With this post, iSixSigma is launching a series of short interviews with our community of Lean Six Sigma practitioners and leaders.

Today’s special guest – Artagnan Ayala. Artagnan Ayala

You’re at a party and you’re introduced to someone new. Explain what you do in 2-3 sentences.

I do two things. I work to improve profits for those I work for, and I deliver mobile solutions that reduce the time Six Sigma and quality professionals waste in doing what they do.

Describe an “aha!” moment you’ve experienced on a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) project.

The first time the team I was working with and I reached the conclusion that Y ? f(x) was as good as finding Y = f(x). In that particular instance we uncovered a lot more waste could be (and was) removed by proving that many inputs did not contribute to the desired outputs. From that point on I always looked for the things that don’t matter.

What are you most proud of (in your current or a recent role)?

I am most proud of what we have accomplished with Mobile Black Belt. The feedback on the use of DTPlot 1.4 has been very good. We have about 10,000 users in 93 countries, and we are gaining clients that want to get started as users. Building a business is not something I thought of when I went to college, but it has been very rewarding. I get to work with a great team.

What’s your best technique for breaking the ice with a new team?

To give the standard Black Belt answer: it depends. With some groups I will go through the iSPACER (if you are familiar with the SPACER, the i stands for Introductions – because everything starts with i these days, right?). I always look for an odd/fun or relevant question everyone must answer as they introduce themselves. For example, “What is your one reason defects cannot be eliminated?” or “What was the most fun thing you did during your last vacation?” Another technique I use is to start with a relevant story and stop the story halfway (at a pivotal moment) and start working with the team. I will finish the story once they ask me repeatedly (they usually band together) or at a pre-selected moment in time, when the end of the story brings it all together.

What book are you currently reading?

I travel a lot so I listen to a lot of audiobooks. Two books that I seem to go back to are: 1) The 4-Hour Work Week and 2) any of the Rich Dad book series. I am just about done going though Rich Dad’s CashFlow Quadrant.

What’s your favorite movie?

Growing up, it was Star Wars and Back to the Future.  Then, it was The Matrix trilogy (see a theme here?). Right now, I would add Here Comes the Boom.

If you are interested in sharing a peek at your life in the LSS world or would like to suggest someone to be profiled, please contact the iSixSigma editorial team.


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