All entries for Thursday 12 November 2009

November 12, 2009

personal tutor meeting

Nice chat with my personal tutor, Jane, just now.  This is my first time to meet her individually to have a casual talk.  I really love the idea to have a personal tutor in Warwick.  I think last time I really chatted with my teacher was in my secondary school, like 4 years ago.  In my university, everytime I met the lecturer, it's about academic issues.  So, I am so pleased to have a personal tutor here and we can chat about all kind of stuffs.

I expressed my worries concerning my study here.  I used to learn about more tangible knowledge that I usually have an answer to the questions.  I used to numbers or programmes or so.  But now, what I am learning is much more intangible.  There are no right or wrong answers and it's difficult to tell what actually I have learnt because they are concepts or approaches.  Jane told me that it takes time to adapt it.  What I need to do is to read more.  And when I am reading, I should ask myself more questions.

Usually, I absorb what I have learnt and I can't really express them in words.  Now, I decide to change my style of writing blogs a little bit.  I hope I can develop my thinking through writing here.  I think I need to force myself to actually write down these intangible thinking because this would be more effective when I need to put them in practices.  So, see if this helps~

:-)


Variation

Wow~ I love drawing graphs! It's more solid and tangible comparing to all those business theories and concepts, which I am not quite used to.  But of course, it's challenging to learn something new and so far I enjoy it.

We learned about variation yesterday.  The most interesting part is using the daily example, which is driving back to the campus from home, to talk about common causes and special causes.  The common cause variation is inherent in the process and has only small impact. Whilst the special cause variation has big impact but it is temporary and often avoidable.

I also learned about predictablility.  Things outside the natural limit is not predictable and the most important is we cannot know how worse can things go.  Thus, we have to improve the process so as to minimize the chance for unpredictable things happen.

How to deal with special cause variation? For example, if things become better than expected, it is good only when you know the reason why they happen and keep it and learn from it.  If something go worse than we expect, find out the reason and fix it.

So, the above knowledge is easier when we are dealing with data because we can plot graphs as the first step to learn about the issue.  I am just thinking about some daily example on how can I realize the special cause in the my life and make good use of what I've learnt to minimize variation so as to reduce risks.

Cheers!


PIUSS starts

In the past two weeks, I worked on my project proposal and the study skills assignment.  I had little time to do my PMA though I have started to read some materials.  But I think I needa work much harder so that I won't get all the stuff pile up.

The second module, PIUSS, started yesterday!  It started with the lecture given by Mr. Jan Gillett from PMI.  We learned the basic concept about business improvement and 6 sigma.  We also put pretty much time on the PDSA cycle.

When I first heard about the PDSA cycle in CBE module, I thought it's just a simple knowledge that everyone knows.  We don't even talk about this because we expect everyone understand this good practice.  However, this cycle is important in business improvement and also personal development.

Since this is a cycle, where should we start?  Jan gave us the answer which is to study.  We should understand the issue before we can decide on our plans and take actions.  I like the use of the word "study" here.  Because what is meant is not simply know about the issue, we have to go deeper and understand it.  This makes this simple knowledge much more complicated but this is crucial.

I think this cycle is useful and we can actually put it into practice.  But the first thing is I shouldn't expect this is ordinary and forget it in my daily life.  I am glad that I am reminded by my lessons and I hope I could make it become my habit in handling daily issues.


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