Monday, February 20, 2017

The Problem Is Exacerbated by Fear of the Word Problem

Comments on What’s Another Word for “Problem”?

I think this is a wise recognition: "may need help in more areas than process improvement."

Fear is likely a part of the problem (yes problem). Such a desire to ignore problems and the word problem can also be greatly enhanced with performance appraisals systems that create a mindset that is focused on hiding potential issues that may reflect poorly on those appraisals...

The problem with the word problem is often not as simple as it may seem at first. Changing the word used may do a tiny bit of good but not much. The underlying issues that cause people to think problems are something to not acknowledge is not something solved by avoiding the word.

Related: If Your Staff Doesn’t Bring You Problems That is a Bad Sign - The Problem is Likely Not the Person Pointing Out The Problem - Is Using the Words Resources or Assets When Talking About People the Problem? - The Importance of Making Problems Visible

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Should I be in the Check Phase of PDCA Daily?

Below is my response on closed forum about whether doing the "check" phase of PDCA daily was too often. I expanded on my comments there a bit in this post.

The check/study phase should be reviewing the results of the experiment done in the Do the experiment phase. "Checking" how things are going during the experiment makes sense but that isn't the check/study phase of PDSA .

For example, you don't want to pay no attention during the experiment and then look at the data and discover the data shows obvious signs the operational definitions were not clear, or the process is providing very bad results. So you need to have those doing the experiment paying attention daily.

Remember one key to using the PDSA cycle is to turn through the whole cycle quickly. Daily would be exceptionally quick. Moving through the whole cycle in 2-6 weeks is more normal. Organizations successful using PDSA will quickly turn the cycle 4+ times for a specific effort (often the 2nd, 3rd... times through are much faster than the first time through).

More on how to use the PDSA well: