Hope everyone’s 2016 has started off great. It’s not February and many of you may be struggling with keeping this year’s resolution going.
Say weight loss is the goal; weight (measured in pounds) according to the bathroom scale. Like most of you when I see the number on the scale I immediately think of Six Sigma’s Transfer Function. For those of you not familiar, allow me to explain. The transfer function, represented by the equation Y=f(x), means the dependent variable Y is the function (or result) of one or more x inputs. So the weight I see on the bathroom scale (Y) is the result of diet and exercise (x inputs). This leads to the understanding that I can’t directly change the Y, I can only change the x, which ultimately impacts the Y. Follow?
OK, so what? What does this have to do with Lean Six Sigma?
I may want to “lose weight”, a company’s objectives could be “increase profit”. Different objective, but the same Y=f(x) principle applies. Unfortunately many managers can get distracted by looking at Y (not actionable) without working on the Xs (actionable). This is commonly referred to as “analysis paralysis”.
So as the new year pushes on let’s set a professional resolution to go to the Gemba and start improving those Xs, the Y will take care of itself.
Hope all of you have a fantastic 2016!