Podcast #264 – Tyrone Butler on Lean, Six Sigma, ITIL & More


My guest for Episode #264 is a friend from here in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, Tyrone Butler. He is LSS Managing Partner at his company, Butler Active Business Solutions LLC. He has a background in the Air Force, he pre-dated me at Dell Computer in the 1990s, and he's being doing a lot of work all over the world with Lean, Six Sigma, and other methodologies for improving software and project delivery, like ITIL.

Tyrone is one of the first to hold the “Certified Executive Master Black Belt (CEMBB)” certification through Mikel J. Harry, PhD.

We first met probably back in 2010 when we were both part of a Lean group that went to visit the Toyota plant in San Antonio (which I blogged about here and here).

In this episode, he'll share some of his experiences, including a presentation to Michael Dell, his thoughts on the combination of Lean and Six Sigma, and methods that he has seen work in software development and other settings.

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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/264.

Topics for this episode:

  • How did you get introduced to Lean? And what was the context compared to Six Sigma and other methods?
  • You've been involved in software – what are some of the specific improvement methods that are used in software?
  • What's the difference in leading improvement in manufacturing vs. software settings?
  • What have you learned over time about “Lean Sigma” or the combination of Lean and Six Sigma?
  • Why you “shouldn't attempt to do any Six Sigma with Lean first.”

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple iTunes.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.

Thanks for listening!


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. Sam Selay says

    Great Podcast. The example Tyrone shared about segregation on the packing line at Dell and the example Mark shared about segregation of medications reminds me of projects I’ve done in warehouses by segregating like items on locations or simple only allowing one item per location to reduce defects and improve flow. I also LOVE Tyrone’s passion for CI. It comes across vividly. We need more passionate people like Tyrone sounding the CI trumpet.

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