Saturday, May 22, 2010

The importance of measurement.

I was in recent discussion about quality and a couple of good points were made.
  • You cannot improve what you do not measure.
  • You cannot manage what you do not measure.
Measurement helps to visualize problems and gives us perspective. Whenever you implement a solution, be sure to include measurements so you can evaluate whether the solution is truly effective. Ideally it is a measurement you were doing before you implemented the solution so you can quantify the improvement, but at the very least, include some measurements so that future improvements can be quantified. Sometimes it will take a couple of attempts to arrive at the optimum solution.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lazy Thinking

Prejudice in problem solving is caused by lazy thinking. When we are pre-disposed to a particular solution, we need to be careful to avoid simply assuming the previous solution is the correct one this time also. This is related to the "beginner's mind".

How do you strike a balance between re-creating the wheel every time a problem comes up and re-applying the same solution? It has to do with lazy thinking. If you carefully consider a problem instead of jumping to conclusions, it doesn't cost much in terms of effort and will help avoid overlooking potential new solutions or new wrinkles to an old problem.