Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Here, there, everywhere — it's nearly impossible to escape hearing or seeing news on COVID-19. Not all news is bad though; the human spirit is resilient and efforts are underway all around the globe to find a vaccine. Healthcare systems are being tested like never before. However, in the face of this adversity, many like Adventist HealthCare, are rising to the occasion. 

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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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When you hear about projects that save Fortune 500 companies millions, you might think operational excellence and continuous improvement programs guarantee success. Experienced practitioners tell a different story. We surveyed nearly 200 of them at all skill levels from major companies across the United States. What was the one factor they believed tied most directly to success?

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It’s hard for Master Black Belt Brian Mapani to contain himself when he introduces his company and how he found the ingredients for successful continuous improvement. It’s understandable too. They saved $35 million by making a $1 million investment into their Lean Six Sigma program.

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Here are some of the cute dogs in our Minitab team; pictured above from left to right is Archer, Jake, Archie, Reed, Petey and Rookie. Picture below is Birdie and King.It's Valentine's Day! Whether you're single, in a relationship, married, or something in between, Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate and share messages of affection and love with partners, family, friends and pets. And with the average for spending...

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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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Organizations take on countless projects in the name of process improvement. Whether reducing defects or ensuring call centers are best equipped to solve issues, they’re ultimately looking to meet customers’ needs and help their business succeed. But with limited time and resources, they can only turn so many ideas into fully fledged projects. That’s where project steering committees come in.

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