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Kim Niles

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Most Practical DOE Explained (with Template)

For purposes of learning, using, or teaching design of experiments (DOE), one can argue that an eight run array is the most practical and universally applicable array that can be chosen. There are several forms of and names given to the various types of these eight run arrays (e.g., 2^3 Full Factorial, Taguchi L8, 2^4-1…


Characterizing the Measurement Process

Measurement system analysis (MSA) can be fun, always impresses the customer, and can often result in an important surprise or two. Learn why gage R&R is only one part of the equation for achieving near risk free measurements of all types. Characterizing measurement error is one of the most important yet overlooked and misunderstood aspects of…

Six Sigma Via Context

I’m sure all of us experience daily memos, emails, voice mail, procedures, forms, and reports that are nearly meaningless due to lack of context. Some ramble on with obvious passion but fail to explain what the heck they’re talking about. Some are very beautiful with lots of statistical charts and graphs yet without simple contextual…

Maximize Six Sigma Team Performance

The Black Belt’s ability to maximize team members’ contributions is critical to the success of the Six Sigma project. Many factors must be addressed. Assuring Basic Team Member Needs During World War II Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) developed his famous hierarchy of needs study. He showed an individual needs hierarchy ranging from the most basic, to…

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What Makes Six Sigma Work?

Some consultants are earning seven figure salaries, CEOs of large companies are claiming billions of dollars saved, conferences, books, and seminars are popping up everywhere, and yet one can argue that there isn’t much new about Six Sigma that we didn’t have with TQM. Is Six Sigma just the latest management buzzword or is Six…


Importance of Test Plans/Test Protocol (with a Template)

Test plans, also called test protocol, are formal documents that typically outline requirements, activities, resources, documentation and schedules to be completed. Some form of test plan should be developed prior to any test. The key reasons for developing test plans are: Preparation: To assure that all reasonable aspects of running a test have been considered….