All entries for Tuesday 30 November 2010

November 30, 2010

You cannot get away from them!

Everything is a process. It seems obvious, and I think for me it was a little already. You have a process for grooming and dressing yourself in the morning, several for cooking dinner, one looong, drawn-out process for creating a PMA that you don't want to throw away immediately (;-)). Having Jan Gillett spell it out quite useful though, especially when applying it to the service sector. The five questions we were challenged to use were:

  1. What's the process?
  2. What's the purpose of it?
  3. Who is the customer?
  4. How can you measure the result?
  5. Is there a way you measure it within the process, to predict the outcome?

These help you to define what you are doing, which as we know from Six Sigma's DMAIC, is the first step to improving anything. It can be hard to work out some of these, in certain situations, but I feel that sometimes, simply having an appreciation of their existence can be enough.

I also really enjoyed the rest of Jan's time with us. Learning more about Kano, and how you can try to work out what will appeal to people's excitement needs was really interesting. Tokai Rika was a fantastic example of a company where workers get to engage their brains, with their involvement in control charts. I feel like I really get how useful they can be now, when it comes to using them to prevent problems, and collect knowledge about a process, or even to work out how to fix it if something isn't right (step-by-step, find and eliminate the special causes). Then you can work on reducing the variation further by targeting common causes.


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