Week 6 Discussion - The Red Pen/ Blue Pen Exercise

Status
Not open for further replies.

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#1
This thread is for student discussions of the Red Pen/ Blue Pen Exercise held on February 10.

Note: The exercise was developed by Dr. Bill Bellows of Boeing and In2InThinking.
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
M

Mary Davenport

#2
Sorry I was unable to attend class that evening, can you give me the gest of the experiment, or suggest a location where I might read about it? :eek:
 
R

Roberta

#3
Purple pens

The red pen/blue pen exercise has been a great way for me to summarize in my mind the do's and don't's that a successful business should follow. Sometimes it can become overwhelming to think of each individual aspect and decide which is the most beneficial way to go. It is interesting to think what a "purple pen company" would be as a combination of the two. Maybe they deliver a great and sound product due to a regimented work environment with well-maintained machines and facility, and pays very well but has a high turnover rate because it attracts employees that want better pay but then burns them out quickly because of required overtime, mediocre benefits, and treated as a robot. The pens would have to be expensive to recover the higher salary and turnover cost. More expensive pens will likely not be as competitive and eventually the business would shut down. The purple pen company must become more like the blue pen company or the red pen company to remain competitive in the business. In hardship the tendency is to go toward the red pen ways, but it would be more beneficial to fight this tendency and become like the blue company. Which direction they go would be a determinant to success. I guess most companies are in the purple range and always striving to find their niche on one side of the spectrum or the other.
 
T

The Fast One

#5
This is probably the wrong response, coming from "LA LA Land" and being quoted as saying "the sky is blue", someone also mentioned something about cats and dogs.....anyway, before we start making pens of any colour (this is the correct spelling of 'color'), why doesn't someone ask potential Customers what colour pen they want...
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
The Fast One said:
This is probably the wrong response, coming from "LA LA Land" and being quoted as saying "the sky is blue", someone also mentioned something about cats and dogs.....anyway, before we start making pens of any colour (this is the correct spelling of 'color'), why doesn't someone ask potential Customers what colour pen they want...
Please see my previous response for an internet page describing the exercise. Basically, the "blue pen" is to represent an enlightened corporation, a good place to work, while the "red pen" respresents the stereotypical regressive, bad place to work. But I have been impressed that the exercise allows for a certain amount of visualization and imagination that personalizes many quality and management principles.
 

Ron Rompen

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Sorry for butting in, but I found this an interesting exercise. When I refered back to the link, however, I found a statement that I felt HAD to be repeated, especially to students in the Quality Program.

This, IMNSHO, is one of the keystones of quality (and of business in general) and cannot be overstated:

'Customer satisfaction? It depends, also. Satisfaction means meeting expectations. If we don't meet expectations, we disappoint. If we exceed expectations, we delight. Customers will tell others about disappointment or delight, but not so much about satisfaction. So how important is it? Where do you spend the money to acheive delight? Not everything about the customer's experience can be delightful.'

Hopefully this will give you something additional to think about during this exercise. I know it did for me.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Ron Rompen said:
Sorry for butting in, but I found this an interesting exercise. When I refered back to the link, however, I found a statement that I felt HAD to be repeated, especially to students in the Quality Program.

This, IMNSHO, is one of the keystones of quality (and of business in general) and cannot be overstated:

'Customer satisfaction? It depends, also. Satisfaction means meeting expectations. If we don't meet expectations, we disappoint. If we exceed expectations, we delight. Customers will tell others about disappointment or delight, but not so much about satisfaction. So how important is it? Where do you spend the money to acheive delight? Not everything about the customer's experience can be delightful.'

Hopefully this will give you something additional to think about during this exercise. I know it did for me.
Hmmmm ... might make a good final exam essay question.
 
J

Jamie Morris

#10
Steve Prevette said:
Please see my previous response for an internet page describing the exercise. Basically, the "blue pen" is to represent an enlightened corporation, a good place to work, while the "red pen" respresents the stereotypical regressive, bad place to work. But I have been impressed that the exercise allows for a certain amount of visualization and imagination that personalizes many quality and management principles.
The "red pen" company sounds all too familiar to me. This type of organization is all about control, but control is an illusion. It is like a flea circus. You know the fleas are there on the tiny carousel, but you cannot see them (This is a great line from the Jurassic Park Movie). But it certainly holds true with this type of an organization. Managers control and micromanage employees, and berate them for not meeting meaningless quotas. They cannot see that the system or the process is the problem, not the employees. Employees become frustrated and try to do the best they can, trapped in an inadequate system and sub par processes.

