Data collection is an extremely crucial process in Six Sigma methodology. It is the process of gathering certain facts and information about various existing processes in order to make positive changes. Business plans, goal setting (short & long term) and several other such critical processes are usually based on information gathered during data collection.
In order to keep business improvement consistent, leaders rely on these facts gathered during data collection. Now, data collection is not only gathering facts; it also involves an investigation of existing processes, forecasting of imminent outcomes and proposing plans based on outputs of past processes. To carry out such important factors effectively, it’s necessary to have data collection done right.
Why is it important to collect data?
The use of the data collection tool in Six Sigma has its importance, as this is performed during the Measure phase of DMAIC. The data collection plan consists of many phases, like identifying the quality and quantity of data that we need, finding out the sources required to collect the data and a few more phases that determine the nature of the data. In Six Sigma, the data collection tool also has templates for Green Belts to help them accomplish desired outputs.
These templates ensure smooth data collection, which is sequential and relevant. Most processes are dependent on these findings and can very much affect the outcomes. When it comes to project implementation, this dependency on specific data collection processes can prove to be detrimental due to data misalignment.
How can wrong or miscalculated data affect your business?
Imagine, your team is ready to work on a project and receives data from another team. You begin implementing the data, assuming it must be correct; only to find out later the data is wrong and lacks information. Since you forgot to cross-check the data, most of your processes are now suffering from misalignment. Cross-checking the most critical facts, which may affect associated future procedures, should always be performed in order to avoid jeopardizing a project.
The data collection procedure should be a standard practice to keep data consistent and ever growing. It can make your business processes efficient; without a standard process, your business may end up losing out on potential improvements and business growth. The choice is yours!