Six Features

Quality Transformation With David Schwinn's picture
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn
I recently noticed that Starbucks initiated a College Achievement Plan. Starbucks’ partners (employees) who pursue a college degree at Arizona State University (ASU) will receive some combination...
Carly Barry's picture
Carly Barry
The Six Sigma students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are at it again! A few months back, we blogged about the Six Sigma project they did to reduce food waste at the on-campus dining center...
MIT Management Executive Education's picture
MIT Management Executive Education
Lean production, high -performance work systems, virtual communications, and collaboration applications are all examples of the latest tools, technology, and processes executives are encouraged to...
Abdallah Samaha's picture
Abdallah Samaha
Lin Engineering is a California-based manufacturer of hybrid step motors that was founded in 1987 as a consulting company specializing in step-motor applications. Today, Lin Engineering is the...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
Author's note: To my non-U.S. readers, I apologize for using the sport of baseball to make my points today—and during the World Cup, no less! It’s a perfect context, however, and I hope you will be...
Peter J. Sherman's picture
Peter J. Sherman
Who says business luncheons are a waste of time? Recently, I enjoyed one of the most productive business luncheons of my career. In February, I was dining with two senior-level professionals at an...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
One of the common tools of quality assurance is acceptance sampling. Acceptance sampling uses the observed properties of a sample drawn from a lot or batch to make a decision about whether to accept...
Patrick Runkel's picture
Patrick Runkel
You know what really gets on my nerves? A lot of things. That slow, slinky way that cats walk by. Grrrr. The rude, abrupt arrival of delivery persons in their obnoxiously loud trucks. (Why do they...
Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man's picture
Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man
When looking at any existing process, people often have a hard time visualizing the enormous amount of delay, waste, and nonvalue-added work involved. That’s where a time value map comes in; it...
Eston Martz's picture
Eston Martz
Remember The Little Engine That Could, the children’s story about self-confidence in the face of huge challenges? In it, a train engine keeps telling itself, “I think I can” while carrying a very...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
One thing burned into the brains of those who survive a statistics class is that you have to specify an alpha-level before you do anything statistical. And when it comes to statistical inference,...
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn's picture
Quality Transformation With David Schwinn
This month’s column is about a recent trip to New York and what I learned along the way. About a month ago, we attended the National Band and Orchestra festival at Carnegie Hall. The high school...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
My recent columns have emphasized the need for critical thinking to understand the process that produces any data. By just plotting data in their naturally occurring time order, many important...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
Who could ever be against having good measurements? Good measurements are like apple pie and motherhood. Since we all want good measurements, it sounds reasonable when people are told to check out...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
In my last column, I considered two of the most common questions faced by a statistical educator and the deeper questions that need to be addressed. I encouraged people to consider their everyday...
Carly Barry's picture
Carly Barry
A few years ago I wrote about the difficulties that can ensue when you’re trying to get started on a lean Six Sigma or quality improvement initiative. What can be especially difficult is having many...
Mark R. Hamel's picture
Mark R. Hamel
What do bus schedules have to do with a lean management system? Quite a bit, even though, obviously, the notion of a bus schedule is more metaphor (or is that analogy?) than reality. Effective lean...
Taran March @ Quality Digest's picture
Taran March @ Quality Digest
Football is one of life’s mysteries for me. Despite a lifetime of passing television screens where blockish humanoids coalesce and separate against a green background, I can’t get past my shallow...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
For many years I worked for a manufacturer of pressure and temperature switches, a small company with a very big product selection. In our product catalog there were roughly three dozen distinct...
Joel Smith's picture
Joel Smith
A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post titled "What I Learned From Treating Childbirth as Failure" that conveniently ended up getting published the day before my daughter was born. You...