PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Apr2016

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34 The PCB Magazine • April 2016 ly. There are eight steps in building and main- taining a robust process: 1. Identify the process. What are we try- ing to do? This may sound a bit general, but it is critical. Write it down. 2. Determine the resources needed for the process. If we are building a box we will need materials such as wood, nails, screws, a hammer, etc. Determine what tools will be needed to create what we defined in Step 1. 3. Decide who is doing it. This is a critical step that many overlook. Who is going to be doing this process? In many cases, the mistake is that the process is written so overly technical that only a Ph.D. or rocket scientist could pos- sibly understand. This leads to breakdown and ultimately, process failure. Now if the process requires a Ph.D. or rocket scientist to perform the steps then by all means write it and include the attributes required for that audience. 4. Create a flowchart/diagram. Now it's time to document your actual steps. This may include more than one document if more than one department or entity is involved. This is your work instruction phase. This is best documented while the actual steps are being performed. It is much more difficult to look at the finished prod - uct in a conference room and reverse-engineer by memory. Do it hands-on. It will save edits and missed steps in your process. This is a time to again consider your audience. While in this phase, reflect on what is critically needed for the process and what may be left out if some com- mon knowledge is already indicated. 5. Expand. Now that you have your steps, review each one and expand if necessary to include specifics about a given step. Perhaps a special tool is required in one step or a certain color of paint. This is the time to provide exam- ples. What should the product or activity look like at a certain step? Visual examples work very well to gauge whether the process is develop- ing the desired result. Be careful during this step as to not write yourself into a corner. Con- sider the future and other integrated processes proCess management: Doing it right Figure 2: Process-building steps flowchart. that may work with yours. If your process is too tight, you may have issues with amendments or changes in the future, or have issues modifying your process to accommodate a sister process related to your own. 6. Test the process document. If you wrote it, I don't mean you. Find a volunteer to read

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