「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2008年4月13日 星期日

Noise and signals by Christopher Harvie and Noel Spare


Noise and signals

The credit crash can create new options - such as unlearning a lot of what has been fashionable and disastrous

April 13, 2008 1:00 PM | Printable version

In the spring of 1845 Irish cottars opened the "clamps" of earth under which the previous season's potatoes were stored. They found slime. The potato blight had wiped out the monoculture, devastating their society and branding the United Kingdom, as incompetent and callous. Since late 2006 a virus as deadly has struck the financial services the UK has made its own monoculture.

In place of the innovative manufacture Gordon Brown advocated in Where there is Greed in 1989, we got "financial engineering" from the City. When problems began, we were told the good money far outweighed the bad. But the first was devalued by the second, and billions (more than the value of the country's railways) have bailed out a medium-sized mortgage bank. As the panic increases, business organisations don't repair themselves but prey on one another.

This black farce was called a "knowledge-based economy", but the roots of the latter were quite different in the theories Walter A Shewhart and W Edwards Deming evolved in 1920s Chicago about what understanding systems and managing processes really meant. Shewhart's ideas became a useful link between economic and political decision-making, notably and effectively in postwar Japan.

Shewhart was a product of American "pragmatism": the philosophy of C S Peirce, William James, John Dewey and CI Lewis. Derived partly from the Scottish common sense school of the 18th century, this was different from the rigidity of F W Taylor's "scientific management", stressing instead practical systems analysis and problem-solving. In the 1920s, faced with an inefficient telephone works, Shewhart stressed that in order to understand system behaviour one had first to analyse its measurable characteristics (data) to determine its capability. This involved distinguishing between "noise" (routine variations in the system) and "signals".

"Signals" were outside routine systemic behaviour but had causes which were "assignable" and treatable by a linear (cause and effect) approach. Shewhart discovered the virus of variation but most importantly, showed that it existed in two strains, and each required a different treatment. Confusion of one with the other would lead to inappropriate treatment and disastrous consequences.

Noise in a system could not be cured with a linear approach, ie by assigning causes to discrete measurements. This was "tampering" and made things worse. In fact, Shewhart's most profound finding was that once signals are eliminated, no further systemic improvements are possible. Curing a noisy system meant changing it in a fundamental - and co-operative - way.

Applying this approach to contemporary Britain, noise is reaching the pain threshold with infrastructure crises, poor productivity and social misbehaviour endemic. Worrying enough, with a higher education system churning out "rental" jobs in the law, public service and big firm bureaucracies, and not technical competence which is always under proof. The current level of noise in Britain-as-a-system ought to demand fundamental re-engineering. But can this diagnosis be made without adequate educated and trained manpower? Without it, will outcome-obsessed politicians misinterpret noise as signals and - to show initiative and capture publicity - try to "get more out of the system" by pressurising people, usually by imposing what Shewhart/Deming called "arbitrary numerical targets". When these are, in an unaltered system, impossible to meet, will the result turn malfunctions into complete collapse?

This has been evident in the turbulent history of Blair-Brown bureaucracy. Think of (1) the displacement in our schools of humane education by testing, resulting in intellectual overstress and imaginative aridity. Or of (2) the unending succession of computer crises - mega-schemes that don't work - in the public service. Or of (3) catastrophes in the non-computer area: in railway upgrades or military equipment for Iraq or London air terminals. Or of (4) scandalously target-driven healthcare. We were once supposed to be good at software and incorporating feedback: if we fail there, can the rest be any better?

Systems theory: pragmatism: common sense. Gordon Brown got this ancestry right. But appreciating Adam Smith was his limit. Cool assessment and a distrust of self-interested rhetoric escaped him. Had we, in a supposedly steerable mixed economy, devolved information to the people with the technical competence and responsibility to steer? When the trade unions, a type of self-management, with an interest in training (still the case in Germany) had been made sidelined in favour of consultants and executives?

