The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook : Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration book cover
1st Edition

The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook
Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration

ISBN 9781466554689
Published July 9, 2013 by Productivity Press
622 Pages 219 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Although Lean and Six Sigma appear to be quite different, when used together they have shown to deliver unprecedented improvements to quality and profitability. The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook: Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration explains how to integrate these seemingly dissimilar approaches to increase production speed while decreasing variations and costs in your organization.

Presenting problem-solving tools you can use to immediately determine the sources of the problems in your organization, the book is based on a recent survey that analyzed Six Sigma tools to determine which are the most beneficial. Although it focuses on the most commonly used tools, it also includes coverage of those used a minimum of two times on every five Six Sigma projects.

Filled with diagrams of the tools you’ll need, the book supplies a comprehensive framework to help you for organize and process the vast amount of information currently available about Lean, quality management, and continuous improvement process applications. It begins with an overview of Six Sigma, followed by little-known tips for using Lean Six Sigma (LSS) effectively. It examines the LSS quality system, its supporting organization, and the different roles involved.

Identifying the theories required to support a contemporary Lean system, the book describes the new skills and technologies that you need to master to be certified at the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB) level. It also covers the advanced non-statistical and statistical tools that are new to the LSSBB body of knowledge.

Presenting time-tested insights of a distinguished group of authors, the book provides the understanding required to select the solutions that best fit your organization's aim and culture. It also includes exercises, worksheets, and templates you can easily customize to create your own handbook for continuous process improvement.

Designed to make the methodologies you choose easy to follow, the book will help Black Belts and Senseis better engage their employees, as well as provide an integrated and visual process management structure for reporting and sustaining continuous improvement breakthroughs and initiatives.

Table of Contents


Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methodology
In a Nutshell
     The Notion of Standing upon the Shoulders of Giants
     LSS Cultural Building Blocks
     Connecting the Tools with Engineering Goals
What Came First—Six Sigma or Lean?
Technical Competency Levels
LSS Belt Levels
     Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LSSMBB)
     Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB)
     Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB)
     Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt (LSSYB)
     Lean Six Sigma Blue Belt
Five Phases of an LSS Improvement Project

Process Improvement and Lean Six Sigma
In a Nutshell
AN LSS Quality Focus on the Business Process
Some Basic Definitions
Objectives of Process Improvement
Cross-Functional Focus
Critical Success Factors
Nature of LSS Process Improvement
     Advantages of LSS Process Improvement
Determining Process Ownership
     The Nature of Business Processes
     Management’s Traditional Focus
     Cross-Functional Focus
Process Ownership
     The Process Owner
     The Process Management Committee
     The Process Quality Team
Selection, Responsibilities, and Authority of the Process Owner
     Selection of the Process Owner
     Responsibilities of the Process Owner
     Authority of the Process Owner
Process Definition and the Process Model
     Definition of Process Mission and Scope


Waste Identification
In a Nutshell
What Is Variation?
     How Do We Chart Variation?
     Why Is Understanding and Controlling Variation So Important?
What Is Waste?
     Defining the Value-Added Work Components
How Does Waste Creep into a Process?
The Power of Observation
Seeing with New Eyes
     Waste 1: Overproduction
          What Causes Overproduction?
          How to Identify Overproduction
     Waste 2: Excess Inventories
          What Causes Excess Inventory?
          How to Identify Excess Inventory
     Waste 3: Defects
          What Causes Defects?
          How to Identify Defects
     Waste 4: Extra Processing
          What Causes Processing Waste?
          How to Identify Processing Waste
     Waste 5: Waiting
          What Causes Waiting Waste?
          How to Identify Waiting Waste
     Waste 6: Motion
          What Causes Motion Waste?
          How to Identify Motion Waste
     Waste 7: Transportation
          What Causes Transportation Waste?
          How to Identify Transportation Waste
     Waste 8: Underutilized Employees
          What Causes Underutilized Employees Waste?
          How to Identify Underutilized Employee Waste
     Waste 9: Behavior
          How to Identify Behavior Waste

