic concepts and understand the various sampling methods.  The first three methods we’ll look at fall under the category of probability sampling.  They are: Random Sampling Stratified Sampling Systematic Sampling The last sampling method falls under the category of non-probability sampling and is known as Block Sampling. Random Sampling This basic...

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Basic Sampling Concepts And Practical Considerations

Posted by on Jan 23, 2022 in Sampling | 0 comments

Sampling is one of the most critical activities that occur in every project. The problem is that most of us don’t get it right. This article will attempt to explain the fundamentals of sampling, why it is essential to understand these concepts, and some practical considerations to think about. Let’s start by understanding what we mean by a representative sample. A sample is representative of a larger population that is of interest to us. The sample, therefore, must reflect the aspects of the population of interest. Consider a group...

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Educating, Training and Skills: The Difference Between Knowing How to Think and Making Improvements

Posted by on Jan 16, 2022 in Education, Skills, Training | 0 comments

Often we think of education and training interchangeably and this is a big mistake.  Education focuses on broadening an individual’s knowledge base and expanding thinking processes.  It helps employees understand concepts and accept increased job responsibilities, and prepares them for future jobs and leadership roles.  In other words, education helps individuals learn how to think. Training is considered a subset of education that focuses on increasing proficiency in a skill.  It refers to skill-based instruction and addresses the...

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Use A Charter To Define Your Project

Posted by on Jan 9, 2022 in Kaizen, Lean Six Sigma, Project Charter, Project Scoping | 0 comments

The charter is one of the most critical documents in conducting a lean six sigma project or kaizen event. It serves as a blueprint and forces you to think about what you want and how you want to do it. A clear and concise charter increases the likelihood of reaching the goals and ensures that the team knows what to do. It will also allow you and the team to determine whether the plan has been achieved. The charter should include the following key elements: What is the purpose of the project or event? (subject) What are the factors that impact...

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Histograms Help Visualize and Summarize Variable Data

Posted by on Jan 2, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 distribution look like?” “Is it normal?” “Is it shifted from the target value?” And so on. Of course, you can easily...

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Fishbone Diagram Helps Us Understand Variation In Our Outputs

Posted by on Dec 19, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 variation that cause the Y to vary the most. Teams like this tool because it is easy to use.  They can brainstorm various sources of variation and put...

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