Multiple Authors
By: George Chemers, Mike Moutrie, Kimberly Parpala

Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third largest school district in the United States, decided to review the way it procures items and services throughout a school year with the goal of saving money. At the beginning of 2012, the district’s chief operating officer announced a “lean review” initiative with the goal to uncover wasteful practices and unnecessary complexity, and to suggest actions to rectify them.

Mona K. Draper’s picture

By: Mona K. Draper

Maersk Line is the largest container shipping company in the world. At any given time, its 500 vessels transport approximately 3 percent of the world's gross national product (GNP). In 2007, I walked into Maersk as a lean Six Sigma consultant looking for business and walked out with a job.

Michael Ray Fincher’s picture

By: Michael Ray Fincher

For me, a quality professional with 20 years experience in manufacturing—producing everything from garbage bags to luxury ski boats—my transition to the service industry was a shocking experience to say the least. It was not without challenges, I must confess.

Bruno Scibilia’s picture

By: Bruno Scibilia

All processes are affected by various sources of variations over time. Products that are designed based on optimal settings will, in reality, tend to drift away from their ideal settings during the manufacturing process.

John Flaig’s picture

By: John Flaig


What’s wrong with root cause analysis? Let’s begin with the name, which is singular. It implies that there is only one root cause, when in reality most problems are usually caused by a complex combination of several factors, some of which are more significant than others.

To appreciate this point, readers should reflect on the results of formal design of experiments (DOE). So let’s take a closer look at root cause analysis and how it might be improved.

James Brewton’s picture

By: James Brewton

During the past 20 years, lean Six Sigma (LSS) has proven itself as an effective strategy for business success in virtually every industry sector. The methodology has helped organizations realize their processes are the engines that drive operational excellence and customer value. Recently, however, organizations with mature LSS programs have found that their operational improvement initiatives still leave significant opportunity on the table.

John Flaig’s picture

By: John Flaig

There are many different process control methods and procedures available to the quality practitioner. A popular but problematic visual technique employs the traffic light analogy.

Kyle Toppazzini’s picture

By: Kyle Toppazzini

One of the most challenging issues I hear from people within the lean Six Sigma community is how to ensure that a lean Six Sigma project is sustainable. If your lean Six Sigma project is highly dependent on top leadership support to keep it going, there’s a risk of losing the focus and support when that leadership changes.

I have compiled a list of 15 methods you can use to improve the sustainability of your lean Six Sigma efforts:

Eric Heckman’s picture

By: Eric Heckman

It’s your first day at the Jedi Temple, working as a lightsaber manufacturer. Your first task on the job is to run a capability analysis on the length of lightsabers being produced. Your main concern is to see if the lightsabers fit within the required length specifications set forth by the Jedi Council. You aren’t quite sure where to start. Thankfully, Minitab Statistical Software is there to help you—even in a galaxy far, far away.

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