Videos by Skip Steward That Explain Routine Variation and Rules for Finding “Signals”


You might remember the podcasts that I did with my friend Skip Steward, the Chief Improvement Officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Tennessee (links below).

Skip recently created some excellent videos that explain the basics of “Process Behavior Charts,” a method that I explore in my book Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More.

See those videos below the podcast links.

Podcasts with Skip:

Podcast #314 – Skip Steward & Brandon Brown, on TWI & Kata in Healthcare

Podcast #320 – Skip Steward on Deming, Wheeler, Metrics, and More

Skip's Videos:

In the first video, he talks about the idea of “routine variation” (a.k.a. “common cause variation” or “noise”):

In the second video, he discusses the first rule for finding a “signal” amongst the noise — a data point that tells you that something has changed significantly in the underlying system that's creating the results shown in the metric. In these videos, he uses a “patient falls” data set and scenario that I used in the book and some webinars — he cites me and the book as a way to learn more.

In the next video, Skip talks about the second rule, seeing eight or more consecutive points above or below the baseline average:

In the final video, he talks about the third rule for a signal… a cluster of three out of four (or three consecutive) points that are closer to a Natural Process Limit than they are to the center line (usually the average).

I hope those videos are a useful introduction. For a deeper dive and for more examples and related lessons about Process Behavior Charts, please check out my book or my webinars.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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