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Would your business pass its DataWOF?

Data WOF

Unlike your car, you can’t get a warrant of fitness for evaluating the condition of your business. In particular, for your manufacturing business in collecting and using data.

As I described in my data pyramid post, simply capturing machine and process data does not automatically lead to improvement. Yes, you may get a bump from the Hawthorne Effect. But settling for that would be a wasted opportunity.

To get the biggest and most sustained benefit, there are multiple moving parts to work with. Our DataWOF makes it easy to evaluate these. It will help you see the whole pyramid and find the areas that need work.

The DataWOF form

To start, download our purpose built form here. It’s layered like the data pyramid and contains several line items. Some of these I have already written about in detail in other blog posts. Other lines will form the topic of future content. But I thought it would be useful, at this point to step back and look at the big picture.

Let’s quickly review the function of each layer.

The Outcome Layer

This layer is simple and powerful. It captures the why. Why are we doing anything in the first place? The DataWOF asks what outcomes, whether big or small have been achieved. Aside from individuals wins, one of the biggest outcomes to hope for is sustained behaviour change.

The Manage Layer

Management is an incredibly flexible and creative pursuit. After all it deals with people, the most complex component of them all. The overarching question is how does management use the facts being communicated to bring about the behaviour which leads to the desired outcome? Since data is central to this endeavour, we added a couple of core lines which must be in place. Namely making sure everyone communicates using the same data and checking that thoughtful measures are in place.

On top of that, there are a myriad of tactics you could use. All the way from promoting effective staff to shouting morning tea when a goal has been reached. We’ve provided a few prompts as well as several blank lines to help you think through.

As a final note, you’ll notice the DataWOF mentions outcome based goals and system-habit goals. If you’re not familiar with the difference, I strongly suggest reading this post.

The Communicate Layer

One of the elegant things about well presented data is its ability to communicate efficiently. If a picture is worth a thousand words, well presented facts must be worth at least two thousand! Overall the aim is to evaluate how well this powerful communication function is setup and working.

The Commenting Layer

In my interactions with many operators, I’ve learnt that they (on the whole) have process knowledge that is very valuable. It’s often highly detailed and contains critical details about how to get the plant to perform. The commenting stage aims to add these comments into the raw data. That shares it with others and keeps operators involved in the continuous improvement process.

Operators are also often the people responsible for entering reasons into the structured coding system. Are they trained, and getting consistency between different people, shifts, machines and even sites?

The Capture Layer

If you have automated data capture in place, things may be simple at the people level, but you may have several technical components that need review. For example, are all the systems reliable, backed up and supported professionally. You may have PLCs, sensors, databases, files, servers, networks, and “IT glue” to think about.

If you’re capturing data manually, you’ll be challenged over anything beyond a short term focus. Do you have the right people with enough time to collect and present data that everyone trusts and uses – continuously?

How can DataNow help?

The DataNow platform has been specifically designed to make passing your DataWOF much easier. The hardware and software we supply makes short work of the capture, comment and communicate layers. And our customer support programme supports all those layers when various issues arise.

When you sign on, we’ll stay with you over the long term, to adjust and modify things as your business develops and changes.

The result being that data is always present, trusted and ready to be leveraged by all. If you’d like to discuss getting a site evaluation done, click here.

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What’s the one key habit used by data-driven managers

Answer, Regular Review. That might sound like a dull answer. But I think it’s the correct one.