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articles:triz_application [2019/02/10 14:08]
rrandall [The Quality "Whac-A-Mole"]
articles:triz_application [2019/03/19 10:56] (current)
rrandall
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 ====== Continuous Improvement... and TRIZ ====== ====== Continuous Improvement... and TRIZ ======
  
-While the term "​Continuous Improvement"​ is thrown around with reckless abandon, I find that few quality professionals have a good understanding of it.+While the term "​Continuous Improvement"​ is thrown around with reckless abandon, I find that few quality professionals have a good understanding of it. While most QMS (Quality Management System) standards promote... or even require continuous improvement,​ most appear to lack a basic understanding of what continuous improvement actually involves.
  
-===== The Quality "​Whac-A-Mole" ​=====+===== CI, the Optimization Wall & TRIZ ===== 
 +When radios first appeared, the signal had to be manually adjusted for optimal reception. During the mid-twentieth century, Automatic Frequency Control (AFC), also called Automatic Fine Tuning (AFT), was introduced allowing the radio circuitry to automatically keep a resonant circuit tuned to the frequency of an incoming radio signal. It was primarily used in radio receivers to keep the receiver tuned to the frequency of the desired station.
  
-Let's assume that you regularly ride a bicycle on warm summer days. Howeveron one particular day, your front tire hits small stick at an awkward angle causing you to fall from your bicycle and break your arm. After your arm is healed, you return ​to that spot where you fell, and sweep that specific area clear of any small sticks that may have fallenor been blown by the windfrom nearby trees.+AFC was needed becauseafter the bandpass frequency of receiver ​is tuned to the frequency ​of a transmitterthe two frequencies can drift apart, interrupting the reception. This can be caused ​by a poorly controlled transmitter frequency, but the most common cause is drift of the center bandpass frequency of the receiverdue to thermal or mechanical drift in the values of the electronic components.
  
-Would you consider that to be continuous improvement?​ Some quality professionals would say yes... pointing to the stick as the "root cause" of the problem. But in reality, small sticks and stones appear randomly throughout the bike path. This is called a "​Common Cause" variation inherent within the activity of riding along bike trails. +Using the technology available ​at that timethis "optimized" the radio tuning ​process.
- +
-Far too many quality professionals fail to differentiate between "​Common Cause" and "​Special Cause" variations in a process. ​  +
-[{{ :​articles:​whac-a-mole.jpg?​direct&​400|Whac-A-Mole Arcade Game}}] +
-By incorrectly treating "​Common Cause" variations as "​Special Cause" variations, the result resembles the 1976 arcade game, "​Whac-A-Mole"​ (where moles pop up from their holes at randomand the player earns points by forcing them back into their hole through hitting them directly on the head with a mallet). In the end, nothing is accomplished... but the player has a false sense of accomplishment reflected by their score. +
- +
-In the quality profession, a very large number of nonconformities are addressed through the corrective action process... WITHOUT consideration as to whether the issue was a "Common Cause" ​or "​Special Cause" variation in a process. By treating "​Common Cause" variations as "​Special Cause" variations, there is no "​real"​ improvement (much like "​Whac-A-Mole"​). However, ​the quality team "​feels"​ good (a false sense of accomplishment) about the apparent (short term) success of each corrective action. +
- +
-Through understanding "​Common Cause" vs "​Special Cause" variations in a process ​still cling to CI,  +
-Through understanding and adjusting their approach to addressing process issues, by first determining whether the issue is a "​Common Cause" or "​Special Cause" variation, actual process improvements can be realized +
-===== CI and Optimization ===== +
-When radio first appeared, the signal had to be manually adjusted for optimal reception. During the mid-twentieth century, Automatic Frequency Control (AFC), also called Automatic Fine Tuning (AFT), was introduced allowing the radio circuitry to automatically keep a resonant circuit tuned to the frequency of an incoming radio signal. It was primarily used in radio receivers to keep the receiver tuned to the frequency of the desired station. +
- +
-In radio communication,​ AFC is needed because, after the bandpass frequency of a receiver is tuned to the frequency of a transmitter,​ the two frequencies may drift apart, interrupting the reception. This can be caused by a poorly controlled transmitter frequency, but the most common cause is drift of the center bandpass frequency of the receiver, due to thermal or mechanical drift in the values of the electronic components.+
  
 During the 1970s, receivers began to be designed using frequency synthesizer circuits, which synthesized the receiver'​s input frequency from a crystal oscillator using the vibrations of an ultra-stable quartz crystal. These maintained sufficiently stable frequencies that AFC's were no longer needed. During the 1970s, receivers began to be designed using frequency synthesizer circuits, which synthesized the receiver'​s input frequency from a crystal oscillator using the vibrations of an ultra-stable quartz crystal. These maintained sufficiently stable frequencies that AFC's were no longer needed.
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 This takes us into a separate realm of "​improvement"​ involving "​innovation"​. And TRIZ. This takes us into a separate realm of "​improvement"​ involving "​innovation"​. And TRIZ.
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 ===== TRIZ: Levels of Innovation ===== ===== TRIZ: Levels of Innovation =====