Eliminate the Waste of Defects & Errors

Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Lean | 0 comments

Any process, product, or service that fails to meet specifications is waste.  A process that does not transform the product or service is considered non-value-added, and does not meet the criteria of being done right the first time.
Process defects result in anything that the customer would deem unacceptable.  Defective services are those that do not deliver the correct requirements to the customer.  Examples from healthcare include wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong medicine, misdiagnosis, unsuccessful treatment, re-sticks, and redraws.
Other service example include:
  • Errors made while filing out an application form for a mortgage customer
  • Incorrect name printed on a credit card
  • Incorrect data entry

There are numerous strategies for reducing the number of defects in a process.  I’d recommend doing a root-cause investigation by first collecting data on the source of the defect or error.  Determine if the error is always coming from the same person, same machine, etc.  If errors are coming from multiple sources, the error may be more systemic and require further investigation into specific task training, definitions, etc.
Some suggestions for eliminating the waste of defects and errors are to establish standardized work procedures and to create and post job aids.

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