Lean Concepts, Tools, and Methods
Traditional Organization Operational Philosophy
Lean Operational Philosophy
Lean Management Concepts
     Value-Added Activities
     No-Value-Added Activities
     Business-Value-Added Activities
     Waste Identification
     Waste Elimination
     Value Stream
     Value Stream Management
     Continuous Flow
     Pull Systems
     Point of Use Storage
     Quality at the Source
     5M’s—Materials, Machines, Manpower, Method, and Measurements
     Key Process Input Variables (KPIVs)
     Key Process Output Variables (KPOVs)
Lean Tools
     5S Workplace Organization and Standardization
          Just the Facts
          5S Means Action
          Common Omissions When Implementing 5S
     Overall Equipment Effectiveness
          Just the Facts
          How to Use OEE
          Applying OEE in Nonmanufacturing Environments 
     Mistake Proofing
          Just the Facts
          How to Use Mistake Proofing
     Cellular Manufacturing
          Just the Facts
          How to Create Manufacturing Cells
          Just the Facts
          How to Use Kanban
     Value Stream Mapping
          Just the Facts
          Managing with Maps
     Visual Controls
          Just the Facts
          How to Use Visual Controls
The Power of Lean Concepts and Lean Tools
          Composite U-Cell Case Study
               Lean Six Sigma Concepts and Tools Used

Three Faces of Change—Kaizen, Kaikaku, and Kakushin
In a Nutshell
     Resistance to Change
     Fear of the Unknown
     Measurement Systems
Overcoming Resistance to Change
     Leaving Old Beliefs Behind
     Considering New Possibilities
     Emergence of LSS
Three Faces of Change
     Kaizen—Continuous Improvement
     Kaizen and You Method
     Kaizen for Process Troubleshooting
          Step 1: Go to Gemba
          Step 2: Conduct Gembutsu
          Step 3: Take Temporary Countermeasures "on the Spot"
          Step 4: Find Root Causes
          Step 5: Standardize to Prevent Recurrence
     Kaizen Teams
     Possible Target Areas for Kaizen Teams
     Preparing for Kaizen
     Team Member Roles in Kaizen
     Overcoming Obstacles during Kaizen
Kaikaku—Transformation of Mind
     How Do We Recognize Kaikaku (Transformation of Mind)?
     Kaikaku in Cell Design
     Kaikaku in Facility Layouts
Kakushin (Innovation)
     The 20-20 Innovation Process


On Integrating LSS and DMAIC with DMADV
In a Nutshell
Goals of Lean DMADV
     Lean Design
     Overview of How DMAIC Works
     Overview of How DMADV Works
Comparing DMAIC and DMADV
Integrating Lean with DMAIC/DMADV
     Root Cause Analysis and Lean
     Groups of Root Cause Analysis Tools


Black Belt Nonstatistical Tools (A through M)
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Benchmarking of Processes
     Just the Facts
     What Will Benchmarking Do for You?
     History of Benchmarking
     Types of Benchmarking
          Internal Benchmarking
          External Benchmarking
     Guidelines and Tips
     What Are the Primary Reasons for Using Process Benchmarking?
          The What
          The How
     The Five Phases of Internal and External Combined Benchmarking Process
     Additional Reading
Bureaucracy Elimination Methods
     Just the Facts
     Process-Focused Approach
     Incident-Focused Approach
          Example 1
          Example 2
          Example 3
     Additional Reading
Conflict Resolution
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Critical to Quality
     Just the Facts
     Critical to Quality (CTQ) Characteristics
     Additional Reading
Cycle Time Analysis and Reduction
     Just the Facts
          Applications of Cycle Time Analysis and Reduction
          Cycle Time Analysis and Reduction Process
     Additional Reading
Fast-Action Solution Technique (FAST)
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Foundation of Six Sigma (Minimizing Variation)
     Just the Facts 
     What Does "Good Enough" Mean?
     Additional Reading
Just-in-Time (JIT)
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Matrix Diagram/Decision Matrix
     Just the Facts
          L-Shaped Matrix
          T-Shaped Matrix
          Guidelines and Tips
     Additional Reading
     Just the Facts
     Principles of Good Measure
          Quality Measurement
     Additional Reading

