If you’re not getting the results you want, it’s probably because you’re measuring the wrong things.
One of the things I do in my coaching and consulting business is help companies define measures and build visual management systems. Contact me and let’s have a chat. I can help.
Since the theme for this month is Let Go, one of the main systems that allows a leader to let go is an effective visual management system.
Yesterday I mentioned a measurement system, and that measurement system is the heart of that effective visual management system.
Today, let’s focus on measuring quality.
Whatever kind of work you do, there should be some way to measure the quality of your results. In some environments, that’s often hard to see.
The very best measures are always objective measures – those that are easy to see. In manufacturing it’s usually easy because you have a product to put together and measure to see if it meets the customer’s requirements.
In other environments, you may have to shift your thinking a little to recognize that where ever you produce some kind of product or service, you can measure the product against a customer requirement. It might be a contract, or a purchase order, or a reimbursement request, or a query to a database, or breakfast at a restaurant, or the education of a student, or spraying a house for bugs.
How you measure that quality component needs to reflect the quality of the PROCESS as well as the quality of the PRODUCT. We have to be able to see where the weaknesses in the product and process design are so we can prevent problems from occurring.
Sadly, our first instinct when quality is poor is to blame the person closest to the error, yell at them or figuratively slap their wrists and tell them to do better or else.
If instead we examine the process and ask “how can we prevent this error from ever happening to anyone again?” then our thinking will be in the right place.
So whatever you measure and post in your visual system should encourage people to share when they make a mistake and where the process is difficult. That’s probably not going to happen if you measure defects in “parts per million.”
Your measures also need to be easy to collect so you don’t burn good, productive time just collecting data to update your board and your database.
Send me your questions about measuring quality and I’ll post an update soon.
Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.