Chapter Thirteen: Indicators – Harbingers of Needed Change—or Not

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…an indicator of needed change.

Why learn that indicators are simple algorithms that combine and then process metrics that may not be related but when used together provide a switch for needed change.


Conceptual Pattern for Indicator

An indicator is a measurable variable and signal for attracting attention to something observed or calculated and shows the presence or state of a condition,  trend, or representation of an associated (but non-measured or non-measurable) factor or quantity. It is a message based on an assumption or provision that is an incitement to action. An indicator encodes an agreed upon message that is understood as the occasion for concerted action. A indicator rests upon the validity or effect for something else to happen and is a statement or declaration setting forth particulars or facts regarding something real or alleged, especially one meant to induce a response and expressed by a term, character, or symbol. (Pattern Engine – Indicator N=12 © 2014)

If indicators are understood then the meaning of quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of an indicator is to provide the basis for change.

Second Principle: The mean, median and mode are indicators of central tendency and must approximate the target for measured process characteristics.

Third Principle: Variance and standard deviation values are indicators of spread or dispersion in data about the central tendency.

Fourth Principle: Standard error is an indicator of the average deviation between a measurement and the average of many repeated measurements of the same thing. 1

Fifth Principle: Test-Retest Error is an indicator of variation that exists in duplicate measurements of any specific indicator. 1

Sixth Principle: The Discrimination Ratio is an indicator that quantifies the relative usefulness of a measurement process for a specific characteristic and may be used to establish priorities with regard to improvement efforts. 1

Key Conceptual Patterns


A change is a process and event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another and by which things become different by varying from a routine or pattern. Change is the occurrence of a difference in a sustained phenomenon. Change is a series of actions directed toward a specific aim intended to achieve a result. that happens due to a special set of circumstances and is particularly significant between two or more things that depart from expectations and vary from a norm or standard. (Pattern Engine – Change N=12 © 2014)     


A characteristic is any measurable property or feature that helps to distinguish an item, person, phenomenon, etc., usually divided into three categories: (1) physical, (2) functional, and (3) operational. A characteristic is an abstract measurable construct belonging to an entity a, group or set of things. A characteristic is peculiar to a whole class whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished, set apart from similar items or offered as a special attraction that share common attributes marking divisions or coordination’s in a conceptual scheme. (Pattern Engine – Characteristic N=12 © 2014)

Next Post – Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

1 Donald J. Wheeler and Richard W. Lyday, EMP, Evaluating the Measurement Process, 1989

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