Six Features

Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
I've been presenting at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) annual forum for 21 consecutive years. Maybe the biggest surprise from these two decades has been the awesome...
Mark Rosenthal's picture
Mark Rosenthal
The title of this article is a search term that recently hit The Lean Thinker site. It’s an interesting question—and interesting that it gets asked. “Kaizen” is now an English word—it’s in the OED—...
Matthew Barsalou's picture
Matthew Barsalou
There are many tools available for investigating quality problems. One useful and easy-to-use set of statistical tools is John W. Tukey’s exploratory data analysis (EDA), which quality engineers...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
Should an organization’s design engineers step foot on the production floor, or would this be too much of a distraction from what they get paid to do—cranking out new designs? For most progressive...
Joel Smith's picture
Joel Smith
On a recent vacation, I was unsuccessfully trying to reunite with my family outside a busy shopping mall and starting to get a little stressed. I was on a crowded sidewalk, in a busy city known for...
Thomas R. Cutler's picture
Thomas R. Cutler
In November 2014, Quality Digest Daily published the first in a series about companywide lean cultures and how a lean journey affects people and companies. Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Hytrol...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Whenever the original data pile up against a barrier or a boundary value, the histogram tends to be skewed and non-normal in shape. In 1967 Irving W. Burr computed the appropriate bias correction...
Tripp Babbitt's picture
Tripp Babbitt
In my last column I wrote about the seven perspectives that pollute customers and culture. These perspectives rule the design of our organizations. They are inherent to our work cultures and...
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn's picture
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn
My wife, Carole, and I recently participated in the 16th Annual ILA (International Leadership Association) Global Conference. The theme was conscious leadership. At the conference, Meg Wheatley...
Meredith Griffith's picture
Meredith Griffith
During the last year or so I've heard a lot of people asking, "How can I calculate B10 life in Minitab?" Despite my being a statistician and an industrial engineer (mind you, one who's never...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
Editor’s note: This article discusses topics covered at greater length in episodes 19–23 of a new streaming video training series, Creating and Sustaining Lean Improvements—Integrating Principles,...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
There was a time when it was unfashionable for managers to associate with front-line employees. Alluding to an old adage, I used to joke that you could not even lead the horse (i.e., the manager)...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
There is no virtue in obedience when we do not have a choice. But when we have a choice it helps to understand both the law and the reason behind the law. This column is about bad choices that are...
Walter Garvin's picture
Walter Garvin
The foundation of lean manufacturing is kaizen, or continuous improvement. Although this principle usually targets manufacturing processes, it can also extend to the people who plan and implement...
Danei Edelen's picture
Danei Edelen
With multiple projects vying for your budgetary dollars, every purchase is scrutinized. With regards to statistical process control (SPC) software, companies view it primarily as a production...
Bob Emiliani's picture
Bob Emiliani
Have the leading figures in the lean community walked the “Respect for People” talk? Not in my view. Most of these leaders have only recently begun to understand and embrace the “Respect for...
Bruno Scibilia's picture
Bruno Scibilia
Using statistical techniques to optimize manufacturing processes is quite common now, but using the same approach on social topics is still an innovative approach. For example, if our objective is...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Much of modern statistics is concerned with creating models which contain parameters that need to be estimated. In many cases these estimates can be severely affected by unusual or extreme...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
You and your spouse go out to dinner to your favorite restaurant, on a “date” no less, to celebrate a big anniversary. You have been looking forward to this evening all week, and after a long...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
My last article demonstrated a common incorrect technique—based in “traditional” statistics—for comparing performances based on percentage rates. This article will use the same data to show...