Kevin McManus 

Using our extra day 

In his February 2012 column in Industrial Engineer, performance columnist Kevin McManus says a leap year means that all salaried employees will give a free day of work to their employers. We can choose to make better use of this extra time that is built into our calendars every four years. How will you spend it?

IIE chapter presents Sustaining Lean-Sigma Results and CultureIIE chapter presents Sustaining Lean-Sigma Results and Culture 

On April 11, IIE's Rochester Chapter will present a one-day event for lean-sigma practitioners, engineers and managers. Registration closes on March 23.

From the Web Quality is every workers' focus at Life Technologies 

In a Jan. 24, 2012, article from, Texas-based Life Technologies Inc. has integrated its quality control function into its production teams to improve product flow and visibility. MidwayUSA 'will be the best-run business in America

The CEO of outdoor supplies purveyor MidwayUSA, the 2009 winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, takes aim at quality and organizational excellence, according to a Jan. 24, 2012, article from Inc.

Numbers are not enough 

The beauty and elegance of lean Six Sigma and other continuous improvement initiatives is that the same set of tools, techniques and methods can be used across the full range of processes from drinking a cup of coffee to the entire operation of a multinational corporation. The shared commonality is that a sequence of steps is performed to produce a desired output. However, according to this article from the September 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer, the tools of lean Six Sigma are limited and constrained by the quality of the measured data.

Improve how you improve 

According to this feature from the August 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer, improvement is the business religion and solid fundamental platform that makes everything else better. If lean Six Sigma is not successful at producing sustainable results in your organization, it is not the fault of lean Six Sigma.

FORSCOM volunteer puts Lean Six Sigma skills to work in Iraq

A process improvement specialist and Lean Six Sigma master black belt from the U.S. Army Forces Command is helping evaluate plans for removing U.S. military personnel and equipment from Iraq by the end of the year, according to this June 6, 2011, article.

The good, the bad and the quality

Two college friends from Cookeville, Tenn., have put a new spin on Six Sigma instruction. The video has been building an audience on the Internet. Read this feature about its creation from the May 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer.

Quality in reverse 

This article from the March 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer presents the most important decisions regarding the configuration, the trade-offs involved, and a general characterization of the methods commonly used to achieve it.

Marketing Daily: Brands recognized for customer service excellence 

A vice president with J.D. Power & Associates said the implementation of Six Sigma has helped improve customer feedback for five automotive brands, in this Feb. 18, 2011, story from Marketing Daily.

Marketing Daily: Brands recognized for customer service excellence 

A vice president with J.D. Power & Associates said the implementation of Six Sigma has helped improve customer feedback for five automotive brands, in this Feb. 18, 2011, story from Marketing Daily.

Better processes make good eats 

According to this January 2011 feature in Industrial Engineer, hands-on experiences and a brief lean Six Sigma case study show the possibilities for continuous quality improvement in the food industry.

Meausring the cost of quality 

According to this July/August 2010 article in Industrial Management, both producers and consumers lose more in dollar value due to the results of poor quality within manufacturing. Although identification of quality costs theoretically is possible, it may prove to be unrealistic with today's accounting systems.

Fusion in the classroom

Faculty in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University give lessons on how to integrate lean sigma certification into an IE program.

Sugar! Color! Process variation and quality control!

In this story from the January 2010 issue of IE, a Brock University professor and his students took six popular North American candies and gathered data needed for process and quality improvement.

Are you capable?

In his December 2009 IE column, Kevin McManus says businesses should attempt a new approach at how they set business goals and how to achieve them. "Don't set goals that extend beyond the current process limits unless you are clear on how you are going to change the system to make this happen."

Web exclusive Teaching quality with candy: Net weight and color mix

From the January 2010 issue of Industrial Engineer, quality management students learn how to evaluate the capabilities of competing manufacturing processes through candy variation.

Ideal, but rarely real 

In his November 2009 IE column, Kevin McManus reiterates how the dream of "zero defects" will more than likely never become a reality. But systems can still be designed to prevent major process defects such as lost customers, product recalls and fatalities from happening over an extended period of time.

