Evidence is the data that supports a theory. It is what separates opinion from fact.
Lean relies heavily on problem solving to make improvements. In order to get to the root cause of a problem, people in Lean companies must act like detectives, uncovering evidence to understand processes better.
Evidence is the objective information about the ‘Event’ in the How-You-Think-Links. This behavior model links an event to its interpretation, emotion, decision, and action to come to a result. Any person looking at evidence will view it the same way. For example, assuming that measurements and observations are accurate, a room that is 71 degrees will be 71 degrees no matter who is evaluating it.
The ‘Interpretation’ of evidence is where subjective meaning gets applied to the ‘Event’. For example, for some people, 71 degrees may be too hot. For others, it will be too cool. Interpretation varies from person to person and can be the source of a lot of conflict at work, especially between managers and employees who frequently interpret evidence in different ways.
Reconciling the interpretation of evidence can be a challenge. Fortunately, a substantial number of conflicts can be avoided by simply confirming that both sides of a disagreement are operating from the same set of evidence.