• One that I liked to use when I was consulting is the penny queuing exercise, a.k.a. the penny game. You can find more info with a quick search. I called it “50 Lincolns” because that’s how many pennies are in roll. You can use as few as 5 or 10 pennies but I found that 50 works best. The way I did it was to divide into teams of three to five…[Read more]

  • It doesn’t matter how many variables. Sigma level is an overall ratio between what’s within customer specifications and what isn’t. Don’t complicate it. 11 months, 2 weeks ago

  • Can you assume that a supplier that performs 100% inspections delivers zero defectives? Of course not. My inclination is that they should not be treated differently from any other supplier. But I’m wondering why you asked this question. 11 months, 3 weeks ago

  • The above from Mr. Butler and Mr. Seider is on point. I would emphasize that pass/fail may mean that you have already converted variable data to an attribute, and thereby lost the variable measurement. The important question is how you determined pass/fail. 12 months ago

  • Understand that DMAIC is a general framework and we use the tools as appropriate. Any instructor who insists that you must use this tool then this one isn’t worth his salt. When deciding which tools to use and when, ask these questions: Do I have, or can I get, the information I need for inputs? 2. Will the outputs from this tool be useful as…[Read more]

  • I wouldn’t bother with yellow belt unless you’re totally naive. When belts were introduced there was only green and black, and then Master BB for experts and instructors. Yellow, and sometimes other colors, were introduced later for people who wanted to learn about, or needed to know about, the concepts but probably weren’t going to become…[Read more]

  • It sounds like you have a solution looking for justification. That isn’t how we do it. 1 year ago

  • When steps in a continuous process are all continuous you should sill have time-fenced yield data from each step. If you have that, you can do RTY over a time frame. It you don’t have it your quality control is deficient. 1 year ago

  • The control limits per Shewhart are +/- 3 standard deviations from the mean and there is sound reasoning for this. You might inquire why whoever wrote the Excel formulas used a narrower range. 1 year, 1 month ago

  • While I have no experience in the health care industry — hopefully someone who does will share what they’re doing — I’d encourage you to look closely at your CTQ variables, and what they say about priorities and mission. 1 year, 2 months ago

  • I’d add that possibly key people in your organization dismissed six sigma as yet another management fad that is expensive to implement with questionable results. If you even suspect that might be the case, don’t use the term “six sigma”. Talk about data-driven process improvement and the ideas you have about things you’ve observed that could be…[Read more]

  • I’m not sure why you have a quandary about this. It was once explained to me that a discrete process makes “things” while a continuous process makes “stuff”. The difference is that you can measure a variable for each thing produced, but you can’t do that when the product is a continuous flow of stuff, such as a chemical from a refining process.…[Read more]

  • There are several ways to do it provided that you have the right before and after data.  You might need to look outside your area of responsibility to see the benefit of your improvement. 1 year, 3 months ago

  • The short answer is, yes.  I’m glad that you appreciate the value of the learning.  Certification confirms that you’ve attained that level, as opposed to just thinking you have.  Yellow belt is usually certified internally by your employer and is not recognized elsewhere, but it’s still something you can claim on your resume. 1 year, 3 months ago

  • If the audit requires dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s you’ll have to get your docs in order.   Similar has happened to me.  Sorry.  I used to be a CMMI appraiser and I much prefer that approach.  We said that as long as you were accomplishing the goals of a particular process area and there was documentation to prove it, that was just…[Read more]

  • You have the right concern.  It’s easy to give a virtual lecture but it’s hard to achieve engagement.  Aside from learning how to do it effectively, you need the right video conferencing product.  I won’t recommend one but here are some features you should consider:

    – Easy to log in and use.  Do you really want something that requires each par…[Read more]

  • Back when six sigma was seen as a “silver bullet” a former employer said that “everything we do is six sigma” which was aspirational rather than true.  We even developed variants for administrative and management (back office) functions, which mostly missed the mark.  Sure, you can use it and the toolkit to improve efficiency but if you aren’t d…[Read more]

  • Search the net for “free six sigma software”  or “free statistical analysis software” and you’ll find many hits.  I can’t recommend any of them since I haven’t used them.  There’s an old adage that you get what you pay for.  Would you want to make critical decisions based on something that you didn’t know to be trustworthy?  That said, open sour…[Read more]

  • I would stress @cseider question about having a champion.  You’re the new guy telling people that they should change the way they’ve always done things.  Who are you to do that?  You don’t even know what we do or why we do it this way.  From experience I’d recommend that you have at least two champions:  Someone in executive management and some…[Read more]

  • This is off topic but I insist that we distinguish between QA and QC.  The main reason is that we can easily overlook QA when it’s conflated with QC.  Quality Control is testing, inspection, and analysis to verify that a product conforms to specifications, plus the related actions to handle nonconformance.  Quality Assurance is the systematic mo…[Read more]

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