Process Analysis Tools :: Overview Click here to go to the homepage
What is it?
Operations are composed of processes that add value. Enhancing processes can contribute to the success of organizations. Step-by-step approach to process analysis ensures better success. These steps are:
1. define the problem
2. gather data to describe the problem
3. determine possible causes
4. select the root cause
5. develop solution strategies
6. test and evaluate solutions
Why is it important?
Constant change is new reality in the world of business. A systematic process analysis methodology helps identify and correct bottlenecks and helps in eliminating any waste.  
When to use it?
Process analysis activity should be undertaken on a regular basis to help in increasing the capacity, take full advantage of the processes, improve throughput and reduce cycle time. When doing such as analysis, some common pitfalls are:
1. not understanding the problem
2. not considering all possible failure modes/causes
3. not identifying all root causes
4. runaway tests and analysis
5. adopting a 'remove & replace' mentality
6. silver bullet theory
7. failing to follow-through
8. tearing a system apart without a plan
How to use it?
Do a step by step analysis using the tools listed
1. Define the process - identify the inputs and outputs
2. Gather data to describe problems (waste)
3. Determine possible causes
  affinity chart, brainstorming, check sheet, fishbone diagram, force-field analysis, outcome control panel, pareto analysis.
4. Select the root cause
  check sheet, decision matrices, fishbone diagram, force-field analysis, multi-voting, pareto analysis, prioritization matrices, relationship chart, why technique.
5. Develop solution strategies
  affinity chart, brainstorming, contingency diagram, decision matrices, flow chart, force-field analysis, multi-voting, prioritization matrices, tree diagram.
6. Test and evaluate strategies
  check sheet, contingency diagram, control charts, flow chart, focus group survey, gantt chart, pareto analysis, run chart.
What's on the web?
1. Decision Support Tools from U of Cambridge - alphabetical index of tools and concepts in quality
2. Quality Tools from Clemson U - control charts as a tool in sqc
3. Quality Tools from Vanderbilt U - detailed information on old and new tools
4. Root Cause Analysis - by Bill Wilson
5. Quality Tools and their application
6. Regression Analysis :: Using Ordinal Regression Model to Analyze Student Satisfaction Questionnaires by Chau-Kuang Chen & John Hughes, Jr., Meharry Medical College
Food for Thought !
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