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problem solving

Painted into a Corner- Practical Leadership Tips

As I travel the country for Auburn University, assisting companies with lean implementations, one of the first signs of resistance occurs during the discussion of standards. Just last week, a supervisor said, “the operators feel like standards are painting them into a corner and don’t allow room for dealing with problems.” When I hear this…

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Disaster Preparedness

Greetings! This is my first blog for iSixSigma. By way of introduction, I’m on the outreach faculty of Auburn University where I support local industry with leadership coaching and lean implementation services. I look forward to sharing the common goal of continuous improvement and daily learning! As most of you know, Alabama was hit with…

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Best Buy to Share Culture Secrets in Next 'Best of the Best' Webinar

iSixSigma’s “Best of the Best” Webinar Series continues on Wednesday, July 14, when two Black Belts from Best Buy, Tonya Bescheinen and Tracy Gardiner, lead an hour-long session titled “Reap the Rewards of Investing in Your Culture”. The webinar will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Eastern on July 14 and the cost…

Global Problem Solving with TRIZ

To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the TRIZ Future Conference, hosted by the European TRIZ Association (ETRIA), Nov. 3-5, 2010, we present the following excerpts from Domb’s extensive coverage. DAY 1 Function-oriented search is a problem-solving tool based on global knowledge search, using functions as the key search items. In his presentation, speaker Simon…

Brewing a Better Beer with TQM

Recently, a well-established, rapidly expanding beer company invested heavily in a modern, state-of–the-art brewing facility. The new facility dramatically improved quality and productivity, and also reduced costs through the application of new technology. As a next step, the beer company began exploring methods of achieving a further quantum jump in performance. Recognizing that technology and…

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Thinking Two Moves Ahead with Analytical Tools

Considering the performance of the stock market over the past few years combined with current economic conditions, many financial institutions are analyzing their processes for improvements. Unfortunately, the majority of process improvement tools available to Six Sigma practitioners – such as cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, histograms and scatter plots – have been used for analyzing…

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Preventing Conflicts Through Stakeholder Management

A stakeholder of a Six Sigma project is anyone associated with the project either directly or indirectly. Examples of stakeholders are supervisors providing resources, team members, department heads and employees involved in the process. An up-front analysis of who the stakeholders are and how and when to involve them in the project can prevent potential…

Trailblazing Efforts Drive Strategic Objectives

Turning strategic stretch goals into daily behavioral change has never been easy for big companies. While executives talk about customer focus, what passes for intimate financial interactions in a busy call center is often laden with tedious work-arounds, risk-adverse rules, hopelessly complex technical redundancies and platform interactions. At one of the world’s largest mutual fund…

Fast and Intense: Kaizen Approach to Problem-Solving

Perhaps it was impatience with how long traditional projects take. Often it was an awareness of how hard it is for people to concentrate on improvement when they keep thinking about getting their work done. To some extent it was a matter of their innate respect for the people who do the work. For all…

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Six Sigma Culture: Better Processes and Problem-Solving

CEOs of businesses launching Six Sigma initiatives often say they expect Six Sigma to help create a company culture of continuous improvement, as well as achieve important financial results. Having culture change as an explicit reason for doing Six Sigma is not only laudable, it shows savvy. Experience demonstrates that changing the way work is…

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Overcoming the Challenges to Project Realization

Black Belt project would end with a concise set of action items being turned over to the transition owner who would then swiftly implement them and achieve the desired results. But for many Six Sigma practitioners in transactional environments, simply handing off the project does not guarantee that the gains will be realized. Even in…

Improving Debt Collection Rate, or How to Gain $865,000

A midsized debt collection agency was in trouble with one of its largest clients. The client was unhappy with the agency’s debt collection rate, and was threatening to take their business elsewhere if things did not improve. The manager of the agency division involved had just become a Green Belt and he thought this would…

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