Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to top


Innovation in Performance Excellence: Eight Paradigms to Performance Excellence (8PPE)

| On 02, Jan 2005

Michael S. Slocum
Vice President of Research and Development
Breakthrough Management Group, Inc.

The objective of this paper is to present a framework that describes a performance excellence system. Six Sigma is showcased as the operating system on which performance excellence methods may be launched. The framework for what should preclude Six Sigma is presented as well as what should follow. The integration of this system is discussed as well as a maturity progression. A performance excellence model is presented as well as a skill progression for each category of the model. The progression through the model is presented in eight paradigms. An assessment method is also proposed that would be used to track progression in each category as well as maturation through the paradigms of the model.

1. Introduction
Historically speaking, methodologies have a finite life-cycle. Despite the intricacies of each independent cycle, all of these curves have a commonality: decline and ultimately death. This concept may be directly applied to our current understanding of process improvement: Six Sigma; as well as structured innovation: TRIZ. Understanding this progression allows us to be proactive from the perspective of identifying our areas of expertise and involvement in advance of this decline and then death, allowing us to evolve our products or services during a period of financial strength (as opposed to this activity taking place after financial decline has already commenced). We are reacting before we see the “handwriting on the wall”. This proactive capability allows us to evolve while preserving our existing business. This ambidextrousness positions the organization for excellence in evolution (becoming something the company has not been based on the strength of its core competencies).

2. Six Sigma in a Vacuum
The application of Six Sigma has allowed many corporations to optimize existing processes and systems. General Electric and Motorola have publicized billion dollar savings from multi-year mature applications of Six Sigma (DMAIC). This success is not always predictable as the application of Six Sigma in a vacuum allows for the possibility of projects that are not aligned with strategies. Optimization may occur without impacting progress towards goals and objectives and ultimately the vision. This alignment is critical for the maximization of Six Sigma results. This alignment comes from the application of fundamental skills that preclude the application of Six Sigma. In this respect, strategic planning plays a vital role. The organization needs to formulate a service mission and an economic mission. Strategies for the attainment of these missions need to be identified as well as prioritized. These prioritized strategies become the driving factors for conversion to a work-plan. This top-down approach insures alignment of the organization with a vision and progress towards meeting the service and economic missions. A bottom-up approach needs to be utilized in order to involve the majority of the workforce but alignment is critical. This opportunity for alignment does not exist unless the strategic plan has been developed form the top and cascaded throughout the organization. A non-optimization constraint limits the system unless this focusing activity takes place.

3. Preservation: The Foundation for Excellence
The creation of a strategic plan allows the organization to focus its activity on those tasks critical for success. The vision is converted to strategies and these are cascaded to the tactical level (see Figure 1.0). Management to these objectives is focused and a balanced scorecard approach may be used to track progress. Progress below target may be selected for cause and corrective action activity. Periodic reviews keep the progression towards excellence on track and allow risk mitigation as necessary.


The Hoshin allows for the identification of those processes that are critical to the successful attainment of your strategies. These key processes must then be created and mapped using process mapping techniques. An understanding that each process is linked to every other process is embodies in the SIPOC model (see Figure 2.0).

Once the key processes are identified, the interrelationships must be identified. An enterprise process model (EPM) needs to be created so that cross process impacts are understood and controlled. This progression brings us to the application of lean principles. Non-value added operations need to be eliminated and flow and throughput optimized. As waste is targeted and removed the process is becoming prepared for process improvement through the application of Six Sigma (DMAIC). This optimization process provides the impetus for driving performance to the six sigma level (or whatever level is appropriate given cost and safety considerations). This progression from Strategic Planning, to Process Management, to Lean, and then Six Sigma is the necessary evolution of the organization at the fundamental level. This means those skills necessary for survivability.

4. Evolution: Becoming Something You Aren’t
Once process performance has reached entitlement, design activity must take place in order to evolve performance to new and previously unattainable levels. This Design activity at the highest level of maturity is Design for Six Sigma (DFSS at the macro-level and DMADV at the micro-level). DFSS allows the organization to develop at a high level of performance while meeting or exceeding all critical-to-customer (CTC) requirements with little risk of late-stage failure. Research and Developmental skills enable the organization to respond to societal needs in unforeseen ways. The transition from the closed innovative system to the open innovative system is promoted as well as an increased reliance in structured innovation (TRIZ). See Figure 3.0 for the complete Performance Excellence Model (Total Performance Improvement Model (TPIM)). The ability to focus on Preservation and Evolution simultaneously is described as the organization being Ambidextrous.


