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.

Kyle Toppazzini’s picture

By: Kyle Toppazzini

Allow me to introduce you to FUSE, a value-based lean Six Sigma model that enables organizations to maximize enterprise performance with the least friction. FUSE embodies three core Chinese concepts of trust (shin), relationships (gunaxi), and knowledge (zhi), or more specifically, reflective thinking. FUSE also cultivates continuous learning, improvement, and innovation across an organization.

Quality Transformation With David Schwinn’s picture

By: Quality Transformation With David Schwinn

It may seem dangerous to ask questions, especially in an environment that is hostile to change. The heart of improvement often lies in listening to many viewpoints in order to involve people affected by the outcome. In an environment of trust, it’s okay to disagree with the boss. W. Edwards Deming would agree, as his 14 Points for Management indicates.

Forrest Breyfogle—New Paradigms’s picture

By: Forrest Breyfogle—New Paradigms

A report of how a process performs is not only a function of process characteristics and sampling chance differences. It can also depend on sampling approach. For example, one person could describe a process as out of control, which would lead to activities that address process perturbations as abnormalities; another person could describe the same process as being in control.

Kyle Toppazzini’s picture

By: Kyle Toppazzini

I have seen organizational lean or lean Six Sigma job requirements stating that any level of certification from almost any institution is acceptable, at least according to the recruiter. But guess what? Taking a four-hour online course on lean, lean Six Sigma, or any other quality management framework does not mean you are qualified to do the work.

Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man’s picture

By: Jay Arthur—The KnowWare Man

I went into my local Barnes & Noble looking for a book and decided to check if they carried my book, Lean Six Sigma Demystified. There were four rows of business books on management, leadership, sales, and so on. The “quality” section, consisting of about 15 titles, was on the bottom shelf of the last row of books.

You would think that if there was a methodology that would help most companies cut costs by a third, double profits, and boost productivity that it would get more play in bookstores. It doesn’t.

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

Editor’s note: This is the third of a three-part series on effective, focused data analysis. Part one discussed helping management deal with common cause; the first common cause strategy—stratification—was discussed in part two.

Paul Naysmith’s picture

By: Paul Naysmith

I’m back, writing about another Toyota dilemma of mine. In part one, interestingly titled “My Toyota Dilemma,” I wrote how I, as an avid fan and supporter of the Toyota Production System (TPS) have never owned a Toyota. I ended that column vowing I would use Toyota’s greatest gift—the 5 Whys—to help find my next car.

Kyle Toppazzini’s picture

By: Kyle Toppazzini

Another transformation initiative has been announced in your organization and you think to yourself, “How much change are we expected to undertake?” In a lean Six Sigma engagement, it is imperative to take into consideration the number of ongoing and past change initiatives. This article explains one approach to evaluating an organization’s ability to take on more change.

Carly Barry’s picture

By: Carly Barry

I recently had the chance to talk to Brett Warland, global director of process improvement at PolyOne Corp. The word “global” is often present in the titles of many organizations’ process improvement programs and employee job titles that deal with quality.

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