Over the past five weeks, data has been collected from the process of getting my daughter, Sophie, ready for daycare in the morning. I have tracked six key areas, or steps, in the process: The time it takes to wake her up, The time it takes to get her to go to the bathroom, The time it takes to get her stuff ready, The time it takes to get her dressed, The time it takes to brush her teeth and hair, and The time it takes to get her into the car. In this paper, I will discuss what I have discovered based on this data, I will identify roadblocks to the process and recommend strategies to overcome them, and I will discuss the variables which affect the steps in the process. Finally I will discuss the confidence interval of each step as well as the total processing time. I have based my understanding of process control, confidence intervals, and control limits on Chase, Jacobs & Aquilano (2006)
Over the five weeks, the mean total time it takes to get Sophie ready for daycare is 38.92 minutes, with a standard deviation of 9.96. The shortest amount of time was twenty minutes and the longest was fifty-eight minutes. The most time consuming individual step is getting her dressed, the reasons for which will be discussed shortly.
Waking her up takes an average of 2.79 minutes, with her generally waking up before me, and a standard deviation of 4.29. This deviation is due to the fact that about once a week, she does not want to wake up and so it can take up to ten minutes to get her out of bed.
After she wakes up, I immediately take her to the bathroom. At three she is potty trained but still needs an occasional reminder. This step in the process has a mean time of 3.29 minutes and a standard deviation of 1.60. This step is very consistent.
The next step in the process involves getting her stuff ready. This includes making sure her bag is packed with a clean change of clothes and any other materials she may need for the day. Also included in this is picking out her clothes for the day and finding her shoes. This step in the process has a mean time of 6.75 minutes and a standard deviation of 2.75.
The following step is getting her dressed. This is also the step that has been identified as the main bottleneck in the process. This step has a mean time of 16.5 minutes and a standard deviation of 5.16. The extreme deviation in this step is based on a single primary factor: fussiness. On some mornings, Sophie is happy with the clothes I have chosen and eager to get dressed. On other mornings she does not like what I have chosen and/or does not want to get dressed. On good days, it generally takes from ten to fifteen minutes to get her dressed, on days when she doesn't want to get ready, it can take up to twenty-seven minutes. Since this step is the primary bottleneck in the process, this is the step I have focused on in regards to improving efficiency. The strategy I have recommended in order to improve efficiency is simple. On the night before, prior to Sophie's bedtime, I will pick out her clothes for the following day, with her help. This will allow her to have some level of control over what she wears and she will also know ahead of time what outfit she will be putting on. Doing this should eliminate the problem of her not liking the clothes I have picked out for her and it should improve the mean time and decrease the standard deviation of the time it takes to get her dressed.
Brushing her teeth and combing her hair is generally an easy process as she enjoys brushing her teeth and having her hair combed. The mean time of this step is 5.79 with a standard deviation of 1.28 minutes.
The final step in the process of getting her ready is getting her down to the car and secured in her car seat. This step has a mean of 3.79 and a standard deviation of only .88 minutes. Only very rarely does this step take more than three to four minutes, and this is...