Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Learning From Process Improvement Efforts

Comment on: How to Improve (at just about anything)

1. The classic way:

Do – make an improvement
Do – change a process
Do – implement some training
Do – install a system

When you have been through the 4 do’s keep right on doing.
2. The recommended way:

Plan – develop an idea or innovation, work out how you will implement it.
Do – carry out the plan on a small-scale, test it to see if it works.
Check – study what happened, did the plan work? If not why not? What can you change?
Act – adopt the change and roll it out, abandon it or learn from it and adapt it.

Another huge benefit to the PDSA cycle in my experience is to learn. I can't remember how many times I would see in the do-do-do-do organization that

do#1 was x
do#2 was y
do#3 was x again
do#4 was z
do#5 was y again

Um, ok, yeah why are we trying things we already know don't work (they are presented as fixes not, as well this old way wasn't great but jeez it was much less bad than the mess we have now so lets go back). Why are we thinking x is going to work when we just dumped x because it wasn't working? PDSA makes you think about the process, study the historical data and document your predictions. The learning will

Related: How to Improve - Document Your Decisions to Learn More Effectively - Learn by Seeking Knowledge, Not Just from Mistakes - Write it Down