Search the Elsmar Cove!
**Search ALL of Elsmar.com** with DuckDuckGo including content not in the forum - Search results with No ads.

Deming's SoPK (System of Profound Knowledge) Discussion

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
ddhartma said:
Mike, The 4 level competence scheme deals with "Training Competence" only (a very small portion of the total evaluation Dr. Tribus describes - Things you See; Things you Hear; Attitudes Displayed; Topics of Discussion in meetings; Expectations of the Workforce; Priorities assigned to Customer's Desires; and the Goals of the Enterprise).

Certain aspects of life (and management) are measurable and objective, but many others are subjective (and are like round pegs in square holes when you attempt to measure them objectively) - you can fool yourself into thinking that you have eliminated the subjective bias, but it will always remain and your resultant "scores" will have a systemic variation because of it.
:bigwave:
DD,

No measurement is perfect, but some are better than others.

I think we're confusing qualitative vs. quantitative measurements. Just because we use a qualitative index doesn't mean we're not measuring.

Tribus said:

"The first thing you should observe on entering any area is the state of the housekeeping.

Are the floors clean?
Are there receptacles for trash? In use?
Are the walls and shelves clean?
Do you see evidence of things that have not
been repaired for a long time? "

To answer the first question (or 2nd or 3rd) I could say yes or no; somewhat, very, not at all, most are, most aren't, or a host of other things. Each answer is qualitative, but IMO it is still a measure.

Again, maybe it is semantics, but Tribus says we should "observe" these things (housekeeping, safety, procedures, managerial attitudes, etc.) and I say the result of the observation is a measurement. Might my analysis or actions taken as a result of my measurements be wrong? Yep, maybe.
 

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
Jennifer Kirley said:
I agree with the variable nature of personnel responses. Understanding that this is a potentially significant source of unreliability within industries that are heavily human-process oriented, I still question how to appropriately measure progress.

So, such things are subjective but if the entire group--say, a line of 12 phone center operators--provides answers in a significant shift from the responses of the other groups, is it a measurement with value?
IMO if you wait for a perfect measure of anything you will never do anything. Do your best based on what you know and understand. Develop a questionaire, the best one you can, and try it. You seem to understand enough the possible pitfalls not to over-react or shoot the messenger or convienient scapegoat. I've done it and gotten good results.

IMO it should be totally anonymous, and allow the workers time "on-the-clock" to do it even if it means sending them home 30 minutes early with pay to work on it, and make a section where they answer your questions but also allow them to add their own comments as they see fit. JMO.
 

WALLACE

Quite Involved in Discussions
Mike S. said:
Again, maybe it is semantics, but Tribus says we should "observe" these things (housekeeping, safety, procedures, managerial attitudes, etc.) and I say the result of the observation is a measurement. Might my analysis or actions taken as a result of my measurements be wrong? Yep, maybe.
Mike,
Have a look at the auditing thread attachment visual that infuses the use of the "task element process audit". http://elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=7678
This approach developed by Allan J Sayle was initially rejected and frowned upon by the ISO hardliners yet, now it's clear that Mr Sayle's task element process audit practice is now common place within the process and system thinking group of quality focused quality practitioners.
Measurements? yeah they should be viewed as both Qualitative and quantitive.
Wallace
 
Mike S. said:
Wes,

First, on the Yogi quote. Actually, Yogi said, "Ninety percent of the game is half mental." Not meaning to nit-pick, but I had heard it often enough to know 99% was wrong and I thought maybe you set me up for that one, so I didn't want to disappoint. :truce:

The rest of your post makes some sense to me -- I agree with most of it. This makes more sense to me than saying you cannot measure most of the stuff that matters. IMO you can, but you can also get caught in the trap of measuring the wrong things, or responding inappropriately.
:biglaugh: (Jumping for Joy) :applause: :agree1:
Great, Mike!
(I LOVE these new smilies!)
Now we have a common ground for learning. Let's agree to discuss concepts, not numbers.

How would you approach "fixing" the worst call center you ever encountered? From a SoPK point of view?
(call center as topic because most folks encounter one anytime they phone to order or trace a product or service.)

One candidate for fixing is the one that told my 84 year old mom when she called to ask what glue to use to reattach the mirror on her windshield, "Your car is out of warranty." Click [hangup sound] Boy, that employee sure made the numbers in call-handling time!



:)topic: I got my Yogi quote from the first thing that came up on the Google with ("yogi berra" +99%), because I only vaguely recalled the idea of good quotes from Yogi)
 

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
Wes Bucey said:
How would you approach "fixing" the worst call center you ever encountered? From a SoPK point of view?
(call center as topic because most folks encounter one anytime they phone to order or trace a product or service.)

