First: Document a currently troublesome process
Working alone or with a team:
1. Choose a troublesome issue or task that you are currently working on in your organization. Choose a problem you care about. Choose a problem you know well enough to allow you to flowchart its process with some detail.
2. Using Post-Its to allow for corrections and flexibility, build a process flowchart for this target process.
3. Remember, this problem is a current natural consequence of a process in place. You may start by first posting the problem as the last step of the process, and post the preceding steps one at a time moving upstream.
4. Remember to include in your flowchart the indications of current P/R measurements; these feedback steps occur early (P = preventative) or at the end (R = result). These steps are posted diagonally to represent questions of "are we OK to this point?"
Leading (P) and Lagging (R) indicators:
• P measurement (process, preventative, proactive, etc. A feedback measurement which is taken before the last step in a process, and monitored and responded to, can indicate whether a process should be allowed to continue operating or be stopped to prevent further errors from being generated. P mechanisms prevent errors by the way they are built.
• R measurement (result): a measurement that is taken after the last step in a process to confirm the preceding process has generated a success. In the example on page 1: Is Product Good?
Second: Document the flowchart’s scoreboard
A scoreboard is a description for the process in question of "success as measured by…" Here you want the exercise team to document what they expect a well functioning process to deliver.
Example Criteria: QCDISM$
• Quality -- defects, complaints, rework, etc.
• Cost -- operations costs, warranty, etc.
• Delivery -- on-time, right product/right place/right time, etc.
• Innovation -- new products, improvements, new business, etc.
• Safety -- days without accident, hours lost time, etc.
• Morale -- absenteeism, tardiness, turnover, etc.
• $ — revenues, profits margins, etc.
Example With Metrics
• Quality: complaints on fewer than 5 percent orders, measurable improvement on 75 percent of our processes
• Cost: operating at or below operating expense plans
• Delivery: delivering product to customers on time 95 percent time
• Innovation: supporting two new programs per half year as outlined in 2007 strategic plan
• Safety: no lost time due to accidents
• Employee morale: employee turnover less than 10 percent per year
• $: maintain 25 percent profit on results over the month
Third: Flow chart bingo procedures
1. Post your troublesome process flow chart on a wall so all team members can see it easily, or on a table in front of you if you are working alone.
2. Confirm that the flow chart represents the process as it currently operates. Correct if necessary.
3. Using colored dots, create a legend with your flowchart’s scoreboard that lists its preferred performance. Example: Red = quality, green = cost, yellow = delivery, etc.
4. Review your flowchart; compare each process step with each category of your scoreboard.
5. Place a colored dot wherever you believe a major problem occurs.
6. You will create a map of your process’s waste targets.
Your next step will be to develop a revised flowchart that addresses the concentration of problems. I will offer suggestions in next month’s newsletter.
Flow chart bingo - Considerations
Dialogue is a conversation that generates learning.
Flow chart bingo is a dialogue technique that helps to discover which potential problems are located in which segments of a process.
The finished flowchart with a few concentrations of dots becomes a treasure map.
Reducing or eliminating the issues highlighted by the dots represents eliminating waste. Eliminating waste is a spectacular money saver.
The history of quality improvement is based on the sequence of these steps: what process is causing the disappointment, what is the standard, what is the gap.
Eliminate the gap and pursue the next troublesome process.
1. See Process Improvement video at youtube.com/canfieldgoodthinking
2. Google Images – search for flowcharts to find many examples and alternate formats.
3. Good Thinking Series – Part 2: Collaborate – includes about 50 collaboration tools
4. Good Thinking Series - Associated Videos
5. Upcoming public seminars. University of Michigan: Strategic Planning, October 1, 2015; Scenario Planning, October 8, 2015. Call for Jazmin Ellington (734) 647-0533) for registration details.
6. Websites: www.johncanfield.com and www.goodthinkingseries.com
7. Call or write 616-392-2634, firstname.lastname@example.org