Understand Today

In order to identify big opportunities for improvement we must not only understand what we do, but how what we do impacts what others do.

In this section we highlight three areas related closely to Understanding:

Process Mapping - A general class of tools that allow us to represent how various parts of a system relate to each other. Process maps, in their various forms, help people to understand their role in the world, and to understand how their role affects the outcomes of the larger system. One well-known form of process map is the "SIPOC" - standing for Supplier, Input, Process, Output, and Customer. All Process Maps share the SIPOC philosophy of clearly identifying the linkages between steps and what is delivered across those linkages.

Cause-and-Effect - These tools help us to understand not just what is happening in the world today, but to understand why it is happening. When we understand why something is happening (the causes) we have an opportunity to change those causes, in turn changing the effects of those causes.

Data Analysis - A variety of data analysis tools that help us to identify patterns, which in turn can help us guide our efforts in understanding what these patterns might be revealing to us. The tools we explore here can be remembered by the acronym "SHARP" - standing for Scatter, Histogram, Affinity, Run, and Pareto.

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