iSixSigma

Blogs

Blogs from iSixSigma Version 1.0 and 2.0 (Years 2000 to 2011).

Planting the Seeds – The Concept Tree

Many organizations have attempted to implement some form of project management into their organization with different degrees of success. Implementation success varies by the awareness and method to which the program was introduced, often leaving many feeling that LSS is just another flavor of the month. Once the awareness of the benefits that LSS can…

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Xerox Cuts Formal Lean Six Sigma Program

As announced in the Democrat & Chronicle today, Xerox is cutting its formal Lean Six Sigma program (“Xerox cutting back on Lean Six Sigma program, jobs“). According to the president of corporate operations Herve Tessler, Xerox has met its goals of embedding the culture of Lean Six Sigma within the organization an “we no longer…

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Write for iSixSigma.com!

There are many reasons why you should be submitting articles to be published on iSixSigma.com: You receive the notoriety of being published on the premier worldwide Lean Six Sigma website You share their professional experience and expertise You earn 100 iSixSigma reputation points for each published article, increasing your standing in the business community We’re looking for…

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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…

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Put Down The Shovel, Pick Up The BS Map

If you work at an organization with 10 or more employees, you are probably a member of one work team or another. And it’s safe to say that most work teams sincerely want to be productive. But when faced with lots of stuff to get done, teams can get bogged down trying to distinguish “stuff…

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No More Cowboys: Teams for Change

I have been a Lean and Six Sigma Black Belt for two and a half years and have come to a heartbreaking realization: I’ll never be good at everything. This is not what my teachers expected from me. My Yellow, Green and Black Belt education included a diverse curriculum including a week on statistics and…

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It’s the People That Matter

Lean can sound “mean” to the people who hear it’s coming to their workplaces. We all know that healthcare enterprises are under unprecedented pressure to cut costs. We understand that much of our work is stupid and repetitive. We can’t find the documents and supplies we need, we don’t have the tools we need and…

The Holistic Use of Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

First, let’s define single minute exchange of dies (SMED), also referred to as quick changeover. This method was developed by Shigeo Shingo in Japan, and arose from automotive machine setups and changeovers that were taking up to 24 hours. This was downtime that was robbing production capacity. The SMED methodology focuses on the waste in the…

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Participate in iSixSigma’s 11th Annual Salary Survey

UPDATED! FINAL DATE OF PARTICIPATION EXTENDED TO APRIL 6, 2014!! It is time for iSixSigma’s 11th annual Global Six Sigma Salary Survey! Every year iSixSigma analyzes information in its Job Shop database to produce a Six Sigma-specific salary report. Please note: All responses will be kept confidential and data only will be used in the…

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From Shelfware to Implementation

I often think about the losses corporations and government entities take on with initiatives that result in decorative shelfware (the unused products that sit on a buyer’s shelf). There must be millions of great ideas and intelligent business plans just sitting on shelves because of the lack of execution. For all we know the solutions…

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Reader Survey 2014 – Thank You!

We’re so grateful to everyone who participated in the 2014 iSixSigma Reader Survey! Not only did you participate in droves, but you gave detailed, thoughtful replies about what keeps you up at night and how we can meet your Lean Six Sigma content needs. We look forward to providing you with more articles on real-world…

Make Work Visible: Add a Gemba to Knowledge Work

When we leave the shop floor and enter the back office, we might think that people’s desks are where they work. We’d be wrong. Their workbench, their tooling, their line … is in their heads. This means that most knowledge work (information technology [IT], legal, management, product design, finance) is invisible. My colleague Tonianne tells…

You’re Coming in Broken and Unreadable

The phrase “you’re coming in broken and unreadable” is military speak for telling someone that their communication is breaking up and you cannot understand the message they are trying to send. This could be disastrous for one or both parties. The message could be a call to warn of an imminent attack on your position…

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Let’s Replace “Resistance” with “Objection”

I propose that we replace the concept and word of “resistance” with the concept and word of “objection” in the change management industry. To date, we have cavalierly used “resistance” to characterize the people who don’t choose to go along with our change management plans. These people “resist” us for reasons that have been well…

Extra Rewards for Article Submissions in December

With the holiday season upon us, iSixSigma is showing appreciation to our authors by offering extra rewards for submissions in December. There are many reasons why you should be submitting articles to be published on iSixSigma.com: You receive the notoriety of being published on the premier worldwide Lean Six Sigma website You share their professional…

Share Your Expertise with iSixSigma

There are many reasons why you should be submitting articles (and blogs) to be published on iSixSigma.com: You receive the notoriety of being published on the premier worldwide Lean Six Sigma website You share their professional experience and expertise You earn 100 iSixSigma reputation points for each published article (20 for each blog), increasing your…

