Improvement Insights Blog
Start Using XmR Charts for All of Your KPIs
Do you spend too much time chasing why one number is too high or another is too low? Are these kinds of wild goose chases wasting time while the real problems go wanting? The XmR chart is the answer to your dreams.
“Dr. Donald Wheeler calls the XmR chart (or Individuals and Moving Range chart) “the Swiss Army knife of control charts.” You can use it for all kinds of things.
“I believe if every company in America started using XmR charts to track all of their key process indicators, I don’t care if it’s financial results or defects or patient length of stay or I don’t care what it is. If you just start tracking it using a control chart you would very quickly notice which processes are stable and predictable and which ones are going out of control and doing crazy stuff, and you could go and fix the things that are broken rather than just chasing things.
“Now I don’t know about you, but if you worked in a big company like I have, there’s a lot of wild goose chases, right? We go out and say, “Why is that number up this month,” and “Why is that number down,” and you run around and you chase and you discover that there’s nothing special going on. There was no special cause; it’s normal common variation.
“If we started using XmR charts to track all of our key process indicators, guess what? I think we’d smooth out all of the chaos that runs in a lot of companies, chasing numbers that haven’t really done anything special. Now the QI Macros Control Chart Dashboards are able to create big old crazy dashboards of XmR charts pretty easily.
“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software]. That’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Master the XmR chart and start tracking all your key process indicators and you’ll be glad you did.”