So why do companies not change and become a "blue pen" company? As was stated in the exercise, the "red pen" philosophy of running a business is completely pervasive. For most managers, this is the only style of management that they know. They have not been trained to view the system holistically. They think that if they exert more control and force on the parts of the processes or system that production and the employees will improve. Employees in this type of system feel helpless and become desperate. They feel that they have no influence or capability to bring about change. So the managers and employees plod along doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I believe that the term for this is insanity. They do not try to change and do things differently, even though there are no rules that say that the processes and system cannot be changed (just like the exercise). In the meantime the customers, who wanted blue pens anyway, become disillusioned with the company and take their business elsewhere.

The end result is that quality suffers, productivity drops, profits diminish, expenses continue to rise, and in the long run the red pen company will be out of business.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
D Scope of Facility - Our auditor asked us last week for our "Scope of the Facility" AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 12
Q Audit 1 week away and no agenda from auditor yet IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 12
Marc A Four Day Work Week - Reuters - Dec 2018 After Work and Weekend Discussion Topics 7
S Design changes a week after regulatory submission 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 1
B Interview Presentation for Quality Engineer Role Next Week! Career and Occupation Discussions 21
E Irritation test - Dermal Filler - 52-week implantation study EU Medical Device Regulations 0
Marc Adventures in Design Quality Assurance - Two-week-old Pixel 2 XL displays World News 0
W DCMA and AS9100C - Dedicating a week and 5 auditors to perform a AS9100C audit AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 7
B Anyone Attending OTC next week in Houston? (Offshore Technology Confernce) Oil and Gas Industry Standards and Regulations 0
Hershal This week in the High Desert Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 14
R Two Week Notice Backlash Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 17
Mikishots What a week - 15 November 2013 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 5
Claes Gefvenberg IMS (Integrated Management System) Audited for a week... Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 10
B The Case for a 25-Hour Work Week Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 4
Q Last work week due to immigration process, I'm feeling overwhelmed. Immigration and Expatriate Topics 7
P Suggestions for Europe in a Week - By Car Travel - Hotels, Motels, Planes and Trains 4
chris1price The final version of the RoHS2 recast was published last week as 2011/65/EU RoHS, REACH, ELV, IMDS and Restricted Substances 8
S World Quality Week - PRI Articles AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 0
T It is Audit Week... August 2010 General Auditing Discussions 31
BradM NCSLI this upcoming week! Who will be there? July 2010 General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 11
somashekar Information sharing: Week 27, 2010 (HEAT TREATMENT) The Reading Room 3
somashekar Information sharing: Week 24, 2010 (INDUCTION MOTOR) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 22, 2010 (HARDNESS, THREADS, BEARINGS) The Reading Room 3
somashekar Information sharing: Week 22, 2010 (TPM, OEE) The Reading Room 1
somashekar Information sharing: Week 21, 2010 (PAPER SIZES) The Reading Room 1
somashekar Information sharing: Week 21, 2010 (COMPUTER TERMS, NUMBER SYSTEM AND DIGITAL) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 21, 2010 (CAPACITORS, TRANSFORMERS, RELAYS) The Reading Room 2
somashekar Information sharing: Week 21, 2010 (LEADACID BATTERY AND 12V ELECTRICAL SYSTEM) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 21, 2010 (MOTORS, MACHINES AND LUBRICATION) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Definition Is today (21 May, 2010) in week # 20 or 21 ? Definitions, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Interpretations Listed Alphabetically 1
somashekar Information sharing: Week 20, 2010 (DG set and SYNCHRONIZATION) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 19, 2010 (ELECTRICITY, SAFETY & GROUNDING) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 19, 2010 (SOLAR ENERGY) The Reading Room 0
somashekar Information sharing: Week 19, 2010 (ENERGY) The Reading Room 0
xcanals_tecno-med.es MDD 93/42 as amended by dir 2007/47 in force next week (21 mars) EU Medical Device Regulations 2
H Elsmar Quote of the Week Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 5
N Ideas for Quality Week Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 18
Claes Gefvenberg Picture of the week Imported Legacy Blogs 1
Claes Gefvenberg Picture of the week Imported Legacy Blogs 0
T How many hours a week do you devote to maintaining your QMS? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 15
Claes Gefvenberg Another week, another picture... Imported Legacy Blogs 2
Hershal NCSLI this upcoming week! Who will be there?-2009 General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 8
J FAA Training suggestions wanted for Sept 1st week Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Standards and Requirements 5
S Wish me luck - whole week Nadcap audit... AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 10
bobdoering GM prepares to announce Pontiac closure next week Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 1
M Sampling Method for 25 pieces a week of a cable with connectors Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 2
Howard Atkins What calender week is it? ISO 8601 is not clear Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 4
B Audit Week Is Finally Here Imported Legacy Blogs 2
C Continuous Improvement Toons wanted for Continuous Improvement Awareness Week Preventive Action and Continuous Improvement 2
H I have an interview with LRQA next week - Your advice or experiences? Career and Occupation Discussions 8
Similar threads


















































Top Bottom