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What Initiates a Data Collection Plan

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  • #53893

    Patrick Goodrich
    Participant

    Something I’m not absolutely clear on is what or who should initiate a data collection plan. Is it suppose to be the bean counters sitting around a table looking at a set of financial statements and assuming something looks wrong and deciding to pursue a project?

    Perhaps this is one of the more common approaches to identify potential projects. Or perhaps it is should be more of a collaborative approach with people like ourselves.

    Any thoughts, ideas and experiences are welcomed.

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    #191839

    Data collection can be done by any resource. However, what is critical to the process of data collection is collecting relevant data by identifying metrics which then pave the way to initiate a project.This is where the need for a presence of a quality professional comes in.

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    #191843

    Darth
    Participant

    Ahh so now you suggest that Patrick needs a “quality professional” to help identify metrics to pave the way to initiating a project. Then why did you see a need to post previously asking for ideas? If you are a consultant and possibly a quality professional why not heed your own advice and use some data to generate ideas for your business transformation team????

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    #191855

    john berilla
    Guest

    “Bean counters” run financial analysis / audits in an effort to understand where an organization is leaking profitability and missing financial opportunities. Traditinal LSS data collection efforts are project-based endeavors which seek to reduce uncertainty surrounding a process’s performance characteristic(s) and provide clarity in understanding “what does what to what” within said process. It doesnt have to be intricate or complicated. Even a few valid data points can be tremendously helpful in CPI. Good luck.

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    #191856

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I am having some issues figuring out why people have an issue using accounting data as a starting point in the absence of any other ideas. You can pretty easily understand what most of the leadership team believe about the company because that would be the place they get their information in terms of profitability and where the revenue all goes. It doesn’t necessarily make it correct but it is the way it is being accounted for. I can normally find a starting point to decide if my pareto is around material costs (which it usually is) or labor or some other aspect of the business.

    I am not sure I would sit down with an accountant to look at it. I prefer to play with the numbers on my own and then ask the accountants questions. Or not since they don’t actually create the data they just compile it and report it.

    Just my opinion.

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    #191859

    Patrick Goodrich
    Participant

    John…thanks, I do agree, the finance/accoutning folks are looking for ways to reduce the amount of uncertainty, its obviously our job to convince them to rely more on LSS analysis, sometimes easier said than done.

    Mike…I also agree with you, that there should be some seperation between the finance/accouinting folks and the LSS teams otherwise I think you loose the proper perspective necessary to be successful with LSS efforts.

    Thanks for the insights…

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    #191862

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Patrick: Don’t put too much separation between LSS teams and finance/acct. Eventually you’ll need them to validate the change (and savings) impact.

    If I understood your original post about “what or who should initiate a data collection plan” I think that the answer is that when you are looking at a process you need to have data. You either have something that exists, or you need to gather data (and even many times when something exists, it’s either the wrong data, corrupt, or just unreliable). So YOU initiate a data collection plan. If acceptable data exists, then get on with analyzing it.

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    #191867

    Darth
    Participant

    We may want to distinguish between what to measure and where and how the data is collected. What to measure can usually come from the “customer” however we define it. Finance and Accounting are good sources of uncovering the big buckets and key lever points. The folks in the process can be useful in collecting the actual data if valid data doesn’t already exist. To identify what to measure and the who/where/when/how will depend on the specifics of the situation. In all cases try to measure things linked back to something that somebody cares about and don’t collect data for the sake of it.

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    #191869

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Just to be clear on why would separate myself from the accountants because they can be very useful mammals. The accounting reports are good starting points but everything will be a drill down process from there. The project isn’t the report unless there is some bogus reporting going on. You need to get down to an actionable level to have a project. Chase the data back to the operation(s) that created it and that is where the project is.

    Just my opinion.

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    #191877

    Patrick Goodrich
    Participant

    I’m hoping to get some insight on what your interpretations would be of this cost curve diagram. Hopefully you can open the file I’ve attached. I have my thoughts, but I’m curious to hear from those of you who have been at this longer than myself and how you might interpret the diagram.
    Thanks.

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    #191879

    Darth
    Participant

    Is this a conceptual model or from real data? Conceptually it seems to say that if we implement or deploy some sort of improvement effort…SS for example…as revenue increases, our cost of poor quality goes down and thus our COGS goes down proportionately and thus our GP goes up. Not sure that there is much of an argument there. Another factor to consider though is that as the number of products/services increase the complexity of the organization increases and thus the slopes of those lines may change. The relationship between COGS, COPQ and GP will alter. Also not sure how you factor in the “cost” of an improvement effort. While most easily pay for themselves they ain’t free despite Crosby’s old claim that Quality is Free.

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    #191884

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I agree with Darth. Conceptually it works. The one area that I would have an issue (this may being to picky – my apologies if it is) is that the COGS and COPQ should be about the same curve and if one drops off faster than the other it should be COGS. When you cut COPQ it goes almost dollar for dollar to the bottom line, that makes them equal. Depending on the project there can be ancillary effects to COGS from a COPQ project where the effect in COGS was not part of COPQ.

    Take a look at Managerial Breakthrough by Juran. He talks about some of these concepts in that book.

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    #191899

    Patrick Goodrich
    Participant

    Mike – interesting observation. Perhaps the broken line in the diagram is suppose to represent COGS being driven down by the SS improvement effort ? And the COPG off to the side is just to remind the reader of the various items related to COPQ ?
    I was thinking about using this a part of a presentation, but I obviously need to be certain about the message I’m trying to convey.

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    #191907

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Mike: You found an accountant that was in the mamillian genus? All the ones that I know are cold blooded.

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    #191908

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Patrick: Looking at your graph, I would say that often times implementation of LSS (and yes, you need to include Lean) results in a step-change to the COGS line, not merely a reduction in slope.

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    #191915

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I have had the same CPA for over a decade. Her son does the accounting for my factory. Her daughter does the invoicing for the consulting company and she pays all my personal bills. They are like family.

    You have to have good accountants and mean attorneys.

    As Anthony Quinn said “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If you have sharp teeth they will leave your eyes alone.”

    Just my opinion.

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    #191916

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    I have accountants that actually ARE family. Wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw them with my money.

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