Quality Progress - May 2014 - 6

LOGON Seen&Heard Simplified solving for trying to explain the likelihood of defective parts to a manager. In full disclosure, I cannot take credit for William Hooper's article, "Probing Prob- the simple analysis above; that credit belongs abilities" (March 2014, pp.18-22), provides to my wife, a nurse. As I was working through an excellent review of Bayes' theorem and Bayes' formula and searching for my calcula- its implications for conditional probabilities. tor, I asked her the question and she immedi- But if his results "defy instinct," as the is- ately identified the correct answer using the sue's cover proclaims, it might be because logic above. Sometimes simpler really is better. our instinct has been undermined by the Michael Pennotti sophistication of our knowledge. Hoboken, NJ The article opens with a medical question asking what the likelihood is that a person Life-saving quality who tests positive for a disease that occurs In response to "Will to Live" (March 2014, pp. in only 1% of the population actually has the 32-37): This is an impressive story. My quality disease, assuming the test is 95% accurate. manager experienced something similar. He The author explains Bayes' theorem and was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and works through the math to determine the was lucky to get a lung transplant. By that time, probability is only 16%-not 80% or 95%, as he could not walk and was lacking oxygen. most Harvard Medical School doctors appar- When I went to visit him one week after the ently responded. But the answer could have operation, I was amazed with his breathing, been arrived at much more simply. which was easy and normal. He reacted to the Consider a representative group of 100 situation like a quality professional-he told me people, one of whom has the disease and 99 that the quality is not an accident, it's a result who do not. The test, being 95% accurate, of intelligent work. That famous quality quote will almost certainly yield a positive result for could not be used in a better circumstance. the person with the disease. In addition, it Dubravka Kusmic can be expected to generate about five false Kirkland, Quebec sample. So, in six positive results, only one Inspiring words is accurate. The likelihood of a person with The "Learning From Experience" (February a positive test actually having the disease 2014, pp. 14-19) interviews with lean experts would be one in six, or 16.7%, a result that are inspiring. The common theme from all in- differs only slightly from the exact answer of terviewees is that lean should be viewed as a 16.2% obtained from Bayes' theorem. "common sense revolution" in recognizing that There is certainly a time for precision. people learn by doing. Only people who are But if our intent is to help doctors with no capable, motivated and aligned in the gemba knowledge of statistics understand why the of an organization can make a difference-not answer is not 80% or 95%, or to reassure a opportunistic lean consultants only motivated patient who has just obtained a positive test by exploiting this movement to ensure they result, the simple example above may be have a steady stream of customers. far more effective than trying to teach them Bayes' theorem. The same might be true QP * www.qualityprogress.com The latest ASQ TV episode focuses on lean and Six Sigma. In the episode: * Learn the difference between lean and Six Sigma methods. * Hear how a global fi nancial fi rm improved response times and increased revenue. * Examine waste analysis. Watch for a new episode available May 13 discussing the global impact of quality. Visit http://videos. asq.org to access the full video library. StayConnected Find the latest news, quips and targeted content from QP staff. Executive Editor & Associate Publisher Seiche Sanders: @ASQ_Seiche positives from the 99 healthy people in the 6 Tune In Alex Lau Whitby, Ontario Associate Editor Mark Edmund: @ASQ_Mark Assistant Editor Amanda Hankel: @ASQ_Amanda Contributing Editor Megan Schmidt: @ASQ_Megan editor@asq.org www.facebook.com/ groups/43461176682 www.linkedin.com/groups/qualityprogress-magazine-asq-1878386 http://videos.asq.org http://www.facebook.com/groups/43461176682 http://www.linkedin.com/groups/qualityprogress-magazine-asq-1878386 http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - May 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Catching Fire
Making the Rounds
Plan of Attack
Virtual Voices
Innovation Imperative
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Standards Outlook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

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