Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Earlier this year, as I was thinking about all the improvement projects on my needs and wants list, I was unsure where to start. Which projects should be tackled first? Did I capture everything in my potential projects list? And once I decide which projects to schedule, how can I keep on track and visualize progress?

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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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Before starting a new project, it is important to have clearly defined goals and guidelines. Without these delineated steps, tasks and deadlines, projects will go in multiple directions instead of staying focused on the end result. Eventually, this will cost valuable time and money.

If you are looking for a way to visualize tasks and keep teams on track during a project, you should use a Gantt chart. Let's learn more...

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Any project requires clear management and leadership. Successful projects don’t just happen. Even with the best of teams, a clear project scope, objectives and roles need to be defined for a team to launch a successful project.

Whether you're new to project management or an old pro, project charters are tremendously helpful to organize projects and keep everyone on track.

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You’ve seen them before. You might have even used them. Harvey balls are symbols to visually communicate qualitative information like project status, product features and employee performance. Unfortunately, making the symbols can be time-consuming in different programs. Thankfully, an easy-to-use and versatile Harvey Balls matrix is now available in Minitab Workspace and Companion by Minitab.

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We all have our favorite tools, tricks, methods and ways for completing, tracking and improving our work. Personally I'm a visual learner, so I’ve always been drawn to process mapping and flowcharts. 

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Love it or hate it, brainstorming is something we've all done at some point in our lives. Those sessions may have been disorderly at times with ideas coming from every direction or totally structured with the help of a particular diagram.

Since the late 1960's, Ishikawa diagrams have helped millions of people through the process of brainstorming potential causes of an effect or problem and mapping those relationships.

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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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Colin Noone reveals that improvement activities have delivered over £2.6bn validated savings over 15 years at Rolls-Royce plc. With over 40 years experience at the power generation engineering company he is enthusiastic to share his takeaways with the Minitab community.

Colin is the company's Global Master Black Belt for Methods & Capability. Next month he is speaking at the Minitab Insights event in the UK, part of...

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