Tuesday Tech Tip,October 15, 2013 Print
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 21:07


Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail


If I were to ask you, “What are you doing this weekend?” hopefully, you would have an answer that would enhance your life in some way.  For instance, you might be helping your relative move, and incurring a favor for later.  Or, you might be going to see a movie and stimulating your imagination.  You might be prepping your yard for the winter to make the spring time work a little easier.  No matter what, you have selected what you are planning to do by weighing the benefits to your life.  Will it enhance you in the short term?  Will it enhance you in the long term?

Six Sigma teaches us that you can use a Cause-and-Effect table to help you make these kinds of decisions.  We can begin by looking at what should be measured, its performance, and what potential performance you might produce by implementing a change. Applying this type of decision making to your projects helps key in on the projects that are worthy of your time. 

Let’s go back to your weekend and this time use the Cause-and-Effect table:

Benefits Categories


Cost of Doing Nothing (1 Year)

Cost of Doing Something (1 Year)

Project Benefit

Help Aunt Ellen move

Reducing her stress and earning gratitude

She thinks she can’t depend on you and struggles through the move

Energy and Time

Gratitude and Display of affection

See a movie with Jane

Start a relationship with a nice person

Loss of interest

Price of movie tickets

Potential relationship

Visit Grandma in her retirement community

Capitalize on the time with her so there are no regrets later

Regret and heartache for the loss of time

Energy and Time

Gratitude, Display of Affection, and Good use of time

Wash the cars

Keeps the value of the car in good shape, reduction of stress

Filth and disorganization

Car cleaner, Time and Energy

Clean and organized environment, keeps the car value high


This can be applied to business where the measurements in the Cost categories and Project Benefits can be more financial in their measurements.


Then company can decrease number of scrapped units per day from 50 to 10 given a daily production volume of 1,000

50 x 100 x 365 = $1,825,000
(cost per unit scrapped is $100)

10 x 100 x 365 = $365,000



Then company can meet order commitment of 980 units per day

Company is failing on average to deliver 30 units per day and the penalty is $1 per unit not delivered



If you understand that you are essentially already thinking in such a manner, it’s easy to do this as a group with concern to your business.  It’s a fun exercise and it helps define which project could have the largest return on your investment of time and energy.