Operational Definition is described as a extremely transparent and easily understandable and intelligible explanation of what will be seen and quantified, so that various persons collecting, utilizing, and analyzing the various data variables so that they can be done easily and consistently, and as stated in Lean training classes, it is an Operational Definition that is used in DMAIC (Define, Measuring, Analysis, Improvement and Controlling) followed in the MEASURE phase. So for Six Sigma Green Belts who have completed Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training understand the notion of “Operational Definition” in the measure phase and how it may benefit a project utilizing the Six Sigma methodology. Because operational definitions are a precise, succinct, and thorough specification of a measurement, this becomes a crucial concept in the measure phase. During the measurement phase, it is a notion that guides what attributes will be assessed and in what way measurement will be attributed to the various values and data being collected.
Establishing the Measure Phase’s Operational Definition
An operational definition is a clear definition of the exact “Y” to be measured in the Six Sigma Measure Phase. The “Y” might stand for either “Small Y” or “Big Y.” It is frequently used for the data sources and defines a standard criterion against which to measure. Text descriptions, photos, photographs, models, or samples can all be included in the operational definitions of the measure phase.
Why Is an Operational Definition Necessary?
To establish a baseline for performance, operational definitions during the measurement process phase are employed. The definition’s goal is to offer a single, approved definition for each unique “Y.” Which will help to assure reliability, and regularity is developed during the measurement process. When gathering all forms of data during the measurement phase, operational definitions are required. It is especially crucial when deciding if something is flawed or flawless, whether a problem exists and needs to be dealt with or the next stage of the process can begin, and so on and so forth.
For example, what ways could you know if a meal purchased online and brought by a motorcyclist delivery server was actually brought to the customer in time, or delayed? If the concept of ‘On Time’ is not stated, the collection of data will be worthless. As a result, before beginning the data gathering phase, operational definitions must be defined and evaluated.
Operational Definitions Worksheet
It’s critical that the system is accessible to all who need access so that they are on the same page and gather information with the same methodology whenever it comes to data collection. As a result, an ODW (Operational Definitions Worksheet) will be created during the measurement phase, before data collecting even begins. It is vital to establish how the data will be acquired any time the data is planned to be collected. Data that isn’t specified is likely to be biased and contain many inconsistencies, resulting in an incorrect outcome and causing extra issues when it comes to evaluations, projections and general project management. It’s easy to believe that folks gathering data during the measurement phase know what they’re doing and how to do it. But people, on the other hand, have different attitudes and viewpoints, which will influence data collecting. A precise operational description that avoids ambiguity is the only approach to assure consistent data gathering.
Documenting is important, but there is no singular way that is correct when it comes to doing this. Each operational definition is different and so will the documentation be. The operational definition documents what members in the team or group choose to utilize for a certain goal. For those working on organizational transformation, the notion is straightforward.
Elements of Operational Definition Worksheet
Before the data gathering activity begins in the measure section of the process, an operational definition worksheet is a file or repository for documenting operational definitions. We already know and should know what an operational definition of the measure phase is. Let’s look at the components of the operational definition worksheet now.
The aspects of the operational definition worksheet are depicted below. What are we attempting to assess?
Components of Operational Definition Worksheet (ODW)
Element: What are you attempting to measure?
Examples: On-time delivery for Process ABC, TAT for Process XYZ, Number of Defects in a Detractor email.
Element: What measure is not?
Examples: Are Customer Comments included under the “Responsiveness” section?, Does the Detractor email include common types of defects?
Element: What is the Measure’s Basic Definition?
Examples: TAT = X% of emails answered within 24 hours, Satisfaction = X% of customers giving us a score of 90 & above.
Element: How should the measurement be taken?
Examples: C-Sat Report provided by the third party collector, Customer Verbatim Score in C-Sat Report.
The operational definition worksheet’s first element relates to what we’re aiming to evaluate. In most cases, we aim to monitor process performance using one or two key metrics during the measure phase. It might be on-time delivery, turnaround time, defect count, and so on.
