Chapter 8

Analysing What’s Affecting Performance

In This Chapter

arrow Finding out what’s at fault

arrow Using data to prove the point

arrow Introducing the maths of Lean Six Sigma

Whether you manage a day-to-day operation or are involved in a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) improvement project, you need to understand what factors can affect performance, especially if you encounter problems in meeting your customers’ requirements. In this chapter, we introduce a selection of tools and techniques to help you identify the ‘guilty parties’. We focus on how and how well the work gets done – the process and the data.

Unearthing the Usual Suspects

If you’ve seen the Oscar-winning film The Usual Suspects, you may remember its false trails and red herrings. Not until the closing scenes do you find out just who the guilty person is. Many of the usual suspects are innocent – just like in real life and in your search for the root causes of problems in your process.

People often jump to conclusions about the possible causes of problems; in many organisations, managers seem to ‘know’ for sure what the causes are. Usually, however, a whole range of suspects influence performance and affect ...

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