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Sampling Poser

I thought I would share my views on a question frequently posed by newly trained belts. I imagine you to may have encountered this situation. I do not have a clear answer but have come-up with a theory. Could be right, could be wrong. We talk about the discrete sampling equation used to calculate minimum…

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Quarter Reports Praise Lean Six Sigma

CanLean Six Sigma help companies get through this economic downturn? Dale Barnhart, President and Chief Executive Officer at Lydall thinks so. In the Lydall 4th Quarter Earnings report he said: “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of Lean Six Sigma to Lydall in light of the current economic conditions. In 2008, the Company realized significant…

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Supply Chain Research

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been pouring over the latest iSixSigma survey results about the use of process improvement methodologies and models in the supply chain. So far I’ve found a couple of interesting things… 1. Success factors for implementing Six Sigma in supply chain are pretty consistent with implementing Six Sigma anywhere:…

Gemba Academy Intro to Lean

If you’d like to take a beginner’scourse on Lean, look to Ron Pereira’s Gemba Academy. He has releasedhis first video, Introduction to Lean Manufacturing. The clip below (and on the LSS Academy site) is the first 10 minutes of the 15 minute intro to Lean. Don’t waste another minute in Lean ignorance…

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Six Sigma Puts the Shush! on Library Inefficiencies

This morning as I was reading my Six Sigma news feeds, I came across a mention of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) crediting Lean Six Sigmafor their high service ratings. The use of Lean and Six Sigma outside the traditional business setting intrigues me…so I investigated further…It turns out that back in 2005 CML identified…

Continuous Improvement is More Than Measurement

Andrew’s recent reflections about the relevance of continuous improvement practitioners in these times mirror my thoughts with an added perspective. If lean thinking and continuous improvement were only about measuring production and process I would wholly agree. However, continuous improvement, in my mind, is more about positive change and moving toward perfection than it is…

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WWDD?

Perhaps you all arrived at this conclusion way ahead of me, but I’m starting to worry more and more about the way we, as continuous improvement professionals, are spending our time. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the world in general, and the economy in particular, has gone off meds. Yes, I know, this isn’t news…

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The Six Sigma Lift

As a former forklift operator, I can understand the complexities of forklift operations. I know absolutely nothing about forklift manufacturing, but one could argue that it might be harder to operate a forklift than build one… The very first Six Sigma project I ever heard about involved a forklift. It perked my interest, because naturally,…

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Sensei Sue???

I was talking with a group of people about leading lean, and someone asked me, “Are you a Sensei?” So of course I said “No!” I don’t call myself a Sensei, because I consider myself to be at the grasshopper-level of lean expertise. However, the question did make me think. I call myself a Black…

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The Grapes of W.O.W.

If your customers rate you a “7” on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best), do your customer ratings range from 6 to 8 or do they range from 4 to 10? What would you do with this information?

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This Should Come As No Surprise

AIG Said to Offer $1 Billion in Retention Payments to Employees As it turns out, this how AIG is choosing to spend part of the $150 Billion it received from the US Government, with much of it going to the very business units that caused AIG to falter in the first place. While the company…

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Photos of Miami Live!

Photos stream of the iSixSigma Live! Summit and Awards in Miami. To browse all photos and download your favorites visit: http://photos.isixsigma.com/gallery/7136980_gHfnR

What Sigma Value is your Food?

It seems like a month can not go by without some large scale food recall, with the latest being approximately 31 million pounds of peanut butter (due to salmonella contamination). I started to wonder what the sigma level for the aforementioned peanut butter would look like. According to a major news website, at least 500…

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Excerpts: Panel with Mikel and Don

Michael Cyger moderated a panel with Mikel Harry and Don Linsenmann. Together they put on a good show, fielding questions from Mike as well as the audience. Don, as usual, instill humor into just about every story he tells. On the economy and Six Sigma: Don: “We’re all impacted by this downfall. Take initiative. Let…

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Six Sigma and Supply Chain

As an iSixSigma Blogs reader I invite you to participate in iSixSigma’s latest survey on Six Sigma in the supply chain. This short survey will explore how Six Sigma and other process improvement methodologies, including supply chain models such as SCOR, are being used to optimize supply chain activities. It will also look at how…

Call for Speakers: Energy Forum for Process Excellence in Houston, May 2009

Over 200 energy industry professionals will gather in Houston, Texas, May 19-22 for iSixSigma Live’s premiere Energy Forum for Process Excellence, supported by Chevron, Halliburton, Hess and Marathon Oil. Here’s your chance to be one of the speakers. Click here for the speaking proposal form: https://www.isixsigma.com/KQ5 We’re especially looking for process improvement professionals who can…

Hmm… Which Deployment Model?

