Can the value of a process be defined by its output?
Something happened this morning that caused me to start thinking about this and it’s been hanging around with me all day. Outputs, in my case today quality documents, can certainly provide value. But should we rank this value based on the conclusions presented in the document, or rather by the inputs employed to generate the knowledge?
How do we know if the conclusions to an investigation are valid if there is no understanding of the process followed? In reviewing such a document, would a ‘Lean Thinker’ ask, “What are your results?” or would the correct first question be, “how did your team come to these results?”
Following the Toyota example, some processes should actually take more time and resources to complete, not less. Decide slowly, execute quickly. But then again, it all comes down to how value is defined. Truth is, I think a lot of value is lost if the goal is the output and processes are not followed. One such pitfall is in comparing results with similar, or complimentary functions or systems. How can such a comparison have any validity without a strong basis in the process for arriving at conclusions?
If shortcuts are available and easy to take, the process likely needs to be reviewed for opportunities to eliminate wasted steps and standardize. Looks like I found myself another assignment…