iSixSigma

All posts by

Michael Carver

View Profile

The Five Fundamental Assumptions of Six Sigma

Some people are angry and upset about the effectiveness of Six Sigma as a problem-solving discipline. Individuals routinely call for the next new quality discipline or argue why Six Sigma will not work in this case or the other. Some of this is one-upping – this approach is better; some of this is sour grapes…

4 comments

Six Steps to Effectively Plan for Lean Six Sigma Efforts

Some of the complaints commonly levied against continuous improvement deployments is that they focus on the wrong issues, and that projects take too long or require too much investment (time, training and financial) in order to achieve meaningful results. Unfortunately, these complaints are often justified – not because of some fault in the Lean Six…

1 comment

How Much Training Is Needed to Create Good Black Belts?

One would think that with the levels of standardization and process efficiency we drive in Lean Six Sigma that there would be consensus on how much training a certified Black Belt should receive. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, despite the herculean efforts by the American Society of Quality (ASQ) and the…

1 comment

Using OEE Metrics for All Process Steps

Overall equipment efficiency (OEE) – the percentage of production time that is actually productive – has its roots in manufacturing where all production ceases when the equipment is offline. It is possible to gain a greater understanding of how effectively a system is operating, however, by expanding the concept to include all process steps in…

5 comments

The Five Challenges of Standard Work for Knowledge Workers

The goals of standard work are simple and straightforward. They are to: Provide everyone who performs a task with a well-documented, visual system that guides them through the proper execution of that task. Ensure that everyone performing a task follows a consistent reproducible process that minimizes opportunities for variation and error. Ensure that work flows…

4 comments

“Good” Continuous Improvement Programs

The startling fact is that most continuous improvement programs – whether they use Six Sigma, Lean, total quality management or some other methodology – fail to survive in the long term (Edward Pound, 2014). This stands in stark contrast with programs like the Toyota Production System that has been successful for over 60 years and…

2 comments

Motivate Champions as a Peer Group

We all know the importance of a good project Champion in the execution of a successful continuous improvement project. Without good Champions, project teams do not get the resources they need to do good work. Without good Champions, teams become mired in the internal politics of change that delay project execution. Without good Champions, project…

Benchmarking Is Not an Option

Over the course of the last year, I have had the privilege to speak with many companies that are either starting or are in the early stages of business transformation. It is astounding how many have not engaged in any form of benchmarking and even more astounding that many never intend to. Most understand the…

Keep It Super Simple: Five Steps of KISS

KISS stands for “keep it super simple.” There are other definitions of the acronym but they all mean essentially the same thing. Lots of things in life are complex but there is great value in presenting them in a manner that can be easily understood by everyone. The ability to present complex things simply is…

Lean Manufacturing Is a Form of Ethics

According to Merriam-Webster, ethics is the discipline of dealing with good and bad. If you look beyond the tools and the jargon of the Toyota Production System (TPS), this is exactly what you will find; TPS is a system for defining good and bad, and right and wrong in a production environment. When we understand…

2 comments