Do your executives see how your quality initiatives affect the
bottom line? Perhaps they would more often if they had accessible
insights on the performance, and ultimately the overall impact, of
For example, 60% of the organizations surveyed by the American
Society for Quality in their 2016 Global State of Quality study say
they don’t know or don’t measure the financial...Continue Reading
Ahoy, matey! Ye’ve come to the right place to learn about Value
Stream Maps (VSM). Just as a treasure map can lead a band o’
pirates to buried treasures, so too can the VSM lead a process
improvement bilge rat to the loot buried deep inside a process!
Minitab has an easy-to-use VSM tool to guide yer way.
value stream map to illustrate the flow of materials and
information as a... Continue Reading
This week is the annual Thanksgiving holiday in the United
States, a period where we are encouraged to eat turkey and
cranberries, then consider the blessings in our lives before
falling into a comfortable pre-football nap. That includes many of
us here at Minitab.
we won't have new posts for you over the next two days. But
one of the things I'm grateful for is having had the... Continue Reading
looking for the answer to an unrelated quality improvement question
the other day, I ran across a blog post that answers a question I'd had for a
while: what's the origin of the value stream map?
A value stream map (VSM) is a key tool in many quality
improvement projects, especially those using Lean. The value stream
is the collection of all of the activities, both value-added and
non-value... Continue Reading
DMAIC methodology for completing quality improvement projects
divides project work into five phases: define, measure, analyze,
improve, and control. It’s also probably the most well-known and
most used project methodology for projects that focus on improving
an existing process. (Many other methodologies exist, such as
DMADV, which focuses on using quality
improvement techniques to create a... Continue Reading
had the privilege of talking with Sue Schlegel, Lean Six Sigma
black belt and quality improvement mentor at White Sands Missile
Range, which is located just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Schlegel and an improvement team at White Sands recently conducted
a Lean Six Sigma project to streamline surveillance processes and
they used Minitab to analyze the data. We found Sue’s story... Continue Reading
value stream mapping, or VSM, is a key tool used in many Lean Six
Sigma projects for manufacturing, it’s also widely used in
Value stream mapping can help you map, visualize, and understand
the flow of patients, materials (e.g., bags of screened blood or
plasma), and information. The “value stream” is all of the actions
required to complete a particular process, and the goal of... Continue Reading
you celebrate Thanksgiving or other major holidays at work? Maybe
you have a potluck lunch a few days before the actual event, with
your department or team?
At Minitab Inc. we celebrate Turkey Day with our annual “Minitab
Thanksgiving” potluck lunch. But this just isn’t any old
potluck—it’s like a potluck lunch on steroids! Employees volunteer
weeks in advance to the plan the event, which needs... Continue Reading
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year? A few Lean
tactics for eliminating waste might help you create a memorable
dinner that not only tastes good, but also helps you optimize
time spent in the kitchen.
Here are my tips for a lean Thanksgiving (but note that I’m not
talking about cutting any calories here!):1. Eliminate the waste of overproduction by having a
guest count. I know it’s in the back... Continue Reading
I should begin this blog by saying that I originally
thought that a kanban was a just a new type of move used while
dancing the Can-Can, but I already used that joke for the poka yoke
blog. Instead, I’ll spare you and jump right into things!
So, what is a kanban?
A kanban is a quality improvement method that can help regulate
the production flow in the
value stream. I like to think of it as a... Continue Reading
NASA launched its final space shuttle mission last
Friday morning with Atlantis’ last journey to the International
Space Station. Do the fiery orange flames lifting the shuttle into
the sky remind you of anything on a
lean value stream map?
I thought they looked strikingly similar to a kaizen burst! So
in honor of NASA's last mission, I think the comparison makes for a
good opportunity to... Continue Reading
Lean Six Sigma manufacturing techniques exist to
eliminate waste in a company’s processes. One area of wasteful
behavior can occur in the transportation of materials from one
process line to another—at any stage in the product’s development.
Even the transportation of raw materials to your factory can be
made leaner, but most times this element is out of your company’s
However, you can... Continue Reading
Because I’m constantly surrounded by Lean Six Sigma methodology,
mapping, and endless bounds of quality tools, I can’t help
but bring these ways of thinking into my everyday life.
Gas is expensive! I’m always thinking of
ways to streamline my trips when I run errands. While I would love
to go to Starbucks and have my iced coffee to enjoy while I go from
place-to-place—it is... Continue Reading
Value stream mapping is a
cornerstone of the Lean process improvement methodology, and also
is a recognized tool used in Six Sigma. A value stream map
illustrates the flow of materials and information as a product or
service moves through a process. Creating a “current state” value
stream map can help you identify waste and also makes it easier to
envision an improved state for process in the... Continue Reading
Minitab is the leading provider of software and services for quality
improvement and statistics education. More than 90% of Fortune 100 companies
use Minitab Statistical Software, our flagship product, and more students
worldwide have used Minitab to learn statistics than any other package.
Minitab Inc. is a privately owned company headquartered in State College,
Pennsylvania, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, and
Australia. Our global network of representatives serves more than 40
countries around the world.