Black Belt Nonstatistical Tools (O Through Q)
Organizational Change Management (OCM)
     Just the Facts
     Seven Phases of OCM
          Phase I: Defining Current State Pain
          Phase II: Establishing a Clear Vision of the Future State Solution
          Phase III: Defining Change Roles
          Phase IV: Mapping Change Roles
          Phase V: Defining the Degree of Change Required
          Phase VI: Developing the Organizational Change Management Plan
          Phase VII: Implementing the Change Management Plan
     Additional Reading
Pareto Diagrams
     Just the Facts
          The Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)
          Uses of Pareto Diagrams
          Classifications of Data
          Constructing a Pareto Diagram
Prioritization Matrix
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Project Management (PM)
     Just the Facts
     Project Management Knowledge Areas
          Project Integration Management
          Project Scope Management
          Project Time Management
          Project Cost Management
          Project Quality Management
          Project Human Resource Management
          Project Communications Management
          Project Risk Management
          Project Procurement Management
     How OCM Can Help
          Estimate Task Effort and Duration
          Develop the Schedule
     Project Management Software
          Project Management Software Selection
          PMBOK Tools and Techniques
     Additional Reading
Quality Function Deployment (QFD)
     Just the Facts
     Using QFD
     Voice of the Customer
     Part Deployment Phase
     The Process Plan and Quality Plan Matrices
     The Roof of the House of Quality
     Operating Instructions
     Additional Reading

Black Belt Nonstatistical Tools (R through Z)
Reliability Management System
Just the Facts
     Phase I: Defining Reliability Requirements
     Phase II: Designing Reliability into the Item
     Phase III: Defining Component Reliability
     Phase IV: Calculating the Item’s Reliability
     Phase V: Minimizing Manufacturing Degradation
     Phase VI: Qualifying the Item
     Phase VII: Measuring Customer/Consumer Reliability
     Phase VIII: Corrective Action and Database Updating
     Additional Reading
Root Cause Analysis
     Just the Facts
     How to Do a Root Cause Analysis in Six Steps
Scatter Diagrams
     Just the Facts
          Steps to Prepare a Scatter Diagram
     Guidelines and Tips
     Additional Reading
Selection Matrix (Decision Matrix)
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
SIPOC Diagram
     Just the Facts
     The SIPOC Approach Expanded
     Building a SIPOC Diagram
     Example: Mama Mia Case Study
          Mama Mia’s SIPOC—Food Storage Process
          Mama Mia’s SIPOC—Food Preparation and Order Delivery
SWOT—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
     Just the Facts
     The SWOT Matrix
     Additional Reading
Takt Time
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Theory of Constraints (TOC)
     Just the Facts
          Types of (Internal) Constraints
     Additional Reading
Tree Diagrams
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading
Value Stream Mapping
     Just the Facts
     Additional Reading


Advanced Statistical Tools
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)—One-Way
     Just the Facts
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)—Two-Way
     Just the Facts
     Major Considerations
Box Plots
     Just the Facts
Confidence Intervals
     Just the Facts
          Confidence Interval for the Mean
          Confidence Interval for the Standard Deviation
          Confidence Interval for the Proportion Defective
Data Transformations
     Just the Facts
     Data Transformation Types
          Standard Transformation Functions
          Application Cookbook
Design of Experiments
     Just the Facts
     Steps in Designing an Experiment
     Principles of an Experimental Design
     Setting up the Appropriate Experiment
     Analysis (of Means and Variance) Methodologies
          Analysis of Means
          Paired Comparison
          Analysis of Variance Methodology
     One-Way and Two-Way ANOVA
          One-Way ANOVA
          Example Experiment 1
          Example Experiment 2
          Two-Way ANOVA
     Types of Experimental Designs
     Applications of DoE
     DoE Steps
     Experimental Objectives
     Select and Scale the Process Variables
     Design Guidelines
     A Typical DoE Checklist
     The Iterative Approach to DoE
     Experimental Assumptions
          Is the Measurement System Capable?
          Is the Process Stable?
          Are the Residuals Well Behaved?
     Categories of Experimental Designs
          Three-Factor, Three-Level Experiment
          Randomized Block Plans
          Latin Square Designs
          Graeco-Latin Designs
          Plackett-Burman Designs
          Taguchi Designs
          Mixture Designs
          Simplex-Lattice Designs
          Steepest Ascent/Descent
          Response Surfaces
          EVOP Evolutionary Operations
     When to Use Which Design
     Project Strategies
          Data Analysis
          Experimental Designs
          Response Surface Designs
     Project Strategy Decision Table
     Background References
Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)
     Just the Facts
          Approaches to Attribute MSA
Method of Least Squares
     Just the Facts
Multivari Charts
     Just the Facts
Nonparametric Statistical Tests
     Just the Facts
          Sign Test for the Median
          One-Sided Wilcoxon Test
          Two-Sample Mann-Whitney
          Mood’s Median Test
          Friedman Test for a Randomized Block Design
Populations and Samples
     Just the Facts
          Uncertainty in the Mean—Conclusions
          Data Defined
          Summary of Data Types
          Process Measurements Summary
Regression Analysis
     Just the Facts
          Simple Linear Regression
          Multiple Linear Regression
          Curvilinear Regression
          Other Linear Regression Models
Rolled-Throughput Yield
     Just the Facts
          Calculating Process Sigma
Taguchi Method
     Just the Facts
     Taguchi Quality Definitions
          Ideal Quality
          Robust Design
          Quality Loss Function Fundamental Concepts
          Traditional View of the Loss Function
          Taguchi Approach
          Specify a Target
          The Quadratic Loss Function (QFL)
          Understanding the Quality Characteristic
          Observing the Slope
          Determining Customer Impact
          The Cost of Not Being on Target
     Just the Facts
          The Failure Modalities
     Some Risk Assessment Tools
     Guidelines and Tips
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C: Six Sigma Green Belt Tools