What is included and excluded from the scope?
The scope of what we are attempting to measure is addressed in the second section of the operational definition worksheet. So, we must grasp what is and is not within the scope of a certain metric. Just like how the ‘Responsiveness’ metric may exclude customers verbatim and comments. An email marked as a ‘Detractor,’ ‘Incorrect,’ or ‘Incomplete’ could or could not contain typical and non-critical flaws. To summarize, the project team must determine the scope of each variable that will be measured during the measurement phase.
What is the definition of the measure?
The definition of a measure is the third part of the operational definition worksheet. The cycle time for a potential procedure has been described as X percent of emails being responded to within 24 hours. Additionally, customer satisfaction has been described and evaluated as X percent of consumers evaluating the service provider at 90 percent or above.
How will the measurement be recorded?
The technique of recording the measurement is the fourth part of the operational definition worksheet. The C-Sat report given by the third-party provider will be used to collect customer satisfaction statistics. The customer’s verbatim score in the C-Sat report will be the final score.
In the Measure Phase, how do you create an operational definition worksheet?
In the measuring process phase, let’s talk about how to create an operational definition worksheet.
Determine the attribute that will be measured.
What you need to do first is to determine the trait that we are looking for. So, during the measurement step, we must determine the feature or defect type that could be a cause of concern.
Choosing the right measuring instrument.
The measuring instrument for the measure phase is chosen in the second stage of creating an operational definition worksheet. The measuring instrument might be either a physical measuring device or a visual inspection. If we are performing a visual inspection, we may wish to incorporate standards. An example would be how we may be assessing the color of a product. Standards indicating the allowable color range should be included.
Explain the testing procedure.
Explaining the measure phase’s test procedure is the third stage in creating an operational definition worksheet. The test technique is the way through which the measurement is taken. The start and finish times of the test must be given when measuring time. Every time any measurement is taken, the degree of precision must always be mentioned. It’s crucial to know what units the delivery amount of time will be displayed and considered in, for example, will it be hours, just minutes or even down to the seconds of time level, or a combination of all three of these options.
List the factors for making a choice.
The choice criteria are stated as the fourth stage in constructing an operational definition worksheet during the measure phase. The test’s conclusion is represented by the decision criteria. Is there an issue here? Is this the correct item? Do we have a problem? A precise definition of ‘Acceptable’ against ‘Unacceptable’ is required whenever a visual inspection is utilized. The finest definitions are actual samples or images of what is acceptable and unsuitable, as well as textual backing.
Make a note of the operational definition.
Documenting the operational definition is the fifth step in creating an operational definition worksheet. During the measurement phase, it is critical that the operational definition be recorded and defined. Training materials and job process documents must include definitions. The outcomes of stages 1 through 4 should be compiled into a single document. At the workstation, the operational definition and the required standards should be kept.
Examine the operational definition
Testing the operational definition is the sixth stage in creating an operational definition worksheet. Prior to implementing the operational definition during the measure phase, it is critical to test it. It’s also crucial to get feedback from individuals who will be administering the examinations. The work should be defined in such a way that it is clear and simple to carry out. Asking multiple persons to perform the test on numerous things while following the operational definition is the best technique to test an operational definition. We may observe how they complete the test and the large number of participants remove or at least will clearly display that they are anomalies.
There are some questions that you should consider when examining the methodology that was taken to record and obtain the measurements throughout the measurement phase.
First and foremost, are they successfully finishing the test?
Second, do the results appear to be repeating in a consistent way?
Last but definitely not least, do the outcomes seem accurate?
In the measure phase, that’s how you create an operational definition worksheet. The Six Sigma measure phase requires a consistent process or operational specification document for measuring things. As you can see, Six Sigma programs are information, and the quality of the data is critical to the project’s success. The Six Sigma practitioner will be able to collect reliable and trustworthy data with the help of a suitable operational definition worksheet.