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Tag: Six Sigma

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

That Moment When You Realize a Potential Client CEO is a Deming Disciple

Many healthcare organizations are non-profits. They provide some “community benefit” in terms of charity care (as do for-profit healthcare organizations). Then, there are healthcare organizations that are very charity focused, where providing free care and social services is their primary mission. Some of these organizations even refuse to accept payment from insurance companies or the […]

Run Fast if You Ever Hear This Phrase from a “Lean Six Sigma” Instructor

Run Fast if You Ever Hear This Phrase from a “Lean Six Sigma” Instructor

I sometimes torture myself by watching webinars given about “Lean Sigma.” I hear a lot of claptrap about Lean… things that are just demonstrably wrong. These aren’t differences of opinion. These are statements that are factually incorrect and can be proven as such. If you ever hear somebody say some variation of this phrase: “Lean […]

Things That Make Me Worry About My Colonoscopy: Patient Safety

Things That Make Me Worry About My Colonoscopy: Patient Safety

Sorry to get all Katie Couric on you, but I’m going to have a colonoscopy on Friday. I turned 40 last October and I have some family history that leads my doctor to get one done now rather than at 50. Unlike Katie, I won’t be broadcasting mine live, but I’ll share some articles and […]

What Lean is Lacking: Disco Medallions?

What Lean is Lacking: Disco Medallions?

When we lament why Lean hasn’t been more widely embraced as a new management model in healthcare (or other industries, for that matter), it’s good to ask “why?” We can identify gaps and propose countermeasures that might help solve this problem. As much as I believe that benchmarking isn’t as useful as many think it […]

The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

The Truth About Data and PDSA/PDCA from a Toyota Publication

Out there in the Lean and quality improvement communities, you sometimes hear some silly things. Sometimes, I want to attach the “Lean As Mistakenly Explained” (or L.A.M.E.) label to what’s said when it really seems off the mark from what Lean is really all about. Davis Balestracci, a columnist for Quality Digest, passed along something […]

By February 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

Parallels and Learning Between Aircraft Engine MRO and Human Healthcare

My wife is a leader in a business (not GE) that does aircraft engine “MRO” work – maintenance, repair, and overhaul. I’ve been able to visit her shop floor (her “gemba”) and we noticed similar parallels between their work (bring engines back to prime “health”) and what’s done in healthcare. This parallel was also explored […]

Lean Sigma = Lean Plus Six Sigma or Six Sigma With Just a Little Lean?

Lean Sigma = Lean Plus Six Sigma or Six Sigma With Just a Little Lean?

I had a conversation recently with a healthcare quality leader about her excitement about Lean. She said that she wanted to learn more about Lean and wanted to get certified. She then added, “I thought I’d get Lean Sigma certified, because then I’m getting both [Lean and Six Sigma].” Here’s what I told her: About […]

Podcast #187 – Joe Swartz, Co-Author of the “Healthcare Kaizen” Books

Podcast #187 – Joe Swartz, Co-Author of the “Healthcare Kaizen” Books

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 32:10) Joining me for episode #187 is Joe Swartz, my friend and esteemed co-author for our books Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements and The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen: Leadership for a Continuously Learning and Improving Organization. You can learn more about our […]

By September 26, 2013 1 Comments Read More →
Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

Don’t Let Looking at Data Blind You From Seeing Reality

I recently read an article (a case study) about “Lean Six Sigma” in a publication. It’s not online, so I can’t link to it, nor do I really want to call them out by name. I didn’t like the article, in part, because it used the old, tired (and wrong) idea that “Six Sigma is […]

By September 10, 2013 18 Comments Read More →
Guest Post: Lean and Six Sigma (and My Son) Require Skills-Based Learning

Guest Post: Lean and Six Sigma (and My Son) Require Skills-Based Learning

Mark’s Note: Today’s guest post is by Joe Swartz, my co-author for the book Healthcare Kaizen and the newly-released book The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. I’m hoping Joe will be a regular contributor in the future and I’ll be doing a podcast with him soon (update: listen here) about his experiences at the Franciscan […]

My Article on Lean Healthcare, Employee & Patient Safety in QHSE Focus

My Article on Lean Healthcare, Employee & Patient Safety in QHSE Focus

QHSE Focus, an iPad magazine, asked me to contribute a piece on Lean healthcare. They published my piece titled, “Employee & Patient Safety: The Only Moral Place to Start with Lean in Healthcare.” You can read a PDF of the article, thanks to the publishers at QHSE Focus. The PDF also contains the table of […]

Podcast #181 – Ron Pereira, Talking Lean and Six Sigma

Podcast #181 – Ron Pereira, Talking Lean and Six Sigma

Please upgrade your browser MP3 File (run time 30:30) My guest for Podcast #181 is a good friend, Ron Pereira of Gemba Academy, an outstanding provider of online Lean (and now Six Sigma) education. You might also know Ron from his blog posts (and now, also, a podcast) at LSSacademy.com. I was recently a guest […]

Recent Dilbert Cartoons Related to Improvement & Recognition

Recent Dilbert Cartoons Related to Improvement & Recognition

Two recent Dilbert cartoons resonated with me on themes related to improvement and employee recognition. Below is the first part of the strip (view the whole eight-panel Sunday cartoon here) talks about a comment Lean and Kaizen theme of having a “bias for action.” This is often talked about in a week-long “Kaizen Event.” Having […]

#Lean Healthcare: The Really Good, the Sort of Bad, and the Ugly

#Lean Healthcare: The Really Good, the Sort of Bad, and the Ugly

I had a speaking engagement yesterday for a large system, with the audience consisting mainly of hospital CEOs and CFOs. I was able to be around for the entire morning, which included a really outstanding kickoff talk by the system CEO (talking about process improvement as a key strategy) and followed by two internal P.I. […]

Apple Expected 10% Bad iPhones from Foxconn?

Apple Expected 10% Bad iPhones from Foxconn?

I’d read before that Apple’s supplier (Foxconn) was having trouble assembling iPhone 5s to Apple’s standards… but this article contains some shocking stats: “Apple Returns Millions of Defective iPhone 5 Smartphones.” Millions… 5 to 8 million defective phones returned. Foxconn has only been able to achieve an 80% quality rating… suggesting 2 in 10 have […]

Live Blogging AME Spring Conference: 17 Years of Lean at Autoliv

Live Blogging AME Spring Conference: 17 Years of Lean at Autoliv

I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to visit an Autoliv factory in Utah – a great Lean company that makes air bags and protective devices for cars and passengers. I was really impressed with Autoliv, as were the healthcare leaders from across North America who visited as part of the Healthcare Value Network efforts. […]

Horrible Misinformation about Lean from Minitab

Horrible Misinformation about Lean from Minitab

First, nothing below in my post really matters when compared to the horror of the cowardly terrorist bombings in Boston yesterday. I know that area well, having lived in Boston two different times (but not running the marathon, of course). A friend who ran the marathon today is thankfully OK, as are other friends in […]

Just Call it “5S Six Sigma” Instead of “Lean Sigma,” Please

Just Call it “5S Six Sigma” Instead of “Lean Sigma,” Please

My whole career, I have worked with the Lean methodology (aka the Toyota Production System). I’ve just really never done much with Six Sigma. I’ve read about Six Sigma and I took a Green Belt course when I worked at Dell in the late 90s. I’ve studied and used statistical methods (especially what I learned […]

By October 22, 2012 23 Comments Read More →