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Positional, Cyclical and Temporal Variation

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Positional, Cyclical and Temporal Variation

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  mjones 14 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #36166

    Prakash Roshan
    Participant

    Doing the Multi-vari studies, I came across these 3 as sources of variation. Could someone provide me with an example in the services industry that explains these terms
    a. Positional Variation, b. Temporal, c. Cyclical
     

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    #103519

    Iain Hastings
    Participant

    Dear Prakash,
    Positional variation is also known as “within part” variation. In manufacturing processes it would normally be the variation across a part (eg surface finish) or the variation across a unit containing many parts or by position in a batch process. Without knowing the service industry that you had in mind it is a bit diffficult to come up with a relevent example. But anywhere that you are processing multiple items at the same time or in the same equipment would allow for positional variance (baking cookies? – variation due to position in the oven, washing dishes?- does cleanliness depend on where the dish is in the dishwasher)
    Cyclical or part-to-part variation is the variation between consecutive units or the batch to batch average differences (again consecutive). So if you are in the hotel industry and it takes you 2 minutes to check-in Guest A and 3 minutes to check in Guest B…you get the picture.
    Temporal would be related to shift-to-shift or day-to-day. Or more generally anything that you did not include in the other 2 categories. Any seasonal variations might also be considered here. An example would be if  a process dependent on the day of the month.
    Regards,

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    #103523

    mjones
    Participant

    Iaian is correct in his definitions. The first thing you must define in transactional (like mfg) is, what is the “part?”
    In healthcare, is the “part” the patient or, the patient and family?
    If, for example, “part” is the ‘whole family’ (i.e., hospitals need to manage the family, not just the patient) then within-part variation could be how the patient is managed vs. how various family mbrs are handled. Part-to-part variation would be differences in how different patients and/or families are handled for a given setting of time. Temporal are differences over time — typically we think of seasonal or environmental issues, but in a clinical situation it could be differences by 24-hr shifts, or week-day vs. weekend.
    Hospitality industries have similar issues. However, if the ‘part’ is each person staying at a hotel, or eating at a restuarant, the ‘within part’ variation may not even be relevant. Or, within-part would apply if you choose to measure the effectiveness of a variety of satisfaction issues for a specific transaction, e.g., when the waiter took the order, was the entire interface effective? or, did we satisfy the customer’s needs for cycle time, and friendliness, and knowledge of the menu…That is, we are measuring several things about the ‘part’ or measuring the ‘part’ in different places, just as we would on a hardware part.

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    #103562

    Bob J
    Participant

    mjones,
    Good post and an excellent example….  I was going to reply with a database example but yours is better…  Nicely done…
    Best Regards,
    Bob J

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    #103671

    mjones
    Participant

    Thanks for the compliment, Bob. Just trying to help… To me, that’s what this forum is all about — exchanging ideas and experiences.

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