This Week in PCM : Monitoring Your Plan

06022016 Monitoring Your Plan

When the original plan is not working, people automatically ditch it and go to Plan B. That would be premature because you do not have any measurements to evaluate performance. It is essential to know what is wrong with your original plan and how you can fix it before going onto plan B. You need to have some metrics that will let you know when your original plan is not working. This article will help you develop the metrics necessary to measure performance. Below is an example:

Example: You are in charge of an air conditioning system. The machine is supposed to stay at 65 degrees. If it registers 67 degrees or higher seven times, then pull it from operations and fix it. If after reinstalling the machine, it still malfunctions then you pull it and go with another air conditioning machine. This second machine is your plan B.

Here are my steps for monitoring your plan before going to Plan B:

What is your metric?

You cannot properly diagnosis a problem without knowing what specifically is wrong. Having a metric sets the baseline for monitoring performance.

What is the number or percentage that would force a review?

You have to have a threshold to measure against. For those who do not know, the definition of a threshold is ‘the point at which something begins or changes.’ Your threshold is the margin or spread where certain deviations are acceptable. When the plan operates outside of this threshold, then there is cause for concern.

What situation would happen for you to go with plan B?

In essence, what is the tipping point? What is the exact point where you ditch your monitoring plan and delve into plan B. Your tipping points are outside your threshold. List this point because you need to know when to transition. If you don’t list the tipping point’s criteria, then you won’t transition in time.

Hopefully these three things will guide you towards better decision-making in developing a monitoring plan and knowing when to move to Plan B.

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