Thursday, February 2, 2017

"Livin' On a Prayer" vs. Plan-Do-Check-Act
I don't consider myself a handicapper, so I'm not going to predict the outcome of the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. Two good teams, hopefully a good game. The best team for 3 hours will win. Most likely, it will be the team that makes adjustments the fastest. During preparation leading up to the game, think of the game plan as the plan and the do of the plan-do-check-act (PDCA). Just because you have a plan, it seems silly if you realize very early the plan isn't working too well. I would argue that the New England Patriots do the best job of continually doing PDCA throughout a ball game.

In the AFC Championship game, it was evident that the Pittsburgh Steelers stuck to their game plan. Good for them. They stayed with their game plan straight to a beat down. The Patriots, on the other hand made adjustments offensively and defensively every series! PDCA after PDCA after PDCA, etc. etc. As frustrating as it was to watch for Steelers fans, the game seemed like a great example of "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!" It seemed like the Steelers coaching staff was "Livin' On a Prayer". (Isn't it ironic in the video above that the fans (and Bon Jovi) in Foxboro were serenading everyone with that song during the game? Were they serenading the Pittsburgh sideline?)

One of my favorite interpretations of the Toyota Production System concept of "respect for people" is "DO NOT IMPOSE WISHFUL THINKING ON YOUR CUSTOMER!!" It is a good idea, if you are a leader, to think of your employees as your customers here. Pretend there is a process they are required to do, and the process yields either rework, defects, problems, headaches, agita, etc. A lack of TPS respect is reassuring them over and over that the process is great, you're just not doing it right! Or being frustrated that the results don't match expectations.

That's why it is so important that leaders go to the gemba (where the work is) and see for themselves. When the "game plan" isn't yielding the results everyone wants, work with your team to make some adjustments. PDCA, PDCA, PDCA. It's not plan plan plan or do do do do, it's PDCA!!

Be like Bill B. Don't impose wishful thinking on your customer.

Go ahead and click on the link enjoy. Maybe I'll be a handicapper after all. Patriots 37 Falcons 17.

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