One candidate for fixing is the one that told my 84 year old mom when she called to ask what glue to use to reattach the mirror on her windshield, "Your car is out of warranty." Click [hangup sound] Boy, that employee sure made the numbers in call-handling time!
My fast, gotta go, answer: Call-handling (on-line) time might be a small criteria -- one of many more in my analysis. Did the customer get the answer they needed in a polite and efficient manner w/o my employee wasting their time or ours? Was it the right answer? Limited on-hold-time for caller? If problems exist, I'd get my butt down there and observe, talk to call takers, etc.
 
C

Craig H.

Mike S. said:
My fast, gotta go, answer: Call-handling (on-line) time might be a small criteria -- one of many more in my analysis. Did the customer get the answer they needed in a polite and efficient manner w/o my employee wasting their time or ours? Was it the right answer? Limited on-hold-time for caller? If problems exist, I'd get my butt down there and observe, talk to call takers, etc.

Ok, let's run with this example. Mike, if I may, how would we know if there were problems? If all we were measuring was avg call time, then we could have lots of 84-year-old ladies with experiences like Wes' mom, and our metrics say we are champs. Where is the "profound knowledge" to be gained?

Call customers back just after their call experience and do a survey?

Ask the call center employees what they need to do a better job (while defining "better job" as customer satisfaction)?

How does the customer's satisfaction with the total product relate to call center use? Would better product instructions or design almost negate the need for a call center at all?

Is this what we are supposed to be looking at, then?

Craig
 
Craig H. said:
Ok, let's run with this example. Mike, if I may, how would we know if there were problems? If all we were measuring was avg call time, then we could have lots of 84-year-old ladies with experiences like Wes' mom, and our metrics say we are champs. Where is the "profound knowledge" to be gained?
In the case of a call center, many times the problem is exacerbated by the "suit" who defines what he wants from a call center. Someone says, "we get a lot of calls and they take up our valuable time." The next guy interprets that to mean the problem is the calls take up time - ergo, the desired outcome is less time spent on calls.

From that point on, everything is downhill.

Craig asks the correct question:
Craig H. said:
How does the customer's satisfaction with the total product relate to call center use? Would better product instructions or design almost negate the need for a call center at all?

Is this what we are supposed to be looking at, then?
How do we, as Quality Professionals, help the suits in charge identify the root problem we need to solve?
SoPK hints we are on the way once we have a good understanding of the big picture and how all the parts relate to each other.
 

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
Craig H. said:
Ok, let's run with this example. Mike, if I may, how would we know if there were problems? If all we were measuring was avg call time, then we could have lots of 84-year-old ladies with experiences like Wes' mom, and our metrics say we are champs. Where is the "profound knowledge" to be gained?

Call customers back just after their call experience and do a survey?

Ask the call center employees what they need to do a better job (while defining "better job" as customer satisfaction)?

How does the customer's satisfaction with the total product relate to call center use? Would better product instructions or design almost negate the need for a call center at all?

Is this what we are supposed to be looking at, then?

Craig
Craig,

You're on the right track IMO. Look at the total system. What do you expect from the call center? If I were suddenly in charge of the company, I'd want there to be a minimal need for the call center as you suggest, so I'd want to take the data from the call center and see how we could go about preventing the need for some of the calls in the first place. One potential issue -- you're asking the call center employees to help eliminate some of their jobs, so be prepared to face that one.

I'd want the employees to have all the tools (education, training, software, references, etc.) to be able to give the caller the right answer.

I'd want the employees to remain polite, calm and composed even when faced with the inevitable occasional rude idiot. But I'd give them the right to politely tell an abusive caller that they are terminating the call and not to call back until the caller can act civilly.
 
K

Karen R

Mike S. said:
... One potential issue -- you're asking the call center employees to help eliminate some of their jobs, so be prepared to face that one...
This becomes another great training opportunity. Not everyone will be inclined to participate in the improvement activity, but as you begin to draw a talent pool of willing participants you will be able to show them the value of becoming a problem solver - as I point out to my folks on a regular basis. Our security doesn't lie in being the answer to "one problem," it comes when we learn to how to solve any problem. The "one problem" will eventually go away, but there will always be problems that need to be solved. If you become a skilled problem solver, you will always be a valued asset
 
Karen R said:
This becomes another great training opportunity. Not everyone will be inclined to participate in the improvement activity, but as you begin to draw a talent pool of willing participants you will be able to show them the value of becoming a problem solver - as I point out to my folks on a regular basis. Our security doesn't lie in being the answer to "one problem," it comes when we learn to how to solve any problem. The "one problem" will eventually go away, but there will always be problems that need to be solved. If you become a skilled problem solver, you will always be a valued asset
This is great!
Karen, Mike, and Craig are demonstrating they really have been "systems thinkers" all along. I think the big breakthrough here is understanding the term "SoPK" really hinges on "system." Once we help folks understand that, maybe we can help reduce the "stigma" surrounding the term "Profound Knowledge" which many perceive as elitist or "hoity toity."
 
Top Bottom