This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.
Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2005 ISSN # 1545-8873
“If you do not know how to describe what you are doing as a process, you do not know what you are doing.” — W. Edwards Deming
“There are as many different versions of a process, as there are authors of the flowchart.” — M. K. Key
“We should work on our processes, not the outcome of our processes.” — W. Edwards Deming
As leaders, we are great inspectors. People bring us numbers, problems, and outcomes to analyze and affix causation (sometimes “fault”), therefore remedy. We inspect, with the aim of finding the bad causes and eliminating them. This is too late, ineffective, and costly. You cannot inspect quality into a process. As Dr. Deming said, “Quality comes not from inspection but from improvement of the process.” We must view our work as process, designed to delight customers. And the best way to examine a process is to draw a picture of it – i.e., flowchart. (Many people have incorporated flowcharts as job descriptions and as depictions of policies and procedures.) Begin by examining your own processes and customers, with mind to making your work serve those who depend on you for their work. You are not the judge; you are an integral part of a system, composed of multitudes of processes.
Tally these pre- and post-improvements, for a measure of change.
There is ample software to draw your flowcharts, but I highly recommend manual charting with Post-its first: 3 X 5’s for action steps and boundaries, 3 X 3’s turned for questions, and tiny ones for connectors. Or use Post-it precut flowchart symbols: Flaire
Key Associates offers a course on Creative Tools and Methods for Innovation.
Good tutorial, some missing links: http://isds.bus.lsu.edu/cvoc/learn/bpr/cprojects/spring1998/modeling/flowchart.html.
Another good tutorial: Basic Tools for Process Improvement.
Software buyers guide: Flowcharting & Process Simulation Software Buyers Guide.
Amazon.com's inventory of software: Amazon Flowcharts.
MS Excel Templates: Systems2win.
Graham Process Flowcharting: Graham Process Mapping Software.
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