Minitab Introduces Qeystone® Project Portfolio Management Platform for Six Sigma and Quality Improvement Programs

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Integrated tool set and cloud-based reporting platform enables efficient project execution, gives leaders up-to-date project reports and benefits tracking with no additional effort.

Qeystone is a cloud-optimized platform that enables complete project portfolio management for Lean Six Sigma programs.

Qeystone’s dashboard automatically aggregates the latest information from all projects to give leaders an accurate and current view of their entire improvement program.

Minitab Inc., the leading provider of software for quality improvement professionals, today announced the release of Qeystone®, a cloud-based project portfolio management platform designed specifically for managing, monitoring and understanding the impacts of an organization’s Lean Six Sigma program.

Qeystone solves a longstanding challenge in the quality improvement profession by making it easy for executives and stakeholders to see the overall impact of a Lean Six Sigma program, without sacrificing the ability to drill down into the details of specific projects.

“Project teams have always been great at capturing and reporting the results of their efforts,” says Andy Sharp, product marketing manager for Qeystone. “But for most companies, it’s a real struggle to get the aggregated information from across all projects that leaders need to manage an entire initiative.”

Qeystone makes it easy to access this aggregated information by combining powerful quality tools like FMEA and value-stream mapping with a cloud-based dashboard that provides high-level reports and graphical summaries of a company’s entire improvement program. As quality teams work and update their project files, those updates automatically roll up to the dashboard and ensure that managers have the latest information.

“The integration of project execution and reporting makes it easier for teams to complete projects while also making it easier for stakeholders to see exactly what’s going on across all projects, or even just those projects affecting a certain part of the business,” Sharp says.

Challenges in Assessing a Quality Deployment

Even in organizations with robust quality programs, assessing the overall impact of an initiative can be difficult, if not impossible.

“Project teams typically use an array of different applications to create charters, process maps, value stream maps, and other documents,” Sharp notes. “These documents usually do not share information with each other, so team members waste time entering redundant data in different documents.”

The team then needs to compile the resulting hodgepodge of files together as the project record. “But since the latest copies of these documents may reside on different team members’ computers, shared drives, or team sites, project leaders often need to track multiple versions of a document to keep the official project record current,” Sharp says.

“Another issue is that the use of these tools varies from team to team, so the results and metrics aren’t always measured consistently from one project to another.”

Many organizations have tried to assess quality initiatives with tracking systems that range from homegrown project databases to full-featured project portfolio management (PPM) systems. But homegrown systems often become a burden to maintain, while off-the-shelf PPM solutions for IT or other business functions don’t effectively support projects involving methods like Lean and Six Sigma.

Updating Information without the Hassles of Reporting

The human element also comes into play. “Even when organizations do implement tracking systems, team members tend to view entering information from project documents into an external system as non-value added time,” Sharp says. “That means updating the system with the latest information gets low priority—if it happens at all.”

Qeystone solves these challenges by serving the needs of both stakeholders and project teams. Teams use standardized roadmaps and tools, ensuring consistency across projects, and all tools and documents are conveniently managed in a single project file. “These tools allow everyone in the company to implement projects easily and efficiently,” says Sharp.

Because all projects are centrally stored, when project files are updated they share critical status and benefit information to stakeholders without any additional action from project teams. “Qeystone’s dashboard automatically aggregates the latest information from all projects to give leaders an accurate and current view of their entire improvement program,” Sharp explains.

The dashboard lets executives and champions easily monitor key performance indicators and filter reports based on status, phase, location, business, people, and other factors. Mentors can use the dashboard to actively manage projects that they, or their belts, are working on.

Each company’s version of Qeystone is specifically tailored to meet their needs. Minitab’s Qeystone Professional Services team works closely with customers in a multi-phase process to understand their quality improvement goals and identify important data and metrics.

More information about Qeystone is available at http://www.minitab.com/products/qeystone/.

About Minitab
Minitab Inc. delivers software and services for quality improvement and statistics education.

Minitab Statistical Software is the preferred data analysis tool for businesses of all sizes and is used in more than 100 countries by thousands of distinguished companies, including Toshiba, DuPont, Boeing, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nestlé and the leading Six Sigma consultants. It has been used to implement virtually every major Six Sigma quality improvement initiative, and to teach statistics in over 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide.

Quality Companion by Minitab is the package professionals use to plan and execute Lean Six Sigma projects in companies around the world, including Xerox, ITT Industries, Providence Health System, Nissan North America and LexisNexis.

Quality Trainer by Minitab provides easy access to quality statistics expertise whenever you need it. This subscription-based online learning course lets you learn or refresh your knowledge anytime and helps you use Minitab to apply statistics properly. Interactive lessons based on real problems make concepts easy to retain.

Minitab Inc., headquartered in State College, Pa., operates offices in the United Kingdom, France and Australia and has additional representatives throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.minitab.com.

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Eston Martz
Minitab Inc.
1-814-753-3270
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Carly Barry
Minitab Inc.
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