All Topics

Join the discission and keep up to date with Analytics, Business Skills, Operations Improvement, Training Development, Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, and lessons learned from practical application.

  • Improvement is All About Design

    August 16th, 2016

    Tags: Design for Six Sigma, Quality Function Deployment, Scrum Agile, Development Process, Product Development, Process Development

    Reduce cost. Eliminate waste. Increase quality and productivity. Isn’t that what all companies want? Effort is expended daily, weekly, and monthly. Why is it so hard?

    The original design of the product, service, or process dictates the floor for cost and the ceiling for quality and productivity. The race to be the first to market with the new product or the service is often the limiting factor. Get that new process up and running as fast as possible is stubbing our toes. Why is this so common? Is it because we never have enough time to …

  • Back to Basics: What is a Distribution?

    July 26th, 2016

    What it is:

    A distribution is a graphic representation of numerous measurements of one characteristic that describes something. The measurements are placed upon a continuous scale from small to large. The numerous measurements, generally 50 or more, become a graphic representation called the distribution by grouping similar values together. The number of measurements that fall into each group of similar values is characterized by the count of those values, often referred to as the frequency. The count of values for each group is plotted to …

  • Is it a Signal, or Just Noise?

    June 24th, 2016

    Tags: big data, big data analytics, analytics, data analysis, big data analysis, applied statistics, signal to noise, marketing analysis, marketing analytics

    Interpreting Big Data Analytics often leads us to the quandary of answering the question, “Is it signal, or just noise?” When the statistics applied for our analytics study is based upon historical data it is retrospective in nature. The analysis may point out significant signals that are potentially meaningful and also potentially misleading. How does one tell the difference between signal and noise?

    A true signal was caused by something that can be turned on or turned off. Noise is based upon the environment where there is no …

  • It's Significant but Does It Matter?

    May 17th, 2016

    Tags: big data, dig data analytics, analytics, statistical significance, data analysis, p value

    In the world of Big Data Analytics we enjoy having lots and lots of data. In the world of statistics the old adage was more data is always better than less. It used to be that getting your hands on the data was costly and cumbersome, but now the age of Big Data. Wow, we have lots and lots of data probably more than we really need to make sound business decisions.

    The p Value is the statistic that provides us with the confidence to declare that a difference exists, or it doesn't. It is like guilty or innocent. If the p Value is less than 0.05 …

  • What is Operational Excellence?

    January 08th, 2016

    Tags: Operations Improvement, operational excellence

    There are many opinions for the definition and even more related on how to acheive operations excellence. Let's start with Webster's Dictionary and take it from there.

    Operation: A process of a practical or mechanical nature.

    Operational: Ready to execute

    Excellence: The state of excelling; superiority. An excellent quality or feature.

    To summarize the meaning of Operational Excellence, the following should suffice.

    Practical processes that execute with superior quality.

    With that defintion how do you tell if your organization is …

  • The Manager's Role in Training

    June 12th, 2015

    Companies sell the output from what their employees do. That could be providing brokerage services, running a machine on an automobile production line, or designing a graphic ad campaign. No other resource within an organization will have as positive an impact on company performance and bottom-line results as well trained employees. Therefore, management must continuously assess the training needs of the work force.

    What must management deal with?

    New employees with little or no skills

    Employees with obsolete skills

    Transferred employees …

  • Key Characteristics of a Learning Impact Evaluation System

    May 14th, 2015

    An effective evaluation system provides valuable information for all parties such as:



    Training Management Team

    Senior Corporate Management

    The training evaluations should be used as the means to make training decisions such as:

    Program Additions,

    Changes, or


    Evaluations document the results of training programs, which can be used to prioritize training needs for the organization. Training Management can use the evaluations for the allocation of training resources to the training programs with the most …

  • Chaos, Complexity, and Change Management

    May 14th, 2015

    Trainers are involved in the application of organization development solutions through their training programs. The following theories of Chaos and Complexity relate to organizational change.Chaos theory assumes that order exists even when it’s not immediately apparent. Complexity theory is the study of complex systems, such as organizations. Just how do organizations adapt to their environments and cope with uncertainty?As complex adaptive systems, organizations exhibit characteristics of chaos and complexity. The central premise of …

