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Continuous Improvement

While Motorola had been an industry leader for decades, by the 1970s, many of its products were seen as potentially unreliable by consumers. The company addressed this issue by embarking aggressively on an innovative program of continuous improvement that has come to be known as Six Sigma. How Continuous Improvement Changed Consumer Perception Of Motorola…

Linearity vs. Repeatability: What’s the Difference?

What Is Linearity? Before we can understand linearity, we must understand another measurement error known as bias. Bias is a consistent mistake that occurs in measurement. For example, every measure taken with your scale comes out heavier than the actual weight. Linearity measures the consistency of a bias over the entire range of possible measurements….

Common Cause vs. Special Cause Variation: What’s the Difference?

What is Common Cause Variation? Common cause variation is the kind of variation that is part of a stable process. These are variations that are natural to a system and are quantifiable and expected. Common cause variations are those that are predictable, ongoing, and consistent. Major changes would typically have to be made in order…

Tangible vs. Intangible Benefits: What’s the Difference?

What Are Tangible Benefits? Tangible benefits are positive results that can be accurately measured and quantified with standard measurements. In business, the term describes any kind of outcome that is directly associated with financial gain or loss. You can always boil down tangible benefits to a monetary value relative to other types of investments or…

Null Hypothesis vs. Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis vs. Hypothesis: What’s the Difference? What Is Null Hypothesis? A null hypothesis is a prediction that there is no statistical relationship between two variables or two sets of data. Essentially, a null hypothesis makes the assumption that any measured differences are the result of randomness and that the two possibilities are the same…

Accuracy vs. Repeatability: What’s the Difference?

What Is Accuracy? Accuracy is the difference between a measured value compared to its true value. Since no measurement can be 100% exact, there needs to be a degree of inaccuracy allowed in the measurement. This degree of inaccuracy depends on the amount of error you are able to accept and is denoted by a…

Subject Matter Expert vs. Consultant: What’s the Difference?

What is a Subject Matter Expert? Subject matter experts (SMEs) are people who have a significant amount of knowledge or experience regarding a specific subject. They can specialize in any kind of academic discipline, profession or practice. Even though their area of expertise is relatively narrow compared to general consultants, there is still a lot…

Repeatability vs. Precision

What Is Repeatability? Repeatability is the typical variation that occurs when a person measures a part with the same tool (or gauge) multiple times. This concept relates to the accuracy of any measurement. A measurement is only as accurate as the typical variation that occurs when that item is measured. When conducting a repeatability test,…

Exit Criteria vs. Acceptance Criteria

What Are Exit Criteria? Exit criteria are conditions that must be met before closing out one project stage and advancing to the next stage. When project management teams use exit criteria, they break down the project into multiple steps. Therefore, each stage will have its own set of conditions (exit criteria) that must be met…

Repeatability vs. Reproducibility: What’s the Difference?

Repeatability and reproducibility are two ways that scientists and engineers measure the precision of their experiments and measuring tools. They are heavily used in chemistry and engineering and are typically reported as standard deviations in scientific write-ups. While these two measurements are both used in many types of experiments, they are quite different and offer…

Value Added vs. Non Value Added

What is Value Added? The most important thing to understand about value concepts is that they always revolve around the customer. Customers are the ones who set the standard for value, which means it’s based on whether the customer believes the product or service will address their specific needs. Increasing appeal by adding value may…

Cpk vs. Sigma Level: What’s the Difference?

What is Cpk? Cpk is short for Capability Index. It is a measurement of the capability of a process to deliver output that is within the specification limits of a process. The Benefits of Cpk With Cpk, you are able to determine how closely a process can meet overall specifications in its ability to produce…

Variable vs. Attribute Data: What’s the Difference?

What is Variable Data? Variable data is any kind of information that is represented and recorded as measurements. The term is often used when discussing the creation of control charts for the purpose of process analysis. Variable data is quantitative, which means it can be described with numerical value and can change along a perpetual…

Pugh Matrix vs. Analytical Hierarchy Process: What’s the Difference?

What is Pugh Matrix? When it comes to finding solutions and improvements in business processes, making a final decision can seem impossible. There are always multiple options for dealing with a situation or problems, which can be paralyzing for leadership. Pugh’s Controlled Convergence, also called the Pugh Matrix, is a numerical method for making tough…

Hyper Micro Process Map

Sometimes you have to break something down into the smallest possible pieces before you can make it right. Process mapping is one of the first major steps when adopting six sigma, so it’s something business leaders should learn to love. Depicting workflow and processes in a visual format sets the stage for defining, understanding and…

Continuous vs. Attribute Data: What’s the Difference?

