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Improving Analysis of Key Performance Measures at Four Middle-Sized Manufacturing Companies

Moving Focus from What Has Happened to What to Do by

Johan Holgård ; Marcus Danielsson
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2010. 58 s. Diploma work - Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology; 32, 2010.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

This thesis project aims to improve decision-making at four middle-size companies by helping them to understand variation and analyze key performance measures. The authors wanted to move focus from what has happened to what to do. In today’s “Information Age”, much of the information presented is in the form of numbers. One of the major problems in organizations today is that often, such as in the monthly report, only two points are compared to each other. This is a nonsense analysis which generates chaos in the organizations (section 8.2.1.1). Before information can be useful it must be analyzed, interpreted and assimilated. It is this process of digesting data that often is missing in organizations today. The purpose of this thesis can be formulated in three research questions; How did the companies change their attitudes and behaviour as a result of understanding variation? How should a method to understand variation be implemented?, What aspects are important to consider when undertaking an implementation process? The companies involved in this project spent a lot of time and resources on discussions about processes improvement. However, without a tool that enabled them to listen to the process and really understand the process’ behaviour, the conclusions were often arbitrary. What was needed was a new way of analyzing data and a new way of thinking concerning their processes. The new method is the process behaviour chart and the new way of thinking is understanding variation. With better understanding of the processes and better knowledge about how and when to improve them, the organizations will free up time and resources to be allocated on other business areas. The most significant change identified was a change in how the companies use performance measures. With a better understanding of the behaviour of the performance measures used to control the processes over time, a change of focus from “What has happened?” to “What can we do about it?” could be observed. The performance measures were not just used for information purposes anymore, but actually used for improving the processes. The thesis also discusses why the method and tool have not been implemented before. A model for implementation of the concept was developed. It is a step-based model based on moments of standardization. Moments of standardization are significant points in the process were learning occurred. A very important enabler for successful implementation is common method and concept understanding of the group. By only training individuals, the implementation did not have the same impact, which was partially observed in the project. The project concludes that a full implementation requires patience and motivation; patients because it involves organizational change and motivation to realize the long-term benefits. The results of this project can be used by Skärteknikcentrum to further spread the concept to other member companies. The most interesting findings can be found in chapter 4 and for a quick read-through it is recommended to go to that chapter immediately after introduction.

Nyckelord: Six Sigma, process improvement, understanding variation, key performance measures



Publikationen registrerades 2011-09-20. Den ändrades senast 2013-04-04

CPL ID: 146441

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