Should you focus on processes or outcomes? You’re probably thinking, “What kind of question is that?” But this important question gets to the heart of how we improve performance.
Outcomes get most of the attention. A customer calls about a product defect or late order. All hell breaks loose and it’s all hands on deck to get the order out. This will happen from time to time. But if such chaos is the normal state of affairs, you have process problems that are not getting attention, and you are doomed to repeat the chaos day after day.
When you focus on the process, you pay attention to upstream processes that enable the outcomes. If your routing consists of burning, bending, and welding, you’d focus on the process by measuring the on-time performance of the burn operation, managing the changeovers on the press brake to continually drive out the non-value-added changeover time, and verify that standard work (heats, feeds, speeds, and sequences) is being followed to reduce variation. This process focus enables you to achieve the outcomes. Conversely, focusing on outcomes in isolation without supporting process metrics usually demotivates people.
Read the full story, "How lean manufacturing focuses on both processes and outcomes," at www.thefabricator.com.
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