In the May/June issue of iSixSigma Magazine, the article, “Taking the Next Step: How to Eliminate Errors for Good,” offers an approach for managing human performance factors in an effort improve processes in service organizations.

An excerpt of a checklist used to measure human performance factors and gauge risk is featured in the magazine article. The following is a full version of the sample checklist.

Table 1: Sample Performance Factors Checklist

Category Performance Factors Comments
Experience Staff turnover rate
Staff experience
Supervisory experience Indication of ability to guide and make decisions
Percent of transfers/temporary employees
Staffing/Resources Number of open requisitions Indication of understaffing
Training Documented training program Indication of consistency in employee training
Documented competency assessment Validates training under conditions of use
Performance Documented expectations for staff Lets employees know what “good” is
Documented process for performance feedback Lets employees know how they are performing
Existence of employee development or mentoring program Allows employees to improve and grow
Written directive Documented procedures at point of use Increased opportunity for compliance and consistency
Documented evidence of compliance Audit processes can provide data and drive accountability
Performance Visible process targets Indicates that expectations are established and known
Visible measure of process performance Lets employees know how process is performing
Documented corrective action process Lets employees know how and when to react to process measures
Benchmarking Documented benchmarking process Comparison to similar processes indicates a culture of continuous improvement
Documented benchmarking actions Indicates action based on benchmark findings
Communication Documented process for directives/questions A poorly defined communication process may indicate that information is not available when needed
Documented process to confirm receipt of information Can indicate a culture of accountability and goal focus
Documented process for collecting and acting on stakeholder feedback Stakeholder satisfaction may impact communication and performance
Data handling
Automation Degree of automated system use Manual processes increase opportunity for error
Complexity of tasks
Duration of process Longer processes are more likely to be impacted by change, which increases the risk of performance failures
Number of steps More steps often result in more errors
Number of handoffs More handoffs often result in more errors
Number of people touching process Greater numbers decrease ownership and accountability
Number of interruptions to the process Greater numbers increase likelihood of process failure
Forecasting/scheduling Pre-project meetings Indication of communication and understanding
Project meeting timing Indication of whether appropriate preparation time is available prior to project initiation
Procedure for integrated scheduling The amount of structure can indicate the appropriate parties are involved and factors are considered
Rate of process change
Standard process Standardization can indicate decreased confusion and greater compliance
Plan changes after pre-project meeting Changes at or near project initiation result in confusion and an inability to plan
Plan changes during project Changes after project initiation result in confusion and increased likelihood of error


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