iSixSigma

O’Brien Effect

Definition of O’Brien Effect:

The O’Brien Effect, based upon the originator of the actual effect, is not knowing when to stop talking in front of the customer, thus creating non value added tasks which initially never were a customer requirement.

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An effect is that which is produced by a cause, the effect in case of an “O’Brien Effect” is an activity unwished for or in other words an undesirable effect (UDE) present in our reality. This specific UDE is not only present, it obstructs; they take away some, or much, of the joy and pride that we take in our work.

In case of an “O’Brien Effect” the UDE is caused by a specific team member who is actively participating in a direct dialogue with the customer (either internal or external) and making suggestions as to what the needs of the customer are, these needs are however unrelated to the customer requirements or needs.

This cause directly originates from the wish of the orginator of the “O’Brien Effect” to have greater control over their working lives, this empowerment motivates them according to the theories of Abraham Maslow and Fredrick Herzberg.

One of the causes for this effect is motivation more by primal urges, thus resulting in Speaking Without Thinking of the Consequences (SWTC)or the so called “Speaking Bollocks.”

Originators need to work in strictly controlled environments.

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