Lean Six Sigma

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The Yamazumi Chart – Line Balance and Task Value-Add

Use a Yamazumi Chart to highlight the three broad types of process deficiencies to improve in Lean: Muda (Waste), Mura (Unevenness), and Muri (Overburden). Yamazumi is a Japanese word translated as huge mound, heap, or pile. A Yamazumi chart is simply a stacked bar graph. But by plotting process cycle time by process steps and [...]

Data Transformations: Box-Cox

Data transformations are useful and necessary in some statistical applications. We will discuss one of the most famous ones, the Box-Cox transformation.  We will use two of the most often used software programs for Six Sigma analysis: SigmaXL and Minitab to implement the Box-Cox Transformation. First, let’s briefly remind you of why a transformation is [...]

Plan/Do/Check/Act (PDCA) vs Plan/Do/Study/Act (PDSA)

We’ve heard a lot about the Plan/Do/Check/Act (PDCA) and the Plan/Do/Study/Act (PDSA) Cycles. What are they? Are they different? Are they related? We will first hear from two experts: The first, explaining PDCA and the second, explaining PDSA. Then we’ll explore the history, differences, and relationship via an important paper that includes W.W. Edwards Deming’s [...]

2020-10-03T09:42:39+00:00 By |Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Machine Learning and Classical Statistics

Machine learning is mentioned frequently in the media. How is it different from classical statistics? How is it similar? We found it best to learn about this from Brian Caffo, a Ph.D. in statistics who also has expertise in computing algorithms. Brian is a professor of biostatistics at John Hopkins University. Brian uses both machine [...]

Visual Management

Visual Management. What is it? Why use it? Examples. Do’s and Don’t’s. To address these, we first hear from two experts giving their take on visual management. Then we’ll get information on why visual management boards fail and finish with a look at what a professional visual management company has to say. Craig Otto, Production Support [...]

Project Risk Management

Lean and Six Sigma projects all have potential risks that may derail or impact the project in other ways: scope, time, and/or cost. Project risk management provides approaches and tools to mitigate such risks. Project risk management is a rich and sometimes complex subject. However, there are simpler tools that are idea for small to [...]

The Caterpillar Production System

Continuous Improvement at Caterpillar includes Six Sigma, Lean, and the Caterpillar Production System (CPS). We will cover all three using various sources. Six Sigma:  They initiated their Six Sigma Program in 2001. Caterpillar had a long road in front of it, but the initial rollout of 6 Sigma used more than 300,000 hours of training [...]

2020-09-05T09:22:49+00:00 By |Tags: , , |0 Comments

Predictive Maintenance – Definition and Examples

Predictive Maintenance is used to assess the state of operating equipment, materials, or other items in order to determine when maintenance is necessary. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Statistical Methods are helpful in making the predictions in order to prevent more costly breakdowns later. Ryan Chan, CEO at Upkeep Maintenance Management, discusses Predictive Maintenance. “Predictive [...]

Spaghetti Diagram: Reducing Motion, Transportation and Cycle Time

How do you visualize the flow in a process before and after improvements? The Spaghetti Diagram to the rescue! The concept is basic, but the Spaghetti Diagram is quite useful. What is a Spaghetti Diagram? It is a line diagram superimposed on the process layout in order to map the flow in the steps of [...]

Quality Circles: Overview, Advantages, and Disadvantages

What is a quality circle? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Early starts in Japan and the US. Developments in India and in Healthcare in Europe. Quality Circle: A group of workers who do the same or similar work, meeting regularly to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems. Participation is voluntary, takes place during work [...]