All entries for November 2010

November 29, 2010

a part of cbe

Though the course of CBE had completed for almost one month, in my opinion, what I¡¯ve learned till now can be considered as parts of CBE. Even though our CBE course stresses on Deming¡¯s quality management however, CBE must has a far wider focus as it suggests in its name-create business excellence. Six sigma which is a method that contributes a lot to quality management because of its assistance in improving processes of a project. PMI, a program that uses special 6 sigma and lean so that it definitely should be a way of quality management, either. Therefore, we can say that PIUSS is a course that leads us towards creating excellence business. We learned lots of theories in CBE course such as EFQM excellence model, Deming¡¯s system of profound knowledge and his cycle. Later PIUSS showed us specific approaches which based on Deming¡¯s theories to achieve these excellences. As for FACS, it seems that it has no relationship with either Deming or quality management. Whereas, the purpose of making income statement and balance sheet is certainly to understand the situation of a company clearer, develop a better performance and thus achieve excellence business. In this case, FACS possibly can be deemed as a part of CBE.

November 26, 2010


When I was in CBE course, I didn't realize that leadership was such an important factor in quality management. Deming claimed the institution of leadership and EFQM focuses on creating leadership, so that it is no doubt that leadership should be a significant element in management. However, after I read some articles about 6 sigma, it occurred to me that perhaps leadership was the most important factor in quality management. Building a proper leadership is one of the premises in using 6 sigma. Also, unsuitable social emotional process may lead to the failure of a project as it contributes to 95% of the failure in whole process. Obviously, leadership plays an important role in guiding social emotional process. That is, it seems that leadership should be put in the first place in quality management.

November 23, 2010

postponement strategy

Today I read something interesting in one of my friends' notes, which is about postponement in supply chain. The focuses on CBE as well as PIUSS are on quality management mainly while 'postponement strategy' pays attention to the management of goods. However, they all help to make business better. There are lots of customized requirements with customers so that it is necessary for us to make our products suitable to those requirements in order to gain better earnings. Obviously it is impossible to completely finish products in a short term, in this case we need to start making our products with predicted analysis. Whereas, there is a risk in doing so,that is the products that we build are out of our customers' demand. Once it happened, there is no doubt we will have a great number of stock and thus inevitably loss of profits we will suffer. I have never noticed that postponement could be such a wonderful strategy. For example, HP and IKEA are famous for their customized design and they are definitely successful. I prefer the beautiful looks of HP computers and the convenient way that IKEA does in sell goods. But not until I had read that article I didn't realize that these are strategies in creating business. Time is limited or else I hope to learn more in supply chain.

November 19, 2010

a sad self–assessment

The study week has finished yet, with a little tired but I am looking forward to tonight's MBE social party. We were taught some experiments about 6 sigma today so that I've gained more knowledge in using 6 sigma. However, the more I've learned, the stronger feeling I have¡ªit seems that I only obtain the simplest knowledge about 6 sigma, and in fact, I do. There are still many things that I need to study, for example, there are lots of methods in 6 sigma that we haven't come across yet and there should be some statistical software that can be used to help to carry on today's experiments. Does SAS work or we have other better tools. What's more, using 6 sigma properly with statistical software is another key issue in the implantation of it.

We did the self-assessment about our presentations and something depressed appeared. We studied hard in the presentations and put much effort into them, we spent a long time in discussing our topics. Unfortunately, we had many weaknesses and failed in making good presentations. I hope we can do better in the future.

November 18, 2010

days with airplanes

We did lots of improvements with planes this week. Yesterday we finished improving the process of making airplanes and today we started analyzing dropping time of helicopters, which were made from papers by ourselves. At first, I am happy that I learned how to make a simple helicopter, it is quite funny. Next, I really prefer the way of studying that we did in our classes¡ªlearning processes by practicing.

My classmates said to me this afternoon that they thought the methodologies in six sigma were very amazing and interesting. They were certainly correct. I enjoy these methods very well as even though some of them are quite simple and easy to be applied, they can still solve a great deal of complex problems. For example, we selected 6 control factors and 1 noise factor which could have significant impact on helicopters and were asked to analyze how strong the effects could be with each factors. It sounded like a difficult task, however I¡¯m sure it can be done within several minutes by using proper statistical software. How wonderful it is! And of course, in the case, we can do much more accurate calculations. We can put the different interactions between two columns into different columns if they are allowed, we can analyze the third-level interactions or even more, so that we may get better results. Anyway, these days are tired but fruitful.

November 17, 2010

short term targets

We did an interesting project improvement by using 6 sigma. Though it was only a simple case study and things cannot be simpler in real life, I still got much experience about the implantation of 6 sigma. However, in my opinion, there is a significant difference between our plane-making project and real manufacture. What we had to do was trying to improvement our project within 4 hours. In this case, it was definitely a short-term target. As time was limited, it is impossible for us to change our project a lot. If we kept practicing without any discussion, it is possible that we can do better than what we did yesterday. I think it may not happen in real practice as practice without discussion can only make a little improvement. And of course, I don't think a company will just give people 4 hours' long to improve such a project. If it became a long-term target, for example, we have 3 days' time or more than that, than keep practicing couldn't be the best way to improve. We need to do what we had done yesterday and make those theories into practice.

