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Quality Improvement

Blog posts and articles about using statistics and data analysis to improve quality through methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma.

So I’m standing at my desk last Tuesday, when my legs suddenly turn to Jell-O. Then I notice the overhead lights gently waving. Soon folks are popping out of their offices with quizzical, sometimes queasy expressions. A few phone calls and Internet searches confirm that we have just experienced a very rare, East Coast earthquake. One centered in Virginia but felt from Georgia to Maine. Wow.We were... Continue Reading
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several quality improvement professionals from companies across many different industries, and I’ve heard about the common challenges practitioners face when they’re completing quality improvement projects. Here's a brief summary:Where do I start?A challenge faced by quality practitioners, especially newer Green Belts, is the breadth of available quality tools... Continue Reading
Recently I've been thinking about common questions that customers ask when running a Gage R&R analysis in Minitab. For example, when you run a Gage R&R, the last result that shows up in the session window is a value for the ‘Number of Distinct Categories’.  This one metric is something that customers seem to overlook when they call to discuss their Gage studies.          This value represents the... Continue Reading
They say "variety is the spice of life," but when it comes to doing business, variation is not your friend. That's why we have control charts. One of these things is not like the others...is it common cause variation you can accept, or special variation that needs to be addressed? Control charts could tell you. We know that a little bit of variation is inevitable, but we tolerate it within... Continue Reading
I was 'lucky' enough to learn about how Betfair, one of the world's largest online sports betting communities, employs quality improvement in their day-to-day business. Here's a snippet of the case study: Betfair turned to Minitab when a crucial process for helping new customers get started needed improvement. The company invests heavily in different marketing activities, including an outbound... Continue Reading
I was reading an article recently about Jackson Pollock, an abstract artist famous for his “drip paintings,” and I became intrigued when I found out his art falls under the category of “process art.” As I learned more about Pollock and his “process,” I started to think about what he could teach us about process improvement.The process Pollock took to make his artwork was very calculated, hence the... Continue Reading
Today we announced the winner of the Minitab Experiment ContestFord, Bobcat, Smith & Nephew, Metalor, and more than a dozen other companies from many different industries entered the contest, which focused on using a statistical technique called Design of Experiments (DOE) to solve business problems.Quality improvement professionals use DOE to create experiments that provide insight into how... Continue Reading