Key Process Input Variable


A Key Process Input Variable (KPIV) is a factor or component of a process that significantly affects the process output or result. It is a measurable or influential factor that can significantly contribute to the final performance, quality, or outcome of a process. Identifying KPIVs is crucial for process improvement as modifying these variables can lead to significant changes in the process outcomes.


The phonetics of the keyword “Key Process Input Variable” are:Key: /kiː/Process: /ˈproʊ.ses/Input: /ˈɪn.pʊt/Variable: /ˈvɛr.i.ə.bəl/

Key Takeaways

  1. Identification: Key Process Input Variables (KPIVs) are identified during the Define and Measure phase of a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) project. They are considered to be the key characteristics of a process input that can influence the process output.
  2. Measurement and Analysis: KPIVs are not only identified, but also measured and analyzed for their impact on Key Process Output Variables (KPOVs). This is crucial to understand how inputs can be adjusted to improve output quality.
  3. Optimization: By understanding and controlling KPIVs, businesses can optimize their processes, increasing efficiency and reducing waste. This ultimately leads to higher quality outputs, improved customer satisfaction, and potential cost savings.


The term Key Process Input Variable (KPIV) is vital in technology and management fields because it helps in better process control, optimization, and improvement. KPIVs are the critical factors or components that significantly influence the output of a process or system. Identifying and managing these variables help in optimizing the efficiency and efficacy of a process, whether it relates to manufacturing, software development, or any other technological operations.

By proactively monitoring and controlling KPIVs, organizations can minimize errors, reduce waste, improve productivity, and ensure that the process consistently delivers high-quality outputs. Therefore, understanding KPIVs is crucial for the successful and efficient operation of technological systems and businesses.


Key Process Input Variable (KPIV) is a vital element in process engineering and process management. Its primary purpose is to identify, analyze, and control the factors or components that have a significant potential effect on a process output. KPIVs are often used in a wide range of industrial processes, including manufacturing and service delivery, to improve efficiency and reduce variability. By controlling these particular input variables, companies can optimize their processes and enhance product or service quality levels.

The use of KPIVs is often essential for maintaining consistency and quality in process outcomes. In actual practice, these variables are closely monitored, controlled and adjusted as necessary to ensure that critical process output variables (KPOVs) meet the desired specifications. By identifying and managing KPIVs, a company can better understand how adjustments to specific inputs affect outputs, enabling preventive measures to be taken if an input variable deviates from its acceptable range.

Overall, KPIVs serve as critical levers for controlling process behavior and outputs, playing a fundamental role in process improvement and optimization strategies.


1. Manufacturing Production: In a toy manufacturing process, the Key Process Input Variables (KPIVs) can include the quality of the raw materials, the precision of the machines used, and the skill level of the workers operating those machines. These input variables significantly affect the resulting quality of the final product.

2. Food Industry: In a brewery, the brewing temperature, type of yeast, and fermentation time can be considered KPIVs. These elements heavily influence the taste, color, and alcohol content of the beer.

3. Health Care: In a hospital setting, the prescription medicine dosage, the frequency of administering medication, and the patient’s diet can be seen as KPIVs. These factors directly impact the patient’s recovery process.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q1: What is a Key Process Input Variable (KPIV)?

A1: Key Process Input Variable, commonly abbreviated as KPIV, is a term used in the field of process improvement. It pertains to the variables or characteristics of a process that considerably affect its outcome or performance. These variables form the basis for improvements and modifications in a process.

Q2: How is a KPIV determined?

A2: KPIVs are determined using data and statistical analysis. Different influencing factors of a process are identified, measured, and analyzed to understand their impact on the process outcome. The variables that have a significant influence are considered as KPIVs.

Q3: What are some examples of KPIVs?

A3: Examples of KPIVs vary across industries and processes. In manufacturing, KPIVs could be variables like temperature or pressure during production. In a software development process, time spent on coding, complexity of the code, etc., can be KPIVs.

Q4: What is the importance of identifying KPIVs?

A4: Identifying KPIVs is crucial to process improvement. KPIVs help to understand the areas of a process that, when controlled or modified, can lead to significant improvements in the process outcomes. This, in turn, helps organizations to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance quality.

Q5: How are Key Process Input Variables linked with Key Process Output Variables (KPOVs)?

A5: KPIVs and KPOVs provide a cause-and-effect relationship in a process. KPIVs are the causes or inputs that affect a process, while KPOVs are the outcomes or effects of the process. By controlling or changing KPIVs, one can influence the KPOVs or the end results of the process.

Q6: What role do Key Process Input Variables play in a Six Sigma project?

A6: In a Six Sigma project, KPIVs are crucial in the “Analyze” phase, where their impact on the process outcomes (KPOVs) is investigated. They are key in identifying potential improvements or changes in the process to improve efficiency and reduce variances.

Q7: Can KPIVs change over time?

A7: Yes, KPIVs can change over time based on the alterations in the process, changes in the environment, technological evolution, or other factors. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep monitoring and analyzing these key variables over time.

Related Tech Terms

  • Process Mapping
  • Input-Output Model
  • Process Variation
  • Six Sigma Methodology
  • Statistical Process Control (SPC)

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