Quality Progress - October 2017 - 64

A new twist on an established
quality concept

Don't Lose
The Recipe

Identify and document knacks to keep processes running smoothly
by Matthew Barsalou and Robert Perkin

run chart in Online Figure 2 shows the same data stratified
Robert's Grandma Perkin was famous in her family for
by employee. Stratification shows that Charles has a signifiher butterscotch pie. It was a staple of Thanksgiving
cantly lower scrap rate than the others. So, what is Charles
dinner for as long as anyone could remember. But no one
doing differently?
ever thought about exactly how she made it or what would
To help identify the knack, it may be necessary to
happen if she stopped making it.
observe all four employees and create a process flowchart
Eventually, Grandma Perkin passed away, and so did
of every move they make during the assembly operation.
her beloved recipe. Robert's sister slaved to recreate the
After the knack is found, the procedure should be revised.
recipe, but to no avail.
Documentation must be specific and actionable at the
This family story illustrates a problem that, unforoperator level, otherwise the knowledge may be lost when
tunately, is all too common in a manufacturing
the employee with the knack no longer is around to provide
environment. For some reason, a process
guidance. After the knack is found and documented, forthat has functioned just fine for years
mally document the "recipe" to ensure consistent success.
starts failing and no one can figure out
Now please pass that pie.
why. Suddenly, the recipe is lost.
Often, this happens when a longREFERENCES
time production employee leaves the
1. Frank M. Gryna, Quality Planning and Analysis: From Product
organization and takes his or her special
Development Through Use," fourth edition, McGraw-Hill, 2001.
2. Jeroen de Mast and Albert Trip, "Quality-Improvement Projects,"
recipe, or method, which almost always
Journal of Quality Technology, Vol. 39, No.4, 2007, pp. 301-311.
is undocumented.
3. Kaoru Ishikawa, Guide to Quality Control, second edition, Asian
Such an employee's superior way of doing
Productivity Organization, 1991.
something is called a knack. An employee
who knows from experience to file down a critical
component on a system that is being assembled, for
example, has a knack. Other employees don't know the part
must be filed because the action was never documented,
Matthew Barsalou is a statistical problem
resulting in higher scrap for employees without the knack.1
resolution Master Black Belt at BorgWarner
Turbo Systems Engineering GmbH in
To solve this problem, the knack must be identified and
Kirchheimbolanden, Germany. He has a
documented. But first, the root cause analysis investigator
master's degree in business administration
must discover that there is a difference between employees
and engineering from Wilhelm Büchner
Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany, and a
that potentially could result from a knack.
master's degree in liberal studies from Fort
A good first step in an investigation is to graph the data
Hays State University in Hays, KS. Barsalou is an ASQ senior member
and look for salient features.2 Salient features stand out
and holds several certifications.
and may be related to the cause, but they warrant further
investigation because often they provide clues during a
root cause analysis. Online Figure 1 (found on this column's
webpage at www.qualityprogress.com) shows a run chart
Robert Perkin is the senior manager
of a manufacturing process' total scrap. There are good
for engineering problem resolution and
days and bad days, but nothing stands out.
statistical methods for BorgWarner
Stratification can provide additional insight into the
Turbo Systems. Perkin has master's
degrees in management of technology
data3 and should be used when the data consist of an
and engineering management from
aggregate from multiple sources. The run chart in Online
Washington University in St. Louis. He is
Figure 1 consists of the total scrap of four employees. The
a Smarter Solutions-certified lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

64 QP

October 2017 ❘ qualityprogress.com


http://www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - October 2017

Seen and Heard
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Expert Answers
Career Coach
In Focus
The Results Are In
Visual Aid
Experimental Learning
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Try This Today
STANDARDS AND AUDITING GUIDE
Quality Progress - October 2017 - intro
Quality Progress - October 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - October 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 10
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 13
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 15
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 16
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - October 2017 - In Focus
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 20
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 22
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - October 2017 - The Results Are In
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 28
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 30
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Visual Aid
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 36
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Experimental Learning
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 42
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 44
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 51
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 52
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 54
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - October 2017 - STANDARDS AND AUDITING GUIDE
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 57
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 59
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 61
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 62
Quality Progress - October 2017 - 63
Quality Progress - October 2017 - Try This Today
Quality Progress - October 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - October 2017 - cover4
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