Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

Blog posts and articles about using Minitab software in quality improvement projects, research, and more.

Evan McLaughlin

Evan McLaughlin is a marketing content manager at Minitab. He writes and edits blogs, case studies, the Minitab News monthly newsletter and several other pieces of content for Minitab. Evan enjoys drawing on his background in journalism to work with experts and statisticians and break down oftentimes complicated statistical concepts into easy-to-digest information.
Evan McLaughlin

A staple in project management, RACI charts help team members understand their roles for project deliverables – breaking down in each step who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. When you articulate those four levels of input and decision-making ability and assign them to different team members at the start of a project, it can help everyone execute projects more smoothly.

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No one could argue steel is not strong and reliable. It is a go-to material for crafting a long-lasting and durable product. But when your product is made of such strong material, you are going to need even stronger tools to make the product itself, not to mention a strong grasp on your data and the insights your data can provide on when machines will need to be repaired or replaced.

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Testing potential improvements can get complicated when you're working with multiple suppliers in different steps of a process, but conducting experiments in Minitab Statistical Software to determine significant inputs and then importing your model into a Minitab Workspace Monte Carlo Simulation can help shed some light on the results you'd see. Plus, it's faster and cheaper than running more tests on real parts.

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Last month we published a blog post on 5 Tips for Handling Messy Data. Last week we presented a webinar, Tips & Tricks for Minitab. When I saw feedback on LinkedIn from “extremely informative and enjoyable” to noting the importance of “looking for opportunities for continuous learning,” I’m reassured you all want more!

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Odds are you’re working from home if you’re reading this right now. While I don’t miss my commute, I certainly do miss popping into my coworkers’ offices. It’s especially useful to take care of last-minute changes. I’m putting an emphasis there on last minute. The harsh truth is, we were already in trouble if we weren’t aligned on project statuses and expectations to begin with.

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Whether you are in spring cleaning mode, finally working on your novel, giving podcasts a try or binging through the Netflix series you just had not gotten around to yet, a lot of us are finding ourselves staying inside lately. We at Minitab are working remotely right now, and we are actually finding there's no better time to teach ourselves a few new things.

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Operational excellence and continuous improvement are critical to organizational success now more than ever. And one of the biggest challenges is getting buy-in from the top. Without validation and reinforcement it’s difficult for initiatives to be taken seriously. Why are key stakeholders holding out? Check out our infographic to learn more.

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Only 30 percent of performance improvement initiatives succeed. So why do these initiatives fail so frequently? Research reveals the #1 reason is lack of management support. Surveys of C-level executives by the Economist Intelligence Unit concur — they say lack of leadership buy-in and support can stop the success of many strategic initiatives. 

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Why do so many improvement programs ultimately end up on the chopping block? Company leaders often sponsor these efforts in the first place, so what happens between the day a deployment kicks off with the C-suite's enthusiastic support and the day the plug is pulled?

Even projects that result in marked improvements often fail to make an impression on decision-makers.

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As the vice president of quality for a $1.5 billion-dollar industrial corporation, Hermann Miskelly is responsible for leading its continuous improvement effort. Now in his 10th year of a Lean Six Sigma deployment, he has overseen the execution of more than 4,000 major improvement projects and another 6,000 small improvement projects. Here are three key insights he shared about managing continuous improvement...

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