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Tales of The Force, Case Studies in Structured Problem Solving

Presenter: Beverly Daniels, Sr. Director Operational Excellence, IDEXX, Westbrook, ME, USA

Keywords: Structured Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis, 5-Why

Industry: Automotive, Aviation/Space, Manufacturing

Level: Intermediate


Too frequently I hear from colleagues and students that they are confused about how to actually use the 'standard' statistical tools and methods to solve complex problems. Confusion surrounds which tool to use, how to use it, when to use it and most importantly how to use it when ideal conditions aren't met. This confusion is further magnified by the well-intended traditional suggestion of a fishbone diagram to frame the root cause search. Black Belts and Quality professionals aren't statisticians; they are problem solvers. Today's complex problems need a robust approach that everyone can use and understand. 

This presentation provides an alternative to the fishbone diagram and 'isolated' statistical analysis tools. Specific tools will be introduced and explained in the context of a robust diagnostic method that allows the user to 'peel back the onion' of complex problems. These tools and methods have been used to successfully solve hundreds of seemingly impossible problems over the last 20 years. Three different case studies (mechanical, electrical and chem/bio systems) will be presented. While these represent 3 very different systems, the presentation will focus on the tools and methods rather than the scientific intricacies of the different disciplines. Overly sophisticated statistical and scientific jargon will be avoided. Humor, real-life stories, and well-crafted visuals make this a compelling presentation. 

Additional resources will also be provided to the attendees to augment their learning and enable adoption of the tools and methods after returning from the conference.

Participating Organizations at the Lean & Six Sigma  World Conference

Government Agencies

  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health & Human Svcs.
  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • Pentagon
  • U.S. Air Force

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Veterans Affairs
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers


  • AIG
  • Alcoa
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America Corp
  • BASF Corporation
  • Bayer Corporation
  • BMW
  • The Boeing Company
  • Bose Corporation
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • Cardinal Health
  • Caterpillar
  • Chrysler Corporation
  • Chevron
  • Cisco Systems
  • Coca-Cola
  • Comcast
  • Daimler Chrysler
  • Disney
  • Dow Chemical

  • Dr Pepper 
  • Duracell
  • Dupont
  • Eastman Kodak
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Fedex
  • Ford Motor
  • General Electric 
  • General Motors
  • Gillette
  • Goodyear Tire
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Honeywell
  • Humana
  • IBM
  • Kohler
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Macy’s
  • M&M/Mars
  • ManpowerGroup
  • Maytag Appliances
  • Mercedes
  • Merck
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mobil Chemical
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Nestle 
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris International
  • PNC Financial Services Group
  • Pfizer
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Prudential
  • Raytheon
  • Rolls Royce Allison
  • Target
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Schindler Elevator Corporation
  • Schneider Electric
  • Shell
  • Siemens
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Staples
  • Tesla
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Qualcomm
  • Underwriter Laboratories
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • United Technologies
  • Union Pacific
  • UPS
  • USAA
  • Verizon
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo
  • Westinghouse
  • Whirlpool
  • Xerox


Lean & Six Sigma World Conference




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