In an organization, the same situation could happen. There are short-term target and long-term target that require clearly defining because we can see that in our experiment, some discussion that we did was definitely useless to improve that short-term targe

November 16, 2010

an interesting story–part 2

Firstly I should say thanks for all the interesting comments for ¡°an interesting story¡± and they really show me different views about the story. I learned a lot from your comments. And Marcin, you are definitely a clever boy because there is something happened to the bigger dinosaur. After he killed his cousin, he realized that he had to change either as the intense competition for foliage. ¡°He reduced his size and weight, his hind legs stretched into long slender supports tipped with a set of strong claws. His head grew smaller and his mouth stretched into a long beak, lined with sharp teeth. With these new teeth she stopped eating plants and made meat his new diet. He flattened his arms into wings and grew feathers over his entire body¡±. Finally his change was totally successful because he was able to inhabit the sky and reach treetops through which he greatly reduced the competition. However, I think that though the bigger dinosaur made a successful change, it is highly possible that he could have the same fortune as his dead cousin did if he sleeps under a tree. Or I should hold an opinion that since the second dinosaur developed a new ability, he tended to stay at the top of trees in the future so he won¡¯t worry about the same thing happened to him. Similarly, sometimes an organization can avoid a disaster through change, but it cannot eliminate the problem. The potential risk will still stay in the organization, what we can do is just process the organization in another way.

toay's presentation

We had our second presentation today and again, some interesting questions and thoughts came out. I always learn a lot from our presentations as different groups have different focuses and even different opinions. I had never paid attention to the arrows that used by a group to describe the steps in PMI until Evangelos pointed out to the class. It's really a good idea using such kind of arrows to show "change in emotion". Also, Graeme mentioned that it was impossible to make all employees obtain the same level of knowledge and have similar emotion when encountering change. In the case, I can imagine that it must be another interesting and important issue which requires carefully thinking before implementing a solution. One of the groups used the urgency-important matrix in order to show the orders about selecting projects. This matrix is brief and simple but shows clearly orders, however, it caused a debate in its orders. In my eyes, this issue could be something that similar to risk management. We should consider not only urgency and importance but also cost, risk, harmful, etc. It is possible that though some problems are urgent, they do not need to be put in the first place to solve.

November 11, 2010

6 sigma helps to become excellence

System of Profound Knowledge helps us to understand how complex organizations work. When we understand the importance of the application of SoPK in a company, it helps a company to get long-term improvements in quality and efficiency. Finally, SoPK will lead a company to gain continuous improvements and become more successful than what it was before.

SoPK is a theory as well as a philosophy which could be used as a guide that leads to achieve excellence. Also, six sigma, a tool which is used based on some theory, helps a company to stay on its way to be excellent. Firstly, SoPK focuses on appreciation for a system as it suggests us not only pay attention to sub-optimization but, more importantly, it demands that it is necessary to consider the interdependent between each department. At the same time, DMAIC requires measurement, analysis, improvement and control in system. Secondly, knowledge about variation has some links with six sigma. Both of them focus on differentiating and analyzing common causes and special causes. Besides, six sigma is really a good way to reduce these variations. We can say like this, Deming shows us the importance of analyzing the variation, six sigma shows us how to do with these variations. Thirdly, 'Theory of knowledge' suggests us to build knowledge and extend theory based on comparison of predictions with observation. The philosophy in six sigma can be summarized as: observe some important aspects and then develop the observations. Making predictions bases on hypothesis. Test the predictions and modify hypothesis. After all these have done, try to make sure there are no discrepancies between hypothesis and the results from experiments or observations. At last, psychology in SoPK asserts the significance in understanding people while six sigma also stresses a lot in motivating leadership.

From the above discussion, we can see that 6 sigma is really supported by Deming's theory. In the case, there's no doubt that 6 sigma helps to deliver a transformation to excellence.

November 10, 2010

an interesting story

Today I read an interesting story which is about two dinosaurs. One of them realized that there would be a competition for foliage so that he believed change was necessary. In this case, he shrank his body in order to become lighter and more flexible while other dinosaurs did nothing about themselves. Unfortunately, one day when he was sleeping under a tree, the other one came, without noticing his cousin. The first dinosaur ended up his life quickly after the bigger one stepped on his small body. The author wrote the funny story because he wanted us to think about change in quality management. Change is necessary in a company as it is a crucial factor in continuous improvement. However, change could have both good and bad qualities as it mentioned in the story. Though the first dinosaur is flexible and fast enough, he became too small to see. It might be good for a company in one aspect if some changes could be done. However, the bad effects and results of the changes should be considered and analyzed to see whether it is still worth to change. I enjoy the story very much as it really gives a good example in quality management, especially in change.

November 2010

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