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February 18, 2009

Common sense strikes back…

Follow-up to Good sense, organizations and people from Francisco's blog

Working on PIUSS PMAI found a phrase rather interesting "Common Sense is the least common of the senses" (better reference it just in case....(Pande, Neuman & Cavanagh ; 2000) ). It relates to my old post saying that most scientific knowledge I saw in my life in economics, finance, engineering, quality, process and so forth are organised and well presented common sense.

6 Sigma is no different. Common sense all the way. Even though I must say that the way it is presented, the toools, the way priorities are defined do stimulate some thinking that we don`t usually do. I realisedsome colleagues are having trouble perceiving the whole logic of thinking on a process and variation related way, and that what 6 Sigma can help with, to show the importance of understanding that logic and presenting a way to relate it to everyday practises and results. So it is a clever way to stimulate and take results out of common sense.

So if I had to say what is the most important aspect of 6S, the one you should really understand it would be: "Pay attention to processes, look at them carefuly and sistematically and take as much variation out of it as possible".

But when the concepts are understoos, it is common sense ain`t it?


January 28, 2009

Miraculous solutions…or not.

PIUSS module is an interesting one. I still miss more specific discussions but it is obviously impossible to do it with 24 people around.

I liked the guest speaker but I have got to make a comment about the first one. He is the owner of a consultancy that helps in the implementation of process improvement solutions. His material is very good (and I`ve see material from other places, but I think his material is better). But he has he same problem most consultants have. Even though he consciously and rationally would not say that his solution is not complete, not perfect and is not able to solve everything (because it is OBVIOUS that there is no complete solution in the world) he still, quite often, criticises other approaches in a way that seems to insinuate his is the complete, the vest one. It is logical that he likes and thinks his approach is the best, but just as any other serious and structured approach it has gaps and flaws. I`ve seen quite a few presentations from consultants. I`ve worked enough time to know how they talk, what is the speech. And there is always this kind of "My solution is the best, and the others are incomplete because they don`t consider that and don`t think about that other thing."  His competitor would say the same about his...

I think six sigma, specially with that Deming approach that actually puts more attention on the system of profound knowledge then in the statistics or DMAIC, DFSS, is a very interesting and clever approach. It is capable of great things (with all the needed support in place) however just like any other method it has its flaws. Them it comes a big question. Is Deming complete? I really don`t think i know enough to answer that question but I will use one of Deming`s principles, the theory of knowledge, to give an idea based on my theoretical thinking. Based on that the answer would be NO, Deming is not complete because nothing is complete, the world changes ideas and science evolve. But from my EXTREMELLY small knowledge I must admit that as time passes I agree more and more with him. Some of the things I did not connect first are making more sense now. But I`m not sure if Deming had this consultant posture they all have and our friend on Monday also had.

Now, just to be and add a bit controversy. This whole idea of "my-model-is-amazing-and-complete-and-much-better-and-wiser-them-the-other-models-and-consultants-around"  reminds me a bit of religion. Don`t they all work a bit like that?

January 20, 2009

Deming, always holistic…

Working on the PIUSS project we decided to divide the questions among us. It is not the best way learning-wise however is the quickest way and for us now, the quicker the better.

Anyway, did a lot of reading on variation and it`s very easy to relate Deming`s understanding of variation with 6 Sigma. However is not so easy to relate it on an isolated way to Psychology. That is funny since Psy is related to pretty much everything. 

So I had a long discussion about it with Cristal and Gilbert on the computer lab. We reached two conclusions, first (and obvious) is that a holistic vision is always needed (and actually Deming says that himself, all parts must be applied together). Psychology must be understood alongside variation, theory of knowledge and appreciation of a system. Secondly is that exactly for being part of all psychology can be related to everything, after all organisations are made of people....But I`d think the best connection between psychology on the SoPK and 6 sigma would be the need of conduct change in which psychology can help but 6 Sigma can also help since it is a structured and tested way. Even the fact that the name "six sigma"is famous can be o f great help to conduct change.

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