Target Values
Photo by Mike Mozart

Target Values: Smaller is Better, Larger is Better, Nominal is Best. Quality characteristics used to identify target values in our processes. There are lots of types, but these 3 are the most common.

Target Values: Smaller is Better

  • Will always have some upper specification limit.
  • Examples:
    • The late departure times from the airport. (Target is zero, they’d expect some variation, and there would be an upper level of acceptability – determined by Voice of Customer.)
    • Ambulance response times
    • Waste generated
    • Non-conforming items
    • Defects
    • Rejected parts

Target Values: Larger is Better

  • Will always have some lower specification limit.
  • Examples:
    • Test scores (target is 100% – or at least pass rating ;’) )
    • Amount of free time
    • Old school Nintendo game cartridge breaking force. If that wafer broke, you were out of a game! Larger is better!
    • Net Promoter Scores
    • Pressure needed to explode a tire.
    • Cell phone battery life

Target Values: Nominal is Best

  • Examples:
    • Phone associates: too little time and they are missing things, too much time and they are not being efficient enough.
    • Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, just right!
    • Oil in the car: too much is a waste and causes smoke when hitting the engine (or explodes parts), too little and the engine locks and dies.

Comments (2)

Is the Nintendo cartridge example in the wrong category? It seems like you wouldn’t want a small breaking force, and it even says, “Larger is better!”

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