The term stability is the tendency of something to keep its current state. The opposite of stability is Lean operations is variation, or the state of things fluctuating wildly, or drifting away from normal.
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In continuous improvement, stability is most often used to describe a process. If a process is stable, there is little fluctuation in the output. This is sometimes referred to as being ‘in control’. Out of control processes exhibit a trend, or significant fluctuation.
Continuous improvement generally strives for a reduction in variation, and that occurs by stabilizing processes. Stability means predictability. Predictability means planning gets easier.
Implement countermeasures. Systematically eliminate the little things that disrupt processes.
Stability also is used to describe other things, such as a computer system that doesn’t crash or change, or a functional system, like a materials system. If a system is stable, it will provide consistent results.
You may also hear about stability when talking about demand. Employees like stable demand, as it is comfortable, and easy. Companies, however, want a smooth increase in demand. They have to be careful, though. If they increase is too fast, problems develop, and the trendline gets jittery. If the increase is too slow, though, shareholders complain and financing becomes more challenging.