Step 1: no planned approach gathering or using existing data
Graphs are used merely as a space-filler, not as a bearer of information


  1. Gathers data or extracts data from data bases but has an uncritical eye on the data.
  2. Calculates occasionally an average but does not care about variation.
  3. Usually converts everything into percentages.
  4. 
Accepts easily other people's opinions and conclusions.
  5. 
Has difficulties reading and designing but the simplest of diagrams.
  6. Is fond of overloaded 3D-diagrams, where the third dimension is not needed and
    sometimes makes the diagram misleading or difficult to understand.
  7. Because of the computer program, many uninformative statistics are added to the reports.
  8. Has no or very little idea what possibilities there are in investigating the data.
  9. Cites 'lies, damned lies, and statistics' as a defence for the lack of knowledge, interest or professionalism in statistical matters.

••••

Step 2: slowly awakening to realise the use of facts
Uses some basic and perhaps over-simplified tools but lacks the development


  1. Gathers planned measurements and initiates such measurements.
  2. Has no difficulties in accepting data as part of the arguments.
  3. Thinks however that the main area for statistics is production, not design or any other side of engineering.
  4. 
Has taken part in several courses and uses some of the knowledge.
  5. Thinks however that there are too many formulas.
  6. Thinks that probability belongs to the world of games.
  7. Has some difficulty in moving between the theoretical sides of the science of statistics and the measurements.
  8. Is willing to learn if trained properly.
  9. Is impressed by reports, articles and slogans such as '6 sigma'.
  10. 
Tends to uncritically run all data using the same 'tricks of the trade'.
  11. Is an eager user (perhaps too eager) of control charts.
  12. Calculates a number of handy statistics such as the mean value, the standard deviation, and
    perhaps some indices such as Cp or Cpk.

••••

Step 3: has positioned facts as the basis for all kinds of decisions
Knows how to handle variation, can communicate with other professionals


  1. Uses statistics on all levels of engineering including management decisions.
  2. Realises the importance of careful planning before collecting the data.
  3. Has good knowledge of the quality of the measurements at hand.
  4. Knows at an early stage how new indicators will behave and how to analyse them.
  5. 
Uses several graphs and tricks to illuminate the very same set of data.
  6. Can draw more conclusions than what is obvious from graphs and data.
  7. Does not accept uninformative graphs.
  8. Is constantly considering the current reports and graphs: are they needed, can they be improved?
  9. Cares about the receiver when producing reports and graphs.
  10. Moves freely between the theoretical side of statistics and the measurements.
  11. 
Does not use statistics in reports to impress but to illuminate.
  12. Reckognises and uses several statistical distributions.
  13. Is well aware of the practical value of a good statistical theory or model.
  14. Has enough knowledge not to hesitate to seek further help when needed.
  15. Knows where to turn to get help or more information.
  16. Communicates easily with a professional statistician.

••••

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A 3-step maturity model

Using facts, analysis and professionalism in quality development