Ten Minutes with Gokhan Gureser

iSixSigma is publishing a series of short interviews with our community of Lean Six Sigma practitioners and leaders. Today’s special guest – Gokhan Gureser. You’re at a party and you’re introduced to someone new. Explain what you do in 2-3 sentences. Just like people, organizations also desire to recognize their potential and unleash it. The…

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Ten Minutes with Artagnan Ayala

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. 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…

SIM Day Educates Students To Go For Lean Methods

The UK government has launched the SIM (See Inside Manufacturing) campaign, which educates and encourages individuals to embark on engineering and similar career paths. As part of the program, a SIM day will be organized at GKN Driveline to let them see how machines work and how parts are being handled in facilities, such as those…

Toyoda’s Death at 100 Recalls Lean Manufacturing Start

One hundred-year-old Eiji Toyoda, one of the founders of carmaker giant Toyota, died September 17 from heart failure at Toyota Memorial Hospital. His passing has led people to reminisce about his dynamic approaches that built the company into such a successful company. As president, chairman and advisor Toyoda spotted waste all around him, which lead to…

New Performance Improvement Office Aims to Lean CU-Boulder

With the goal to boost employee efficiency and streamline the execution of various activities, the University of Colorado Boulder has launched a new office to focus on improving the way the university does business. The opening of the Office for Performance Improvement (OPI) is meant to not just preserve the quality of education and academic…

Rewards for Article Submissions in July!

There are many reasons why you should be submitting articles to be published on iSixSigma.com: You receive the notoriety of being published on the premier worldwide Lean Six Sigma website You share their professional experience and expertise You earn 100 iSixSigma reputation points for each published article, increasing your standing in the business community For this month…

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…

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BMW Lean Manufacturing Wows Boeing

In Everett, Washington, the director of Boeing 777 manufacturing, Jason Clark, is proud to introduce some of the most recent Lean technologies to automation. Traditionally a team of painters would apply coats of paint on the airplane being built. An entire team would take 4 to 5 hours just to apply the initial coat. Now,…

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Baltimore Aircoil Company Wins Environmental Solution Award

Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) recently won an environmental solution of the year award from Endeavor for using a holistic approach to sustain and operate its factory – made possible by the company’s reinvigoration using Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Several aspects of its business were improved, including its manufacturing approach, product sourcing and design. BAC makes…

Implementation of Six Sigma Priority Matrixes and a Tollgate Process

Working for a large multinational corporation has given me insight into, and sympathy for, the hearts and minds of department and cost center leaders. Each year they are required by company leadership to find millions of dollars using Six Sigma productivity initiatives – a subtle way of saying “savings.” Some people volunteer, but many are…

The 5S of Communication

Lean 5S (sort, simplify, shine, standardize, sustain) are about organizing work space so we can be more efficient, effective and productive. All Lean concepts are about how work gets done. There are many benefits Lean 5S can provide including improving safety, decreasing down time, raising employee morale, identifying problems more quickly and establishing convenient work…

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Don’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Many years ago I worked in industrial security; I spent many nights patrolling an automotive assembly plant. During this time I would occasionally find flyers written by somebody who called himself the “Sleeping Dog.” The Sleeping Dog was a frequent critic of Lean manufacturing and often described it as management’s excuse to eliminate jobs. He…

Efforts and Limitations in Creating Key Performance Indicators

If senior management teams were omnipotent then all decisions would be perfect, market share would increase, sales would spike, profitability would skyrocket and employee morale would be unparalleled. Unfortunately, the reality is that even the most sophisticated company rarely knows its financial position until the end of the month. Even then the metrics that determine…

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England’s Early Years System Focuses on Quality Improvement

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector and head of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), has called on members of England’s early learning educational system to make changes to the way inspections are being conducted among nurseries, pre-schools and babysitters. In a recently launched consultation on changes to the…

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Six Sigma Brings $200K Cost Savings To County Schools

The Aiken County public school system recently celebrated the success of a cost-saving strategy that led to a reduction in expenditure by as much as $200,000 in a span of two years. In 2010, the Savannah River Remediation (SRR) encouraged schools at Aiken County to reduce their energy consumption by applying Six Sigma strategies to…

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Lean Six Sigma Boosts Monroe County Crime Lab’s Efficiency By 400%

Delay and inaccuracy are the downfalls of any crime investigation unit. It can take hours, days or weeks before a piece of evidence is processed. With a police unit’s workload growing by the minute, getting things done quickly and correctly can be a challenge. Fortunately, work process principles like Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing are flexible…

