Don’t Skip the Good Stuff Part 3

            Staying in section 0.2, it talks about a process approach emphasizing the importance of

a)    Understanding and meeting requirements

b)    The need to consider processes in terms of added value

c)    Obtaining results of process performance and effectiveness

d)    Continual improvement of processes based on objective measurement

            Understanding and meeting requirements sounds so simple but it was the root cause of my old employer producing unacceptable parts (see Don’t Skip the Good Stuff Part 2).

            Considering the process in terms of added value brings to mind a mistake by a young process engineer. He was charged with finding a way to improve the quality on a product that had approximately two more years of production life and a total sales value of $100,000. He worked diligently researching new systems and methods. He was very proud as he stood before us and proposed we invest $2 million dollars to reduce a .1% defect rate on 250,000 parts worth about 40 cents each to a defect rate of .04%.

            The young man had found a solution that would improve our product quality but the value of his solution to the process was a negative. When working on process improvement it must be cost effective as well as quality effective.

            Look at how the goals are defined to a team assigned a process improvement task. Make sure the team understands the current costs and performance when they start.

            Obtaining the results of process performance and effectiveness and the continual improvement of processes based on objective evidence are blogs for another day.

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