Testing Todd: Process Management: Doing It Right


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The term "process management" is widely used in today’s economic theater, but what is it really? Simply put, it is the idea of figuring out how to do something, documenting it and then monitoring the effectiveness of the steps you created for the end result. Simple, right?

Unfortunately, many who take on this endeavor fall short due to missing some key attributes to creating and maintaining a robust process. It doesn’t matter whether we are building a box or building a battleship, the theories are the same. Many consider writing work instruction the process but it is only one of the key attributes. Remembering this will no doubt keep you from the pitfalls of process failure. We all remember what the customer wanted, right?

A process that is unclear when created will undoubtedly result in something like the picture in Figure 1. So let’s build a process correctly. There are eight steps in building and maintaining a robust process:

1. Identify the process. What are we trying to do? This may sound a bit general, but it is critical. Write it down.

2. Determine the resources needed for the process. If we are building a box we will need materials such as wood, nails, screws, a hammer, etc. Determine what tools will be needed to create what we defined in Step 1.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine.

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