Six Sigma Pointers is hosted by Tom Pyzdek, noted author and authority on process excellence. Pointers cover all important process excellence topics, including lean, quality, TQM, SPC, ISO 9000, and many others.
Individual Episodes (MP3 format)
March 18th, 2009
Tom provides a little background on the current economic crisis, and some pointers to help you survive and prosper.
December 14th, 2008
January 4th, 2009
There are many reasons an organization might consider doing Six Sigma. For example, survival! This podcast presents a list of 10 other reasons.
December 14th, 2008
Is Lean or Six Sigma a Flavor of the Month? What does this derisive label actually mean? Listen to this podcast and learn more!
October 12, 2008
We all want leadership support, right? But if you’re not careful to specify precisely what you want your leaders to do for you, you may find yourself worse off than before. 10:19.
July 5, 2008
Tom presents the audio track of the first lesson of his online Black Belt training. His approach is unique because it presents the various tools in the context of how they are applied. If you are not yet a Six Sigma Black Belt, you will discover what is taught in Black Belt training. If you’re already a Black Belt, this podcast will help you understand when and how each tool is applied. 22:49.
July 1, 2008
One important Black Belt activity is to use the organization’s data warehouse to explore cause and effect relationships by building models using multiple linear regression. This isn’t as easy as just throwing all of the candidate Xs into a software package and crunching away. This podcast describes the technique Tom teaches in Black Belt training. 5:32.
May 24, 2008
Mindtool’s Rachel Salaman interviews Tom about a wide range of Six Sigma topics. Listen to hear what Six Sigma is, where Six Sigma should (and should not) be used, what are the benefits and pitfalls that await Six Sigma users, where Six Sigma is heading in the future, and much more! 31:28.
May 12, 2008
The International Academy for Quality (IAQ) is an independent, self-supported, non-profit, non-governmental organization that is administered by a collegial assembly of Academicians who have been elected by their peers from the most respected, active and experienced protagonists of quality in the world. In this podcast Tom interviews IAQ Chairman, Spencer Hutchens, Jr. 10:14.
April 27, 2008
How good is that process? How do you know? This episode discusses the ins and outs of measuring the process to make it possible to predict future performance. 9:56.
April 12, 2008
Can you perform designed experiments on processes that are not in a state of statistical control? This podcast tells you where six eminent expert statisticians come down on this issue, and Tom adds his summary of the debate and his 2-cents worth. 10:19.
April 7, 2008
Variance inflation is a problem frequently encountered by Six Sigma Black Belts who are performing regression analysis. It can lead to serious problems with the analysis, such as regression coefficients with the wrong sign. Listen to this podcast to learn about variance inflation factors, a metric that quantifies variance inflation, and the causes of and cures for variance inflation. 7:04.
April 2, 2008
Can we really use Six Sigma to improve the integrity of the organization? You bet! Listen to this episode to find out how. 4:58.
March 23, 2008
Quality Function Deployment, abbreviated as QFD, has been around since 1966. It proved valuable enough to become a standard part of Six Sigma. But much about QFD has changed in recent years. Listen to discover how to supercharge your Six Sigma activities with the new and improved QFD! 6:54.
March 2, 2008
Transylvania sucking the life’s blood out of their victims. Like vampires, there are a number of approaches to quality improvement and control that can suck the life out of your Six Sigma results. 13:44.
October 29, 2007
In Part II Tom discusses an approach to problem solving that has served him well for 40 years. 20:51.
October 21, 2007
What does it take to be an effective Six Sigma Black Belt? This two-part podcast tackles this question. In Part I Tom discusses the role of the Black Belt, motivating others, working with teams as a Black Belt, management’s responsibilities to teams, proper team structure, how to get the voice of the process, and problem solving. 10:09.
September 11, 2007
Can the Six Sigma approach help us approach the issue of global warming? What would one do in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control phases of a hypothetical Six Sigma project on global warming? 16:04.
May 19, 2007
Six Sigma has done well for large companies, but can it work for small businesses too? And if so, what adjustments should be made? This is the topic of an interview in the Business Under Fire interview series with Tom Pyzdek by Carol Dickson-Carr of Power Ed Solutions and Managing Personal Resources and Bea Fields of Five Star Leader. This podcast features that interview. 34:48.
May 13, 2007
Control charts are an important tool commonly used in Six Sigma. But what do control charts tell you? How can we determine what to plot on the control chart? How should we determine the sample size and sampling frequency? What do control limits mean? How do we use control charts? These questions and more are answered in this podcast. 11:32.
April 8, 2007
There’s no such thing as a Six Sigma project without obstacles to overcome. In this Podcast Tom Pyzdek discusses a couple of very common problems and how to overcome them. 9:59.
March 2, 2007
Net Promoter is the latest, greatest way to measure the way your customers feel about you. This podcast discusses how NP is calculated and used in Six Sigma. 10:45.
February 7, 2007
If you don’t know for sure what your customers are looking for from your organization, chances are you’re not giving it to them. You are probably wasting money and maybe even putting your very survival at risk.
This podcast tells you how to obtain the “Voice of the Customer,” or VOC. It walks you step-by-step through a process of building a model of customer requirements using the Critical Incident Technique. A model of customer requirements is the starting point for Six Sigma. 12:11.
January 21, 2007
The mean is an attempt to summarize a lot of data with a single number that represents a “typical” value. Tom discusses the pros and cons of several commonly used statistics. He also presents a quickie mean that can be computed in a pinch without a computer or calculator. 9:51.
January 9, 2007
Nine critical criteria that a Black Belt should consider when deciding which project to pursue. 9:33.
December 29, 2006
You’ve gathered the data and ran the regression analysis. Strangely, the biggest regression weights have insignificant p-values. Some weights even have the wrong sign! What the heck is going on here? Listen to this podcast to find out. 17:48.
December 7, 2006
Is Six Sigma a fad? Has it been widely discredited? Is it incompatible with innovation? These are claims made in the Sunday, November 26, 2006 Dilbert comic strip. Tom Pyzdek discusses each of these claims in depth. 14:38.