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Introducing the E3P3 Process Improvement Methodology

Organizations involved with business process improvement use different methodologies, approaches, tools and techniques for implementing quality management programs. These management programs have different names in different organizations – TQM (total quality management), Six Sigma, operational excellence, etc. Regardless of the approach and name used, each organization needs to manage a proper selection and combination of…

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Managing to Standard Work in the Office

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Fairbanks Morse Engine had to swallow a tough message from its customers: You are too slow and we are not going to take it anymore! After an extensive voice of the customer (VOC) effort, it was clear that our lead times for aftermarket parts were missing customers’ expectations. Although…

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How Billing Delays Can Correlate with Call Volumes

I recently was reminded of the value of challenging long-held assumptions. I was working in a 700-seat call center, which was operated by an international mobile carrier that had been purchased and merged with a large regional carrier. Systems and processes at the call center were finally stabilizing, except for the billing process. The company…

Six Sigma: PDCA on Steroids?

Whenever I attend a Six Sigma symposium or healthcare conference, the same question comes up: “What’s the difference between Six Sigma and what we’re already doing?” Of course my response is, “Tell me more about what you’re doing so I can better answer that question.” After fielding this question for over a year, I’ve come…

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Creating a High Performance Culture with Hoshin Kanri

A high performance culture is the result of high performance actions. An organization should strive to implement actions which deliver the desired performance and assess the results of these actions on the culture. If these actions are successful, performance targets are achieved and a high-performance culture ensues. The pursuit of performance gains starts with defining…

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A Practical Approach to the Successful Practice of 5S

While some Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioners consider 5S a tool, it is more than that. 5S, abbreviated from the Japanese words seiri, seito, seiso, seiketsu, shitsuke, is not just a methodology, it is a culture that has to be built in to any organization which aims for spontaneous and continuous improvement of working environment…

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