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Frank Voehl serves as the director of process improvement for Nova Southeastern University, as chairman and president of Strategy Associates, Inc., and as a senior consultant and chancellor for the Harrington Institute. He is also chairman of the board for a number of businesses and is a Grand Master Black Belt instructor and technology advisor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is recognized as one of the world leaders in applying quality measurement and Lean Six Sigma methodologies to business processes.

Voehl has extensive knowledge of NRC, FDA, GMP, and NASA quality system requirements. He is an expert in ISO 9000, QS 9000/14000/18000, and integrated Lean Six Sigma quality system standards and processes. He has degrees from St. John’s University and advanced studies at New York University, as well as an honorary doctor of divinity degree. Since 1986, he has been responsible for overseeing the implementation of quality management systems with organizations in such diverse industries as telecommunications and utilities, federal, state, and local government agencies, public administration and safety, pharmaceuticals, insurance/banking, manufacturing, and institutes of higher learning. In 2002, he joined the Harrington Group as the chief operating officer and executive vice president. He has held executive management positions with Florida Power and Light and FPL Group, where he was the founding general manager and COO of QualTec Quality Services for seven years. He has written and published/co-published over 35 books and hundreds of technical papers on business management, quality improvement, change management, knowledge management, logistics, and team building, and has received numerous awards for community leadership, service to the third world countries, and student mentoring.

The Bahamas National Quality Award was developed in 1991 by Voehl to recognize the many contributions of companies in the Caribbean region, and he is an honorary member of its Board of Judges. In 1980, the city of Yonkers, New York, declared March 7 Frank Voehl Day, honoring him for his many contributions on behalf of thousands of youth in the city where he lived, performed volunteer work, and served as athletic director and coach of the Yonkers-Pelton Basketball Association. In 1985 he was named Father of the Year in Broward County, Florida. He also serves as president of the Miami Archdiocesan Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, whose mission is to serve the poor and needy throughout South Florida and the world.

Frank’s contributions to quality improvement around the world have brought him many honors and awards, including ASQ’s Distinguished Service Medal, the Caribbean Center for Excellence Founders Award, the Community Quality Distinguished Service Award, the Czech Republic Outstanding Service Award on behalf of its business community leaders, FPL’s Pioneer Lead Facilitator Award, the Florida SFMA Partners in Productivity Award, and many others. He was appointed the honorary advisor to the Bahamas Quality Control Association, and he was elected to the Eastern Europe Quality Hall of Fame. He was also named honorary director of the Association Venezuela de Control de Calidad by Banco Consolidado.

