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A tale of wealth and greed – episode 1

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  • #46444

    Cone
    Participant

    There was a once great company that had become mediocre. It was
    run by a very wise engineer of MIT pedigree and he wished to save
    the company built by the innovation and intelligence of his father.
    The company had once dominated markets such as televisions,
    radios, discrete semiconductors and the like but had either
    completely lost or mostly lost their market share. Management
    guru, Joseph Juran, ran around the US talking about the American
    company that couldn’t make a profit at TV’s that sold their
    operation to the Japanese and within 6 months, using the same
    workers and same design, the Japanese turned a profit. He was
    talking about this company. Key employees at this company risked
    their status by publicly declaring that the company had poor
    quality.
    The son who is now President of the company decided to do
    something about it. He first invested in the people side of things by
    fostering teamwork and a better understanding of each individual.
    He invested in problem solving starting with tools from a man
    named Shainin. Dorian, it turns out, was a bit of a miracle worker.
    He had the power to walk into an existing operation and solve
    problems in a day that the people who ran the place had not solved
    in a decade. He also spoke a strange language and insisted
    everyone also speak this strange language if they wished to save
    this once great company. Work continued as the once great
    company internalized the problem solving. They hired PhD
    students from the great university in the desert and put signs on
    the entrances of their facilities that they were protected by this
    problem solving method. They also upgraded the resources of their
    quality function by hiring people with theoretical backgrounds in
    quality and statistical tools. They also promoted within, especially
    technically sound individuals who also had the drive to better
    themselves at the great university in the desert. The once great
    company made great proclamations about teamwork and
    improvements which, while not generally accepted, gave a handful
    of people cover to go make progress. And progress was made to
    the tune of about a ten fold improvement.
    This type of opportunity creates strange behaviors. Many in
    leadership learned to game the measurement. Many who believed
    the message challenged the games players and were forced to take
    refuge in Chicago under the protection of a great physicist who
    publicly proclaimed he was smarter that you, but more importantly
    proclaimed go work with the people I protect or I will come help
    you. No one wanted the help of this person who was smarter than
    them, so progress was made. Some saw the message as an
    opportunity for great personal gain especially if they spent their
    time self promoting instead of making improvements. This was
    made possible because people did not know how to handle these
    folks taking credit for their work. Leadership did not know how to
    handle these folks because they were afraid to admit they did not
    understand the things being talked about purposely at a level not
    to be understood. The greatest of these was one of the former
    Shainin teaching PhD students from the great university in the
    desert.
    Fast forward seven years. The company is once again great.
    Partially because they had become one of the best process
    management companies in the world, on par with their Japanese
    electronic competitors. Mostly because they were also once again
    great innovators especially in the area of electronic
    communication. The self promoters had all gathered in Mecca (just
    west of downtown Chicago) and created a template of success that
    had nothing to do with the actual work of the previous seven years.
    One self promoter was so arrogant and obnoxious that he was sent
    back to the desert within the year. This person was also the most
    adept at new technologies such as Excel in all of this again great
    company. He could also talk fast and gave presentations using not
    one, but two, overhead projectors at a time. He still talked
    nonsense and made up concepts and words and intentionally
    talked over the heads of Leadership who were still in fear of
    exposing their ignorance.Stay tuned for episode 2 next week.

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    #153483

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    Sounds like a story my father used to tell me.
    Lebowski

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    #153487

    William J.
    Member

    That was good! We want more…..! We want more……!
    Inquiring minds want to know! Some of us are late arrivals to the party!

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    #153488

    Cone
    Participant

    Wow, I do Cinderella and Thumbelina with my kids. Do you recommend that I switch them to these real life fairy tails? 

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    #153490

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    By the time this story started to really take shape I was past those stories. Telling them this story in a few years will do them good.
    Lebowski

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    #153491

    Cone
    Participant

    Thanks, good advice just like the other advice you give on here.

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    #153500

    Cone
    Participant

    Sounds like a good life. Throw in an arguement or two on
    Measurement Sytems and you have the complete package.We were having fun – we were learning.

