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Using Models to Drive Process Improvement. Kurt D. Roudabush, PMP CMQ/OE, CQE, CQA, CSQE. Where are we going?. Why? How? Is there something better?. Where are we going?. Why? How? Is there something better?. Experience That Is Too Common.

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using models to drive process improvement

Using Models to Drive Process Improvement

Kurt D. Roudabush, PMP


where are we going
Where are we going?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Is there something better?
where are we going1
Where are we going?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Is there something better?
experience that is too common
Experience That Is Too Common
  • A 2-year process improvement effort is completed
  • Quickly or slowly, but steadily it begins to fade away
  • A year or so later there is little evidence anything was done!
why do organizations most often do process improvement
Why Do Organizations Most Often Do Process Improvement?
  • Follow the leader - Everyone else is doing it
  • A champion - An executive heard about it or read about it somewhere
  • A prod - A customer demands it
  • A cause – If we don’t do something, we won’t survive
why should organizations do process improvement
Why Should Organizations Do Process Improvement?
  • As a means to achieve organizational goals/objectives derived from strategic plans.
    • Always maintain the link to the goals/objectives and strategies
    • If you don’t, the process improvement effort will not survive an economic downturn or the loss of the key sponsor
think programme management
Think “Programme Management”
  • My advice to organizations used to be to treat process improvement efforts as a project
  • This may not give enough emphasis to critical success factors
  • Programme management is about tying the improvement effort to the goals/objectives and ensuring that the process capabilities developed return measurable results.
  • For more info, google “OGC Managing Successful Programmes”

Key # 1!

where are we going2
Where are we going?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Is there something better?
lots of ways to do it
Lots Of Ways To Do “It”?
  • SPC
  • TQM
  • ISO
  • 6 Sigma
  • Lean
  • Lean/6 Sigma
  • Other
define models

Presidential Citizen’s Medal - Awarded to U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds or services for his or her country or fellow citizens

Define “Models”
  • What do you think of when you hear the word “Model”?
process improvement models
Process Improvement Models
  • Definition - A model is a collection of process elements and practices that can be used as a pattern for process development and a criteria against which a process can be assessed objectively.
  • Some examples:
    • ISO 9001
    • CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integrated)
    • MBNQA (Baldrige Award)
    • ISO 15504 (SPiCE)
  • Definition - An approach is any methodology or system of tools that is been used to guide problem solving, management, etc.
  • Some examples:
    • TQM
    • 6-Sigma
    • Lean
look at models approaches
Look at Models/Approaches
  • Each one developed to:
    • Address a certain principle
    • Resolve a certain issue
iso 9001
ISO 9001
  • Requirements:
    • 4. Quality management system
    • 5. Management responsibility
    • 6. Resource management
    • 7. Product realization
    • 8. Measurement, analysis and improvement

Focus in practice is usually on establishing foundational processes and being able to “Fly the Flag”. Should be used for much more.


5 Maturity Levels

22 Process Areas

Specific Goals

Specific Practices

Generic Goals

Generic Practices

Staged Representation

Continuous Representation

  • Process areas
    • Requirements Management
    • Project Planning
    • Project Monitoring and Control
    • Supplier Agreement Management
    • Measurement and Analysis
    • Project and Process Quality Control
    • Configuration Management
    • Requirements Development
    • Technical Solution
    • Product Integration
    • Verification
    • Validation
    • Organizational Process Focus
    • Organizational Process Definition +IPPD
    • Organizational Training
    • Integrated Project Management + IPPD
    • Risk Management
    • Decision Analysis and Resolution
    • Organizational Process Performance
    • Quantitative Project Management
    • Organizational Innovation and Deployment
    • Causal Analysis and Resolution

Level 2


Level 3


Focus is on Product Development Process Maturity

Level 4

Quantitatively Managed

Level 5


mbnqa and mqla
  • 7 Categories (1,000 pts. Total)
    • Leadership (120 pts.) – Sr. leaders, governance, ethics
    • Strategic Planning (85 pts.) – Strategic objectives, action plans, deployment
    • Customer and Market Focus (85 pts.) – Customer, customer, customer
    • Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management (90 pts.) – Data availability/usage/ communication, systematic performance improvement
    • Workforce Focus (85 pts.) – High performance, alignment, capability, capacity
    • Process Management (85 pts.) – Core competencies, work systems, customer value, sustainability
    • Results (450 pts.) – Outcomes, performance, process effectiveness, customer-focused, financially-focused, workforce-focused, leadership driven

Focus is on Business Excellence

spice iso iec 15504
SPiCE (ISO/IEC 15504)
  • European answer to CMMI
  • Process Reference Model (PRM) and Process Assessment Model (PAM)
  • Domain specific (e.g. Automotive SPiCE – software development only for the auto industry)

Focus on process maturity and continuous improvement with customization to specific domains.

  • "TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society." ISO 8402:1994

Focus is in involving everyone and all aspects of the business in problem solving.

6 sigma
  • Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit).
  • DMAIC (problem solving approach)
  • Specialists – black belts and green belts

Focus on eliminating sources of error/variation with emphasis on the financial impact.

  • A practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.

Focus on cutting waste

where are we going3
Where are we going?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Is there something better?
pros and cons
Pros and Cons
  • What are your goals/objectives and strategies?
  • What’s your SWOT look like?
  • What are your “Pain Points”?
  • What do your customers want/demand?
  • What is your corporate culture?
why do we put blinders on
Why do we put blinders on?
  • Is your organization the same as that of the developers of any of these models?
  • Do your needs match theirs?
  • It’s easy to take what worked for them and apply it (as is) in your organization – We don’t have to think! No analysis required!
  • Does it make sense?

Key # 2!

how can the organization realize the greatest benefit
How Can the Organization Realize the Greatest Benefit?
  • Good - Which of the models/ approaches seems to be the best fit or already has a champion?
  • Better – What combination of elements from them will give the strongest/quickest benefits short term?
  • Best – How is the choice going to help us reach our goals/objectives, achieve our goals long term?
how do you decide
How do you decide?
  • What methods would you suggest?
  • Look at things like decision matrix, force field analysis, mind maps, etc.
  • Program Management –
    • Strategies  Process Improvement  Outcomes
  • Don’t get hung up on one methodology
    • Don’t just “Study to the test”
    • Think “toolboxes”
  • Look at the needs/benefits
    • Stop focusing on the model/approach
    • They are just tools
final recommendation
Final Recommendation
  • Remember Deming’s 1st Point
    • “Constancy of purpose”
    • Roudabush (plagiarized) paraphrase -

“Keep On, Keepin’ On!”