Process Behavior Charts: Anybody Else Using Them?
Jeff Fuchs
2 Posts
Last week I spent several days with a company helping them move forward on their Lean Journey.  One of their opportunity areas was around their organizational metrics. Production area team leaders meet around their boards each morning with their people, managers do the same at their level, and senior leadership monitors the numbers.  Routines are working well, but I noticed several problem behaviors:
  • Everyone has at least one metric (quality, cost, delivery) that falls short of a target figure.  They use simple red/green visual displays for everything. Whether they miss by 1 or 100, the metric is red.  Whenever a metric is red, leaders teams get negative feedback, and they demand cause and corrective action.  Conversely, greens are celebrated, and leaders reinforce their perceptions that their attention to yesterday's red 'lit a fire' that got results.  In actuality, much of their nervous, overcorrective action is in response to random noise.
  • Trends in performance begin to emerge in their daily data, but since they wipe their boards clean each Monday morning, start over, and aggregate their daily details into monthly bar charts, all trend data that they can use to correlate cause and effect from their improvement projects gets washed away like sand castles at high tide.
I introduced them to Process Behavior Charts, run charts with simple statistical tools and rules that anyone can use.  If you are not familiar with these, Mark Graban just wrote a good book on the topic, Measures of Success.  See one of his blog posts here:
It is still early, but there is already a different type of discussion happening around their boards, and behaviors are beginning to change to something more data-driven that doesn't overreact to every little blip.

Do these problems sound familiar?
Anyone out there have any experience to share with Process Behavior Charts: run charts with simple stats?  If so, do you have any tips or lessons-learned?

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