Continuous Improvement Workflows


"To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often." --Winston Churchill

Traditional training and education are only effective when workflows are stable enough to memorize. From that perspective, training and education cannot support continuous improvement systems like Six Sigma, Lean, DMAIC, and many others. Pythia supports them all.

At the foundation of every worker's job is the responsibility to continuously improve their personal performance and to continuously improve their organization's performance. This is true from the top-down and bottom-up, of every business, organization, and institution, regardless of industry or global location.

Continuous improvement doesn't just happen, it requires knowing what to improve and how to do it best. To accomplish this, organizations use all sorts of programs to evaluate human performance as well as quantitative and qualitative productivity metrics.

DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control, is a continuous improvement process designed to reveal both worker and non-worker system improvement opportunities. The Pythia system is designed to support, accelerate, and reduce the cost of executing DMAIC.

Prior to Pythia, improving worker performance meant spending months and thousands of dollars to increase worker knowledge and skill through training and education programs. The unspoken goal of training and learning is to enable workers to memorize every workflow step well enough to be perfectly recalled, then perfectly performed in the correct sequence, every time they perform the workflow without help or aids. Unrealistic? Of course it is, especially when the workflows being trained are performed too infrequently to remember, have too many steps to memorize, or the steps change too often to memorize. Because continuous improvement requires continuously changing workflows, traditional training and education programs are largely inefficient and ineffective in continuous improvement environments.

Pythia perfectly supports continuous improvement environments by enabling workers to perform rapidly changing workflows with little to no training, assuring every step of every workflow is perfectly performed every time, and by revealing continuous improvement opportunities across all performance factors, not just worker performance. Pythia does these things by verbally delivering workflows step-by-step, hands free, on demand, globally, while capturing the time workers spent on each step along with their continuous improvement suggestions.

With respect to the DMAIC continuous improvement process, the performance interval data Pythia captures enables industrial engineers, executives, supervisors, and managers to spend less time Defining and Measuring worker performance through observation and to spend more time on Defining, Analyzing, and Improving performance. When global workflows change, updating them in Pythia is as easy as editing a database text field.

Pythia's ability to verbally deliver step-by-step instructions and capture worker suggestions for continuous improvement make Pythia the perfect Control mechanism in any DMAIC process where manual workers are involved.

Pythia's Mean Performance Report reveals performance improvement opportunities by revealing which workflows and workflow steps were performed at, below, and above mean performance intervals. Performance just above or below the mean includes best practices. Outliers reveal performance improvement opportunities.

Comparing mean performance intervals at individual worker and workflow step detail reveal who needs coaching on which specific workflow step. Organizations can save training time and money and improve performance by coaching targeted at specific individuals and just the workflow steps where they need help.

Comparing mean performance between locations can reveal non-worker improvement opportunities including manager effectiveness, equipment needs, and other location-specific issues.

Because Pythia automatically captures performance intervals as people work, the collected data is always valid, unbiased, and reliable. These qualities are essential for effective analysis and high quality decision making. Automatically capturing performance data also means Pythia reduces the human cost and bias from collecting the data. Because Pythia does not require humans to collect performance data and its reports reveal performance improvement opportunities, the time required to capture and organize the data is eliminated, the time required to analyze the data is greatly reduced, and waste created by decisions made using poor data significantly declines.

Pythia's Feedback Report aggregates all the continuous feedback suggestions provided by the people who are most impacted by inefficient and ineffective work environments; the front-line workers.

To learn more about how the Pythia verbal workflow management system can help you continuously improve performance, contact Adyton or a Pythia distributor today.

Pythia Benefits for Continuous Improvement Initiatives