Developing Countermeasures and Solutions

Developing effective, feasible and permanent solutions is the key to process improvement. Problems are identified, root causes are verified, countermeasures are developed and implemented, and permanent solutions are created. Methods used to create countermeasures can dictate whether they will become solutions, or not. Let’s start by understanding the difference between a countermeasure and a solution,… Read more »

Root Cause Identification – How to Do it

What is a Root Cause, and How is it Identified? This has probably never happened to you, but what if you created a solution that cost your organization a lot of money, and it didn’t have much effect? Or shaken your head when somebody proposed an expensive project that you felt wasn’t a big priority?… Read more »

Part 2: What is Process Improvement? Why is it Important?

Henry Ford once said, “Most people would rather work around problems than try to solve them”. Perhaps that’s why we often find ourselves addressing the same complaints, obstacles, and challenges hoping to never deal with them again. Well, hoping isn’t enough. Today, we must constantly improve and innovate to not only succeed, but to survive.… Read more »

Part 1: What is Process Management? Why is it Important?

Have you ever wondered why so many organizations have improvement approaches like Lean, Six Sigma, Agile, or PDCA underway, but never seem to make significant changes in operating performance and outcomes for customers? Or why they are always reacting to problems? Most of the time it’s because they’re trying to improve a process or system… Read more »

The Cost of Poor Quality

How can project teams better ensure they get the support needed for process improvement initiatives? By support, we’re talking about resources-funding, people, and time. When the performance indicator and its gap aren’t enough, consider including the Cost of Poor Quality. The Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) represents costs and lost opportunities that would disappear if… Read more »

How can you determine if your training program is effective?

A new ets client’s Chief Training Officer stated that their previous provider’s program for Lean Six Sigma training received very high satisfaction scores, but after almost four years, the Senior Leadership team questioned the value for the time and money spent to train a large percentage of the organization. This is a common and valid… Read more »

Maximizing Throughput Efficiency Using the DMAIC Method

Part 2 of 2: Improve and Control DMAIC and Throughput Efficiency In Part 1, we shared common shortfalls in achieving Throughput Efficiency by  Green and Black Belt project teams in the Define, Measure and Analyze steps of the DMAIC methodology. Here, we conclude our discussion with the Improve and Control steps. Improve: Selecting effective and… Read more »

Maximizing Throughput Efficiency Using the DMAIC Method

Part 1 of 2: Define, Measure and Analyze DMAIC and Throughput Efficiency After one facilitates and reviews hundreds of Lean Six Sigma projects, certain commonalities become evident. Just like the surgeon that specializes in the same procedure, repetition and inherent variability afford opportunities to see things not apparent to the infrequent operator. This rule applies… Read more »

Lean Six Sigma Training Produces a Strong ROI

At a time when business marketplaces are plunging or, at the very least, in a state of severe flux, company leaders are continuously examining the Return on Investment (ROI) of every expense. The accurate calculation of ROI involves numerous factors, including investment or costs, the return over time, all of which are adjusted by various… Read more »