Original Date: 01/24/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : TQM Methodology and Process Characterization
As a means to improve product-to-market times, Harris Semiconductor has applied the TQM methodology of process characterization to the company's SPICE Model Development and Support Activities. Harris determined that process characterization provided the expected outcomes of addressing problems of local importance, promoting a broader understanding and global view, promoting ownership beyond personal tasks or department tasks, revealing the rationale for other organizations' requirements or actions, and heading all involved personnel in the same direction.
Process characterization included an assessment of current operational procedures and relationships, definition of the desired state, and development of a plan that identifies steps for evolving to the desired state. It involved the development of an As-Is process map with issues list and a Should-Be process map. After a cost/benefit study, a transition plan was established and changes implemented. Harris conducted interviews and collected data to determine the existing state as well as the desired state. These interviews were conducted over a three week period by two facilitators. The captured data was used to construct the As-Is and Should-Be maps, and several meetings were held to discuss them in detail and highlight problems and issues for resolution. In looking at improving the electrical design model development, the two pivotal issues were lack of ownership of the models and poor documentation. Although these were addressed first, there were 90 issues handled during this process characterization application. A multi-functional Modeling Team was established as a result of this process characterization and is following the Should-Be maps to improve models.
The outcome has been development of criteria against which all models are measured and assigned a rating. Some models are worked until they achieve the highest possible state while others may not justify that effort. The Modeling Team has made significant improvement in the models for eight different technologies during its first year. Two technologies whose models were advanced in the process but not yet at the highest level have been forwarded to outside suppliers who achieved first pass success in all of 26 consecutive attempts.
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