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    #153499

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    Genetics and to much time at beer and wine establishment with a pond for the kids, as a child listening to an eclectic group discuss quality, Deming, Juran and various others.
    Lebowski

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    #153506

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    You know of where I speak. That was a night I won’t forget. Almost two decades later I figured out what it was about.
    We just liked feeding the fish.
    Lebowski

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    #153510

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    Small world.
    I look forward to the next installment.
    Lebowski

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    #153516

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Peter,
    Thank you so much for your insight. I have spent years pondering the meaning of “picking fly sXXt out of pepper” and now I understand it completely.
    Lebowski

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    #153514

    Ang
    Participant

    It definitely sounds like a fairy story.
    Shainin’s pre-control approach has been shown to increase variation.
    Can we expect similar fairy stories about Mikel Harry perhaps ?

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    #153530

    Cone
    Participant

    Peter,
    Please tell me your actual level of knowledge of pre-control. I would like to address your comment and need to know if you really understand the limitations of pre-control or are you just repeating what you have been told.

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    #153628

    Cone
    Participant

    Peter,
     
    To your comment that Shainin’s Pre-Control method has been shown to increase variation, I will assume that you have no experience with the method either through actual usage or doing simple simulations to really understand what comments like yours really mean. I will show you several scenarios and then let’s see what Shainin’s method does or does not contribute. Okay?
     
    Scenario #1 – We have a process that is in control with a Cp of 1. The spec is 100 +/- 3. The process is centered at 101.5 after doing what the SPC texts suggests of 20 – 30 samples, compute centerline and control limits.
     
    SPC (x-bar, r) – The control limits (set following Wheeler’s suggestions) are 101.5 +/- 1.35. Go create 100 five piece samples using rational subgroups and all of the other things that are proper for SPC. What you will see with all 8 of the rules Minitab provides turned on is 0, 1, or 2 out of control points for each sample of 100. I just did it about 20 times.
     
    Pre-control – Using Shainin’s rules for dividing the spec into four pieces, I can’t get the process to turn on! Shainin demands five consecutive pieces in the green (evidence that the process is somewhat centered).
     
    Shainin wins.
     
    Scenario # 2 – We have a process that is in control with a Cp of 1. The spec is 100 +/- 3. The process is centered at 100 after doing what the SPC texts suggests of 20 – 30 samples, compute centerline and control limits. After a tool change, the process shifts to a mean of 99.5.
     
    SPC (x-bar, r) – – The control limits (set following Wheeler’s suggestions) are 100 +/- 1.35. Go create 100 five piece samples using rational subgroups and all of the other things that are proper for SPC that also reflects the shift. What you will see is failure for either 2 of 3 beyond 2 or 4 of 5 beyond 1 on average after about 10 samples.
     
    Pre-control – Process turns on okay and fails for two yellows on average at about 20 samples.
     
    SPC wins
     
    Scenario # 3 – We have a process that is in control with a Cp of 2. The spec is 100 +/- 3. The process is centered at 101.5 after doing what the SPC texts suggests of 20 – 30 samples, compute centerline and control limits.
     
    SPC (x-bar, r) – The control limits (set following Wheeler’s suggestions) are 101.5 +/- 0.67. Go create 100 five piece samples using rational subgroups and all of the other things that are proper for SPC. What you will see with all 8 of the rules Minitab provides turned on is 0, 1, or 2 out of control points for each sample of 100. I just did it about 20 times.
     
    Pre-control – Using Shainin’s rules for dividing the spec into four pieces, I can’t get the process to turn on! Shainin demands five consecutive pieces in the green (evidence that the process is somewhat centered).
     
    Shainin wins.
     
    Scenario # 4 – We have a process that is in control with a Cp of 2. The spec is 100 +/- 3. The process is centered at 100 after doing what the SPC texts suggests of 20 – 30 samples, compute centerline and control limits. After a tool change, the process shifts to a mean of 99.5.
     
    SPC (x-bar, r) – – The control limits (set following Wheeler’s suggestions) are 100 +/- 1.35. Go create 100 five piece samples using rational subgroups and all of the other things that are proper for SPC that also reflects the shift. What you will see is failure for either 2 of 3 beyond 2 or 4 of 5 beyond 1 on average after about 3 or 4 samples.
     
    Pre-control – Process turns on okay and generally does not fail.
     
    SPC wins
     
    The point is that it is not clear cut that SPC is superior for a couple of reasons.
     
