Auburn Works

Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

All Blog Posts (704)

Getting to the Right Level

Over the years I have provided technical assistance for those that are employing the six sigma process improvement methodologies.  During this time, I have observed how difficult it is for team leaders to get started.  Every initiative has its “Critical Success Factors”.  Most will include one or more of the following:

  • Top management leadership and commitment
  • Clearly defined roles and responsibilities  
  • Clear and measurable goals/results
  • Strategy…

Added by Mark M. Clark on May 6, 2014 at 4:18pm — No Comments

Lean Reading List

The Auburn Lean Team has developed a recommended readings list for continuous improvement professionals that want to gain a good introductory understanding on why and how the lean production philosophy can and should be applied to the industry. Books are grouped by the 3 elements of a successful Lean Transformation - Purpose - Process -…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on April 6, 2014 at 7:01am — No Comments

5 Reasons People Are Actively Engaged In Their Work

Seventy-one percent of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" in their work, meaning they are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and are less likely to be productive. That leaves nearly one-third of American workers who are "engaged," or involved in and enthusiastic about their work and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner. This trend remained relatively stable throughout 2011.  Americans' levels of engagement at work are generally…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on December 3, 2013 at 11:17pm — No Comments

Economic Update Provided to the Auburn University Bank Directors’ College

We are pleased to announce that Dr. David Altig will provide the Economic Update for our Bank Directors’ College.   Dr. Altig is the Executive Vice President and Director of Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

In addition to advising the Bank president on monetary policy and related matters, Dr. Altig oversees the Bank’s regional executives and the Bank’s research department.   He also serves as a member of the Bank’s management and discount committees.  He leads the…


Added by Walker Jackson on October 30, 2013 at 3:17pm — No Comments

Is it Process Variability or Measurement System Variability?

Do you know the magnitude of your Measurement System Variability?  If you don’t, then you don’t know if you have a process variability problem or a gage problem!

For example, let’s say the gage variability is 50%.  In other words, 50% of the variability you see in the process is caused by the gage.  This may cause you to reject good parts or accept bad parts and ship them to your customer.  In a situation where you don’t know the contribution of gage variability; then you must…


Added by John David Hayes on October 9, 2013 at 10:35am — No Comments

2014 BDC Sponsors

We are pleased to announce that the sponsors for the 2014 Auburn University Bank Directors’ College (BDC) are continuing their exclusive sponsorship from previous conferences.

Our Founding Sponsor, Jones Walker, LLP (Law Firm) has been with us since the beginning and, in fact, was instrumental in introducing the concept of the conference to Auburn University’s College of Business (Department of Finance) by hosting the event.  Jones Walker LLP provides an extensive range of…


Added by Walker Jackson on September 6, 2013 at 10:56am — No Comments

AU Bank Directors' College Update (August 29th)

The 2014 edition of the Auburn University Bank Directors’ College is progressing with subjects and topics being discussed plus the addition of a registration level.

With this conference being held on February 20th & 21st, we are very conscience about selecting current and relevant subjects that will benefit the bank directors and senior management who attend our event.  With banking rules and regulations changing so quickly, we’ll select the subjects that, we…


Added by Walker Jackson on August 29, 2013 at 10:02am — No Comments

Controlling Costs Through Safety & Medical Management

Uncertainty thy name is healthcare.  About the only thing we can count on with healthcare, particularly in an industrial situation, is continually increasing costs.

In addition to the personal impacts of a workplace injury to the employee, companies lose as much as $60 billion in decreased productivity each year.  Lost time since 2006 has increased 13% and injury costs have increased about 14%.  Only about 25% of the total costs of a workplace injury are covered by Workers’…


Added by David Hicks on July 21, 2013 at 3:20pm — No Comments

2014 Auburn University Bank Directors' College

The next Auburn University Bank Directors' College will be held in 2014!


For the past 3 years, our Bank Directors' College has been held in the Fall which meant that some of the material / topics covered were nearly a year old.  In an effort to present the most current and up-to-date information on the most pressing subjects, we determined that having our conference early in the year would be most beneficial to our attendees.


With the idea of providing the…


Added by Walker Jackson on June 27, 2013 at 4:53pm — No Comments

How would it affect your hospital if your HAI’s were made public?

What is an HAI?  It is a hospital acquired infection.

The  AARP Magazine (April/May 2013 issue) reported the Leapfrog Group’s ratings on the safest hospitals American Hospitals.  There were 67 hospitals rated “America’s Safest Hospitals”.  None of the safest hospitals were in Alabama.  Also there were no top rated hospitals in Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, or Oklahoma.