5. The Model (see Figure 4.0)
The model is comprised of various elements: foundation (those elements below the facing triangle that are represented by the blocks), base (assessment methodology: IMPROVE1), and then a progression of increasing sophisticated and complex methodologies: strategic planning, process management, lean, process improvement, design, and research & development. The triangle is supported on each side by: innovation on the left and change leadership on the right. It is understood that a maturity in each level is possible as is a progression upwards to those methods that increase in sophistication and complexity. This model is an excellent visual representation of the concept but must be modified and enhanced in order to be practically applied as a business practice.

A reduction of the model to a Category Matrix including expansion of the skill progression for each level:


The Category Matrix is divided in several ways: vertically it is divided into three categories: basic, intermediate, and advanced. Horizontally the matrix is divided into: fundamental, drive to six sigma, and enterprise evolution. The colored differentiations indicate which elements of the, matrix belong to which enterprise excellence paradigm: red = I, yellow = II, green = III, blue = IV, light purple = V, dark purple = VI, gray = VII, and brown = VIII. The paradigms have been identified in order to produce a flow through the fundamental category at the basic level to the enterprise evolution category at the advanced level. The methodologies depicted are considered to be inclusive from right to left – this means for example, that an adoption of Hoshin would contain those elements found in vision, goals and objectives, MBO, and usage of the Balanced Scorecard. The ability of an enterprise to adopt an intermediate or advanced methodology without progressing through the predecessory elements will be predicated on (but not limited to): maturity of the workforce, ability to foster and maintain cultural change, leadership capabilities, economic viability, and development of supporting infrastructure. It is possible and probable that an enterprise would be more advanced in some categories over others. Unequal maturity in the paradigms is also to be expected. Highly disproportionate cross-paradigm development will be discouraged as it will yield the inability to produce balanced and sustainable results in the enterprise. Therefore, the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) will be employed in order to assist the equal development of categories and paradigms.

The IMPROVE assessment methodology will be applied primarily to determine an organizations maturity level for each of the categories: Strategic Planning (SP), Process Management (PM), Lean Principles (LP), Process Improvement (PI), Design Methods (DM), and Research and Development (RD). Weaknesses and opportunities for the infusion of advanced applications and structured innovation will be identified. The infusion of innovation into each category will be of concern. The Investigative stage will be conducted in order to collect relevant information so that the presence and maturity level of each category may be qualitatively determined. In conjunction with this, an assessment of management’s ability to lead and support cultural change will be conducted. The output of the Investigative stage will be radar plots (Matrices) indicating the presence and maturity of various key elements of each category. Deficiencies and inefficiencies in the Matrices will yield recognizable Pathologies. The response data may be superimposed on the Category Matrix in order to visually represent an enterprise’s evolution through the 8PPE. The CMM will be used to establish the equalization efforts necessary in order to balance cross-paradigm maturity. A Recovery plan will be developed in order to evolve each category to the maximum level that management and enterprise culture are able to support and sustain.

The expansion of each category will include those skills and methods that are historically and critically pertinent to the category. The progression will be right-to-left inclusive meaning that skills in the category to the right will include the necessary elements of skills listed to the left. A top level radar plot will be created for each category. The points on the plot will be those necessary skills that are sub-sets of the main category element (for example: the category would be Strategic Planning, the main element in question would be the Balanced Scorecard, the necessary Balanced Scorecard elements would be: vision, goals and objectives, decomposition of goals and objectives to activity that is measurable, verification of causal relationship of metrics to goals and objectives, etc.). A questionnaire needs to be developed for each main element so that maturity may be determined. It is also possible that an enterprise may select a mature element in a category for adoption without achieving maturity in the elements to the left of the selected element. This needs to be taken into consideration as this model is developed. Also, some elements may not be included in a more mature adoption and special attention should be paid to these instances.
The pathologies and recovery plans will be cross-correlated using a matrix. The practitioner will be able to look-up pathologies (single or compound) and find recovery plans). The model will start as a theoretical construct and then be modified as experience dictates. The category questionnaires will drive the input for the I and M phases of IMPROVE. These questionnaires will also drive the construction of the main, secondary, and tertiary radar plots.

6. Conclusion
In order for an organization to excel from conceptualization to commercialization a number of core competencies must be present. Not only do these capabilities need to be present but they need to be fully integrated. Also, the maturity levels need to be fairly homogenous to minimize constraints on the system. The ability to evolve the capabilities of the system should be focused on while sound process management allows the fundamental operations of the organization to proceed with little oversight or influx of corrective energy.