    1)      SPC is taught to go collect 20 or 30 samples of 4 or 5, compute centerline and control limits…. So what happens when we desire to have the process targeted? SPC, the way it is normally taught does not address the issue. X-bar is where x-bar is and as long as the Cpk is minimally acceptable, it does not get addressed. If Taguchi is right, this is wrong.
    2)      SPC is generally implemented using less than the full complement of test that are looking for a shift or drift in the mean.
    3)      SPC is generally not reacted to. Out of control points are dismissed by people who think they are doing the right thing for the customer.
     
    Can Pre-control increase variation? Yes, when two conditions exist. The first condition is the Cp > 1 and we use the rules with regard to the specifications.
     
    Are there other rules that can be used? Yes, we can set up the zones based on knowledge of capability. When we do this, SPC is minimally better if you use all the rules for detecting shifts and drifts and respond appropriately. Note that it is minimally better, so the real question is which would be used properly? Within SPC, EWMA is minimally better than x-bar, r and again the question would be one of the implementation.
     
    Bottom line is that if a facility that does not do SPC completely, including proper reaction to all out of control conditions; I can come into that facility and smoke you using Pre-control with the rules modified for capability instead of specs.
     
     BTW – who do you think the story is about?

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    #153631

    Mayes
    Participant

    Gary:
    We need Shainin’s Pre-control like a hole in the head!
    Give me a good reason why I should dump Minitab or abandon my spreadsheet add-ins in favour of a B vs C  test, or Yate’s algorithm?
    On the positive side – I’ve really found build and breakdown tests useful in the past, along with randomized sequence.
    Ray
     
     

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    #153632

    Cone
    Participant

    I agree on B vs C. I also agree on Component and Variable Search.
    Tell me how you set up and maintain your control charts.

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    #154944

    Cone
    Participant

    Lebowski,
    You need to explain the inside joke buried in my story if you want more.

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    #154947

    Cone
    Participant

    Great celebrations came with this renewed success. The greatest of all was an award in the memory of a rodeo cowboy who was also a secretary interested in commerce and quality. This company won the award at its inception thanks to insight of a former child actor who started his career in a movie about a once great man trying to be great again. He now acted as the head of Quality at a distant outpost of the once great company. Must have thought he was back in the movie, None the less, the award was won. Great celebrations ensued and all sorts of jokers took credit, included the Red X PhD from the great university in the desert. Seven years in and life is good. The president relinquished his position to the head of his least profitable business (his computer business was losing money for those who want to split hairs), and the enterprise was declared world class. For those of you who do not know the true meaning of world class, it means we are within five years of falling flat on our rear ends. For evidence of this, look at this once great company (again), Xerox, Compaq, and many others. With the knowledge of being world class, learning ceased. Those who had fun for the previous seven years, well let’s just say they did not enjoy the new politics that looked suspiciously like the politics of ten years before. The change agents left in droves. The self promoters left as well.
     
    The change agents wandered aimlessly for the next three and one half years, falling for such nonsense as the “Compaq culture” (translated into 1991 lingo means align yourself with the guy from the inventor of the transistor that was also a failed company by now). Some self promoters went to a great, but obscenely inefficient,  European equipment maker following a man who only existed at 50,000’ or more. All succeeded, but none had fun or left anything sustainable..

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    #154955

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    I have been told there are two possible inside jokes minimum. The first is the great physicist who proclaimed he was smarter than everbody which is supposed to true, who offered help and nobody accepted. It is true with exception of Seguin who got the Pilsbury Doughboy and called the great physicist weekly to have him removed.
    The second is a current Six Sigma guru who put on slide shows using two overheads which he operated by himself but only after he had explained he was a Phd and was smart, unfortunately not like the physicist, but rather than be at a loss for words during his presentations, would make up words and just move on. I am told that the amazing part is that everybody knew it was wrong but nobody said anything.
    Now do we get part two?
    Lebowski

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    #154956

    Lebowski
    Participant

    Gary,
    That one will take some thinking.
    Lebowski

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    #154974

    Cone
    Participant

    “Work continued as the once great company internalized the problem
    solving. They hired PhD students from the great university in the
    desert and put signs on the entrances of their facilities that they were
    protected by this problem solving method.”Don’t you find it odd that signs were placed saying they were rotected
    by this problem solving method?

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    #154994

    Ronald
    Participant

    Where’s the happily ever after part?  This is too sad to be a fairy tale.

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