Back to Basics


Open Access

Back to Basics: Turning 'Who' Into 'How'

by Thomas, Kenneth

When things go wrong, the goal should be to move away from trying to determine “who” was at fault and quickly transition into a problem-solving mindset of “how” to make things better....

Open Access

Back to Basics: An Eye for Design

by Cole, Brandon

Six Sigma often comes under scrutiny because some organization leaders believe it stifles innovation. One fundamental misconception companies using Six Sigma often have is that it only focuses on process improvement....

Open Access

Back to Basics: Behold the Bullet List

by Dearing, Jack, and Stavrakas, Jenny

When using a cause and effect diagram to find root causes, beware of clutter. Using a list instead of a diagram makes the cause and effect tool easier to use and allows more flexibility. But whether you use the traditional diagram or a bullet list, put...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Bringing Beauty Back

by Bader, Bruce

Little Rapids is a disposable health and beauty aids manufacturer that sells to distributors and consumers. In early 2009, it received a frantic message from one of its largest customers, who said there were several problems with their orders and that...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Make a Choice

by McCain, Cecelia

A selection matrix, also known as a prioritization matrix, is a ranking technique used to evaluate potential projects, problems, alternatives or remedies based on specific criteria or quality dimensions. The selection matrix has many uses, such as when...

Open Access

Back to Basics: A Tool for Anyone

by Laman, Scott A.

The balanced scorecard is used to align business activities to an organization’s strategy and monitor organizational performance versus strategic goals. The scorecard traditionally contains information related to four categories: learning and growth...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Stakeholder Management 101

by Kangas, Philip J.

Stakeholder buy-in is an essential factor of any successful project, including Lean and Six Sigma process improvement efforts. A leading cause of project failure, however, is inattention to those stakeholders who have the greatest influence over...

Open Access

Back to Basics: Fantastic Four

by Jeruzal, Christopher

There are four crucial elements needed to create a basic equipment reliability program, and having these elements in place promises to provide a company with immediate results. The elements are: maintenance strategy, vibration analysis, lubrication...

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