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The Kano Model of customer satisfaction is an interesting and intuitive tool for just about any kind of business. It’s not something I formally learned about until about a year ago, but learning it felt more like discovering something that had been around me all along than learning any sort of new process, opening my […] Read the full article →

SMED is a system, more of a philosophy, designed to reduce changeover time on equipment. Designed by Shigeo Shinjo, when properly implemented it has been shown to reduce changeover times by 94% (as an example, something that previously took an hour would take less than 4 minutes to complete). While this may seem like an […] Read the full article →

Strategic planning is one of the most important factors in a project running smoothly and ending successfully. It is also sadly neglected or misused far, far too often. What is strategic planning? Simply put, it’s exactly what it sounds like. You plan your overall medium to long term strategy for a project or business, refine […] Read the full article →

Common probability dictates that 99.73% of all outcomes will fall within 3 standard deviations of the mean (above or below); this is Three Sigma. For most purposes, this is a fine system. There are very few scenarios in daily life or most professions where 99.73% certainty or accuracy is not acceptable. But…manufacturing is one of […] Read the full article →

A control plan is a 14-column table designed to list all product and process inspection points needed for a defect-less outcome. This is primarily used in manufacturing, but can be adapted for other fields. While very long and detailed, the 14 entries are pretty simple overall. The columns are as follows: 1. Part/Process Number: The […] Read the full article →

Production part approval process is one of the finest ways of ensuring the quality standards of Components supplied and their production process. Production part approval process is prevalent in many manufacturing industries; however, the need was felt by the automotive industry to standardize the process of material and manufacturing quality. Hence, production part approval process […] Read the full article →

The RACI chart (or Cairo or RASCI chart, among other names; they’re largely interchangeable) is a powerful tool for improving team organization and cohesion. People are inherently flawed and forgetful (and sometimes lazy), and charts like this help diminish the effects of these traits. The chart makes sure everybody knows their roles and responsibilities and […] Read the full article →

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY) is a concept at once complex and simple. It is used to measure how many non-defective, non-reworked examples of a given product are likely to be produced based on how many iterations or process steps your product goes through. To understand RTY, you need to understand a simpler formula for First […] Read the full article →

DFMEA is a detailed, methodical method for identifying potential failure points and causes for projects. While initially developed for rocketry (where rockets have a high risk of failure due to complexity and failures are usually catastrophic), it is now used in many industries to reduce failures that can be avoided. DFMEA is used to identify […] Read the full article →

The use of skill matrices in the workplace is spotty. Having worked in several industries (construction, retail, web development, games) it seems it is the kind of technique that companies will either go all-in on or not use at all; there is very little middle ground. As a result, skill matrices have an incredible level […] Read the full article →

Balanced Scorecard is a simple concept, but one I often see is not fully understood by people I associate with. It’s easy to see why, with many explanations of the system (particularly from the Balanced Scorecard Institute) getting bogged down in the details and history. So today I’m going to break down the basics of […] Read the full article →

There is a common misconception that the words “accuracy” and “precision” mean the same thing. To be quite fair, in colloquial speech, they are often used to mean the same thing. Both mean to hit your target, correct? Something which is accurate is also precise, correct? Well, not quite. Let’s properly define out terms: Accuracy: […] Read the full article →