Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What’s Most Important: Results or Process?

What’s Most Important: Results or Process?

Note: A post prompted by an on-line conversation with Quality professionals. 

Just recently, I had the opportunity to pose this question to a group of Quality professionals. I fostered a great discussion and debate that affects ALL companies in providing the best product or service. I share some of the opinions here to help us foster some thinking. I like to begin by giving Dr. Deming’s philosophy of “Process” control. “..control limits allow us measure the process outcomes. These control limits help us identify the causes of variation which we use to continuously improve the process to our target goal.” 

The Process is a series of steps. These steps are controlled by Management to a predictable output.

Of course it was the intent of Statistical Process Control to so improve the Process..that the result would be “Predictable.” Now, it is important to note that a process can be in complete control and consistently produce an undesired output. That is why we must first determine the best target for our result. Controlling the process would then assure that the target is met every time the process is run. Here are some opinions on that. 

“Processes (by definition) produce results. Someone with demonstrably evident knowledge in response to management who established results to be achieved (goals) was "By what method?" "The outcome of management by results is more trouble, not less. What is wrong? Certainly we need good results, but management by results is not the way to get good results. It is action on outcome, as if the outcome came from a special cause. It is important to work on the causes of results – i.e., on the system."  a systems engineer.

"All things work together for Good"
“As a former process engineer, I vote for process since it is built around a specification or requirement and strives for optimal quality and efficiency. The sought after results should be achieved.”  Process engineer

“What is most important depends of your point of view:  From a customers point of view only the result (product or service) counts. I don’t know of any customer who gets a warm feeling from a perfect process. I know of customers coming back or running away from poor products or services.  From QA point of view I know you need your processes to be controlled to get your desired results”  A lead ISO auditor.

In my opinion, the ladder answer really sums up the question. The customer is concerned about the result. The reliable product that meets their expectation or the service that is outstanding to them. How we achieve those results is the direct responsibility of management and their knowledge, skill and ability to control the process to achieve that result. 

Coronado Resort at Disney World Fl. 

NOTE: Statistical Process Control is the most popular workshop at our QA “Tools” symposium coming up at the Coronado Resort at Disney World Florida at the end of September. Linkedin members have a special rate of $999. Go to : to find see the speakers, Agenda and What’s included. 


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