Process Maturity Classes

Article

McNamara, Donald M.   (1997, ASQ)   General Electric, Fairfield, CT

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10636    May 1997    pp. 891-897
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Article Abstract

The trend in customization of products and services is consistent with successful management of non-stable processes. For example, customized automobiles and spare parts services give customers what they want, but preparation, testing, and delivery processes for these items can have assignable causes of variation. Such processes need not be forced into stability. Instead, the Process Maturity Classes provide a management framework. Process Maturity Classes are reminiscent of CMM (Capability Maturity Model) levels, but the latter deal only with software development, while Process Maturity Classes have broader applications. Developed at General Electric, the Process Maturity Classes are used to plan improvement projects and analyze processes with quality problems. The five classes are as follows. Ad hoc processes usually have low volumes and fit individual needs. Examples include legal procedures and annual statement writing. Consistent processes have low to medium volume and require individual skill, as in a physician's treatment of routine illnesses. Organized processes consist of well defined steps and usually involve more than one person, as in employee hiring and upgrading computer hardware. Systematic processes are high volume processes requiring formal training. Examples include processing of accounts payable. Statistically stable processes are high volume, highly automated, and highly repetitive. They call for frequent measurements, rigorous planning, and quality assurance activities.

Keywords

Customization,Stability,Process improvement,Process analysis


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