The 7 Ways Comparison form is a tool used to show an ‘at-a-glance’ view of 7 process options created as the result of a brainstorming session. It is commonly used in 3P events, but is a useful tool in any situation in which a team needs to choose between several process options.
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This form is both a communication tool and an analysis tool. During a brainstorming process, especially for kaizen style events or 3P event where the pace is fast and the team members may not be familiar with each other, there is a high likelihood for signals to be crossed. The 7 Ways Comparison Form is a communication tool designed to prevent confusion.
After the top 7 ideas are distilled out of the full range of brainstormed ideas, they are annotated onto this form. Be sure to flesh out the ideas as much as possible. Also, use sketches. They are easier to understand quickly.
The comparison form is also useful as a tool to spur a discussion to refine ideas. It is not a fixed document. Feel free to allow the ideas to evolve as they are discussed.
The 7 Ways Comparison Form serves another purpose in addition to communication. It keeps people from skipping important steps. Because the ideas are laid out side by side, it is obvious if key components, such as mistake proofing devices, are missing.
The 7 Ways Comparison Form leads into the 3P Idea Evaluation Matrix when used as part of the Production Preparation Process. It is a standard decision matrix modified with some process selection criteria.
Be firm about the requirement to use images. People will push back on that because they are embarrassed. Most groups, though, will have at least one person who is a decent artist.