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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 41

Process Capability

Predict the performance of your new solution.

 

Process capability compares the actual performance of a product or service to its requirements or specifications under two major conditions. One is when you want to predict how well your newly designed product or service will perform prior to its release and full implementation. The other is after your product or service is in full operation and you want to measure how well it is meeting its performance specifications or expectations.

Because we're primarily concerned about innovation, we'll focus on its predictive use. For example, if you've designed a new insulin pump, it should be capable of administering a certain amount of the hormone at a certain rate into the patient's body. If you determine that the pump's ability to consistently perform is lacking, you can use the Process Capability technique to improve its design by optimizing the settings of the pump's input variables (radius of the piston, motor speed, etc.).

Because there are so many different ways to calculate process capability, it's common to use the wrong metric. This creates an erroneous impression of how well the process runs, and creates confusion when comparing the performance of different types of variables and processes (service, manufacturing, transactional). Therefore, this technique is best applied at first with the help of a statistical or Six Sigma expert.

Background

One way process capability can be measured is as a simple ...

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