Episodes
During a recent coaching call with a client, we discussed applicability of statistical process control (SPC) and control charts (also called process behavior charts) in their operations. I sent them a link to the Honda SPC video (older but highly recommended) and I share the comments I made to elaborate on what they saw.  Links Honda Statistical Process Control video BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com Have a question? Submit a voice message at Anchor.fm --- Send in a voice...
Published 07/03/21
After conducting a Lean 101 webinar for Lean Portland, we had some excellent questions from the attendees, so I thought I share my answers. The first question was looking for advice on how management can support their employees instead of just giving them their idea on what the answers are. The second question asked about how to deal with managers who think that no complaints means no problems. You can watch the full Lean 101 webinar in the links below. Links Lean 101 Webinar BIZ-PI.com ...
Published 06/25/21
After conducting a Lean 101 webinar for Lean Portland, we had some excellent questions from the attendees, so I thought I share my answers. The first question was looking for advice on how to make their forms easier and more streamlined for their customers. The second question asked about how to create psychological safety and build trust in their organization when top management doesn't seem to be driving it. You can watch the Lean 101 webinar in the links below. Links Lean 101 Webinar ...
Published 06/17/21
After conducting a Lean 101 webinar for Lean Portland, we had some excellent questions from the attendees, so I thought I share my answers. The first question was looking for more explanation about batching vs one piece flow. The second question asked about classical vs lean management methods. You can watch the Lean 101 webinar in the links below. Links Lean 101 Webinar BIZ-PI.com Creative Safety Supply (enter code "BPI" to save 10%) Have a question? Submit a voice message at...
Published 06/14/21
Project charters for improvement projects do not have solutions listed. Instead, they should explain the problem, the management support for this project, the key team members, the scope, the timeline and key metrics of success. They should not have the proposed solution, as we shouldn't have that figured out yet. We still need to follow the problem solving approach. I explain my thoughts on this in more depth. Links BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com Have a question? Submit a voice...
Published 06/07/21
Developed by Genichi Taguchi, the Taguchi Loss Function is a graphical representation of how an increase in variation away from the target value (even within specification limits( leads to an exponential increase in customer dissatisfaction. This is different than the traditional approach of viewing results within the specification limits as good, and results outside of the specification limits as bad. Links Taguchi Loss Function Video of Ford Transmission Study:...
Published 05/31/21
When describing the methodology of a kaizen or kaikaku event, I often break it up into two main types: Working session - traditional approach where 80% of the work is implemented during the 2-5 day event Planning session - process mapping approach where the team generates a 90-day action plan during the 2-5 day event I explain the differences and when to use each type, along with describing how projects and point kaizen (or kaizen blitz/burst activities) fit within these...
Published 05/19/21
A common question I hear is "what if my company doesn't support process improvement?" I share 4 main approaches you can take to deal with this situation, instead of feeling frustrated by it. Links LeanSixSigmaHomes.com BIZ-PI.com Creative Safety Supply Have a question? Submit a voice message at Anchor.fm --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 05/15/21
I share my experience getting my first COVID-19 vaccine shot, and how I analyzed that process from a lean perspective. I found that there was only one second of value, compared to a process that took me over an hour to complete. On a related note, I also have some links to lean applied during the pandemic on my website (see links below). Links Applying Lean Methods to Mitigate COVID-19 at Work BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com Have a question? Submit a voice message at...
Published 04/26/21
I was recently asked about the difference between PDCA and PDSA. I had heard some new information from another podcast, and dug into one of the references to learn more about it. In this episode, I read through a paper from Ronald Moen that provides a good historical perspective. Note: I mispronounced Charlie Protzman's name in the audio. Apologies! Links Foundation and History of the PDSA Cycle - Ronald Moen  Podcast Interview with Charlie Protzman and Patrick Adams BIZ-PI.com ...
Published 04/19/21
A recent Value Stream Mapping event was held virtually, and we received some positive feedback from the event attendees. I wanted to share some of the comments to show how process improvement helps much more than just faster processes with less quality issues. It helps engage employees in the future direction of the organization, builds teamwork across departments, and creates a safe space for discussing problems and challenges. Please contact me if you'd like help with facilitating your own...
