steve s dojo
Steve's Dojo: Continuing Lean Six Sigma Education
Complete archive of the lean six sigma training series: Steve's Dojo.

ne of Steve Johnson's duties at U of U Health is developing our lean six sigma culture and skill base. In the spirit of continuous learning (his included) he posted a series of bite-sized bits on Accelerate. In each post he addresses a lean six sigma topic, from foundational principles to the deep weeds.

The Dojo Archives

The Two Rules of Process Mapping

Process mapping is easy. But also hard. This is a common conundrum with value improvement. Here's part 1 of 4, wherein rules are distinguished from guidance.

Reasons to Build a Process MapReasons to Build a Process Map (Part 2 of 4)

It’s part 2 of 4 in our series on process mapping. This post is about the reasons to build a process map. They’re inexpensive and so very often bear fruit for your effort.

Common Facilitation Challenges When Process MappingCommon Facilitation Challenges When Process Mapping (Part 3 of 4)

It’s the third consecutive post in the Dojo’s summer of process mapping. Today I discuss 4 common facilitation issues LSS practitioners can avoid prior to, and during a mapping effort.

Common Mistakes When Process Mapping

It’s post 4 of 4 in the Dojo’s process mapping series, which means summer is almost over. Today’s post is a listcicle of technical items to watch for in your process map.

Avoiding a Fashion Faux-pas: 6 Steps To the Perfect Tie Length

Improvement science is about making everyday tasks easier and faster. This week, Steve uses the 6-phase value improvement methodology to build a highly-reliable morning routine.

Check Sheets: One Weird Trick to Gather Meaningful Data

Steve describes a genius (yet simple) data collection tool: the check sheet. Colline Prasad and the SSTU nursing team used check sheets in their work reducing call lights, a project that turned out to be a triple-win; an intervention that improved patient perception of responsiveness, increased patient safety, and decreased nurse distraction.

Standard Work in Health Care vs Manufacturing (Part 1)

Steve discusses how standard work in health care differs from standard work in manufacturing environments. If that’s not enticement enough, the post contains some macro-economics, and a touch of linguistics.

Standard Work in Health Care: Examples (Part 2)

Last time in the Dojo, the topic was standard work. This time, Steve gives local examples of great standard work within our walls. Though we still have a long way to go, we’re off to a great start.

Just-in-Time Information with Ken Kawamoto

If Apple Maps and Garmin can provide just-in-time information, why can’t health care? Lots of legitimate reasons, but we’re making significant strides. This week, the Dojo goes moto as Ken Kawamoto, Associate Chief Medical Information Officer and Director of Knowledge Management and Mobilization, helps us understand how we’re creating better information at the right time.

Follow Along Pareto Analysis

Pareto analyses separate the vital few from the trivial many. It’s a narrowing tool used by data-driven lean six sigma facilitators to bring focus to a value improvement effort. Steve walks us through an example in today’s Dojo.

7 Phrases for Lean Six Sigma Practitioners to Avoid

This little list is to help lean six sigma (LSS) practitioners communicate more effectively. Communicating is 50-80% of the work in LSS and the concepts are often counterintuitive, so Steve's developed this list to make your life easier—avoid these.

The Cultural Phenomenon of Groupthink

Facilitation is the art of guiding a team through a problem-solving process. It requires a set of skills that can be learned. In this week’s dojo Steve takes on the first of many facilitation topics. This is where we leave the linear process space and enter the equally important but circuitous people space.

Why Your Dermatologist is a Rock Star

If in previous dojo posts, you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, today’s post will satisfy your desire. In it we describe the mysterious ways of Drs. Chris Hull’s and Mark Eliason’s clinic practice. Unless you’re a patient, you can’t witness their clinic, but this post is even better than the real thing.

The Case Against Pie Charts

Why do we like pie charts so much? Because it’s food? Is it the fun colors? Are we soothed by the paradox of an unending cycle implied by something so perfectly complete? Elton John’s lyrics are true, no? “All are agreed as they join the stampede...” pie charts are overused.

A Look Back at the Project Charter

Steve takes a look back at the Project Charter with a dramatic retelling of actual history.

Box and Whisker Plots (Part 1)

What is a box and whisker plot? Why do I need a box and whisker plot? How do I construct a box and whisker plot (sometimes shortened to “box plot”) in Excel 2013 or lower? It's a day in the deep weeds, dojo folks. Steve heard your questions and has dedicated the next two dojos to giving you all the answers.

Box and Whisker Plots (Part 2)

Part 1 was on how to build a box and whisker plot. In Part 2 we're defining whisker length and visualizing variation within and between the variable groups. This time we're giving you answers to the questions no one has asked.

Why Don't We Use DMAIC?

After all, we are a lean six sigma operation, and DMAIC is a standard methodology. At Utah, we’ve adopted a revised improvement methodology. In this week’s post of Steve’s Dojo (or continuing Lean Six Sigma education), Steve explains why.

The Clarifying Power of Histograms and Run Charts

Why use the honest histogram and reliable run chart? They contain more information and communicate it with greater clarity than the deceptive duo of mean and standard deviation. In this week's post of Steve's Dojo (or continuing Lean Six Sigma education), Steve puts the data in plain perspective.

Why Don’t We Teach the Eighth Waste?

The 8th waste is underutilization of employee talent. In this week's post of Steve's Dojo (or continuing Lean Six Sigma education), Steve revisits Taiichi Ohno’s "7 wastes" and answers why he doesn't teach the "8th waste" at University of Utah.

The Healthcare Value-Added Test

What if you could redesign healthcare from the ground up? If you were to start with the healthcare value-added test applied to each decision, what would healthcare delivery look, sound, and feel like? Would you be able to shake off the preconceived notions of what it takes to run a healthcare system? Would hospitals be recognizable? In this week's post of Steve's Dojo (or continuing Lean Six Sigma education), we revisit the healthcare value-added test.


Steve Johnson

Director, Value Engineering, University of Utah Health

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