My role at Minitab is to collaborate with others to reveal the power of quality improvement and data analysis tools in all sorts of communications—from customer stories to help resources. Continue Reading »
I caught the end of Toy Story over the weekend, which is
definitely one of my all-time favorite children’s movies.
Now—unfortunately or fortunately—I can’t get Randy Newman's theme
song,“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” out of my head!
It's also got me thinking about the nature of friendship, and
how "best friends forever" are supposed to always be there when you
need them. And, not to get too maudlin... Continue Reading
Christi Health, the largest provider of healthcare in Kansas,
operates a Center for Clinical Excellence that's made up of a team
of quality practitioners, all who have Lean and Six Sigma training.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with the team about the
types of projects they're working on.
I learned not only about the areas of patient care where they
are targeting improvements, but about... Continue Reading
Did you know that this year the American Statistical Association
(ASA) is celebrating its 175th anniversary? That’s a
pretty significant birthday!
On the ASA’s 175th anniversary webpage, they publish
blog posts periodically that cover ASA happenings, such as
anniversary events and celebrations, as well as interesting tidbits
about the organization. Recently, they published a post covering
the... Continue Reading
The Six Sigma students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
are at it again! A few months back, we blogged about the Six Sigma
project they did to reduce food waste at the on-campus dining
time, the students—lead by Dr. Diane Evans, Six Sigma black belt
and associate professor of mathematics at Rose-Hulman—are
performing a Lean Six Sigma project to reduce the amount of
recycling... Continue Reading
It's all too easy to make mistakes involving statistics.
Powerful statistical software can remove a lot of the difficulty
surrounding statistical calculation, reducing the risk of
mathematical errors—but correctly interpreting the results of
an analysis can be even more challenging.
No one knows that better than Minitab's technical trainers. All of our trainers
are seasoned statisticians with... Continue Reading
of my close friends and family members are nurses, and I’ve noticed
(via Facebook of course) that many recently celebrated National
Nurses’ Week, which ran Tuesday, May 6 through Monday, May 12—the
actual birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing,
but you might not know that she is also a celebrated statistician.
When I started reading... Continue Reading
I wrote a post a few years back on the difficulties that
can ensue when you’re just trying to get started on your Lean Six
Sigma or quality improvement initiative. It can become especially
difficult when you have many potential projects staring at you, but
you aren’t quite sure which one will give you the most bang for
A project prioritization matrix can be a good
place to start when you... Continue Reading
common to think that process improvement initiatives are meant to
cater only to manufacturing processes, simply because manufacturing
is where Lean and Six Sigma began. However, many other industries,
in particular financial services and banking, also rely on data
analysis and Lean Six Sigma tools to improve processes.
Rod Toro is a business process improvement manager at Edward
Jones, and I... Continue Reading
your process is producing some parts that don't meet your
customer's specifications! Fortunately, after a little hard work,
you find a way to improve the process.
However, you want to perform the appropriate statistical
analysis to back up your findings and make it easier to explain the
process improvements to your boss. And it's important to remember
that your boss is much like the boss... Continue Reading
had the opportunity to speak with a great group of students from
the New Jersey Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology—a
summer program for high-achieving high school students. Students in
the program complete a set of challenging courses while working in
small groups on real-world research and design projects that relate
to the field of engineering. Governor’s School students... Continue Reading
my first post in this series, I mentioned that we
reached out to our customers who are practitioners in the field of
quality improvement to better understand how they complete
projects, what tools they use, and the challenges and roadblocks
they come across in achieving success with quality initiatives. One
area quality leaders said they were struggling with was the
training aspect of their... Continue Reading
a customer called our Technical Support team about a Design of Experiment he
was performing in Minitab Statistical Software. After they helped
to answer his question, the researcher pointed our team to an
interesting DOE he and his colleagues conducted that involved using
nasal casts to predict the drug delivery of nasal spray.
The study has already been published, and you can read... Continue Reading
previous posts, I’ve outlined some reasons why
a Lean Six Sigma project might have been deemed a failure. We’ve
gathered many of these reasons from surveying and talking with our
I’d like to present a few more reasons why projects might fail,
and then share some “words of wisdom” from Minitab trainers on how
you can avoid these project failures.
Forcing Projects into DMAIC
Certain... Continue Reading
In a previous post, I discussed how to avoid a
disastrous Lean Six Sigma project failure, specifically if the
reason behind the failure is that the project solution never gets
In this post, let's discuss a few other project roadblocks that
our customers cited when we asked them about the challenges they
come across in completing projects. I’ll also go into detail about
suggestions our i...Continue Reading
Just saying the word makes me cringe. And if you’re human, you’ve
probably had at least a couple failures in both your work and home
life (that you've hopefully been able to overcome).
But when it comes to Lean Six Sigma projects, there’s really
nothing worse than having your entire project fail. Sometimes these
projects can last months, involve a large project team, and cost
companies a... Continue Reading
We tend to think of control charts only for monitoring the
stability of processes, but they can be helpful for analyzing a
process before and after an improvement as well. Not only do
control charts allow you to monitor your process for out-of-control
data points, but you’ll be able to see how your process mean and
variability change as a result of the improvement.
You might create separate before... Continue Reading
husband, Sean, and I were recently at my parent’s house for a
picnic dinner. As a lover of hot sauce (I’m talking extremely hot,
hot, hot, HOT sauce!), my stepdad always has a plethora of bottles
around to try. While I do enjoy spicy foods from time to time, I’ve
learned not to touch his hot sauce selections. His favorites are
much too spicy for my taste!
Unfortunately, Sean learned the hard... Continue Reading
promote ethical and moral responsibility in shaping its graduates,
Institute of Technology created a sustainability initiative to
reduce its own environmental footprint.
As part of that team's efforts, Six Sigma students at
Rose-Hulman conducted a project to reduce food waste at the campus
dining center. We got the opportunity to learn more about the
project by talking with Dr. Diane... Continue Reading
all seem to have our favorite statistical or quality improvement
I’ve always been drawn to process mapping, or what's sometimes
referred to as ‘flow charting.’ Even before I started my work with
Minitab and learning about quality improvement techniques, I’ve
considered myself somewhat of a visual learner. I notice myself
explaining things to others by drawing pictures—and when it comes
to... Continue Reading
improvement through methodologies such as Six Sigma and Lean has
found its way into nearly every industry. While Six Sigma had its
beginnings in manufacturing, we’ve seen it and other process
improvement techniques work very well in the service industry—from
healthcare to more service-oriented business
functions, such as human resources.
However, Six Sigma seems to have had a slower rate of... Continue Reading
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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.
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