Measurable Goal in Transactional or Service Project

Our (family) team has successfully finished the Define Phase of the “Crap Creep Elimination” project.  I’ve made a project charter, SIPOC diagram and have more ideas that we are going to do.

While I was very satisfied with the job I’m doing as a project leader, one of my team members (my wife) complained, saying “I’m the only one actually cleaning our apartment. You’re just enjoying making charts and posting on your blog.  You didn’t do any cleaning!”

Planning, however, is one of the most important things in project management.  (On the other hand, I can understand her viewpoint.  So I watched the kids and let her catch up on her own blog, and I did a lot of vacuuming this weekend.)

Now we are in the Measure Phase.  The main goal of this phase is to answer the question, “How are we doing?” scientifically.  The “scientifically” is the key.  You have to measure your process for that.  Six Sigma or quality control originally came from the manufacturing industry.  Measuring factory processes is usually easier than transactional or service industry ones because they have many measurable objects such as the number of defects, size, temperature, etc.

I usually deal with projects for purchasing, IT, marketing and training operations at work.  Making measurable goals is a step you just can’t skip in LSS.  According to my experience, you can’t get desirable results without it or you have to come back to this point later, anyway.

Now back to our “Crap Creep Elimination” project. What would be measurable goals in cleaning your home?  I was thinking about this when I made the project charter after seeing toys scattered around the living room. (Now it’s tidy enough so I can vacuum.)  My answer is Mess Occupation Ratio (MOR), which is mess dimension divided by supposed-to-be-clean areas’ (floor, on the couch, kitchen counter) total dimension.

Now, how can I measure the mess dimension?  I googled hoping to find some software for that.  I’m interested in current technology, and I found some software that calculates any size from a digital image that you can just take with your camera.

I realize that since this is our personal project, I don’t need precise accuracy.  Also I only need the ratio, so I don’t need actual dimensions (sqft), so I coded a program with Excel VBA.  I just resized rectangle objects and moved them to where messes were on our floor plan in Excel, then VBA calculate MOR for you. In case you are interested in the code, here it is:

Sub MessCalculation()

Dim HeiLng, WidLng, DimeX, DimeTtl As Long

Dim Name As String

Dim X, N As Integer

N = Range(“N1″).Value + 1 ‘How many rectangle used

‘Calculate mess-area total dimension

For X = 2 To N

Name = “Rectangle ” & X               ‘Take each rectangle’s lengths

ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(Name)).Select

HeiLng = Selection.ShapeRange.Height

WidLng = Selection.ShapeRange.Width

DimeX = HeiLng * WidLng                ‘Calculate each dimension

DimeTtl = DimeTtl + DimeX          ’Accumulate each rectangle’s dimension

Next X

Range(“N2″) = DimeTtl                    ‘Output mess-area total dimension

‘Calculate supposed-to-be clean area total dimension

For X = 21 To 23

Name = “Rectangle ” & X                ‘Take each room rectangle’s lengths

ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(Name)).Select

HeiLng = Selection.ShapeRange.Height

WidLng = Selection.ShapeRange.Width

DimeX = HeiLng * WidLng                     ‘Calculate each dimension

DimeTtl = DimeTtl + DimeX          ‘Accumulate each rectangle’s dimension

Next X

Range(“N3″) = DimeTtl         ‘Output supposed-to-be clean area total dimension

Range(“N4″) = Range(“N2″).Value / Range(“N3″).Value               ‘Output MOR

MsgBox (“Finished”)

End Sub

 

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