ASQ Montreal - Had You Connected - Leveraging Continuous Improvement With AI (2021-05-26)
On May 26th, we had the pleasure of having Lauren Hisey de Lauren Hisey Consulting present Leveraging Continuous Improvement with AI (Artificial Intelligence). Lauren started with some statistics, reviewed why AI projects fail, and stated that AI only reveals how bad a process is faster. The statistics are not good. She reminded us that Ed Deming stated “A bad system will beat a good person every time.”
Then Lauren looked at why we should use Continuous Improvement (CI) and made the connection needed between Lean Six Sigma (LSS), Culture, AI, and People. She then focused on the importance of People and Culture using Henry Ford as an example of taking the human out of manufacturing vs. the Sakichi Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno approach that put the human side into manufacturing. One of the key differences in the latter is investing in a highly skilled workforce. Lean puts the human side into Technology!
Then Lauren discussed using a Toolbox Approach, i.e. have different tools available, but only using the ones that fit the needs of the circumstances. Start simple (e.g. RPA or Robotic Process Automation) and then, after the process stabilizes, move onto more advanced tools (e.g. Machine Learning or ML). Lauren then briefly reviewed the key steps to using CI with AI:
- Determine the problem
- Set up the goal
- Analyze your processes and data (use LSS tools)
- Identify and implement process improvements
- Ensure processes are stable and data free of errors
- Determine how to implement AI
- Implement AI (simplest first)
- Set up Change Management and Training
- Set up on-going support for the technology
- Plan for the future (Set up CI Plan)
Finally, she shared a few case studies identifying the business challenges encountered, the solutions implemented, and the results and impacts achieved. We then broke into groups for 15 minutes to see what we could come up with for a case study she had reviewed just beforehand. Within these 15 minutes, my group came up with the following suggestions:
|• Educating employees and customers||• Survey forms to capture customer issues|
|• Short trainings||• Gemba walk of complete end-to-end process as is|
|• Communicate offerings||• Value stream mapping to show process gaps|
|• Communications||• Develop a structured process|
|• What are the customer issues (data collection)||• Root cause analysis of issues|
|• Leverage website to communicate||• A Pareto analysis (frequency) of results|
|• Short videos, short articles|
Not bad for a 15 minutes session. When the groups returned from the breakout sessions, a few shared their thoughts and it was pretty interesting to hear all the ideas and proposed approaches. All in all, a very interesting presentation and breakout session exercise (a first for the section in Teams), led by a wonderfully dynamic and resourceful Quality practitioner. Lauren is very open to networking and can be reached at Lauren Hisey (LinkedIn).
Thank-you Lauren for an interesting and thought provoking evening!