The Idea Behind the “GPS” in “ProcessGPS”

by Michael Reames and Gabriel Kemeny - ProcessGPS on August 15, 2010

Linkedin Facebook Twitter Email


  The_GPS_in_ProcessGPS.pdf (221.1 KiB)

GPS is a wonderful technological advance, don’t you agree? No longer do independent types need to feel embarrassed, for no longer do they have any cause to stop to ask a stranger for directions. Still, we must admit that the various units we’ve used are not entirely error-free, and they do create some minor annoyances with their slow response speeds and their delays in recognizing that you did not take the path selected for you.

Although the “GPS” in “ProcessGPS” does not stand for Global Positioning System, the analogy is not far removed from the concept. In fact, “GPS” stands for “Guaranteed Project Success”, a pledge that our experienced consultants can train and coach your committed organization to project success. It is based on many years of successful engagements with a large number of clients and organizations.

If you’re like most of us, you tend to look forward with anticipation to road trips – especially an exciting adventure to a new destination. You’ve carefully packed the car; you know where you’re headed; indeed, you’ve entered the coordinates into the GPS, your designated “navigator” for the trip.
And even with your GPS, getting to your destination can be challenging.  “Should we turn left or turn right?” “Was that our exit?” “Are we there yet?”
For those who have taken process improvement seriously, analyzing data can be a very similar experience, with amazingly similar questions. “Which hypothesis test will effectively establish a root cause?” “How do we interpret the results?” “What’s the right conclusion based on my analysis?” “Are these results statistically significant? and/or valid?”
Not so long ago, we only had road maps [and, in our case, AAA TripTiks] to help us navigate the unknown route. Now we have the next technological leap, GPS. It’s easy to use, dependable, and gets us where we want to go in the least amount of time. You can even use a GPS system to get off the open road and find your way through a forest or a series of unimproved trails. They really expand your ability to get from point A to point B.

But, let’s face it, GPS units are not the be-all and end-all. Even the next-generation of GPS is unlikely to match the expertise of someone who has been on the same road to your destination and who knows all the shortcuts, pitfalls to avoid, and cautions.

The consultants at ProcessGPS are those kinds of experts. Each has over two decades in the field of process improvement, Lean Six Sigma, process re-engineering, quality management, and performance excellence. They have acted as the GPS for companies and organizations that are serious about using data to establish root causes and implementing permanent solutions rather than “quick fixes.”
In the early, heady days of Six Sigma in large corporations, some folks had difficulty with the concept. In particular: When a project team is working on a strategically important project, why would they not set Six Sigma performance as their stated goal? Only when they understood that a team could achieve significant progress by improving a process from 1.1 sigma to 2.2 sigma. Using the standardized normal table, we see that this represents a 90% reduction in defects, from 135,666 DPMO to 13,903 DPMO (for those new to the concept, DPMO is Defects Per Million Opportunities). On a yield basis, this represents an increase in effective yield of 86.5% to 98.6%.

What we learn from this simple example is that it’s not always important to achieve the Six Sigma goal. And if a person sets a long-term personal goal to get from Point A to Point B, is it not significant to move several miles along the way, even if he/she does not get all the way to the destination?  

Let ProcessGPS help you navigate your way through your analysis. Our comprehensive training and job aids help you to choose the right tool and even interpret your results. We work with leaders, their teams, and their projects from start to finish. We can be your best “guarantee” of “project success.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: