Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, and Morale (QCDSM)

While not all metrics fit within the categories of Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, and Morale; it is important to ensure each of them exists in your tracking. With each category, it is important to have both leading and lagging indicators. Some to provide warning for preventative measures, while the others serve as validation. For any metric, a significant change should cause a change in behavior.

Quality (Effective)

How fully and consistently do you solve problems?

  • Prevent > solve > mitigate > stall > no effect > worsen
  • Mistakes
  • Near misses
  • Defects
  • Customer ratings/reviews/scores

Cost (Abundant)

How many resources are required to solve problems? Can your solutions scale to efficiently meet demand?

  • Work time per unit (sum of cycle times)
  • Number of people required (cycle time/takt time)
  • Staff, supplies, equipment
    • Costs
    • Utilization

Delivery (Timely)

How well can you time your solution(s) to best address a problem?


Safety (Harmless)

What are the harms and risks to the people involved?


Morale (Empowering)

Are people engaged and empowered to improve the situation?

  • Escalations
    • Problems solved without escalation
    • % of work completed without escalation
  • Unsolicited ideas
  • Satisfaction scores
  • Turnover rates
  • Applicants per position

Further Improving QCDSM

While QCDSM is enough for many, it grew from QCD, and can evolve further. Expressed as ideals, Harmless, Effective, Abundant, Timely, and Empowering (HEATE), identifying the proper metrics becomes far easier in many contexts.

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