Tag Archives: Books

Statistics for Experimenters in Spanish

book cover of Estadística para Investigadores

Statistics for Experimenters, second edition, by George E. P. Box, J. Stuart Hunter and William G. Hunter (my father) is now available in Spanish.

Read a bit more can find a bit more on the Spanish edition, in Spanish. Estadística para Investigadores Diseño, innovación y descubrimiento Segunda edición.

Statistics for Experimenters – Second Edition:

Catalyzing innovation, problem solving, and discovery, the Second Edition provides experimenters with the scientific and statistical tools needed to maximize the knowledge gained from research data, illustrating how these tools may best be utilized during all stages of the investigative process. The authors’ practical approach starts with a problem that needs to be solved and then examines the appropriate statistical methods of design and analysis.

* Graphical Analysis of Variance
* Computer Analysis of Complex Designs
* Simplification by transformation
* Hands-on experimentation using Response Service Methods
* Further development of robust product and process design using split plot arrangements and minimization of error transmission
* Introduction to Process Control, Forecasting and Time Series

Book available via Editorial Reverte

Related: Statistics for Experimenters ReviewCorrelation is Not CausationStatistics for Experimenters Dataposts on design of experiments

Appropriate Management

Low-Tech, High Impact Innovation

Adopting the perspective of “appropriate technology” is an excellent way to promote and increase innovation. Your solutions don’t have to be high tech, they just have to provide wide benefits – and taking this sometimes counterintuitive approach can be enlightening.

Great post. My father, Dr. William Hunter, did a great deal of work with appropriate technology (he was a chemical engineering, industrial engineering and statistics professor) and in management improvement.

Often the failure to adopt appropriate technology solutions results from a combination of 3 things:

  • Failing to understand the conditions where the solution will be applied. Failing to “go and see” in lean manufacturing terms.
  • Short term thinking, the failure to see the challenges in maintenance, is how short term thinking manifests itself with the inappropriate technology solutions often applied by those siting in Washington DC or Paris. The failure to consider maintenance is also very related to the first point. Appropriate technology solutions are often very simple, less sensitive (less moving parts to break, able to deal with dust, rain…) and more easily repairable (with tools, expertise and spare parts available at the location of use).
  • A desire to use the cool new gadget and ideas.

Thinking about why appropriate technology is so effective, but underutilized can help anyone improve the solutions they adopt. Thankfully the adoption of appropriate technology solutions has been increasing over the last few decades.

I would especially encourage people to stop looking for the newest management book and actually read and adopt and then re-read and… the excellent management books from the last 50 years. Stop chasing some new shiny thing and adopt solutions that are effective – even if they seem boring.
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Conference Calls with Scholtes and Joiner

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s Enterprise Thinking Network Ongoing Discussion series this month features conference calls with Peter Scholtes (Thursday, September 25th, Noon to 2pm Pacific Time – USA) and Brian Joiner (Friday the 26th, Noon to 2pm Pacific Time – USA). See more details [the broken link was removed] and register online.

Peter’s books (The Team Handbook and The Leader’s Handbook) are thought pieces for Thursday’s conversation with Peter. As a place to begin the conversation with Peter, we might consider the possibility that teamwork and leadership are perhaps even more in our awareness today than when Peter wrote these books. And if you’d like to explore more of Peter’s thinking and writing, see also a variety of articles and letters by and about Peter at his website.

Brian has offered us several Thought Pieces related to his current work. According to Brian, “The thing I am most excited about now is the Transition Towns movement which started in the UK a few years ago. It’s what I will be focusing on once the First Unitarian Society green building [the broken link was removed] is effectively launched.” In addition, the following site gives a brief intro to the Transition Town approach, with much more detail on the Transition approach available in their Primer [the broken link was removed]. Says Brian, “I hope this will be enough to start conversations.”

Both Brian and Peter are from Madison, Wisconsin (where I grew up) and both worked with my father: Bill Hunter. Brian Joiner also wrote Fourth Generation Management and co-authored the Team Handbook with Peter.

Related: Curious Cat Essential Management BooksBrain Joiner on Dr. DemingTotal Quality Leadership vs. Management by Control by Brian L. Joiner and Peter R. Scholtes

Webcast on the Toyota Development Process

Kenji Hiranabe talks about Toyota’s development process (webcast). Kenji shares a presentation he attended earlier this year by Nobuaki Katayama, a former Chief Engineer at Toyota, and the lessons he learned from him.

The webcast takes awhile to get going. If you are impatient you might want to start at the 6 minute mark. Some thoughts from the talk:

  • Voice of the Customer is diffuse. A strong concept (for a project – new car for example) is very important to focus thought, listening to voice of the customer is important but must use strong concept to avoid losing focus (due to diffuse customer feedback).
  • Honest face to face communication is important. Bad news first – present bad news first [don’t try to hide bad news – my thoughts in brackets, John Hunter].
  • Everyone must think about cost reduction, many efforts add up to big impact [the importance of reducing waste everywhere].
  • benchmark, not to copy others, but to learn from what others do well.

The webcast includes a nice (though short) discussion of agile management in software development and lean manufacturing (the different situation of manufacturing versus software development). Kenji Hiranabe has also translated several agile and lean books into Japanese including Implementing Lean Software Development.

Related: Kenji Hiranabe’s blogMarissa Mayer Webcast on Google InnovationArticles and webcasts by Mary PoppendieckFuture Directions for Agile ManagementInterview with Toyota President

Drucker’s Ideas at Toyota

The Drucker difference and Toyota’s success [the broken link was removed] by Ira A. Jackson, dean of the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, the business school of the Claremont Colleges.

