ABC Analysis

In his books Performance Management and Bringing Out the Best in People, Aubrey Daniels highlights a number of tools/concepts that are important for Lean Six Sigma/performance improvement practitioners to know and understand. Specifically these include (but are not limited to):

  • the ABC model
  • the distinction between trying to increase a desired behavior versus trying to decrease an undesired behavior
  • positive and negative reinforcement concepts
  • punishment and extinction concepts
  • the P.I.C. principle
  • pin pointing behavior and M.O.R.C.A.

The ABC Model Distinguishing Between Increasing Desired Behaviors and Decreasing Undesired Behaviors The P.I.C. Principle


Pin Pointing Behavior and MORCA

Lining up the ABC Model with DMAIC

To help integrate this approach into the standard Six Sigma methodologies i.e. DMAIC, I usually map Daniel’s concepts and tools against DMAIC in this manner:

  • Define: Pinpoint the desired behavior and results
  • Measure: Baseline results metric(s) prior to the intervention
  • Analyze: Provide the feedback that is the antecedent to the next performance execution (this requires analysis to understand the elements of performance)
  • Improve: The positive reinforcement
  • Control: The evaluation/debrief and the measurement of performance compared to the baseline