Six Sigma Tools for continuous quality improvement


Operational Definitions

for consistent data

Why and when to use your

Operational Definitions template

One of the most costly mistakes that you can make in a lean six sigma project

is when Jack collects data one way, and Jill interprets it another way.

Use your Operational Definitions template (Op_Def.xlsx)

to ensure that everyone collects and interprets data in a consistent way.

Your team leader might make use of your Operational Definitions template
when using many of your other Lean Six Sigma tools, such as...

Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer

Critial to Quality Tree

Critical to Quality

Measures Select

Measurement Selection

Check Sheet

Check Sheet


How to use your

Operational Definitions template

Find and open your templateExcel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Find and open your
Operational Definitions template


in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

Systems2win menu > Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Rename your new sheet

Or... Insert Sheet

As an alternative to opening a stand-alone document (as instructed above),

you also have the option to Insert Sheet into any other Excel workbook.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to start defining your

Operational Definitions

Step 1) Succinctly define what we are trying to measure

Measurement Assessment Tree

Often, this wording will be identical to the wording
found in the Metrics in the Measurement Assessment Tree.

Step 2) List the Stratification Factors

List chosen Stratification Factors from the Measurement Assessment Tree.

Note: There might be a separate row for each Stratification Factor
in addition to a row defining the primary Y output(s) being measured.

Step 3) Provide a clear and concise Operational Definition of the measure

Exactly what constitutes a defect?

Operational Definitions template

You'll get a lot more out of this training if you have your template open in front of you

See the example on the Sample sheet

Step 4) Define what the measure isn't

It is often helpful to clear up common questions
by being clear about what the measure is not.

Step 5) Describe how to take the measurement

Describe exactly how to go about taking the measurement.

Be precise.

For lengthy instructions, you can optionally use a link icon,
or Right-click > Insert Comment.

Step 6) Create data collection forms and mistake-proofing aids

And complete the rest of the columns as explained in the sample data.

Step 7) Test

Have people who were not involved in writing the Operational Definitions use them to collect data.

Observe, and notice sources of confusion.

Step 8) Improve the Operational Definition

Improve based on feedback and observations.

This Operational Definitions template comes with
many other useful Lean Six Sigma tools



priced low enough to empower every team member




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