Control Charts? Behavior Charts? Or Performance Charts?
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Control Charts? Behavior Charts? Or Performance Charts?

Shewhart didn’t make our lives any easier 100 years ago when he started using control charts. Here’s why and what to do about it.

“Hi, this is Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and the QI Macros [software].

“Now, a long time ago (I mean this was back in the 1920s and the 1930s), Shewhart did us a disservice. Now, he was most interested in economic control of quality of manufactured product, and he called the charts that he used for that “control charts.” I don’t know about you, but for most people when you hear the word control, they don’t like the idea of being controlled. “Control” just sounds bad, doesn’t it? And then Dr. Donald Wheeler has started to call them “process behavior charts” and trying to shift that nomenclature, but I think that term is kind of long and it doesn’t really give us much incentive – it’s not motivational.

“So I’d like you, if you start talking to your leadership team, to call control charts what they are: They are “performance charts.” Does anybody you know want to improve their control? Well, maybe in their golf swing or their tennis serve. (What they want is better control of their serve) But overall they want to improve their performance. Once you tell people that there’s a performance chart, everybody wants to improve their performance. If you’re trying to introduce this to other people maybe the safe way to go about it – the easy way to go about it – is just to call it a performance chart, not a control chart, not a process behavior chart… a performance chart.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week.”

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