And were they too close to Smith's "conspiracies of merchants" with a vested interest in dysfunction? During the North Sea oil boom in the 1970s, the Seven Sisters simply outbid their supposed regulators (state salaries could never match the private sector). Financiers close to government cleaned up in the "wild capitalism" phase of Thatcherite privatisation, sold out and cleared off. Look where Brown's "light-touch regulation" in the City has landed us.

Brown/Blair emphasised market and management, but were the two compatible? What if the "churn and burn" of turbocapitalism destroyed the work-community within which intelligent management had to operate? What if management as an "interest" not a "brain" used this chaos to overstate its competence: to increase demand, and hence payment? Is there a point where the run-down of "traditional metal-bashing" carries industrial rationality - and the "high-value-added services" - away with it?

Now, shocks have dislodged what stability remains. But credit crash and political disruption can create new patterns and options. Our ways out - for example through renewable technology - will involve re-learning how firms and governments cohere and renew themselves; and unlearning a lot of what has been fashionable and disastrous.

This article was jointly written by Christopher Harvie and Noel Spare

2008年4月11日 星期五

感謝 衡美企業(Dynasty Design)-- 傳奇、光環、褪色

感謝 衡美企業(Dynasty Design)老闆 Sophia Katsu購買一整套 Deming 叢書


美國醫療制度的品質根源: Quality Care at Bargain Prices


Tibet unrest tests China PR machine

China's carefully managed international media tour of Tibet's capital ran into a public-relations roadblock

China seeks PR help

self-confidence,self-criticism,self-consciousness, portly

所謂日產的文藝復興:management by commitment

management by commitment玩藝,是 management by objective 的變相。不過約五年前,我們這位英雄可是日本最有「人氣」的「企業整頓大師」。


【日經BP社報導】 "日產決定修改承諾經營制度"200842日的《日本經濟新聞》上出現了如此醒目的標題。該文稱,日產汽車(以下,日產)社長兼首席執行官卡洛斯· 戈恩(Carlos Ghosn)宣佈,將從2008年度啟動的該公司下一個中期經營計劃開始,對承諾經營制度進行修改。


  但是,《日經製造》20079月刊專輯"未能持續的復興——日產車一線亮起黃燈"中指出,當擺脫了破產危機的日產面臨必須進入發展軌道的階 段時,承諾經營制度陸續產生了"副作用"。不!包括供應商在內,以筆者採訪的該公司汽車製造一線得到的實際感受來說,稱為"弊病"更為恰當。對於避免破產 後的日產,承諾經營制度已不再適合。




2008年4月5日 星期六

「工程品質 」心靈環保



【大公網訊】3月29日至4月3日,國務院工程品質檢查專家組對三峽工程建設品質進行了第18次實地檢查。專家組評價認為,三峽工程建設取得了重大成就,防洪、發電、通航等綜合效益得到進一步發揮。2007年的工程建設強化了過程式控制制,工程品質總體優良。 ...



品質月刊(中華民國九十七年四月號 444 詳細文章內容請上華藝數位電子期刊www.ceps.com.tw或國家圖書館電子期刊www.ncl.edu.tw或凌網科技電子期刊下載ww.hyweb.com.tw )

主題:心靈環保(Quality Spirit –原文如此




* 大師已逝-悼念品質大師朱蘭博士

* 偉大的品質大師


* 以宗教情操,作好心靈品管

* 環保意識從「心」開始

* 從心靈環保的面向談儒家思想對提升心靈品質的啟示

* 老年人的心靈環保

* 上班族的心靈環保---追求自我實現與自我心靈潛能激發

* 生命品質的抉擇?

* 家暴被害者之診療品質


* 品質預見預防之層次與人因錯誤影響分析

* 從全球環境倫理談國內環境行為工作


* 追求能與時代變化同步的新品質

* 持續改善在持續什麼?如何克服改善活動失敗製程品質

* 過程是關鍵-製程設計管制


* 量測技術最新動向簡介

Q&A * 品質Q&A專欄


* 應用可靠度工程於管理系統績效之改善


* 利用電子化流程提升模具管理品質質


* 綠色藥物化學之展望與管理


l COP顧客導向流程的標準化