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  #9  
Old 13th June 2005, 09:57 AM
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In Reply to Parent Post by Wes Bucey

Think of a Design of Experiments situation. We ask the designer to come up with a list of experiments. We don't know the correct experiment (the one resulting in the most favorable outcome) until we actually run it.
The purpose of any scientifically designed experiment should be to attempt to disprove a hypothesis. I've never seen a situation where anyone was asked to "come up with a list of experiments." I think you're confusing "test" with "experiment." A single experiment may include more than one test. Whether more than one experiment is necessary is wholly dependent upon the design and outcome of the initial experiment. An experiment is incorrect only if it's poorly designed, and an unbiased experimenter isn't looking for a "favorable" outcome. The outcome is what it is, and it either serves to support the hypothesis (by not disproving it) or it doesn't.

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Last edited by Jim Wynne; 13th June 2005 at 09:59 AM.

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  #10  
Old 13th June 2005, 10:03 AM
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A few things to realize on this paper - 1st we are dealing with students working on an MBA, not experienced practitioners of the Deming methodology. Yes, there is some "soft" recommendations in there. 2nd - one of the students is an employee of the company in question. They were considerably concerned that we manage to protect his/her anonymity and the anonymity of the employer.

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  #11  
Old 14th June 2005, 09:10 AM
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With all respect to the students and professor, the paper, which I have now read 3 times, seems OK to me for MBA level students. The Holy Grail for many Quality practitioners is culture change, and training, benchmarking, incentives, etc., are all accepted approaches. It is self-evident that performance and culture are "sub-optimum" when compartmentalized upper management indulges in the "turf disputes" the students describe, as I read it. So far so good for analysis. My own experience is that a culture of effective problem solving gets us away from sub-optimalization. Some managers (like almost everybody) snipe a bit, but after forming-storming-norming-...you know. Whether we call it PDCA, PDSA, 5-P, 8-D, K-T, or whatever, objective evidence will show whether we have done the right thing. Are we gathering and understanding that evidence? Have we sought to implement good solutions wherever they might apply? Is the customer demanding to do repeat business? Honestly focusing on these questions reduces sniping, and then we may subjectively notice a culture change.
  #12  
Old 14th June 2005, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Spence B

With all respect to the students and professor, the paper, which I have now read 3 times, seems OK to me for MBA level students. The Holy Grail for many Quality practitioners is culture change, and training, benchmarking, incentives, etc., are all accepted approaches. It is self-evident that performance and culture are "sub-optimum" when compartmentalized upper management indulges in the "turf disputes" the students describe, as I read it. So far so good for analysis. My own experience is that a culture of effective problem solving gets us away from sub-optimalization. Some managers (like almost everybody) snipe a bit, but after forming-storming-norming-...you know. Whether we call it PDCA, PDSA, 5-P, 8-D, K-T, or whatever, objective evidence will show whether we have done the right thing. Are we gathering and understanding that evidence? Have we sought to implement good solutions wherever they might apply? Is the customer demanding to do repeat business? Honestly focusing on these questions reduces sniping, and then we may subjectively notice a culture change.
I don't know whether we're straying off topic here or not, but I've seen far too many people at all levels of corporate hierarchies who tenaciously hold on to closely-held beliefs in spite of undeniable objective evidence that the beliefs are full of poop. What's missing in nearly all CI plans is plans for dealing with people (again, at all levels) whose personalities become significant obstacles to improvement.

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  #13  
Old 14th June 2005, 12:18 PM
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I do not know if anything has or is becoming of the paper at the company in question. We may not know until they (if they are able to) go to press with the "story of their success".

The paper I think could serve to open some eyes, and then I suspect the company would need to look more into the details of how to pull off improvements, and how to measure them, and how to determind success.

I will say this was the most interesting paper of those that came to me. One paper was simply a case study from past literature at a company no one in the group worked for. This was a nice paper in that it was "near and dear" to at least one of the students in the group.

By the way, I will be running the MC550 course next winter with another batch of students. I hope at least one of the papers will be as interesting as this one was.

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