Quality Magazine Article: Data Collection

Data Collection War Stories

The most unpredictable factor in almost every process? People.

November 3, 2014
 
Over the course of 20 years, I’ve visited hundreds of different factory floors and seen a wide variety of manufacturers implement data collection and statistical process control (SPC) solutions. I’m often called upon to help establish the proper monitoring strategy to detect changes in a process while allowing for normal variation. Experience has led me to pay particularly close attention to the impact of the most unpredictable factor in almost every process: human beings. Humans are a ripe source of special cause variation, system breakdown or just humorous misunderstandings. I have seen how, sometimes innocently and sometimes deliberately, human actions can result in unwanted outcomes, missed opportunities or head-scratching mess-ups. I thought I would share some of the more interesting or amusing situations that I’ve seen over the years.