Welcome back we’re glad to have you with us again. If you’re new, we are glad to have you too.
We are looking at various ways we can use process improvement tools in our daily life. If this is your first time joining us, or you joined recently, you may wish to look back at the blogs from June 5 and coming forward. It will give you a better idea of what we are doing.
Yesterday I talked with SAM, and he added to his list. It is below in the form of a chart, and we will get to it in a few minutes. First, though, I need to tell you that what we are going to do today is a highly modified Pareto chart. Pareto charts are usually built on data rather than just anecdotal information. After we do this for the home, I will also (next week) make a Pareto chart for a work situation so you can see the difference.
For now, how can we take the every day and add quantifying data? It’s not as difficult as it seems. Let’s look at the problems, and next to them (in the chart below) we will add some data I was able to glean for some of them. Remember antidotal problems are still problems. Fixing problems is just easier when you can measure them.
Here are the concerns and what SAM has told me:
SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too hot to cut. When I talked to him, he said they had seen eight snakes in the last month. We have data we can use.
In winter, there is little heat in the house. We moved that statement to down the list. SAM said it barely gets over 60° in the house during some storms. Now we have data and identification of a health risk due to possible hypothermia. Yet right now it is summer.
I think you get the idea on finding some data for measurements. There were talks and discussions. The same friends who helped with the affinity chart came over and helped them to think of ideas on how to rank the problems and cure them. For where they were, and what was going on, everyone it is agreed it would be okay to ask for little support.
Talking to others is great. A few neighbors, worried about the lot volunteered to help the next Saturday. Another neighbor had a good mechanic who needed some copywriting done for ads he wanted to run. SAM is working to be a writer. A trade of services could greatly reduce the costs of getting the car fixed. The mechanic got ads, and SAM got to work on a project with his writing skills.
The landlord was invited over for fried chicken dinner that was supplied by SAM, his wife, and his mother-in-law. The landlord appreciated the good-looking lot. All the noise created by everyone working (and being very careful) and making a lot of noise scared away the snakes.
Talking to the landlord, the idea of saving money on the water bill was viewed as a great idea, and he personally came over the next week and replaced all the washers in all the faucets.
Below is the chart that shows the ranked problem areas, the measurement, and the fixes. As I said this is not the normal use of a Pareto, and I will show you a regular Pareto chart in action, next week. For now, we will call this chart ‘The Problem Ranking and Planned Fix Chart’Problem RankingProblemDataFix1SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too
hot to cut.Saw eight snakes in the last month.In the early morning next Saturday, the group of neighbors who found out about this problem while talking to SAM will come over and have a house party to help them cut the yard and fix the place up. We thank SAM’s mother-in-law for talking to friends and helping to get this started.2Car needs to be fixedCar failed 3 times in one monthThe car failed to start three times in the last month. That is the problem and the data. This moves to number two on the list. It is now July, and the house heater has until November when it will be truly needed. Lack of transportation isolates people.3Money in is less than money out.Income per month is $1500, and pay out to bills is $1750School debt, minimum-wage, and credit card debt can be put into one item. Money needs are not supported by the wages earned. Add up to everything that must be paid in the month and all the monies that are brought in in a month. If the income is less than the payments required, there is the data.4SAM and his wife needing jobs better jobsQuality of life and ability to meet each person’s potentialWe combined both into one item. This is not a matter of “Gee, I don’t want to work,” it is a matter of them fulfilling their potential. They cannot quit and hold. However, they can seek and find. With the car fixed, they found good jobs in a medium sized city, just a 15 mile drive each way.5House too hot in summerUncomfortableTheir next-door neighbor had 2 fans in the attic doing nothing. These were loaned to SAM and his wife6Too cold in the winterHealth HazardThe landlord had the heater inspected, and all the vents cleaned.7Poor shopping choices considering the incomeToo CostlyAn agreement to stay within a set meal budget was agreed to, and a garden was planted in the now snake free yard.8Being overwhelmedToo many problems with not enough ideasSAM and his wife learned many good skills from their friends studying process improvement. Those skills now serve them at home and at work.9Cranky LandlordScaryEveryone responds well to positive communication, collaboration, and a great fried chicken meal.
We will continue tomorrow with how data can help show a hidden factory.
Have a great Day.