MAKE QUALITATIVE DATA QUANTITATIVE
ENSURING USEFUL QUALITY MEASURES
“The human eye can physically perceive millions of colors. But we don’t all recognize these colors in the same way. Some people can‘t see differences in colors—so called color blindness”
That being said, imagine if you were the leader of an organization making widgets that had to be a certain color! All of the sudden you start to see customer complaints regarding incorrect widget colors. What next?
Most organizations begin coaching and write ups and blame it on the inspector.
SETTING UP FOR FAILURE
If the business objective is quality above cost or delivery (i.e. what the customer will pay for), qualitative data quickly becomes the enemy. Perceptive inspection techniques should be replaced measurable inspection.
A colorimeter like the one above can easily be used to judge product color rather than depending on the human eye.
Leaders need to keep a close eye on quality complaints to ensure that systems are actually capable of determining the quality requirement. Every effort needs to be made to convert qualitative processes to quantitative.
This type of data depends on the perception of the data collector. Example:
The cats have orange, brown, black, or white fur. Count the number of each.
This type of data uses some kind of concrete measurement system. Example:
The 8′ 2×4 is measured with a tape measure to be exactly 8′ long.
An analytical test used to determine the accuracy of the measurement system used. Example(s):
Quantitative: Have employees measure 6 independent objects with calipers to determine they all have the same measurement result.
Qualitative: Place 3 red hats on a table. Pole 6 employees to determine if each agree the hats are actually red.