How Do You Know the Change Worked?

Article

Kelley, D. Lynn; Morath, Paul   (2001, ASQ)   Textron Fastening Systems-Automotive, Sterling Heights, MI

Quality Progress    Vol. 34    No. 7
QICID: 14961    July 2001    pp. 68-74
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Article Abstract

While Walter Shewhart's Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle has been much used to assist organizations in continuous improvement in areas involving materials, methods, and machines, there has been little effort to use the cycle in areas involving human related variables. A company will rarely change a manufacturing process without first testing it to see if the change results in an improvement, but the same company will implement new programs involving people without giving a thought to a small-scale test or a study of the results of implementation. One reason for this behavior is the lack of a widely accepted and easily used structure for examining human related variables. Recently there has been a new emphasis on knowledge in the workplace as a competitive advantage. The challenge then is to think of changes and improvements involving people as a research project with a structured methodology to measure the effectiveness of change. One such structure presented by Donald T. Campbell and Julian C. Stanley was found to work well in social science applications and was later expanded to include other situations, including business. Campbell and Stanley's ideas fit well into Shehart's PDSA cycle, providing a structure for implementing PDSA when involving people. Statistical analysis of data gathered using this design allows organizations to determine if changes they have made actually work. A sidebar article provides an analysis example of the design.

Keywords

Continuous improvement (CI),Human resources (HR),Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle,Change management


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