Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Is Good Enough?

(excerpt from Project Risk Control and Quality Management (MGT5085), Lesson Notes, Algonquin College, 2006)

Results of 99.99% defect-free society:

  • 18 airplanes would crash every day

  • US Post would lose 17,660 items/hour

  • 3,700 prescriptions would be filled incorrectly every day

  • 10 newborns would be dropped every day

  • Banks would deduct $24.8M from wrong accounts/day

  • Surgeons would perform 500 incorrect operations/week

Would you be satisfied if everyone believed this was good enough?

What does performance improvement take?

Performance falls when we have a paradigm shift because a change has been introduced. There is no question about the difficulty of introducing change. People are generally resistant to change because they focus on what they have to lose instead of what they have to gain. Our paradigm is our own reality; we are the last to see it as anything else. When a new paradigm is introduced, we usually drop back in terms of productivity because we have new things to learn.

: )

1 comment:

Ivo said...

18 airplane crashes a day??? I'm not sure about that. Or the definition of a "crash" is not what I would imagine... Otherwise, I agree, people need readjustment period for any major changes. And when you think about it, performance improvement is an awfully complex concept. It assumes that someone controls all parameters of a process, something that is not true. Chaos theory, the society is a complex network and even small disturbances can have immense effects, totally out of control. And even if you have all the control, everyone should be experienced, intelligent, thinking about every step, careful, concentrated every second... The truth is no matter how improvement we make, there will always be plane crashes and dropped newborns, especially when the population grows like there's no tomorrow.