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
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
Normally, I tell you about ways to practice with Minitab
Statistical Software so that you can boost your confidence with
statistical analysis. But over the last few days in my house, we’ve
been planning some activities for the family. That planning has
given me a chance to have some fun with Quality Companion.
Quality Companion is a substantial piece of software: everything
that you need to manage... 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
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
Value stream mapping is a tremendously valuable tool
for improving a process, but it requires patience and careful
attention to details. In an earlier post, I shared some
stream map guidelines to help ensure that the energy you invest
pays off. Here are some additional items to consider.
Identify critical paths and bottlenecks.Your map may reveal a number of potential areas... 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
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