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Is there research behind the 5-7 categories? I’d love to share that with our external regulators/auditors.

From the Webinar: How to Successfully Collect Process Data for Your Lean Six Sigma Project

Good question! I’m working to find the original source, but in the meantime, one way to prove it internally is just to show which categories people are choosing. Use the results of the data collection to show which codes people select. Generally we find people only use 5-7 reason codes based on the 80/20 rule – 80% of the responders choose 20% of the categories and then it trails off.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.