# Category Archives: Articles

## Articles

Our library of articles provides continuous improvement knowledge base and valuable insights for those involved in quality improvement activities, for business professionals who want to obtain better performance results, for team leaders who want to motivate their staff and increase their performance, and for students who want to increase their knowledge in quality and improvement techniques.

We hope that you find our articles helpful and informative. We would like to hear from you if there is a topic out there that we have not written about and you think we should. So please feel free to get in touch!

# Best Practices

A Best Practice is that practice that has been proven to achieve the best results. It represents creative solutions to common problems and has the potential to be replicated internally and externally. Companies are able to learn from other successful organizations by adopting their best practices without the need to reinvent the wheel. Companies can also develop and share their own best practices and innovative solutions. Read more »

# Standard Work

Standard work means working on standards to produce correct and consistent results. It represents the best sequence and the most efficient methods to perform a process. It is considered a way to achieve the highest possible degree of consistency in any process. The purpose is to ensure that everything is done by everyone in a similar manner and carry out the work that achieves the highest quality, best service and lowest cost possible. Read more »

# Normality Testing in Minitab

The Normal Distribution is the commonest and the most useful continuous probability distribution. Many statistical tests require that the distribution is normal or nearly normal. Several tools are available to assess the normality of data including: using a histogram to visually explore the data, producing a normal probability plot, and carrying out an Anderson-Darling normality test. All these tools are easy to use in Minitab statistical software. Read more »

# Probability Distributions in Minitab

There are different shapes, models and classifications of probability distributions including the ones discussed in the probability distributions article. It is always a good practice to know the distribution of your data before proceeding with your analysis. Once you find the appropriate model, you can then perform your statistical analysis in the right manner. Minitab can be used to find the appropriate probability distribution of your data. Read more »

# Normal Distribution

Continuous distributions describe variables that take values from a continuous range and can be measured with any degree of accuracy. The commonest and the most useful continuous distribution is the normal distribution. The Normal Distribution is a symmetrical probability distribution where most results are located in the middle and few are spread on both sides. It has the shape of a bell and can entirely be described by its mean and standard deviation. Read more »

# Probability Distributions

Most improvement projects and scientific research studies are conducted with sample data rather than with data from an entire population. A Probability Distribution is a way to shape the sample data to make predictions and draw conclusions about an entire population. It refers to the frequency at which some events or experiments occur. It helps finding all the possible values a random variable can take between the minimum and maximum statistically possible values. Read more »

# Descriptive Statistics in Minitab

Minitab is a statistical software that allows you to enter your data to perform a wide range of statistical analyses on that data. It can be used to calculate many types of descriptive statistics including the ones discussed in the Descriptive Statistics article which can tell you a lot about your data in order to make more rational decisions. Descriptive statistics summaries in Minitab can be either quantitative or visual. Read more »

# Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics are methods of describing the characteristics of a data set. It includes calculating things such as the average of the data, its spread and the shape it produces. It involves describing, summarizing and organizing the data so it can be easily understood. Graphical displays are often used along with the quantitative measures to enable clarity of communication. Descriptive statistics helps exploring and making conclusions about the data in order to make more rational decisions. Read more »

# RACI Matrix

There are many ways to help clarify roles and responsibilities within a project, business process, or change initiative. Some prefer to use a hierarchical structure while others prefer to use a matrix-style format such as the RACI matrix. A RACI Matrix is a tool that brings clarity to the roles people play within a team working towards achieving a common goal. It describes the participation of the various roles in completing the required activities and deliverables. Read more »

# Value Analysis

Value is one of the most important concepts within Lean thinking and one of the most valuable outcomes Lean provides. Value Analysis focuses on what adds value to business processes as perceived by the customer. A process that does not add value to the product or service should be redesigned or eliminated altogether. Problem solving and continuous improvement efforts often focus on those aspects of processes that add no value to the customer and are therefore wasteful. Read more »

# Waste Analysis

In a Lean culture, Waste is anything that doesn’t add value from the customer’s perspective. It includes activities and resources beyond what is needed to meet customer requirements. Waste Analysis involves identifying, quantifying, eliminating and preventing waste in manufacturing, service and office environments. Many Lean tools and techniques focus on continually identifying and eliminating these wastes to bring efficiency and effectiveness to existing processes, and this is one of the core principles of Lean thinking. Read more »

# Relationship Mapping

A Relationship Map is a visual display that shows the relationships between individual items. It allows to see and analyze the logical links between the different elements of any situation. A simple example of a relationship map is your network of personal and social relations. Another example is what is called the Interrelationship Digraph which is a visual display of the cause and effect relationships involved in a process or problem. Read more »