Because of this core belief in the power of people, Toyota invests in people. And at the same time, the company has come to realize that when people grapple with opposing views

Embrace contradictions as a way of life. Sticking to old practices can lead to rigidity. Be fluid.

Develop routines to resolve contradictions. As the authors note, “Unless companies teach employees how to deal with problems rigorously and systematically, they won’t be able to harness the power of contradictions.” Toyota has a number of tools including the well-known ask-why-five-times practice and the Plan-Do-Check-Act model.

Encourage employees to voice their opinions even if they are contrary. The people in top management must be open to hearing critical comments from employees and listening to opposing views if they want to engender new ideas and new ways of doing things.

Related: Drucker Opinion Essays from the WSJDeming and ToyotaManagement Pioneer Peter DruckerThe Contradictions That Drive Toyota’s SuccessExtreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World’s Best Manufacturer

Workplace Management by Taiichi Ohno

images of cover of Workplace Management

Workplace Management by Taiichi Ohno is an excellent management book. Taiichi Ohno is known as the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS), also called lean manufacturing. He dictated the text to the Japan Management Association (in a series of interviews in 1982), which gives the book a sense of listening to him talk about the ideas. I found the conversational tone made it very easy to read and reminiscent of Dr. Deming’s tone in many places.

Ohno focused a great deal on the faulty perceptions derived from cost accounting thinking. He discussed the importance of not letting your understanding be clouded by thinking with the accounting mindset. “If you insist on blindly calculating individual costs and waste time insisting that this is profitable of that is not profitable, you will just increase the cost of your low volume products. For this reason there are many cases in this world where companies will discontinue car models that are actually profitable, but are money losers according to their calculations. Likewise, there are cases where companies sell a lot of model that they think is profitable but in fact are only increasing their loses.” page 32

Another area covered in the book is the whole concept of one piece flow (with quick changeovers of equipment, just in time, small lot production…). This is one of the true innovations within the Toyota Production System. I don’t think this book alone can convey how it works and why it is important but this book does a good job of giving another take on these ideas, from the person most responsible for making it work at Toyota.

The book is full of wonderful quotes including:

“There is a sequence for implementing automation that must be followed, even though it is hard. Automation just for its own sake is a problem.” page 81

“If you are observing every day you ought to be finding things you don’t like, and rewriting the standard immediately. Even if the document hanging here is from last month this is wrong.” page 125
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Out of the Crisis

Entrepreneur.com has named their 9 best classic business books of the past 30 years including Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming:

Deming’s teachings challenged American business practice at almost every point. Among his most revolutionary ideas were the notions that poor management–not slacker workers–was responsible for most quality problems, and the way to boost quality was to carefully measure defects and the effects of changing processes.

The article includes a section on what to ignore from each book, including for Out of the Crisis – “he was strenuously opposed to incentive pay plans of all types.” Incentive pay plays havoc with teamwork, systems improvement (encouraging sub-optimization), long term thinking, sales volumes (commissions increase variation in sales creating problems for production), shedding light on problems… Ignoring that is not a good idea. Other books they mention include: Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Related: Deming’s ideas on ManagementCurious Cat Management BooksDrum-buffer-rope

via: MIT Press Log

Ackoff’s New Book: Management f-Laws

Russell Ackoff is in London promoting his new book: Management f-Laws (see previous post: Ackoff’s F-laws: Common Sins of Management). A BBC article captures some of some of the great ideas from one of his talks (more articles… by Ackoff). How to avoid the fatal F-Laws by Peter Day:

“Companies and organisations get things wrong most of the time,” he said.

“The average life of a US corporation is only 11-and-a-half years, the rate of bankruptcy is increasing very year. There’s a great deal of evidence that we don’t know how to manage organisations very effectively.

“The F-Laws are simply based on observations over the year about regularities which are destructive to organisations.”

As always he is insightful and not afraid to shake up conventional wisdom.
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Create Your Own Book

I received a custom made photo book from my brother. It is amazing. It is a hardcover book, full of photos. The quality is amazing. The book is printed by blurb. Looking on their web site the pricing is surprisingly cheap: 150 page full color hardcover book – $39.95 (for 1 copy! – 10% discount at 25 copies…), as little as $18.95 for a full color softcover book up to 40 pages. The site says books are normally printed in under a week.

I have not tried it but it appears printing your own great looking book is about as easy as creating a blog. I knew it was getting easier to print books, but still I find this very cool. Blurb can import photos from Flickr [the broken link was removed] and Picasa [the broken link was removed].

Workplace Management by Taiichi Ohno

Workplace Management [the broken link was removed] by Taiichi Ohno, translated by Jon Miller.

This classic work by the founding father of the Toyota Production System returns to print in a new translation. Ohno delivers timeless lessons on how to effectively manage the gemba – actual place or work. He relates stories from across his nearly 40 years of struggle to establish the Toyota Production System as both a mindset and supporting behaviors of constant improvement. In the book’s 37 chapters, Ohno covers a broad range of topics and lays out the fundamental philosophy of kaizen (continuous improvement) that has made Toyota the most successful automobile manufacturer today.

Jon Miller posted excellent items to his blog on each chapter. You may pre-order the book now [the broken link was removed] for delivery in March, 2007.

Related: Gemba Keiei by Taiichi OhnoKaizen the Toyota WayOrigins of the Toyota Production SystemLean terms defined: KaizenCurious Cat Management Improvement Books