Processes are made up of Machines, Materials, Methods, Measurement, Mother Nature (the environment), and the People in the process. These factors are called 5m’s and 1p.
Within service businesses the predominant source of problems are within the methods being used.
The challenge with the feedback and question process is 2 fold.
1) Being able (when you ask question and provide feedback) to clearly identify which part of the process is the ’cause variation’ = which combination and /or 5m & 1p is creating the process variation.
2) If it is the person then feedback as far as behaviors are explored (bad hygiene, lack of professional demeanor, etc..) these are not from the 5m’s.
If it is one of the 5m’s then ensuring that you are exploring the (m) that is the factor.
If it is the Methods being used for example using a donkey to deliver mail from one office location to another this method may not be the most effective in delivering mail. So an examination of the method is needed. Now the staff who care for, feed, and ride the donkey (the 1p) will and may feel threatened when you explain the we are examining the method for mail distribution.
While they are working very hard and feeding the donkey the best food possible and maximizing and shortening routes and route time they are doing exactly what the Process calls for.
Although you will (most likely) change your mail process method, and when it is changed the Donkey Care and work staff will have to change, and learn new processes to utilize the new 5m’s you have put into place.
The important thing is to be sure to do all that you can to examine the 5m’s & 1p to root cause where the process is not being effective. And as stated earlier in the service sector predominately it is the Methods being used, not the People.
-Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning-Team Building