  • RACI for Management of Projects and Processes

    May 08th, 2015

    Let’s begin by explaining what the RACI Model is. Then an overview of how to apply the model in two cases:

    Management of Projects

    Management of Processes

    RACI is an acronym that means Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Effective management is always tied to knowing who has which responsibility to not only get the job done, but also who do we communicate and collaborate with. The RACI Model uses a matrix to align the level of responsibility (RACI) with the activities to be accomplished and the roles participants …

  • Purpose of the Value Stream Map

    March 11th, 2015

    Tags: Value Stream Mapping, Current State Mapping, Future State Mapping, Process Mapping

    There are many types of process maps and process mapping techniques. Which one is most appropriate to use? To start, let’s make a list of the various types of process maps.

    Process Flow Chart

    SIPOC high level Process Map

    Detailed Process Map

    Swim Lane, or Deployment Process Map

    Value Stream Map (Current State or Future State)

    They all have their purpose and use. Typically the process maps are used in conjunction with each other as a step by step dive into more and more detail as we progress from the high level view to the …

  • Why Companies need Educate Virtually

    March 05th, 2015

    Tags: Sustainable Problem Solving, Business Analytics, Operations Improvement, Teamwork and Communication.Business Best Practices, online training, online education, Online Skills Training

    Have these ever happened in your Business?

    Decisions made backfire, fail to solve the problem, or create additional issues you didn’t plan for?

    Productivity and Quality issues hamper your customer’s experience?

    Quality issues impact your costs and profits?

    Problems that have been solved have to be solved again and again.

    Your management teams and employees work hard and believe they are making the right decisions in the best interest of the company and its customers. They continuously address quality and productivity issues …

  • Why American Business is Losing Ground in Global Economy

    January 16th, 2015

    Tags: online training, online education, analytics training, operations improvement training, self paced online courses

    Career Building

    American businesses are losing ground in the Global Economy becasue the workforce lacks technical and soft skills training.

    More than 80% of organizations state that budgetary constraints and lack of skilled staff to conduct needed training hinders global learning. (2014 Study by Association for Talent Development, formerly ASTD) In a study conducted by Babson-Pearson Sloan C found that 77% of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes from online education and training as the same or superior to those in face to face classes. The ATD study …

  • The Lean Six Sigma Process

    December 03th, 2014

    Tags: Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Operations Improvement

    What is Lean Six Sigma?

    Lean Six Sigma is a five phased improvement process that employs tools and techniques to meet, or exceed customer requirements. If your organization has external customers, internal customers, or suppliers then opportunities exist to apply Lean Six Sigma.

    In every case, the improvement team defined the issues that were getting in the way of satisfying customer requirements. Measurements were used to establish a baseline of the current state of performance. Analysis was conducted on the measurement information to …

  • Business Process Analysis

    December 03th, 2014

    Tags: Process Improvement, Operations Improvement, Process Analysis

    Analyze any Business Process in 10 Easy Steps:

    Define and name the process.

    Determine which performance measures are important for the process and its customers both internal and external.

    Map the process steps. A SIPOC process map is a good start. List the Suppliers and the Inputs they provide to the Process. Each Process Step generates Outputs that are delivered to that step’s Customers.

    Collect enough performance measure data to set a baseline. Usually that is 20 to 25 data points plotted on a Process Control Chart. The …

  • How does Lean Six Sigma work?

    December 02th, 2014

    Lean Six Sigma is all about the integration of practical application tool kits. Lean is the synchronization of process output to customer demand.

    There are seven key principles in the Lean philosophy.

    Eliminate Waste, where waste is defined as anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and time which are absolutely essential to add value to the product or service in the eyes of the customer.

    Simplify production flow

    Achieve quality by managing the process, not the product

    Produce to demand, not to …

  • Why Lean, then Six Sigma, and now Lean Six Sigma?

    December 02th, 2014

    Lean has its roots in the Just in Time and Continuous Flow days of the 1970s. Supporting the implementations and solving problems back then was the job of the TQM folks using one of many multi-step problem solving processes. We had the TQ people and the JIT people, who generally talked, but walked down different paths.

    The programs were considered to be separate, but complimetary. So when the Six Sigma bandwagon started up in the 1980s and Lean started its rebirth in the 1990s we once again had two separate initiatives. This generally put a …

  • Do the 14 Points of Dr. W. Edwards Deming Apply Today?

