This reader is meant to be used in support of the slides presented on Day2, not in lieu of. The states of processes
Recap of Day 1 - The Process Behavior Chart
Filters the noise of routine variation
Helps predict the future behavior of the process
Defines the Voice of the Process (Average and Limits)
Strikes a balance between two mistakes:
Interpreting noise as if it were a signal
Failing to detect a signal when it is present
Informs about what to expect from a process
Helps you ask the interesting and important questions
Helps identify the priorities
The State of processes
Knowing that a process will produce results predictably is very important because it can be relied upon to plan and manage the business. However, it can also produce predictably results that have too large an amount of variation or are at a level of performance that users, either internal or external might find unsatisfactory. A process needs to satisfy the requirements of its users or customers. A process is deemed Capable when it delivers what is wanted from it. The “Voice of the Customer” represents the requirements. The ability of a process to meet the requirements is called its Capability. Predictability and Capability are the two dimensions that a process can possess. The predictability is determined by the “Voice of the process”. The Voice of the Process defines you will get from a process The Voice of the Customer defines what you want from a process. A process can be either Predictable (P) or Non Predictable (NP). It can also be either Capable(C) or Non Capable (NC ). The combination of these two characteristics -Predictability and Capability defines the four possible conditions that the process might display and only four. These conditions were coined as “states” of a process by Wheeler. They are P-C, P-NC, NP-C, and NP-NC. Wheeler gave them some suggestive names respectively, Ideal, Marginal, Brink of Chaos and Chaos. Dingbats names can be used, however the use of specific colors allow for an instant identification and support the visual analysis and effective process monitoring as explained further down. The colors are P-C dark green, P-NC light green, NP-C yellow and NP-NC red. The terminology and specific colors will be used exclusively throughout the course to identify and relate to the states of processes.
Specific actions required by each state
The ability to identify the state of a process at any given time offers a powerful insight into the workings of an operation. It also provides clear guidelines about which action to take depending upon the state a process is in. It clears the fog of the uncertainty that managers face when they do not know what they are dealing with. Each state calls for a very specific action for optimum efficiency. P-C state (Ideal) needs no any immediate action, only monitoring. P-NC state (Marginal) needs action (re-engineering) only if improvement seems justified or is mandatory. NP-C state (Brink of Chaos) requires prompt action to identify and eliminate the special causes. It is a priority however. NP-NC state (Chaos) requires an all-out immediate effort to eliminate special causes and move toward predictable behavior. There is no slack and this is a priority of the highest order.
Being able to identify the state of the process represents a giant step in understanding the relationships between processes and the factors that underlie the operation of any business. It is a clear departure from the traditional way of managing operations that merely looks at the variance. The ability to know at any time the treatment required by a process saves a great deal of time and provides a seamless operation. This ability accrues only to organizations or people who practice a culture of measurement and know how to interpret the data displayed by the processes correctly.
Aligning the Voice of the Process with the Voice of the Customer It is the job of management to bring the...