I’d just started a new assignment and was given the task of understanding what was driving lead time in an IT service centre. DMAIC was the chosen method and there was an expectation that data would be the basis for identifying root cause. There was only one thing for it……I must have Minitab!
We recently redesigned our Black Belt course and we’re pretty pleased with the results and are getting some great feedback from delegates.
One of the major drivers for this work though was to weave MS Excel throughout the course.
If you’ve ever completed a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt course then you were probably taught some statistical analysis using a software system called Minitab.
And chances are – especially if you work in service industries – that you’ve never ever used Minitab ever again.
Every time I ask a Black Belt if they use Minitab – the answer is always no. I think there are 2 main reasons for this:
- It’s expensive. It currently costs £1,030 for a license.
- It’s technically excessive for what you need.
I have run 100’s of improvement projects, most with some sort of statistical analysis involved. All of which was more than easily handled by MS Excel. Control charts, paretos, histograms, normal distributions, Design of Experiments – all handled perfectly well by MS Excel.
Granted, Minitab is a superior product. But superior isn’t always better. Kinda like how an articulated lorry is a better transport system than a van, but completely excessive if all you need to transport is a dozen bricks, right?
So what’s the point of learning about a good software package that you’ll never really need and never get the opportunity to use again?
I can’t think of a good answer to that.
Especially since MS Excel has made giant strides in terms of its capability. (Did you know in the 2016 version you can quickly and easily do histograms & box plots?)
So we took the decision to teach all the statistical elements of great Lean Six Sigma Black Belts and illustrated them with MS Excel. Better still, we’ve built templates for everything. You should see our Hypothesis Tester that Jason built – it’s pretty amazing.
What do you think? Are you a devotee of Minitab or do you use MS excel for all your analytical needs?