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Janet Bautista Smith

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An Email and Popcorn and Tsunami Analogy

What do emails, popcorn and tsunamis have in common? As heat increases, corn kernel popping peaks and the scrambling activity accelerates like a tsunami. If not carefully watched, the popcorn kernels may burn, create that awful smell, and start smoking and trigger a fire alarm (waste). This popcorn-tsunami analogy is similar to email strings. The…


A Model for Implementing a 5S Program

The process improvement tool 5S (sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain) sounds like a simple concept to implement – and it is. But its simplicity is sometimes the cause of its early demise – it is easy to “do” 5S without much effort or strategic coordination, and thus without as much effect as possible. A 5S…


A Case of Mistaken Capability

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) teams focus on the statistical analysis of metrics when identifying opportunities for improvement. The strong focus on data-driven evaluation, however, can overshadow the human element that exists behind the data collection plan. Despite its importance, the impact of human interaction is not easily visible or quantified, buried under reams of data….