I spent the Wednesday afternoon in the Deployment Models breakout session with Bob Crescenzi, from NewPage, Pam Cagle from Wal-Mart, and Stephen Turnipseed from Chevron. Each company is deploying Six Sigma with a different approach. Bob Crescenzi made a great point kicking off the discussions. He said, “There is no vanilla deployment.” Top-down, middle-out, or…

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MANY THANKS

I was very honored to have been nominated for the iSixSigma MVP Award for “Best Blogger” – given the high quality of my fellow nominees, Robin Barnwell and Gianna Clark, I was not expecting to receive this recognition! Attending the iSixSigma Live! conference was a blast, and I had a lot of fun and met…

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iSixSigma Live! Opening Session Highlights

The iSixSigma Live! Miami Summit and Awards opened yesterday with a bang.Richard Willet, Jr., President and CEO of NewPage kicked off the morning session. Rick gave an enthusiastic overview of Lean Six Sigma at NewPage. There was so much he spoke about, but one of the points really stuck me as unique. He said that…

Best Places to Work Countdown

Well we did it. We announced the order of the Top Ten iSixSigma Best Places to Work list this morning. If you were following my tweets this morning you already heard where the No. 1 place is… if not, here we go… #10 Rio Tinto Alcan #9 Volt Information Sciences Inc. #8 EMC Corp. #7…

iSixSigma MVP Awards

I had the privilege of presenting the iSixSigma MVP Awards this morning to a fine group of Six Sigma professionals. The MVP Awards are iSixSigma’s way of recognizing those people who volunteer their time and expertise making iSixSigma.com and the iSixSigma Blogosphere meaningful places to learn. Without purse or script, these knights and nobles selfishly…

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iSixSigma Live! Awards Announced

The iSixSigma Live! Awards ceremony went off beautifully this morning. Congratulations to all the finalists, and woo hooo! to all the winners! Winners: Largest-Breakthrough Improvement Projects * Environment – Bell Helicopter, Textron Inc. for “Compressed Air Savings Headstart (CASH)” * Supply chain – General Dynamics for “Submarine Material Receipt Inspection” * Transactional – North Shore-LIJ…

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Tweet, Tweet, Flying South for the Winter

It’s a busy week for us here at iSixSigma. The final day leading to the iSixSigma Live! Summit& Awards in Miami… If you tweet you’re in for a treat.I’ll betweeting live from Miami. Follow the iSixSigma tweetfor mini updates on what I’m up to at the conference. Be the first to readthe winners of the…

New Year’s Resolution

This year, I’m making a resolution to do a good deed daily. This is inspired in part by Gianna Clark’s latest blog, How W.O.W.?, but also by my own sense of imbalance in the customer feedback that most organizations receive. I’ve communicated about problems and complaints many times – but – I realized that I…

When is Lean… Not Lean?

I have been thinking a lot lately about how the Toyota Production System was developed. Unlike those of us who have books, websites, and training programs in abundance, Toyota engineers took their process of assembly-line manufacture of automobiles and created, in incremental steps, the methodology that’s now known as Lean. It took shape over a…

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What You Measure is What You Get?

“Perhaps what you measure is what you get. More likely, what you measure is all you’ll get. What you don’t (or can’t) measure is lost” – H. Thomas Johnson Those of you who are Deming fans may liken this quote to Deming’s admonition that “the most important figures that one needs for management are unknown…

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Christmas Challenge

This is just for fun and to win a real prize you need to have been very good all year and have a generous expense account. Good old Santa wants to give you a Christmas present. He’s checked if you have been naughty or nice and the news is not good, so you have to…

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A Lean Carol

Well, it’s time for my annual Christmas Blog! With apologies to Charles Dickens, here is my adapted version of his “Ghost Story of Christmas” (first published in 1843). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stave 1: Muda’s Ghost The workers at the Shusendo & Muda Company are very busy being highly productive. The boss, Ebenezer Shusendo, only gives performance bonuses…

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Christmas Lights – A Lean Challenge

I got this from a friend and decided to share it with my friends at Six Sigma. I thought this might represent the process many use when they don’t plan. Just get the job done. Don’t worry about process or structure or planning. Just do it. Hm…. You think a value stream map would help?…

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Six Sigma on a Roll

Last year iSixSigma Magazine ran a cover story on PointRoll and the beginnings of their Six Sigma initiative. PointRoll, a leading online ad agency, is a small company by Fortune 500 revenue standards (less than 100 million in revenue) and even smaller Six Sigma company by Six Sigma standards (1 Black Belt and 7 Green…