7. References
[1]. Apte, P.R. and D.L. Mann. “Taguchi and TRIZ: Comparisons and Opportunities,” TRIZ Journal, November 2001.
[2]. Fowlkes, William and Clyde M. Creveling. Engineering Methods for Robust Product Design: Using Taguchi Methods in Technology and Product Development. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, New York, 1995.
[3]. Monplaisir, Leslie, Ph.D., Rajesh Jugulum, and Mahfoosulhaq Mian. “Application of TRIZ and Taguchi Methods: Two Case Examples,” TRIZ Journal, January 1999.
[4]. Quartly-Watson, Timothy. “TRIZ and Taguchi Methods at a World-Class Winery & Vineyard,” TRIZ Journal, February 1999.
[5]. Ross, Phillip J. Taguchi Techniques for Quality Engineering, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1996
[6]. Terniko, John, Ph.D. “The QFD, TRIZ, and Taguchi Connection: Customer-Driven Robust Innovation,” TRIZ Journal, January 1998.
[7]. Terniko, John, Ph.D., Alla Zusman, and Boris Zlotin, Systematic Innovation: An Introduction to TRIZ. St. Lucie Press, New York, 1998.
[8]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Technology Forecasting: from Emotional to Empirical”, Journal of Creativity and Innovation Management, Volume 10 Number 2, December 2001
[9]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Self-Heating Container Developments Predicated on the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”, TRIZ Journal, October 2001
[10]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “A New TRIZ Practitioner’s Experience for Solving an Industrial Problem using ARIZ 85C: Increasing a Textile Kiss-Coat Operation Speed”, Frank Grace, Dr. Slocum, and Dr. Clapp, TRIZ Journal, January 2001
[11]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Maturity Mapping Using S-curve Descriptors: Self-Heating Technology”, TRIZCON 99 Proceedings, March 1999, revised and reprinted in The TRIZ Journal, April 1999
[12]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Direct Evolution Using S-curve Descriptors”, International TRIZ Symposium, November 1998
[13]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Optimizing Atomic Oxygen Resistance using Taguchi D.O.E.”, 4th Annual Total Product Development Symposium, November 1998
[14]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Directed Evolution of Hermetic Technology”, International TRIZ Symposium, November 1998
[15]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Using TRIZ to Optimize Atomic Oxygen Resistance on Coated Substrates”, TRIZ Journal, August 1998
[16]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Optimizing Atomic Oxygen Resistance on Coated Substrates Using TechOptimizer®”, TRIZ Journal, July 1998
[17]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Robust Development and Design for a Nuclear Reactor Terminal Gland”, 3rd Annual Total Product Development Symposium, November 1997
[18]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Atomic Oxygen Resistance for Silicone Coating for Use on the International Space Station”, 10th Annual Taguchi Symposium, October 1997
[19]. Slocum, Michael S., Ph.D., “Extrusion Molding Optimization for the Wire-Guide Torpedo Penetrator”, 9th Annual Taguchi Symposium, May 1996

8. Appendix: Eight Paradigms to Performance Excellence








9. About the Author
Michael S. Slocum, Ph.D., TRIZ Scientist, MBB
Vice President of Research and Development

With over 14 years of research and development experience at ITT Space and Special Projects and the U.S.
Army Military Intelligence, Dr. Michael Slocum has become an expert in Problem Solving, Research and 4th TRIZ Future Conference, ETRIA, November 3-5, 2004, Florence, Italy
Development, Engineering, and Quality. In Dr. Slocum’s career, he has worked on the TITAN missile, SeaWolf submarine, Trident class submarines, International Space Station, and numerous satellite programs.

Dr. Slocum studied at the U.S. Army Intelligence School and Trinity College where he earned his Ph.D. in Physics. He was an Adjunct Professor and a member of the Graduate Faculty at North Carolina State University where he developed and taught a graduate course on the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. Dr. Slocum is an editor of The TRIZ Journal ( Dr. Slocum was the founding editor of “Izobretenia” (Journal for the Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies), is a member of the ETRIA Global Coordination Group, Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in London, member of the New Technology Review Panel of the National Food Processors Association, Sigma Xi, Institute of Food Technologists, Society for Plastic Engineers, New York Academy of Sciences, Association for the Advancement of the Sciences, American Physical Society, American Material Society, American Chemical Society, and ISSSP Dr. Slocum has authored over 90 scientific papers and was the technical editor for TRIZ: The Right Solution at the Right Time.