Joe Valvona, Columbus Regional Director

Joe Valvona, Columbus Regional Director

Joe Valvona, Regional Director of Breakthrough Performance Group’s newly formed Columbus office, has been teaching Six Sigma (SS) – now Lean Six Sigma (LSS) — for more than 10 years.  His involvement with LSS started when, as Director of Strategic Planning, he was selected to be included in a Black Belt training program offered by his then employer, a local hospital system.  The hospital system was making a major commitment to Six Sigma that involved training 4o Black Belts.  Joe was one of five Black Belts who were selected to go on to earn their Master Black Belt. Joe was responsible for mentoring a team of Black Belts, conducting LSS training within the organization, and identifying and scoping LSS projects.  Over the years, Joe has trained numerous Green Belts and Lean Leaders and participated in the development of Lean Six Sigma training curricula. He is known for his ability to help students understand LSS statistical concepts and tools.

What Joe Valvona wants his BPG students and clients to know about LSS:

  1. It works!  LSS is a methodology and set of tools that improves processes, saves money, and helps organizations meet customer expectations.
  2. After completing any level of LSS training, you will bring a new perspective and mindset to projects and problems at work and at home.
  3. If you have a hard time with the analytical aspects of LSS, don’t be intimidated. Instead, get comfortable with:
  • basic analytical and graphing tools in Excel. Learn how to use line and bar charts and how to calculate means and medians.
  • knowing  that you can always “phone a friend.”  The reference book has a wealth of information and your instructors are always willing to help in any way.
  • learning; the more you practice, the easier it will become.

LSS Experiences Joe shares with students: Joe says that one of the criticisms he hears – and disputes – about LSS is that it takes too long to see results.  Joe explains the length of time a project takes is dependent on its scope, the availability of resources, and the data available.  When teaching, Joe often includes two experiences, one long and one short that illustrate this point as well as key LSS analytical tools. The long project was a designed experiment that used regression analysis to identify the most effective scenario for collecting on outstanding balances. The shorter project  lasted about three weeks. After collecting and analyzing emergency room data, Joe’s LSS  team was able to create a plan to improve emergency room cycle time by reallocating staff.

LSS is About Doing Better: Joe recalls a summer job he had at a large bakery when he was in college.  Associates wore hats with the slogan “Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough for ____.”  Joe takes that message to heart and says that if a company is not meeting customer expectations, they need to do better. LSS provides the tools to do that in any industry in almost every instance.

Click here to read about Joe’s Six Sigma Project on Collections.

Click here to read more about the emergency room project.