The Least-Effort Way

We’ve all seen the “resistance curve” where a few people are innovators, some are early adopters, early and late majorities, and a few are laggards, or skeptics, or what-have-you (from the work of Everett Rogersand other researchers). One way to get almost everyone to be an early adopter is to offer something of value –…

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Act II

Six Sigma, which is beginning to acquire some grey around the temples, has now advanced to the stage where the basic requirements for success of the program are fairly well known. That doesn’t stop it from being screwed up in about 95% of installations, but no one can say that’s due to a lack of…

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iSixSigma Live Summit and Update – Reception and Keynote

iSixSigma Live Summit ’09 Update – Reception & Keynote Trump International Beach Resort Miami, Florida 5:30-7:30 P.M., Tuesday, January 13, 2009 Six Sigma Wine Tasting and Welcome Reception Hosted by Six Sigma Winery Open to All Summit Attendees 11:30 A.M., Wednesday, January 14, 2009 Mr. Kaj Ahlmann Keynote: “Six Sigma and Wine: Art or Science?”…

And the Award Goes to…

iSixSigma Live! has announced the finalists for the awards that will be given at the Miami Summit in January. The top three finalists for the award, Most Successful Lean Six Sigma Start-up Program, are: Betfair, NewPage Corp., and Unlimited Technology Inc. Finalists for the award, Most Successful Re-energized Lean Six Sigma Program, are: United Services…

Thriving on Chaos

I used to work in the IT business and we were always on the look-out for the next “big thing” to cash in on. It was things like moving from mainframes to open systems and onto Microsoft Windows, relational databases, business intelligence systems, OLAP reporting and CRM systems. Sowhile I was travelling home from Sydney…

Lean Travel (or not!)

I’ve spent a good part of this past summer travelling for business. In the past, I might have flown a few times a year for conferences, but this year I’ve earned quite a few “miles,” Now, I know that some of you are already experienced Road Warriors, and you are probably already laughing at me,…

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Sticky Solutions

You invest 4 months of your life. You work in close co-operation with the operational teams. You gain buy-in and agreement on an innovative solution to enhance business performance. You build sustainability into the solution. You identify clear benefits in terms of financial, process, people and customer. It’s a text-book project. So return in 6…

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Best Places Finalists

  The Best Places to Work Competition has wrapped up and the top ten finalists have emerged. Now we’re not going to tell you where the No. 1 place for Six Sigma professionals to work is yet… or what the order of the top ten is…. We’re saving that for the awards ceremony in January….

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Bragging Rights

Winning isn’t everything; in fact, many times a “win” is in finishing the race or improving the score, whether that means fewer defects, decreased cycle time and/or improved customer satisfaction. But there are times when a win is a win and calls for more attention than is usually given to the everyday job well done….

My journey towards Lean

When I started in continuous improvement (CI) four years ago it was via the traditional Six Sigma DMAIC route. I was indoctrinated into the Six Sigma world and have earned my ASQ CSSBB and can do impressive stuff with statistics. Lean was not even on the radar for me, it was just another approach that…

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Lincoln Electric Six Sigma

Lincoln Electric, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of welding equipment, improves operational efficiency through Six Sigma AND fosters innovation at the same time. Looks like we’ve got some benchmarking to do. “In the last three years, Chairman, President and CEO John M. Stropki has led his team through eight acquisitions and…

Global Six Sigma Salary Survey

It’s time again for iSixSigma to gather salary data for the6th annual Global Six Sigma Salary Survey. This survey is a little different that our traditional kind. To gather data we go to the iSixSigma Job Shop database where thousands of Six Sigma professionals have uploaded their resumes. Along with uploading a resume, we ask…

Rigmarole

Six Sigma is an amazingly persistent program. I was left off the list for the official birth announcement, but someone should probably be planning ahead for a thirtieth birthday party in the next few years. That’s remarkable longevity for trumped up flavor-of-the-month program. I think Six Sigma is utterly absurd in many respects. Even if…

Company Policy – Help or Hindrance?

I recently bought some registry cleaning software on the internet using PayPal. My mistake, it was a scam. I made contact with the PayPal Dispute Resolution team to see if I could get my money back. Followed the highly efficient process (no human interaction) and made repeated attempts to contact the supplier before escalating to…

Lean Banking

I can’t help but wonder if banking and finance has an administrative concept equal or similar to lean process strategic planning. As accounting goes I suspect that efficiency, correct mathematical computation and balanced accounts all are considered important and of value to the banking customer. But what is the value added to high or irresponsible…

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Photos of iSixSigma Live! Denver

Jeannine Hall and I returned home from the wild night out in Denver last night. The Social and Networking Party in downtown Denver was a success: people met, mingled, ate, drank and made new friends. Over 100 Denver-ites registered for this event, and we hope to have even more the next time. Thanks to our…