Performance-eroding decisions 

In his October IE column, Kevin McManus pleads with readers to avoid making long-term mistakes in their careers by examining what path they really want to follow as well as determining whether the workplace has become a bore or if it preventing career advancement.

Turning to service sectors 

The economic downturn starting in 2008 hasn't stopped manufacturing companies from trying to break out of their box and into service processes, such as accounting and logistics. But is now a good time to try it?

Web exclusive Define differences before deploying Lean Six Sigma 

It’s important to understand the differences between service and factory applications in order to optimize this win-win tool.

Victims of atrophy 

In his August IE column, Kevin McManus stresses the need to fend off the gradual skill erosion that comes from our modern technological conveniences.

Our need for speed 

Quality is often the antithesis of speed, according to Kevin McManus’ July IE column.

Simulation and Lean Six Sigma integration for improvement of hospital operations

This paper demonstrates that animated simulation can be effectively integrated with DMAIC, a lean Six Sigma approach to study patient throughput problems.

IE Case Study: Water works 

The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority used Six Sigma to stabilize operations at one of its facilities.

Using lean Six Sigma to reduce surgery cancellation rate

Through the introduction of lean Six Sigma, Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind., was able to reduce surgery cancellations and thereby increase capacity.

Undirected self-direction 

Kevin McManus advocates having a self-directed work force in his June IE column.

webinar Applying Six Sigma to improve patient safety

Out of gas 

Companies have to learn to address mental fatigue as well as physical fatigue to improve performance, according to Kevin McManus in his May IE column.

Book review implementing Six Sigma: Smarter solutions using statistical methods 

This book by Forrest W. Breyfogle is a reference text for the tools used in Six Sigma projects intended for an audience of green belts and black belts who will be applying the techniques.

Customer service shortage

In his April IE column, Kevin McManus asserts that the definition of great service has disappeared.

webinar Readiness for lean Six Sigma

Learn key success factors for integrating lean and Six Sigma into a health care setting in this free webinar.

No-cost change

Kevin McManus extols the virtues of human capital in his latest IE column

Patient safety with Six Sigma, lean or theory of constraints

Understanding between health care clinicians and engineers is facilitated by presenting three improvement methods compared with patient safety.

The Baldrige journey 

The story of Mesa Products Inc.’s quest for excellence

Where’s the BBQ? 

Behavior-based safety approaches aren’t complicated, according to Kevin McManus’ latest IE column.

Embracing mathematical culture 

Statistics and hypothesis tests are perfect process aids.

Where do you rank?

In his January IE column, Kevin McManus pleads for caution when setting up competitive recognition systems in the workplace.

Lollipops for excellence 

See how Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., implemented a comprehensive quality program in the August IE cover story.

book review Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World’s Top Corporations

Mikel Harry and Richard Schroeder helped pioneer Six Sigma while working at Motorola in the 1980s, and their book shows how Six Sigma is working at companies such as General Electric, Polaroid and Allied Signal.  

An introduction to Six Sigma

This paper gives an overview of how to decrease variation for students and new quality practitioners.

Reduction of variation in a welding process using operational Six Sigma methodology

This paper identifies the root causes of failure for a welding process at a manufacturing plant and proposes to use operational Six Sigma methodology to eliminate the problem.

Patient safety with Six Sigma, lean or theory of constraints

This presentation compares and contrasts improvement methods using health care to show how to select the best engineering approach and tool.

Linking lean Healthcare to Six Sigma: An emergency department case study

A Texas hospital’s emergency department is the focus of a Six Sigma, lean process improvement and computer simulation study to use DMAIC to re-engineer its key processes.

How project selection impacts quick results 

This paper explains why project selection for Six Sigma performance improvement programs is important.

Design for Six Sigma and phase gate integration case study

This paper documents the integration of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) principles into an existing phase gate process of a new product development group at an automotive part supplier.

Computer simulation and Six Sigma tools applied to ED process improvement

This health care case study demonstrates the effectiveness of an integrated process improvement roadmap in improving quality, cost and speed in an emergency department.

Attacking waste and variation hospitalwide

Columbus Regional Hospital (CRH) in Ohio has been dedicated to the integration of lean sigma performance improvement into its normal business operations. This case study describes the hospital’s experience in the first two years of implementation and the initial results.

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