What is Continuous? Continuous data refers to numerical data that has any value within a certain range. There are infinite possibilities for the values, but they all fall within a range. These can be whole numbers or decimals measured using data analysis like skews and line graphs. This kind of data can change over time…

Null vs. Alternative Hypothesis: What’s the Difference?

What is Null Hypothesis? Statistical information without context or contrast is meaningless. Anyone looking at a data set can find connections and discover patterns, but they’ll probably end up drawing all kinds of wrong conclusions. That’s why statisticians have to examine the data from two different perspectives and always consider how the information they are…

Categorical vs. Continuous Data: What’s the Difference?

What is Categorical Data? Categorical data is statistical information that is presented according to its division into certain groups. In this model, values are sorted into predefined categories according to the design of the analysts. Grouping data points into categories in this way can be useful depending on the goals of the research, but it’s…

Discrete vs. Continuous Data: What’s the Difference?

Discrete vs. Continuous Data: What’s the Difference? When it comes to Six Sigma, data is your lifeblood. The ability to interpret what the data is saying is how you know whether you are on the right path in achieving your goals and objectives and avoiding roadblocks on your journey towards success. Accurately collected and analyzed…

Flowchart vs. Process Map: What’s the Difference?

What is a Flowchart? A flowchart is a diagram of several boxes or other shapes connected with arrows, wherein each box is text that represents a step in a process or workflow. It is meant to reflect the process or workflow step-by-step, in sequential order, with multiple boxes having various arrows off-shooting from them, connecting…

Customer Journey Map vs. Process Map: What’s the Difference?

What is a Customer Journey Map? A customer journey map is a diagram that visually represents the various steps a customer goes through in engagement with your company. This can be with a product, service, online and in-person interaction, or a combination. The Benefits of a Customer Journey Map A customer journey map has a…

Value Stream Map vs. Process Map: What’s the Difference?

What is a Value Stream Map? A value stream map is a visual representation of all the components that are needed to deliver a product/service. It looks at the components individually and as a whole, with the goal of eliminating waste and optimizing the entire process. The Benefits of a Value Stream Map A value…

Lead Time vs. Takt Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Lead Time? Lead time is the amount of time that it takes to get a product or service completed for a customer, from the time of ordering until completion of delivery. A lot of factors can figure into the amount of lead time. Some factors include supplier back-up, other orders that need fulfilling,…

PDCA vs. OODA: What’s the Difference?

What is PDCA? The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) method is a framework used to achieve continuous improvement in a particular organization or process. It’s also known by several other names, including the Deming wheel, Shewhart cycle and the control circle. Even though the method was originally rooted in quality control, it has since been adapted and adopted…

PDSA vs. PDCA: What’s the Difference?

What is PDSA? PDSA stands for Plan, Do, Study, and Act. It is a method that is used in order to test a change that is being implemented or has been implemented. Working through these four steps guides thinking into breaking down a task into sections and then evaluating the result, making improvements, and then…

Cycle Time vs. Throughput Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Cycle Time? Cycle time can be defined as the amount of actual work time needed to complete one task. Any sort of downtime is excluded from cycle time. The Benefits of Cycle Time Staying ahead of the competition – You can outpace your competition by keeping a close eye on your cycle time…

Flow Time vs. Cycle Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Flow Time? Flow time describes the full interval between the beginning and end of a particular process. The most common context is manufacturing where flow time would begin with the first stage of the assembly line and conclude with packaging or transit. However, the term can be used in any business context to…

Process Time vs. Cycle Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Process Time? Process time describes the interval required for a product or service to progress through a specific development stage. The exact scope of a “development stage” depends on the context. In industry or manufacturing, each stage is usually confined to a particular physical location with a workstation and equipment. Understanding and improving…

PDCA vs. DMAIC: What’s the Difference?

What is PDCA? Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) is a cyclical method for achieving continual improvement of an organization or process. In the first stage, companies must clearly identify and define a specific problem. The “Do” step is about taking a small, controlled action with a limited release, pilot project or other sampling technique. Stage…

Takt Time vs. Cycle Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Takt Time? Takt Time refers to the speed at which a product must be manufactured in order to meet customer demand. The Benefits of Takt Time Implementing Takt Time into your organization is beneficial for a number of reasons: Identifying bottlenecks – If an organization is making Takt Time a priority, bottlenecks tend…

Lead Time vs. Cycle Time: What’s the Difference?

What is Lead Time? Lead time is the duration or latency between when a process is initiated and when it is completed. One example would be if a book is ordered by a publisher to be written and its estimated time until delivery is six months, then six months is the lead time. The Benefits…

Six Sigma Strategy: Understanding the Customer Process

Many companies which choose not to utilize Lean and Six Sigma as key components of how they implement change in their organization say it is because the methodologies are too complicated for their business environment. They claim that they do not have the time to build an infrastructure, train Black Belts and Green Belts and…