Dr. H. James Harrington:
In the book Tech Trending, Dr. Harrington was referred to as "the quintessential tech trender." The New York Times noted his "knack for synthesis and an open mind about packaging his knowledge and experience in new ways—characteristics that may matter more as prerequisites for new economy success than technical wizardry." The author Tom Peters stated, "I fervently hope that Harrington’s readers will not only benefit from the thoroughness of his effort but will also ‘smell’ the fundamental nature of the challenge for change that he mounts." William Clinton, past president of the United States, appointed Dr. Harrington to serve as an Ambassador of Good Will. It has been said about him, "He writes the books that other consultants use."

Harrington Institute was featured on a half-hour TV program, Heartbeat of America, which focuses on outstanding small businesses that make America strong. The host, William Shatner, stated: "You [Dr. Harrington] manage an entrepreneurial company that moves America forward. You are obviously successful."

Harrington serves as the chief executive officer for the Harrington Institute and Harrington Middle East. He is also chairman of the board for a number of businesses. Dr. Harrington is recognized as one of the world leaders in applying performance improvement methodologies to business processes. He has an excellent record of coming into an organization, working as its CEO or COO, resulting in a major improvement in its financial and quality performance.

In February 2002 Dr. Harrington retired as the COO of Systemcorp A.L.G., the leading supplier of knowledge management and project management software solutions, when Systemcorp was purchased by IBM. Prior to this, he served as a principal and one of the leaders in the Process Innovation Group at Ernst & Young; he retired from Ernst & Young when it was purchased by Cap Gemini. Dr. Harrington joined Ernst & Young when Ernst & Young purchased Harrington, Hurd & Rieker, a consulting firm that Dr. Harrington started. Before that Dr. Harrington was with IBM for over 40 years as a senior engineer and project manager.

Dr. Harrington is past chairman and past president of the prestigious International Academy for Quality and of the American Society for Quality Control. He is also an active member of the Global Knowledge Economics Council.

Harrington was elected to the honorary level of the International Academy for Quality, which is the highest level of recognition in the quality profession. Harrington is a government-registered quality engineer, a Certified Quality and Reliability Engineer by the American Society for Quality Control, and a Permanent Certified Professional Manager by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. He is a certified Master Six Sigma Black Belt and received the title of Six Sigma Grand Master. He has an MBA and PhD in engineering management and a BS in electrical engineering.

Dr. Harrington’s contributions to performance improvement around the world have brought him many honors. He was appointed the honorary advisor to the China Quality Control Association, and was elected to the Singapore Productivity Hall of Fame in 1990. He has been named lifetime honorary president of the Asia-Pacific Quality Control Organization and honorary director of the Association Chilean de Control de Calidad. In 2006 Dr. Harrington accepted the honorary chairman position of Quality Technology Park of Iran.

Harrington has been elected a fellow of the British Quality Control Organization and the American Society for Quality Control. In 2008 he was elected to be an honorary fellow of the Iran Quality Association and Azerbaijan Quality Association. He was also elected an honorary member of the quality societies in Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Singapore. He is also listed in the "Who’sWho Worldwide" and "Men of Distinction Worldwide." He has presented hundreds of papers on performance improvement and organizational management structure at the local, state, national, and international levels.


  • The Harrington/Ishikawa Medal, presented yearly by the Asian Pacific Quality Organization, was named after H. James Harrington to recognize his many contributions to the region.
  • The Harrington/Neron Medal was named after H. James Harrington in 1997 for his many contributions to the quality movement in Canada.
  • Harrington Best TQM Thesis Award was established in 2004 and named after H. James Harrington by the European Universities Network and e-TQM College.
  • Harrington Chair in Performance Excellence was established in 2005 at the Sudan University.
  • Harrington Excellence Medal was established in 2007 to recognize an individual who uses the quality tools in a superior manner.
  • H. James Harrington Scholarship was established in 2011 by the ASQ Inspection Division.

Harrington has received many awards, among them the Benjamin L. Lubelsky Award, the John Delbert Award, the Administrative Applications Division Silver Anniversary Award, and the Inspection Division Gold Medal Award. In 1996, he received the ASQC’s Lancaster Award in recognition of his international activities. In 2001 he received the Magnolia Award in recognition for the many contributions he has made in improving quality in China. In 2002 Harrington was selected by the European Literati Club to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Literati Award for Excellence ceremony in London. The award was given to honor his excellent literature contributions to the advancement of quality and organizational performance. Also, in 2002 Harrington was awarded the International Academy of Quality President’s Award in recognition for outstanding global leadership in quality and competitiveness, and contributions to IAQ as Nominations Committee chair, vice president, and chairman. In 2003 Harrington received the Edwards Medal from the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The Edwards Medal is presented to the individual who has demonstrated the most outstanding leadership in the application of modern quality control methods, especially through the organization and administration of such work.

