The process flow map can even be developed into a full-blown process map with all of the input and output for each step documented. This activity will help support any process-improvement activities your team may be going through. I might add that all racing is a process-improvement activity. I can't think of any team that is competing for wins that is not looking at continually improving the performance of the team, which is the same as improving the performance of the car. The two activities are linked. It is very difficult to improve the performance of the car without improving the performance of the team.

You may be asking, why should I go through this type of activity when I just race for fun at the local dirt track? It is just as important for you to stabilize your processes and minimize the variation, regardless of the parameter or function. If you look at the majority of the people winning races across the country, especially the ones who are consistent winners or have extremely good finishing statistics, they will have a very ordered approach to how they prepare for each race. It may not be written down in any fashion, but you will find rigor in their approach to pre-race preparation, tuning, and post-race debriefing. In fact, the teams that have the best results will most likely have some sort of documented process. They may not call it a process control or work instructions, but they will have some written documentation to support the process. It may be as simple as a developed list of pre- and post-race activities and tasks. That is where they are starting.

I have included an example of a process flow that you might develop to document the standard work that a tire guy may use for post-race activities. Once again, this is a simple document that could be developed as a list just as easily. The view in a semi-graphical list is just easier for some to follow.

You need to take the initiative to stabilize the processes that support your racing activity. The first step is to define those tasks, then document the process as it exists today. You need to analyze the tasks and see if you could improve that process. Next, implement and document the improvements. Finally, you need to implement controls to make sure those improvements stay in place. This will include a metric of some sort so you can visualize if you are improving or falling back into your old ways. The pen and pencil is your friend; many racers see the written word as a threat to what they are doing and how they do it. When the exact opposite is true, documentation is the cornerstone to success.

This is an example of a process flow. By adapting set procedures, a team increases the chance of predictable and acceptable results.

Unload tires from truck upon return from the track* Count all wheels. Make sure we have all that belong to our team.* Look for obvious damage.

Clean tires and wheels* Look for any cracks and obvious damage to the wheels during cleaning.

Dismount tiresfrom wheels* With tires dismounted, measure wheels for excessive runout.* Look for damage again.

Evaluate used tires for use as practice tires* Check tires for any structural issues or damage.* Measure and record tread depth in log book.

Remount good used tires on good wheels* Check with Crew-chief for practice needs.

Orderreplacement wheels* Order new wheels to replace damaged, unserviceable wheels.* Order new lug nuts as applicable to replace damaged or missing lugs.

Dispose ofdamaged or unserviceable wheels* Severly damaged wheels are scrapped.

Evaluate all wheels; look for any damage* Review wheels again for any hidden damage.* Route lightly damaged wheels to gift shop.

Check and service all impact wrenches* Refill HP bottles* Check impact wrenches for serviceability and performance.