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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

July 2012 Blog Posts (6)

Philosophy, Strategy, Tactical and Operational Planning for Process Improvement

Most have agreed that process improvement is a process in and of itself. Most of the time, we are referring to the operational processes such as the DMAIC or the PDCA methodology. However, if we consider this from a higher vantage point, we can identify a process that is somewhat hierarchical, but could be considered a serial process as well. For example, everybody realizes that we must first have a philosophy regarding process improvement. From the philosophy, we create a strategy. From the…


Added by Mark M. Clark on July 31, 2012 at 8:45pm — No Comments

Revisiting Turnover

It's amazing how time flies when you are collecting data! My last post was about the role managerial skills play in managerial performance. I had hoped to be able to report some results from my research at this point, but I am still in the process of collecting data so I'll have to wait on that. In the meantime, I thought it might be helpful to revisit a topic I covered a couple of years ago: turnover. 

A recent HR Magazine article on turnover cites a number of statistics that…


Added by Brian Flynn on July 27, 2012 at 10:51am — No Comments

First Pass Yield versus Warranty Costs

Does an improvement in first pass yield always lead to reductions in warranty costs.  I think it is intuitive to think that this is the case.  However, there are many variables that go into product or part reliability.  Part design is an important variable, as well as other input and process variables.  It might depend on how first pass yield is defined.  Some companies will include rework in their first pass yield calculations, however, it seems reasonable to think that this would only…


Added by Mark M. Clark on July 23, 2012 at 10:25am — No Comments

Lean Six Sigma in the Federal Government

Conservative presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has been promoting Lean Six Sigma as a means by which to reform the U.S. government. Among several endeavors, in mid-August he held a teleconference on the topic, telling listeners his interest in lean and Six Sigma dates back to the mid-1980s. He also said Lean Six Sigma would be the centerpiece of his campaign.

Several other conservative presidential candidates also have expressed interest in…


Added by Mark M. Clark on July 17, 2012 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Process Door versus Data Door

Some people have compared the quest for problem solving to the quest of finding a treasure.  In the movie, National Treasure, Nicolas Cage employed a map, physical clues, and a long list of historical knowledge that was handed down through many generations.  After years of searching, Cage and his team, which was made up of his father, girlfriend and an associate, finally broke the mystery.  Before they found the treasure, they examined several different avenues which led to a number of…


Added by Mark M. Clark on July 13, 2012 at 9:57am — No Comments

Culture Change Through the Toyota Kata- Practical Leadership Tips

I’ve heard culture defined as, “what most of the people do, most of the time.” Leaders are constantly faced with the challenge to improve their financial situation, but culture often seems to hold them back (Pay, 2008).

The Toyota Kata process is a guidebook for obtaining a more…


Added by David Hicks on July 5, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

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