All entries for January 2008

January 31, 2008

paper helicopter

seems all our experiment are somehow related to aviation. this time paper helicopters. was to keen on the factors, and i guess the ratio approach sort of made the problem more complicated. didn't quite get the matrix right, however we were lucky that this effect was rather limited, since the interaction did not significantly change the result predicted. perhaps should sort out ABC first in the right order next time instead of jumping into calculations.

robustness, i think i must didn't quite understand the word before. lots of things became more clearer today for me. why the products of the company we worked for was performing fantastically in Germany, but failing at a crazy rate in china. my initial thought was that the product was not that stable, and it is perhaps the MD covered something up to save faces. on the contrary, the product was really good on the other side of the world. what I assumed wrong was they are performing under the same sort of condition, which is not. this difference had a great impact. the noise produced by the environment must had significant impact on the product at the tuning stage, as the product is constantly adjust towards that environment, and made it less robust. I think we must had a wide variation as well, that's perhaps was the reason why we need to adjust the product to fit the specification under certain environmental conditions.


January 30, 2008

contingency theory

Rather a backtrack, I guess I spent too much time on contingency theory in the leadership PMA. (Or maybe in fact, I have spent too much reading things, 14 books in total was taken out of the library. Now it seemed to be a very unwise decision) Could not use it after all, don't know that is a side effect when you read too much or too less. The opinions on Fiedler's contingency theory is largely divided. Some says there is a number of studies that have failed to find support for the model. There seems to be also frequent changes and uncertainties in theoretical positions during the early years. Even after applying meta-analysis which rescues the theory in the 1980s, some part (octant 2) still presents potential problems. support for the theory is considerably stronger when laboratory studies are used than from field studies. The explanation given by Fiedler himself also sounds like a post hoc adjustment in the theory to make it fit the data approach. I guess it is fair to say that there are remaining problems with contingency theory and further adjustments and elaborations are needed.

January 29, 2008

Building the Airplane

My hands are very sore now, was trying to implement the six sigma DMAIC process on improve the delivery on time. We were able to shift the process mean to the target, but not able to control the variation. Actually it went worse!

Our team was trying to improve the logistics aspects of the operation. I was suppose to be the distributor for all the materials. The production line was one short of an operator, so I join the production and poor Alice took the role. Drove her crazy.

Suddenly realise one thing, why didn't arrange the production line in U shape? must be lots of waste, when she was walking from one end of the line to the other end of the line. Why didn't I think of that?


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