What is Data Collection Plan? Simple Practitioner's explanation


O'PEEP'S DATA COLLECTION PLAN EXPLANATION 

You love baking cakes but sometimes they come out burned. To find out why, you collect data on your last 10 cakes: temperature of the oven, position in the oven, cooking time (your X´s) and also how burned or not these cakes came out (your Y)… Displaying all the information in this fashion will help you find out the cause and effect relationships and stop burning cakes!

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Data collection plan is a DMAIC tool and a DMAIC philosophy. Data collection plans ensure that you make up your mind what data is really required and how you need it. For OPEX experts: Basically, it’s about measuring Ys and Xs at the same time. By deciding which “data we want to have”, the data collection plan prevents us from simply using whatever data is already available. 

Data collection doesn’t necessarily take a long time, in a lot of cases it’s quicker (and more reliable) to “go see” the process. It’s key is to capture the normal variation over time so the data collected is representative of the process as it is.

 

GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK CREATING A DATA COLLECTION PLAN

  • How to measure? 
  • What are the conditions that need to be recorded at the same time?
  • What is the “unit of analysis”? For Green Belts: Why do the data on X and Y belong together?
  • When I have this data, am I able to prove or disprove the cause-effect-relationships?
  • How will the data be displayed and what are the patterns expected?
  • What is the right time frame, scope, etc. to ensure data is representative?

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