If you have any desire to really perfect your business operations into a smooth running machine, it would be a real good idea if you spent a little time on this ‘science’.
The improvement process includes is to define, measure, analyze, improve and control everything we do with regard to our business.
* Defining is to identify business objectives, project charter, scope and process objectives and develop the project plan to identify the customers and their needs that are ‘critical to quality’.
o Ask what the issue is
o What is the magnitude of the problem?
o What is the gap compared to the competition?
o What is the impact on the business?
* Measuring determines current performance and how it measures against customer expectations.
o Ask what is the impact on customer satisfaction and business results? Quantify it!
o Are you measuring your progress and showing the gap to benchmarks or theoretical best?
o Do your metrics relate directly to your problem statement?
* Analyze we analyze the data to determine root causes and opportunities for improvement.
o The marble in the Jefferson Memorial was deteriorating (why?)
o The deterioration was due to frequent cleanings with detergent (why?)
o The detergent was used to clean bird droppings from local sparrows (why?)
o Sparrows were attracted by the spiders. (why?)
o Spiders were attracted by midges (why?)
o Midges were attracted by the lights (real root cause)
* (Improve is where we generate, validate and implement the improvements we identify.
o Are your countermeasure plans specific and directed at fixing the root causes?
o Have you estimated (quantified) the impact of each counter measure?
* Control ensures the new development or improvement meets or exceeds customer requirements, standardize it, and implement ongoing monitoring to sustain the gain
o Develop a control plan to sustain the gain!
To give credit where it is due this ‘exercise and training’ was provided by Bank of America in 2002 for its personnel. The concepts and theories etc., did originate from another source. The link has since come down so there is no direct reference 16-years later.