None of us want to go to a hospital and get an infection that could harm or kill…


Added by John David Hayes on June 13, 2013 at 4:18pm — No Comments

5 Lessons From A Professional Change Agent –

Carol Kinsey Goman, Professional Change Agent for 25 years – states “ … The turbulent economy increases pressure to “do more with less.”…Customers are demanding “better, faster, cheaper” everything. Competition is fierce. The pace of change is accelerating. “

Sound like your challenges as a Continuous Improvement Team Member??

She states “leadership success belongs to those who can keep a work force resilient and engaged while dealing with a tsunami of change, complexity and…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on May 9, 2013 at 6:39am — No Comments

Is Lean Training Enough to be Successful in Lean and Six Sigma?

I have been thinking for some time that there is a better approach to make Lean and Sigma work in your process.  When I hear that a company or hospital has abandoned it Lean or Six Sigma programs, I wonder what went wrong.  Why did it fail?  What was not done that caused the effort to fail?  What was not done that caused the effort to fail?  What can we change that will make these efforts more successful?

I just read a blog from Blair Nickle, Sr Manager at HPP that wrote an article…


Added by John David Hayes on April 18, 2013 at 10:49am — No Comments

KASH - Knowledge, Attitude, Skills & Habits

I was recently introduces to the KASH model and thought it was an excellent tool to share.

Each team member (TM) brings four distinct characteristics to an organization – Knowledge, Skills, Attitude and Habit – which affect performance and hence the success of the individual.  While most of the organizations focus on selecting employees based on the knowledge and skills they possess, successful companies differentiate themselves by focusing not only on the Knowledge and Skills…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on March 29, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

Don’t Leave the Accountant out of Lean Healthcare

I have just read a report written by Matt Hanrion, Senior Manager with Healthcare Performance Partners.  The book, Lean-Led Hospital Design: Creating the Efficient Hospital of the Future cited research that found more than 50 percent of hospital organizations in America now have some form of a Lean Healthcare initiative in progress (was referenced in Matt’s report).  Less than 10 percent were having measureable success with their initiative.

Matt pointed out some problems and…


Added by John David Hayes on March 28, 2013 at 11:54am — No Comments

Lean Turnaround - by Art Byrne

Lean Turnaround presents the premise that PRODUCTIVITY = WEALTH – Thus Lean improves VA activity and therefore creates wealth.  Art Byrne presents 3 management principles and 4 Lean fundamentals.

Principle 1 - Lean is the strategy

Improving the  Value Added  activities is the  foundational core of your strategy;  Focus on process not results,  better VA=new strategic options and Lean is a time based growth strategy

Principle 2 - Lead from the…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on February 20, 2013 at 1:50pm — No Comments

Riding a Bike

Riding a bike – Once you learn to ride a bike you never forget - Working in a system is like riding a bike – We pedal faster if needed or slower, turning and braking we just have to manage the system – Now If we had to build a bike how many of us could accomplish this task?? How about building a production system??  Often the questions asked are: Why are there so few examples of great companies? Why do so many Lean implementations fail?? Maybe the question should be why do we expect our…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on February 17, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Standardization the prerequisite for any meaningful improvement…

Were one to distill the advice of Edwards Deming to its essence, it would be “don’t tweak.”  Respond to noise in a non disciplined fashion, and all you do is exacerbate what you meant to improve.  Hence, Statistical Process Control to distinguish real problems from normal fluctuations in repeatable processes and  PDCA cycle  to impose the rigor of the scientific method on change. Of course, Deming was not the first to arrive at this view that discipline in design is a precursor to discipline…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on February 10, 2013 at 6:21pm — No Comments

To Change A Company, You Need Intrapreneurs

Hilton and other leading multinational corporations are taking the lead in becoming more entrepreneurial within their  businesses with a focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts.  Hilton's Jennifer Silberman tells how in this FastCompany article.

It can be hard to get a big, slow company to change its ways. It’s the efforts of courageous intrapreneurs that can change their trajectory. The key is to make your company a place where…


Added by David Mixson on January 22, 2013 at 10:14am — No Comments

The Dream Manager

The Dilemma

The future of your organization and the potential of your employees are intertwined; their destinies are linked.

An organization can only become the best version of itself to the extent that the people who drive the organization are striving to become best versions of themselves.   This is universally true when the organization is a business, a school, government, a not-for-profit, or a sports team.  To the extent that a CEO, an executive team, and a group of…


Added by Hank Czarnecki on January 21, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

What are the characteristics of a good problem solver?

Is this an individual that uses: Plan, Do, Check and Act?

Or does this individual use the Six Sigma methodology of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC).

No one can improve a process that is constantly changing.  We must stabilize the process to get the variation under control.  This work would fall into standards for each work station and/or job and training of employees.  We also need to collect data that measures what we want to control.

Managers want…


Added by John David Hayes on January 16, 2013 at 1:12pm — No Comments

Monthly Archives











ATAC on Facebook

ATAC on LinkedIn

ATAC on Twitter

© 2018   Created by Auburn Works.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service