Overview: What is condition, in terms of Lean Six Sigma?
Process flow conditions are used in Lean Six Sigma to determine whether a workflow step should happen or not. If you only want a workflow step to happen in a certain situation, you can create a condition for the step based on a formula. The step will happen only when the conditions are met.
A condition is a process flow constraint, but not all constraints are conditions. For example, if you have a limited supply of raw materials or people who can perform work on your project, these are examples of constraints because they limit how quickly your process can run.
However, let’s say that your company has set up processes so that it takes three days for an item to go through each step in the production line before being shipped out–this would be another type of constraint (a timing one) but not necessarily a condition because there’s no external factor influencing it (like limited supply).
If you have multiple conditions for a single step, then it must satisfy each of them before going through with its normal workflow process.
Conditions can be added to any step in your process flow diagram and can be used to customize your processes to meet your specific needs.
3 Benefits of condition
Process conditions are a powerful tool in improvement projects. Here’s how they’re beneficial.
1. Conditions help you quickly pinpoint where the bottlenecks are in your process.
If there is variation in your process and it has multiple steps, then it’s likely that there will also be delays or defects somewhere along those steps. Processes that have multiple steps can be analyzed using the Cause-and-Effect Diagram (CED). This diagram helps identify which step(s) might contain the bottleneck or root cause of problems within an operation so they can be improved upon by eliminating unnecessary workflows between processes.
2. Conditions in a process help clearly define levels of acceptable production or service.
Assigning conditions to a step in a process can ultimately reveal permissible outcomes and process inputs, as well as define how close to final completion of the process a step must be in order for it to be acceptable, or for it to move on to another step.
3. Conditions provide insight into process capacity.
This they do by creating benchmarks for the amount of time and resources available during each step.
Why is condition important to understand?
Process flow conditions are an essential part of Lean Six Sigma, because they ensure that each step in a process is completed only after all preceding conditions are met. They help ensure that all steps are completed in a timely and predictable manner.
In order to understand the importance of process flow conditions, it’s important to first understand how they work. Process flow conditions are usually assigned to a step in a process that requires some sort of input from another party or another department. For example, if you’re working on a project where there are multiple steps but you need to wait for someone else to complete their task before you can proceed with your own, then you might have “wait for approval” as one of your process flow conditions.
Process flow conditions help prevent bottlenecks from forming and causing delays in completing tasks. They also help ensure that tasks aren’t being completed out of order or prematurely, which could lead to more bottlenecks.
One of the most significant reasons conditions are important to understand is because they enable you to design a process in such a way that it provides evidence of the degree to which performance is successful. When you define conditions that must be met before a step can be completed, you are able to track KPIs (key performance indicators) that provide evidence as to whether your process is achieving its purpose.
An industry example of condition
Conditions can be used as a way of gaining more control over a process. Each step within that process can have conditions assigned to it that ensure the step is not completed until and unless all conditions are met.
A great example of this is the manufacturing industry. One of the most common uses of conditions in this industry is in quality control. Manufacturing companies will often set up their production line so that each step has a condition that must be met before the next one can proceed.
If a company is making a car, for example, they might make sure that every part is made correctly before it goes through an assembly line where different parts are bolted together. The same goes for things like testing: If quality assurance testing occurs after each step in the production line, there will be fewer problems later on when trying to put things together into finished products to sell them off to customers.
3 Best practices when thinking about condition
There are many best practices when thinking about condition in a Lean Six Sigma process flow. Here are three of the most important ones:
1. Consider the effect of delays on the overall performance of your process.
If you don’t take into account how long it takes for each step, you might miss out on opportunities to improve your overall performance by reducing delays between steps.
2. Ensure that you’ve identified all possible outcomes for each step.
This is so that you can understand exactly what will happen if something goes wrong at any point during the process (and therefore know how to respond).
3. Assign someone responsible for each outcome.
This is so they can make sure everything goes smoothly once it’s time for those outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about condition
What is a condition?
A condition is a specification that must be met in order for one or more subsequent steps to occur in a given process. If a condition has been set on a step, then that step cannot move forward until all of its conditions have been met. Some examples of conditions include: “The person who placed an order must be authorized,” “The product must pass quality control,” and “A product must be available before it can be shipped out.”
How do I know which steps should have conditions assigned to them?
You need to analyze your process and determine what steps are most important before moving on, as well as those that can be eliminated altogether. Then, based on those criteria, you can determine which steps would benefit from conditions and which ones wouldn’t.
Can I define a different condition for each step within my process?
Yes, you can create multiple conditions per step and use them in any way you want—whether that’s to set up automated alerts or to define who needs to get involved at each stage of the process.
Does your process need conditions?
Process flow conditions are great for anyone who wants better visibility into their processes and wants more control over how those processes function on an ongoing basis. In terms of Lean Six Sigma, that type of carefully managed control results seamlessly in the ability to consistently and continuously improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.