Published 04/09/21
Does your organization use a structured problem solving process, like DMAIC, 8D, or PDSA? If no, why not? I share my views on what challenges are created when you don't have structure to your problem solving approach. Links BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com Have a question? Submit a voice message at Anchor.fm --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 04/05/21
Are you trying to decide how to select the best projects to work on, but have many stakeholders and customer needs to consider, and too many project ideas? Check out the Project Prioritization Matrix to help you objectively evaluate these projects and select the ones that meet the most important criteria. I pulled the audio from the training video for you to listen to in this podcast. There is also a link to the video if you had trouble following along, and I provide a link to the template...
Published 03/24/21
I received a question today that I thought would be helpful to everyone: “Imagine you are getting ready to kick-off the value stream workshop and you start to receive emails from a bunch of different people in the organization asking to attend. What would be your response?” I answered the question in an article on my website, but I wanted to read my response for this podcast. Links Article: How to decide on the right number of people for your lean event? BIZ-PI.com ...
Published 03/22/21
When making improvements to a process, cost savings and avoidance is a common outcome that is estimated and reported. A common error is to combine the data together into one overall number, but they should be separated into three distinct buckets of money: Income Statement, Cash Flow and Growth.  Links Article: Client saved $800,000 in 3 Days E2: What is the difference between hard and soft financial savings? BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com Creative Safety Supply --- Send...
Published 03/17/21
One of the most impactful quality initiatives I was involved with was the creation and deployment of the Cost of Nonconformance (CoNC) report. It was a method to assign a dollar amount to quality problems in order to bring attention to management in the language they most often respond to, money! It could also be applied more broadly beyond just quality issues to any type of waste to increase visibility for your Lean or Six Sigma initiative. Check out our Cost of Poor Quality course at...
Published 03/13/21
In process improvement, there is a strong focus of data. But in order to analyze data for an improvement project, you need to know what type of data you have or need, so you can perform the correct analysis. I share the different types of data you may encounter for your project. Links BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 03/10/21
I saw a recent question in a forum, asking about the origin of the sample size of 30 data points. I decided to read you the response I gave, and make it a new blog post on my website.  Links Article: Why do we need 30 data samples? BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 03/06/21
I share an article I wrote back in Dec 2013 about reducing or eliminating test or inspection steps using Six Sigma analysis methods of capability and stability, along with risk mitigation tools like FMEA and error proofing. Links Article: Top 3 things to validate before removing test or inspection steps Article: Which Should You Use Cpk or Ppk? BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 03/03/21
I share an interview I did with Mark Graban about why I created this podcast. He included me in a new networking group called Lean Communicators. We are a group of podcasters that talk about Lean, and we meet about once a month to discuss best practices and learn from each other. Check out the website of all the contributors at LeanCommunicators.com, where you can subscribe to an email list of new episodes from all contributors, or subscribe to individual podcasts. You can also follow us on...
Published 02/21/21
Most people calculate the average when summarizing data, but what about the median? The median is not as sensitive to outliers and skewed data, and can be a better indicator of the typical or most common outcome in your data. Links Wikipedia: Median BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 02/20/21
Do you see problems recur later after all the attention has gone away? That could be the Hawthorne Effect at work, which can create confusion on whether your improvements are actually working. Links Wikipedia: Hawthorne Effect BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 02/16/21
When I facilitate mapping events, after completing the current state map and before we create the future state map, I like to first walk the team through an ideal state discussion. I categorized these concepts and share the list with you in this podcast. Links Why I like using the Ideal State Mapping approach BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 02/05/21
Ground rules are an important element of running a successful process improvement event (called Kaizen Blitz or Kaikaku events). In this podcast, I share a compiled list of rules that you can use as a starting point for your next improvement workshop. Links List of Typical Lean Kaizen Event Ground Rules BIZ-PI.com LeanSixSigmaDefinition.com --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/leansixsigmabursts/message
Published 01/24/21
During some recent travel, my wife and I ended up watching multiple episodes of "Bar Rescue."  I've watched the show for many years, so I re-watched it with a new lens, now that I'm consulting on my own.  As I thought about my approach to consulting, how would I help these bars and restaurants make dramatic improvements? Listen for my comparison of how I would prefer to help these bars versus the approach used by host Jon Taffer. Links JonTaffer.com Bar Rescue Show BIZ-PI.com ...
Published 01/06/21