Dr ARR’s Masterclass- 30 Tools for Operational Excellence

An informative webinar was conducted by Dr. Aravindan Raghavan aka Dr. ARR on 16th October. This webinar introduced 30 Tools useful in problem-solving and driving projects that use DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control) methodologies. In his vast experience of completing more than 1000+ projects, Dr. ARR has identified 15 Practical Management tools and 15 Practical Statistical tools that can be utilised to transform practical problems into logical problems to logical solutions to practical solutions using data and scientific methods.

The 15 Management tools are

  • Project Charter which is a live written document and works as an agreement between Sponsor and the team about what is expected from the project.
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ) is a Product or Service characteristic that satisfies a Customer Requirement or Process Requirement.
  • Voice of Customer (VOC) (Kano Model) is about capturing voice of customer via surveys, personal visits, questionnaires, interviews & phone calls. It is the statement made by the customer on a particular product or service.
  • SIPOC stands for Supplier – Inputs – Process – Outputs – Customers. It is a tool to identify all relevant elements of a process at a macro view and helps to understand a complex process better.
  • Detailed Process Map Micro Level is expanded version of SIPOC but at very micro level to identify Key process input (x) and Output variables (y) relevant to the project taken.
  • Prioritization Matrix details the importance of the outputs (CTQ) with clear weightages and starts the funelling process.
  • Swimlane Maps allow you to use the Value Analysis (VA) & Non Value Added (NVA) analysis. Swim lanes can show queues and inventory and can be blocked into task areas.
  • Value Stream Mapping (VSM) helps to understand the current situation from a bigger perspective, shows the ratio of non-value added to value added time, exposes source of waste and shows linkages between the various flows.
  • 8 types of waste eliminatione. acronym “DOWNTIME” D-Defects, O-Overproduction, W – Waiting, N – Non Utilized Talent, T – Transportation, I – Inventory, M – Motion, E – Extra processing.
  • Fishbone Analysis is a graphical tool that helps in discovering all the possible causes for a particular effect. It establishes the relationship between an effort & influencing causes under 6M’s i.e. Man, Machine, Method, Material, Measurement & Mother Nature.
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA), here all the possible causes identified from Fishbone Analysis are analyzed to find root causes & prevention actions.
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis (Actions) is Risk Priotization Number (RPN) vs Causes – Effort vs Impact Matrix. All High RPN Causes are filtered for Priortization.
  • 5S – Workplace Organization is a five step methodology for creating a more organized and productive workspace: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 5S serves as a foundation for deploying more advanced lean six sigma tools and processes.
  • Kaizen is a Japanese methodology introduced by Toyota Production System (TPS) for employees to make small changes in organization to deliver big results.
  • Control Plan is a written summary (Revised SOP) of the process that lays out in detail the steps to be taken to maintain a process or a device operating at the current level of performance.

The 15 Statistical tools are

  • Histogram is used to examine the shape and spread of sample data. It divides sample values into many intervals called bins. The bars represent the number of observations falling within each bin (it’s frequency).
  • Graphical Summary provides descriptive statistics of the data and includes Histogram, Boxplot, Mean & Median.
  • Normality Test also known as Gaussian distribution is a bell – shaped curve that is symmetric about its mean. It helps in assessing population normality with a normal probability plot.
  • Run Charts also known as line graphs display process performance over time. Upward and downward trends, cycles and large aberrations may be spotted and investigated further.
  • Control Charts are also termed as Process behaviour charts and captures both common and special causes.
  • Pareto Chart helps to determine which of the defects comprise the “vital few” and which are the “trivial many” (80-20 rule). It is used when there are many problems or causes and you want to focus on the most significant.
  • Box plots are also called as box-and-whisker plots and are used to asses and compare sample distributions
  • Process Capability (Continuous Data) captures Voice of Customer and Voice of the process
  • Process Capability (Discrete Data) is calculated by first finding defects per opportunities (DPO). DPO is then converted to DPMO by multiplying by Million. Using DPMO vs Sigma level table, we can find the process capability of the process
  • Hypotheses Testing (2 sample t test) for two population means to determine whether they are significantly different
  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA) determines whether the means of two or more groups differ
  • Scatter Plots is a technique of correlation to test the statistical significance of the association.
  • Matrix Plots assesses the relationships between many pairs of variables at once by creating an array of scatter plots. Matrix plots are useful for assessing when you have more variables affecting one output or understanding relationship of variables itself.
  • Regression generates an equation to describe the statistical relationship between one or more predictors and the response variable.
  • Design of Experiments (DoE) is a combination of experiments and gives information on interaction between variables. It is mainly used for optimisation of products and processes.

A management challenge is addressed by each tool. When you apply these tools to the workplace, you will find that they are extremely useful. Having knowledge of these tools can serve as a launching pad to enter the Operational Excellence function.

Register for Listening to this Masterclass


If you are interested for enrolling 30 tools leading to Practical BB program – Email – info@iieel.com or contact Dr ARR – +91 9010059007


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