Of Constraints & Communication

While learning, studying, and practicing the science and art of process improvement and business betterment, we commonly focus on observable, measurable manufacturing processes.But perhaps the most influential-to-performance business processes are rarely addressed.

Mnet 131699 Alan Nichols Lead

While learning, studying, and practicing the science and art of process improvement and business betterment, we commonly focus on observable, measurable manufacturing processes.Sometimes we also address less tangible business and office processes, yet perhaps the most influential-to-performance business processes are rarely addressed.

Perhaps we don’t address them because we don’t perceive them as processes per se, but I argue that we should.I’m referring to our channels of communication, particularly the alignment of decision-making authority and responsibility with the channels of information necessary to make decisions.

Also, we must address how quickly and accurately instructions and directives are channeled through our organizations.The lag between identification of a need or problem, the decision about what to do, and executing the action a decision dictates can be just as wasteful as a broken manufacturing process or stalled production line.

Here is an example.The quality function representative at the receiving dock opens a package of test samples and discovers that the part numbers are not correct.The quality representative calls the engineer and the purchaser to inform them of the problem.When the engineer gets the message she informs the project manager and then goes to the receiving dock to see if the material is correct and the label is wrong, or if the material is incorrect.

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