Chapter Fourteen: Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…variation that affects predictability.

Why does quality become unpredictable and frustrating for both provider and user when variation becomes excessive?

Conceptual Pattern for Variation


Variation is the rate or magnitude of inevitable change in the output or result of a process that deviates from a norm or standard. It is a process and event that is a numerical property or datum. Variation occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another and by which things become different by varying from a routine or pattern of relative size and extent. Variation may be assigned to the ratio of two quantities such that it can be compared to others numerically. Variation can be represented numerically as an average or average range as measured across a large group and may be a standard, model or pattern that is considered typical. (Pattern Engine – Variation N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of variation is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

Chapter Fourteen: Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

First Principle: The purpose of variation is to reflect the essence of nature and the creations of man.

Second Principle: Every data set contains the noise of routine variation, some data sets may contain signals, therefore; before you can detect a signal within any given data set, you must first filter out the noise .1

Third Principle: No data have meaning apart from their context .1

Fourth Principle: Appropriate, statistically derived, time series charts, are the simplest way to filter out noise, detect signals and put data in context.1

Fifth Principle: The purpose of analysis of variation is to provide needed insight.1

Sixth Principle: The best analysis is the simplest analysis which provides insight.1

Key Conceptual Patterns


Context is the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event expressed as words, phrases, or passages that come before and after a particular word or passage in a piece of writing and help to explain and interpret its full meaning. It is a message explaining a distinct occurrence. Context establishes and makes clear significance of something that is intended, expressed in words that captures value, effectiveness and significance and may not be immediately obvious. Context follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon at a given time. (Pattern Engine – Context N=12 © 2014)


Insight is the power of the mind to achieve a clear or deep perception of knowledge in the form of understanding, or deduction to grasp essential meaning or truth. It is a process of reasoning to identify facts. Insight uses the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation to understand and make good judgments about something resulting in the basic component in the formation of a concept. Insight has been verified and conforms to an original or standard for drawing conclusions by reasoning, esp. from given information, stated premises, or general principles and transcends from the general to the specific or cause to effect. (Pattern Engine – Insight N=12 © 2014)

Nest Post: Sampling, a paradox without adequate representation.

1 Donald J. Wheeler, Understanding Variation – The Key to Managing Chaos, 2000.

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