In Part 1 of this blog series, I
compared Six Sigma to a diamond because both are valuable, have
many facets and have withstood the test of time. I also explained
how the term “Six Sigma” can be used to summarize a variety of
concepts, including philosophy, tools, methodology, or metrics. In
this post, I’ll explain short/long-term variation and
between/within-subgroup variation and how they help... Continue Reading
you know the most popular diamond cut is probably the Round
Brilliant Cut? The first early version of what would become the
modern Round Brilliant Diamond Cut was introduced by an Italian
named Vincent Peruzzi, sometime in the late 17th century. In
the early 1900s, the angles for an "ideal" diamond cut were
designed by Marcel Tolkowsky. Minor changes have been made
since then, but the angles... Continue Reading
People can make mistakes when they test a hypothesis with
statistical analysis. Specifically, they can make either Type I or
Type II errors.
As you analyze your own data and test hypotheses, understanding
the difference between Type I and Type II errors is extremely
important, because there's a risk of making each type of error in
every analysis, and the amount of risk is in your
if... Continue Reading
Genichi Taguchi is famous for his pioneering methods of robust
quality engineering. One of the major contributions that he made to
quality improvement methods is Taguchi designs.
Designed experiments were first used by agronomists during
the last century. This method seemed highly theoretical at first,
and was initially restricted to agronomy. Taguchi made the designed
experiment approach more... Continue Reading
In its industry guidance to companies that manufacture drugs and
biological products for people and animals, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) recommends three stages for process
my last post covered
statistical tools for the Process Design stage, here we will
focus on the statistical techniques typically utilized for the
second stage, Process Qualification.
Stage 2: Process... Continue Reading
In my last post on
DMAIC tools for the Define phase, we reviewed various graphs
and stats typically used to define project goals and
customer deliverables. Let’s now move along to the tools you can
use in Minitab
Statistical Software to conduct the Measure phase.
Measure Phase Methodology
The goal of this phase is to measure the process to
determine its current performance and quantify the problem.... 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’s Quality Companion has an easy-to-use VSM tool to guide
value stream map to illustrate the flow of materials... Continue Reading
by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger
The great Dr. Seuss tells of Mr. Plunger, who is the custodian
at Diffendoofer School on the corner of Dinkzoober and Dinzott in
the town of Dinkerville. The good Mr. Plunger “keeps the whole school clean” using a
Unfortunately, Dr. Seuss fails to tell us where the
supper-zooper-flooper-do came from and if the production process
was... Continue Reading
For all you creative and fun-loving folks out there, in this
blog post I'm going to share a puzzle instead of a story or lesson.
The holiday season is getting into full swing here in the United
States, and that gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect, and
even have a little fun while still thinking about how we can
improve our processes and products.
Perhaps you're wondering what a puzzle... Continue Reading
The line plot is an incredibly
agile but frequently overlooked tool in the quest to better
understand your processes.
In any process, whether it's baking a cake or processing loan
forms, many factors have the potential to affect the outcome.
Changing the source of raw
materials could affect the strength of plywood a factory produces.
Similarly, one method of gluing this plywood might be better... Continue Reading
If you’re familiar with Lean Six Sigma, then you’re familiar
DMAIC is the acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and
Control. This proven problem-solving strategy provides a structured
5-phase framework to follow when working on an improvement
This is the first post in a five-part series that focuses on the
tools available in Minitab Statistical
Software that are most... Continue Reading
The season of change is upon us here at Minitab's World
Headquarters. The air is crisp and clear and the landscape is
ablaze in vibrant fall colors. As I drove to work one recent
morning, I couldn't help but soak in the beauty surrounding me and
think, "Too bad everything they taught me as a kid was a lie."
see, as a boy growing up in New Hampshire, I was told that the
sublime beauty of autumn... Continue Reading
Pareto charts are a special type of bar chart you can use to
prioritize almost anything. This makes them very useful in making
sound decisions. For example, if you have several possible quality
improvement projects, but not enough time or people to do them all
now, you can use a Pareto chart to identify which projects have the
most potential for making meaningful improvement.
Pareto charts look... Continue Reading
If your work involves quality improvement, you've at least
heard of Design of Experiments (DOE). You probably know
it's the most efficient way to optimize and improve your process.
But many of us find DOE intimidating, especially if it's not a tool
we use often. How do you select an appropriate design, and ensure
you've got the right number of factors and levels? And after you've
gathered your... Continue Reading
Every day, thousands of people withdraw extra cash for daily
expenses. Each transaction may be small, but the total amount of
cash dispersed over hundreds or thousands of daily transactions can
be very high. But every bank branch has a fixed cash flow, which
must be set without knowing what each customer will need on a given
day. This creates a challenge for financial entities. Customers
expect... Continue Reading
October 16–22 is National Healthcare Quality Week, started by
the National Association for Healthcare Quality to increase
awareness of healthcare quality programs and to highlight the work
of healthcare quality professionals and their influence on improved
patient care outcomes.
This event deserves your attention because the quality of
healthcare affects every one of us, and so does the cost of... Continue Reading
The ultimate goal of most quality improvement projects is clear:
reducing the number of defects, improving a response, or making a
change that benefits your customers.
We often want to jump right in and start gathering and analyzing
data so we can solve the problems. Checking your measurement
systems first, with methods like attribute agreement analysis or
Gage R&R, may seem like a needless waste... Continue Reading
If you were among the 300 people who attended the first-ever
Minitab Insights conference in September, you already know how
powerful it was. Attendees learned how practitioners from a
wide range of industries use data analysis to address a variety of
problems, find solutions, and improve business practices.
In the coming weeks and months, we will share more of the great
insights and guidance shared... Continue Reading
We’ve got a plethora of case studies showing how businesses from different
industries solve problems and implement solutions with data
analysis. Take a look for ideas about how you can use data analysis
to ensure excellence at your business!
Boston Scientific, one of the world’s leading developers of
medical devices, is just one organization who has shared their
story. A team at their Heredia,... 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.