DreamWorks Practices Just In Time

DreamWorks’ latest animated feature “The Croods” hit big with a $44.1 million opening on March 22, 2013. While the theme dates eons back in time, the technology and processes involved in making this film happen is cutting-edge. Normally, it takes years for an animated feature to be completed, involving dozens of specialists and over half…

Participate in iSixSigma’s 10th Annual Salary Survey

It is time for iSixSigma’s 10th annual Global Six Sigma Salary Survey! Every year iSixSigma analyzes information in its Job Shop database to produce a Six Sigma-specific salary report. Please note: All responses will be kept confidential and data only will be used in the aggregate. To participate in the survey all you need to…

Herbie Is Alive and Well

A recent visit to the local Starbucks near Penn Station was a wonderful illustration of Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s theory of constraints – and a great example for how important real process management is. What was intended to be a reward (a medium café latte with an extra shot of espresso – or in Starbucks lingo,…

Real-time Feedback Changes the Game

Efficiency is in everyone’s interest. However, achieving it is heavily dependent on the quality and timeliness of crucial performance data. Live, real-time information is crucial for any manufacturing business. Waste benefits nobody, whether it is a waste of materials, time or energy. … One of the things that I have learned in manufacturing is that the…

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“I Took Control” – Excerpt, Part 2

The following is excerpted from Chapter 2 of I Took Control: Effective Actions for a Diabetes Diagnosis. William Howell shares his experiences after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Using his Six Sigma training, he tackled the disease by approaching it as a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project. Click here to read Part…

A Six Sigma Basics Infographic

I found a new Six Sigma infographic thanks to Google Alerts. It connects nicely to this week’s new article on iSixSigma.com, an updated assessment of the ideal Black Belt Body of Knowledge. Via The Christian Post.

“I Took Control” – Excerpt, Part 1

The following is excerpted from Chapter 2 of I Took Control: Effective Actions for a Diabetes Diagnosis. William Howell shares his experiences after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Using his Six Sigma training, he tackled the disease by approaching it as a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) project. Click here to read Part…

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Keeping an Organization Healthy

I’m sure most of you have seen infomercials for get-fit-quick gimmicks. There’s a man on the TV who excitedly tells you of a way to lose weight and get fit in seven days. We fall for these gimmicks time after time with the same result … a new contraption that sits unused, except as a place to…

Where’s Your Data?!

I’ve had more than one colleague accuse me of being overly focused on the data when making business decisions. Clearly I’m not the only one. Who else feels like this kid some days?

What Gets Measured Gets Done

Ever heard the phrase “What gets measured gets done?” It gets tossed around when someone is trying to convince you of adding a metric to your project or scorecard. It sounds good, doesn’t it? If we can measure X, then we will achieve the performance we want. It is not that easy. Simply measuring something…

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Help with a Future iSixSigma Article on Gage R&R

Hello iSixSigma readers! We are working on an article about gage R&R and need your help with data collection for analysis. What we need: Raw data itself (either 5-part or 10-part analyses including operators, parts, trials and measurements) The tolerance spread Is this one- or two-sided tolerance What we would like: Gage family information (e.g.,…

Survey on Black Belt Return on Investment – Get Free Results!

In 2005 iSixSigma published its first original research on Black Belt return on investment. The project explored the return on investment companies achieve through Black Belt improvement projects.   Seven years later, iSixSigma is revisiting this topic and I hope that you will participate today – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FBCWQW7. Help us learn what’s changed and what’s stayed the…

What Is Your Proudest Project Accomplishment?

The interviewer asked me: “What is your proudest project accomplishment?” I’m sure she wanted to hear about traditional success measures like millions of dollars saved, cycle time decreased or customer satisfaction increased. I blurted out – my preschool! While it most likely cost me the interview, that moment reminded me of other important problems we solve. Like…

Minitab Training in Seattle With Eduardo Santiago

I enjoyed taking the Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound from Bainbridge Island today, then driving to Kirkland (East Seattle) to attend Minitab‘s statistics training session. As advertised, Minitab delivered: [div4 class=”approved2″ class2=”module-icon”]Learn to use Minitab Statistical Software to analyze your project data by attending Minitab Training in Seattle, WA March 19-23, 2012. The hands-on…

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All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

Gold’s recent run on Wall Street made me think about what makes businesses valuable. Gold represents an investment; business invests its capital into tools, equipment and facilities. Conjuring up thoughts of gold I imagined someone grabbing a cloth and physically shining up some jewelry or a gold bar. I chuckled. Who shines a gold bar? But who…

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