Jan 9, 2016
This week's podcast, continues our "Knowledge in Variation Series" with Dr. Frony Ward, Managing and Founding Partner of Pinnacle Partners, Inc. Frony discusses the importance of Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all parts of an organization and why it's a barrier to many.
Frony was first introduced to SPC (Statistical Process Control) when she was teaching at the University of Tennessee. An opportunity arose to be a part of an institute surrounding statistical process control and she jumped in with both feet, deepening her knowledge of Deming. The institute became a place for people to continue learning after Dr. Deming's Four-Day Seminar. Frony spent the remainder of her time at U of T working with automotive facilities that wanted to study variation and use SPC.
Frony had an opportunity to meet Dr. Deming in 1982 and he completely turned her thinking upside down, especially around Acceptance Sampling Plans. Deming's theory was that the percentage of defective units in the rest of the lot is independent of the percentage of defective units in your sample. Her mind was blown when she went back and proved this herself.
When Frony first learned SPC, it was totally new to her. At first she didn't realize the impact of knowing common cause and special cause variation. After a number of engagements it became obvious that SPC was "the name of the game". At all levels of the organization, from the inspection level to the management level, she could see instantly what was going on by using SPC. It was a powerful tool to "highlight" what people needed to know to make decision and help improve.
Frony finds it fascinating and frustrating that many organizations are aware of SPC but don't use it. She feels that for some reason, finance systems can compromise improvement. Organizations just don't understand that the process behavior chart is the "secret sauce" to seeing their organization.