In 2004 he received the Distinguished Service Award, which is ASQ’s highest award for service granted by the society. In 2008 Dr. Harrington was awarded the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (UAE) in recognition of his superior performance as an original Quality and Excellence Guru who helped shape modern quality thinking. In 2009 Harrington was selected as the Professional of the Year. Also in 2009 he received the Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University Medal. In 2010 the Asian Pacific Quality Association (APQO) awarded Harrington the APQO President’s Award for his "exemplary leadership." The Australian Organization of Quality NSW’s Board recognized Harrington as "the Global Leader in Performance Improvement Initiatives" in 2010. In 2011 he was honored to receive the Shanghai Magnolia Special Contributions Award from the Shanghai Association for Quality in recognition of his 25 years of contributing to the advancement of quality in China. This was the first time that this award was given out. In 2012 Harrington received the ASQ Ishikawa Medal for his many contributions in promoting the understanding of process improvement and employee involvement on the human aspects of quality at the local, national, and international levels. Also in 2012 he was awarded the Jack Grayson Award. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the application of quality philosophy, methods and tools in education, health care, public service, and not-for-profit organizations. Harrington also received the A.C. Rosander Award in 2012. This is ASQ Service Quality Division’s highest honor. It is given in recognition of outstanding long-term service and leadership resulting in substantial progress toward the fulfillment of the division’s programs and goals. Additionally, in 2012 Harrington was honored by the Asia Pacific Quality Organization by being awarded the Armand V. Feigenbaum Lifetime Achievement Medal. This award is given annually to an individual whose relentless pursuit of performance improvement over a minimum of 25 years has distinguished himself or herself for the candidate’s work in promoting the use of quality methodologies and principles within and outside of the organization he or she is part of.

Charles "Chuck" Mignosa
has over 30 years of diversified experience in high technology, biomedical devices, telecommunications, and food processing industries and 25 years of experience in IBM holding patents in solid lubricants. He was a second-level manager in charge of implementing quality systems in five manufacturing areas. He is a certified course developer and has developed courses including Total Quality Management, Continuous Flow Manufacturing, Customer-Driven Quality, Statistical Design and Analysis of Experiments, Team Building, Six Sigma, Conflict Resolution, and Communication Skills. After leaving IBM he worked as an independent consultant doing all of the TQM training for Spectrian telecommunications and facilitating its conversion from a DOD to public sector company and attaining its ISO registration.

Mignosa has consulted for and done training with such companies as Siemens Automotive, General Mills, Gatorade, Zea Corporation, Connors Peripherals, HP, IBM, ADAC Labs, Cholestech, Heinz USA, and many more. He has held positions as director of quality for P-com, a telecommunication company, and Cholestech Corporation, a medical device company. Mignosa is currently president of Business Systems Architects (BSA), a Silicon Valley consulting, training, and documentation company specializing in the design and implementation of business and quality management systems and, with Upward Performance, of which he is also president, implementing Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing programs. In addition to a BS in chemistry, Mr. Mignosa has graduate degrees in statistics, systems research, and management training with IBM and is a senior member of ASQ.

Rich Charron is the founder and president of the Lean Manufacturing Group, Inc., a South Florida company that provides a number of "handson" employee learning and Lean implementation programs focused on waste elimination, productivity improvement, and profitability enhancement. He is a Certified Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma Excellence from the Harrington Institute. He has trained and coached over 100 teams in Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, and Kaizen events, generating savings over $25 million. In conjunction with Strategy Associates he completed a three-part DVD series on Lean concepts for the University of Central Florida. His expertise is in process performance excellence, Lean Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, design for manufacturability, problem solving, product and process failure analysis, products development, and performance testing.

Mr. Charron holds BS and MS degrees in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts. His MS thesis, "Product Liability in the Plastics Industry," is a survey of our legal system and the impacts of unsafe products and legal uncertainties. He is the author of over a dozen technical publications on product quality, products performance testing, and products failure analysis.