    February 04th, 2014

    Tags: Demings 14 Points, w. edwards deming, continuous improvement

    Is it time to dust off tried and true theory that leads to quality and productivity?  W. Edwards Deming has provided us with a road map and identified the roadblocks that impede an organizations ability to meet and exceed their customer’s requirements.  How about moving from having valued customers to having proponents of what your organization provides, thus increasing your value to the new customers you have yet to service?  Let’s review the 14 points and then you can decide if they apply today.

    Create Constancy …

  • Data Collection Planning is the Key to Successful Analytics

    January 28th, 2014

    Tags: data collection, data collection plan, sampling plan, data analysis

    Today, more than ever before there is talk about Big Data and Analytics. Information sources abound and that is why Big Data can seem both needed and overwhelming.  When the data seems mind boggling then the application of Analytics to understand and interpret it is impossible to fathom. Data Collection Planning is a systematic approach to focus getting what you want from the data by capturing what is needed to answer the questions that are paramount for your organization.

    There are two purposes for collecting data and the application of …

  • Advanced Course in Design of Experiments

    January 22th, 2014

    Tags: Design of Experiments, Experiment Design, Statistical Experiment, Taguchi Method

    The Advanced Course in Design of Experiments is a comprehensive "how to" guide for the design and analysis of complex statistical experiments. The course features training presentations, instructional videos, statistical software demonstrations, interactive quizzes and final exam, and an experiment simulator so you can try all the methods taught in the course.

    All presentation materials are available as downloads in a pdf format. All tools, templates, and data sets are provided as well. The total estimated seat time for this course is 8 hours. …

  • How to Analyze Any Process

    December 30th, 2013

    Tags: Process Analysis, Operations Improvement, continuous improvement, Process Improvement

    Getting started with the analysis of a process often feels like an insurmountable task. The following will help by breaking the analysis into ten small steps. These 10 steps are how you can analyze any process.

    Define and name the process. It sounds a little simple, but what process are you going to analyze?

    Determine which performance measures are important for the process and its customers.

    Map the process steps.  A SIPOC process map is a good start.

    Collect enough performance measure data to set a baseline.  Usually that is 2 …

Leave a Comment


  • Rosa said

    Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an extraordinarily nice opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this blog. It's usually very superb and also stuffed with amusement for me personally and my office peers to visit your web site not less than three times in 7 days to read the newest stuff you have. Of course, we are usually pleased concerning the superb thoughts you serve. Selected 3 tips in this posting are completely the finest I have ever had.

  • Mosa said

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be just what I'm looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn't mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web log!

  • Sunil said

    Hiya, I'm really glad I've found this info. Today blogegrs publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is really irritating. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters? I Can not find it.

  • Nizar said

    You actually make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really something that I feel I might never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very large for me. I am having a look ahead for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • Larisa said

    While kaizen (at Toyota) uasully delivers small improvements, the culture of continual aligned small improvements and standardization yields large results in the form of compound productivity improvement. This philosophy differs from the command and control improvement programs of the mid-twentieth century. Kaizen methodology includes making changes and monitoring results, then adjusting. Large-scale pre-planning and extensive project scheduling are replaced by smaller experiments, which can be rapidly adapted as new improvements are suggested.

  • George from France said

    I was able to find good info from your blog articles. Thanks for another fantastic post. The place else could anybody get that type of information in such a perfect means of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I'm on the search for such info.

  • John said

    If this were a true "Control Chart" above, by the definitions I've read of Control Charts, the UCL and LCL and Mean would have been established after data point 1-25 (not waiting until data point 51 as in this case). Therefore the Mean would have been much lower (25-30% lower - I'm estimating closer to 25 or 30, not way up at 42. To me, looking at the above data, the process was "in control" until data point 33 (and through data point 46).

    If we move the UCL, Mean, and LCL lower to their [1-25] data point locations, then the data points 33+ look incredibly out of bounds.

    But, it also serves to make the difference in the process change to be SMALLER than it appears above (since the drop from the [1-25] control limits would be less than the above which includes the many huge data points [33-46]).

    But, I'm just learning so I can make more informed charting decisions with plant data. This is new to me in general so if you have any comments about the above please let me know. I'd like to learn more. Thanks - John

  • Johnb766 said

    Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the content!