Improvement Insights Blog
Think SPC is Too Complex?
Most people are terrified of “statistical” anything. Do you think SPC is too complex? You may not like the alternative.
“Whenever I talk to people about Statistical Process Control, first the word “statistical” scares the living crap out of them. But they say, “Well, you know, uh… I’m not that good with math and formulas,” and I say, “Well, you don’t have to know math and formulas. We’ve got software that’ll do all that for you. What you have to do is know what the chart tells you about what you should do about your process. They’re all a little surprised. “I don’t have to know fo…?” No, you don’t have to know formulas.
“I do believe everybody could benefit from understanding Statistical Process Control, what is common cause variation, what is special cause variation and what you do about it. What do you do about it?
“If you think SPC is too complex, try unemployment; I think the companies that embrace [SPC] and really get skilled at it are going to just lap everybody else in their industry, right? It’s not difficult the way it was when I started where we had to calculate everything manually… there’s no reason to calculate anything manually anymore. That’s dumb, right? For a very cheap fee you can go out and get QI Macros and put it to work plotting everything that you need to know about your process.
“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s go out and start bringing things under Statistical Process Control so we can decide if we need to improve them. Do we need to reduce the variation? Do we need to move the center line up or down? Those are the two things we need to know. That’s it. Let’s go ahead and improve something this week.”