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David Wetzel

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Statistics Do Three Things – Describe, Compare and Relate

Fear of statistics is often a barrier to learning and applying Six Sigma methods. One way to minimize this fear is to remember that only three things can be done with statistics – describe, compare and relate. Many people are skeptical when they first hear this statement. “It couldn’t be that simple,” they think. However,…

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Renew the Commitment to Data-Based Decision Making

A large corporation recently conducted a competition to identify the organization’s best Six Sigma projects of the previous year. Out of more than a hundred submissions, only one actually validated its improvements with a comparative experiment (z, t, Chi-sq, etc.). What did the rest do? The same thing they did before Six Sigma. The mean…

Reflections on Six Sigma: Eleven Reasons It Has Thrived

It has been nearly 20 years since Motorola executive Bill Smith coined the phrase “Six Sigma.” This makes one ponder why it has been so successful. The following is a list of personal reflections upon Six Sigma’s longevity in no particular order: 1. The Partnership with Finance The involvement of finance in both the estimation…

Data Management Plans Can Reduce Project Cycle Times

Companion Article This is one of two articles by David Wetzel that explore the value of developing a data management plan as the intial step in the Measure phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology. The other article is “Data Management Plans Can Improve Collection/Validation.” Long project cycle times, frequently cited as an impediment to…

Data Management Plans Can Improve Collection/Validation

Companion Article This is one of two articles by David Wetzel that explore the value of developing a data management plan as the intial step in the Measure phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology. The other article is “Data Management Plans Can Reduce Project Cycle Time.” Understanding data and defining process paramaters (input) or…

Transforming Is/Is-Not Analysis into Multi-Benefit Tool

With a structure to identify geography, service or product, process, and the main project metric, the “is/is-not analysis” can be one of the most useful tools to sharpen the definition and scope of a Six Sigma project. (Table 1) It also has benefits for other DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) phases. Specifically, the is/is-not…

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