Newsletter – March, 2017

On My Mind
It has become common to conduct both formal Lean and Six Sigma activities in organizations, but sometimes they are led by different people and not integrated. How can you start to integrate Lean and Six Sigma activities to create a Lean Six Sigma improvement system? Here are three things that can be done to start to integrate Lean and Six Sigma activities: (1) combine the project portfolios to create a single Lean Six Sigma project portfolio; (2) conduct joint base-level training on the common concepts, tools, and techniques such as measuring baseline performance, mapping processes and work flows, and conducting a root cause analysis; and (3) use the same improvement method for both Lean and Six Sigma activities such as the QC Story, the PDCA/PDSA cycle, or DMAIC. You won’t have a fully-integrated Lean Six Sigma improvement system by doing these three things, but you should be off to a great start.

Interesting Stories
You might not know how useful something is until it isn’t there anymore! The clock on our kitchen wall started to “act up” and so we took it off the wall. I now catch myself looking at where the clock used to be hanging at least 20 times a day and each time I resolve to STOP looking. However, the behavior is so ingrained in me at a subconscious level that I keeping looking – again and again. It makes me wonder what useful things are typically taken for granted in organizations that would be dearly missed if they disappeared. We probably wouldn’t know until they were gone. I’m now trying to be more aware of these taken for granted things in my life and business.

Company News
I made a presentation to the DECA classes at Chanhassen High School and Chaska High School on “Thoughts on International Business.” The students were very attentive and asked great questions. It brought back memories of when I took DECA as a senior in high school. The next public Continuous Improvement Green Belt course starts March 14. A one day Customer Analysis workshop will be held April 12 at the Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center in Chaska, MN and a two day Introduction to Multivariate Data Analysis course will be held May 8-9 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
Multivariate Data Analysis consists of a set of analytical techniques used to gain unique insights and extract as much knowledge as possible from medium and big-sized “row by column” datasets. These techniques are useful for improving organizational performance and helping an organization gain an analytics advantage and/or develop a new organizational competence. One of the better classroom texts on the subjective is Multivariate Data Analysis (7th Ed.) by Hair, Black, Babin, & Anderson. I especially liked the detailed “how to” process maps and the practical nature of the book.