Quotes in management
There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:
- Innovation in product and service
- Innovation in process
- Improvement of existing product and service
- Improvement of existing process
The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.
A bank that failed last week may have had excellent operations— speed at the tellers’ windows with few mistakes; few mistakes in bank statements; likewise in the calculation of interest and of penalties and loans. The cause of failure at the bank was bad management, not operations.
Government service is to be judged on equity as well as on efficiency.
There are three ways to get better figures... Improve the system... Distort the system... Distort the figures
A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.
Since all models are wrong the scientist must be alert to what is importantly wrong. It is inappropriate to be concerned about mice when there are tigers abroad.
Real benefits come when managers begin to understand the profound difference between "cost cutting" and "eliminating the causes of costs."
In a system the best way to treat a problem is seldom where the problem appears, because of the interactions of the parts.
A good deal of the corporate planning I have observed is like a ritual rain dance; it has no effect on the weather that follows, but those who engage in it think it does. Moreover, it seems to me that much of the advice and instruction related to corporate planning is directed at improving the dancing, not the weather.
A tightrope over a chasm is fine for a trained acrobat with a balancing pole. It is foolish for someone without the right training or tools. They would be better served with something else - a rope bridge with railings.
Making it harder to make mistakes and making mistakes that are made more visible is good. Preventing them is even better.