apa inti ajaran Deming?

April 21, 2011

bagian kedua dari trilogi tulisan tentang Deming dan relevansi ajarannya di masa sekarang.

Deming dikenal sebagai Bapak Quality sejak berhasil membawa Jepang bangkit sejak awal tahun 1950-an, dan (baru) disadari di Amerika kehebatannya di tahun 1980-an.

Yang menarik adalah, apa yang dia yakini dan ajarkan di Jepang  di tahun 1950 masih sangat relevan di masa kini. Mungkin apa yang diajarkan dulu itu, sekarang bukanlah sesuatu yang layak disebut ilmu baru. Namun kenyataannya sampai sekarang, tidak banyak yang mempraktikannya.

Inilah inti ajaran Deming, dan lihatlah betapa simpel dan aktualnya ajaran ini buat Indonesia di masa sekarang (remember, simple does not always mean easy). This common senses can be common practices. Just need commitment and discipline

if japan can …why can’t we?

January 21, 2011

a TV program aired by NBC in 1980 started a quality revolution in the US.

it takes more than 20 years (!) for Americans to understand the secret of Japan’s greatness in manufacturing and products is actually coming from some American thinkers, most notably W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran.

today,  61 years after Deming’s teaching in summer 1950 for Japan engineers and managers, the question is does Deming & Juran teaching still relevant to today’s business?

my answer is YES.

their teaching on customer focus, appreciation of a system, appreciation of people, understanding of variations and its root causes, the principle of continuous improvement, the focus on long term over short term gain, in fact more relevant today than it was.

it is so basic, eventhough for many conventional thinking it looks counter-intuitive

it is not just about lean or six sigma or TQM or QCCC or ISO or others….it is about the passion to deliver the best product and services to the customers. it is about growth and sustainability

for my Indonesian fellows, please allow me to ask this question

if Japan can…why can’t we?

fooled by average #2: “hey boss, we have increased productivity averagely by 50%!”

August 7, 2010

Have you ever heard anyone, your team member, or colleague, reported that he increased an important result AVERAGELY by a significant number, say 50% or more?

I’ve seen enough

That could mislead you.

Here I show an example in below graph and in an imaginary situation.

Imagine you were a leader of an important team to improve productivity. You have prepared your team and execute many actions. You tracked the performance “before” vs. “after” the improvement. Then you have the graph presented to your boss and all the executives in your company.

You showed them “Before” improvement, your productivity was AVERAGELY 10 pcs/day. “After” improvement the AVERAGE became 15 pcs/day. It is a 50% improvement! (refer to the graph).

You’re so excited to report this and your boss could not hide his happiness and you became the star of the month. Everybody’s happy and you got the award. But something looks wrong.

Now, you look at the graph closely, you know something is wrong with the 50% improvement (in this example, it’s easy to spot with naked eyes…in real world with thousands of data points, the misleading conclusion could not easily be caught).

What’s wrong?

  1. In determining the average/mean (or median or others), you need to know the shape of distribution. Average is only ok for a symmetric normal distribution.
  2. In addition to average, you need also to see the variance (through standard deviation).
  3. From the graph, we can see the “after” improvement performance has some issues that make the AVERAGE is not correct:
  • it is not stable (high variance)
  • it has a decreasing TREND. It’s only increasing in the first couple days, after that the trend is decreasing even to the lower point than before improvement
  • statistically, we need to check whether it’s normally distributed and the after improvement is really different than before.

In a nut shell, for making a representation of a set of data, at least you have to review 2 other things in addition to average (or median): the shape of distribution, and the variance of the distribution.


I deliberately put this at the end:

a box plot can help us to show several set of data side by side for graphical representation

there are several statistical tool can help us to test whether two set of data (or more) are different: could be t-test (for a pair of distribution) or analysis of variance (anova) for multiple set of data

Some positions for professionals in process improvement

July 4, 2010

Dear readers,

Here is an opening from a US-based consulting for jobs in Indonesia. Interested applicants please send CV to VRI.Indonesia@gmail.com

Variance Reduction International, Inc.


Vacancy: Subcontractor Black Belt Position Posting

Positions: Subcontractor Black Belts.  Execution of Lean Six Sigma projects and mentoring of Green Belts executing their projects.

Position Requirements:

  • Certified Lean Six Sigma or Six Sigma Black Belt
  • BA or BS degree
  • Expertise in executing the DMAIC roadmap for Lean Six Sigma projects
  • Expertise in Lean Six Sigma tools and methodology
  • Expertise in building a Lean Six Sigma project queue
  • Expertise in Lean Six Sigma project management
  • Expertise in evaluating the Voice of the Customer
  • Expertise in scoping a Lean Six Sigma project
  • Expertise in data analysis and interpretation
  • Expertise in capturing financial benefits of Lean Six Sigma projects
  • Expertise in mentoring others in the use of Lean Six Sigma tools and project deployment
  • Physically able to travel
  • Completed two Lean/Six Sigma projects with a financially verified benefit of greater than $50,000US (submit presentations of the projects along with application)
  • References from at least one Master Black Belt
  • Software expertise in SPC XL 2007 or 2010
  • Proven facilitative leadership and project management skills
  • Minimum of two years of Lean Six Sigma experience
  • Willing to travel within the Indonesia
  • Able to work in a culturally diverse work environment

Desirable But Not Required Skills and Attributes:

  • Engineering degree
  • Expertise in Kaizen facilitation
  • Change management expertise

Location: Work to be performed in various locations throughout Indonesia.

Project Duration: Minimum of two weeks a month, for twelve months.

Contractual Obligations: Agree to work as a subcontractor to Variance Reduction International, Inc. (VRI) for at least 2 weeks a month for 12 months, contract extensions will be awarded based on performance.  A default clause will be in effect for poor performance allowing VRI to terminate the contract.

For interested applicants please send CV to VRI.Indonesia@gmail.com