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Task 2.4: Analyze Product Families

Is it possible to produce all these seemingly different products on the same line? So far, you do not know. You need to continue analyzing the information to reach a conclusion. In this section of the workshop you will calculate a product family score using the procedure shown below. You will then sort your Process Matrix by this score and group your products by Family. Prepare to discuss with your Coach whether or not all of the products belong in the same family.

Instructions for Sorting by Product Family (Using Excel)

Step 1. Copy your Excel Process Matrix to a new worksheet.

Step 2. Add a row directly above the process names, and number them 1 through n, with n being the total number of processes.

Step 3. Replace each “X” in the spreadsheet with the process number for that column. Make sure that the cells are formatted as numbers and not as text.

Step 4. Create a column to the right of the last process, and title it “Family”. For each product row, sum the cell value to the power of the column value (cell^col).  The sum statement for the seventh row, with seven processes, will look like this (without the spaces): = B7^B$2 + C7^C$2 + D7^D$2 + E7^E$2 + F7^F$2 + G7^G$2 + H7^H$2.

Step 5. Sort the entire spreadsheet on the “Family” column. This will group products with the same family value together.

Keep in mind that it is not necessary to have exactly the same family value to be included or excluded from a product family. Values that are similar are an indication that the process flow is also similar.