Why are Process Behavior Charts Essential?

Process behavior charts, or PB charts, provide a simple and effective way to monitor a process. So, if your organization is implementing or improving its current quality management system, you must consider adding process behavior charts as part of that improvement effort.

The PB charts are the most effective method to help you forecast future process performance.

How Do They Work?

PB charts monitor a single-value measure over time, such as defect rates or cycle times, and alert you whenever a special cause variation occurs. Instead of monitoring for specific definitions of common causes (e.g., A, B, and C), these control charts monitor specific patterns of statistical variation – special cause variation.

PB charts provide the only way to measure a system’s ability to predictably achieve future performance. It is this ability that separates good performers from poor performers.

These charts are relatively simple to use, especially compared to other statistical tools. They’re also effective at uncovering non-random process variation that other statistically based quality management systems would otherwise miss.

Since special causes of variation are unpredictable, they must be eliminated to ensure a process performs predictably. This is done by focusing maintenance and improvement efforts on the “special cause” performance factors that have been uncovered in the PB chart. Once these factors have been addressed, a new chart can verify that a repeatable state has been achieved.

How is a Process Behavior Chart Unique?

Process behavior charts are unique because they can predict future outcomes based on past results. They make it possible for you to accurately determine when change is needed before its effects become significant. This means you can act more quickly and decisively.

When used to monitor a critical process, control charts can help you recognize when the process is no longer predictable. Even if this causes problems in some cases (i.e., low volume production), using a PB chart allows you to avoid false alarms and act quickly when necessary.

What are the Benefits of PB Charts?

A properly implemented process behavior chart will provide you with several benefits, including:

Increased Company-Wide Quality Awareness

The process behavior charts help make each employee aware of the impact their work has on the organization’s overall performance. This leads to a better understanding and commitment to improving that performance.

Effective Problem-Solving

They’re easy to interpret and help prioritize corrective actions while maximizing process efficiency. For example, an increase in the mean (or average) may indicate there’s a need for action since it could mean your process is running out of control or maturing.

Consistency of Conclusions

These charts are more reliable than individuals, and moving ranges control charts are based on past performance. This means you can make better decisions about when to act since they accurately predict future results.

Effective Communication and Training

Since PB charts are easy to read and understand, they help make it easier to communicate important information throughout the organization. This results in employees with a better understanding of how their work impacts overall performance. They also make it possible for you to train new employees faster and more effectively than standard training programs (i.e., lecture/video).

Reduced Costs

Using these charts reduces costs by increasing productivity throughout the organization. They also help to maximize output while minimizing variation, reducing the need for additional resources (i.e., inventory) and unnecessary work in progress (WIP).

Higher Overall Productivity

Process behavior charts will lead to higher overall productivity, but an effective quality management system requires. In addition to using these charts, you’ll also need effective production standards and a culture of continuous improvement where employees are equally empowered to solve problems when they arise.

Better Quality Management System

A process behavior chart is an essential part of any quality management system. The environment must be “right,” and employees should understand the benefits of these charts to realize their potential fully.

With a fully implemented Quality Management System (QMS), organizations can improve safety and create a more efficient work environment for all personnel while helping them realize their potential to the fullest. This enables organizations to maximize efficiency, improve safety and reduce costs while providing customers with products of an equally high caliber.

Facilitates Predictive Analytics

These charts ensure your data is correct and reliable and play a critical role in predictive analytics. It isn’t easy to draw accurate conclusions from individuals and moving-range charts because they don’t predict future performance.

The capability to predict future performances based on past results helps you make smarter decisions about when corrective action is needed. You can also maximize process efficiency while avoiding false alarms that are costly and disruptive.