Step 1: no planned approach gathering or using existing data
Graphs are used merely as a space-filler, not as a bearer of information
- Gathers data or extracts data from data bases but has an uncritical eye on the data.
- Calculates occasionally an average but does not care about variation.
- Usually converts everything into percentages.
Accepts easily other people's opinions and conclusions.
Has difficulties reading and designing but the simplest of diagrams.
- Is fond of overloaded 3D-diagrams, where the third dimension is not needed and
sometimes makes the diagram misleading or difficult to understand.
- Because of the computer program, many uninformative statistics are added to the reports.
- Has no or very little idea what possibilities there are in investigating the data.
- 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
- Gathers planned measurements and initiates such measurements.
- Has no difficulties in accepting data as part of the arguments.
- Thinks however that the main area for statistics is production, not design or any other side of engineering.
Has taken part in several courses and uses some of the knowledge.
- Thinks however that there are too many formulas.
- Thinks that probability belongs to the world of games.
- Has some difficulty in moving between the theoretical sides of the science of statistics and the measurements.
- Is willing to learn if trained properly.
- Is impressed by reports, articles and slogans such as '6 sigma'.
Tends to uncritically run all data using the same 'tricks of the trade'.
- Is an eager user (perhaps too eager) of control charts.
- 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
- Uses statistics on all levels of engineering including management decisions.
- Realises the importance of careful planning before collecting the data.
- Has good knowledge of the quality of the measurements at hand.
- Knows at an early stage how new indicators will behave and how to analyse them.
Uses several graphs and tricks to illuminate the very same set of data.
- Can draw more conclusions than what is obvious from graphs and data.
- Does not accept uninformative graphs.
- Is constantly considering the current reports and graphs: are they needed, can they be improved?
- Cares about the receiver when producing reports and graphs.
- Moves freely between the theoretical side of statistics and the measurements.
Does not use statistics in reports to impress but to illuminate.
- Reckognises and uses several statistical distributions.
- Is well aware of the practical value of a good statistical theory or model.
- Has enough knowledge not to hesitate to seek further help when needed.
- Knows where to turn to get help or more information.
- Communicates easily with a professional statistician.
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A 3-step maturity model
Using facts, analysis and professionalism in quality development