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April 11, 2013



Funny story ... shame some people just can't resist!


Great lesson in common sense. Jives with your last week article. thanks

Vatche' Keuftedjian

On one of my trips to Asia, I met a CEO of a well known international company. When we in his office he looked at me and pointed at 2 shelves full of books in his office, and asked? Do you know what these books are on these 2 shelves? I looked closer and said, they seem to me they are Law Books. He agreed, and then said, these are our country laws and they are on 2 shelves - only. In America, he continued, you have 100 times more shelves to carry your Law Books, do you know why we only have 2 shelves. I said why? He said we have something called "Logic or Common Sense".

On Tuesday last, I heard now we have a law banning texting while driving. Humm, so this means, we now added another law to the 100's of shelves we have of law books. We need to have texting while driving to be a law to realize that it is dangerous to do so while driving.

Now the court system and awards:

Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver’s seat to go to the back of th e Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winneba go for not putting in the owner’s manual that she couldn’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

My question now is: How did we go to the moon?



The point is one needs to talk to people in a way that communicates what one is trying to do; simple, easy to understand and not threatening manner.


Years ago, my company had launched SPC program. As part of Management Commitment, our top managers were required to SPC classes. Our SPC trainer, whom many called "Bruno", was teaching a class about Metrology and he was on the subject of Gauge R&R. (Reproducibility and Repeatability). He was explaining this concept with equations and using statistical terms.

Our General Manager was having hard time understanding it and seemed visibly annoyed; also being aware that "Bruno" planned to give a test to all management as part of certification requirements.

Finally one chap from the audience intervened and explained Gauge R&R concept to GM as follows: He told GM "When you get product demand forecast from different salesmen, how do you decide how much product you want to really build" GM replied "Based on the past history of accuracy of the forecast which varies by salesman and the market, I add my judgment factor. For certain market and salesman like Buddy, actual orders are within 5% of their forecasts where as for Bill and Bob they are always off by 25-30% so I adjust my production builds so as to not build up excess inventory."

"That is exactly how Gauge R&R is in the measurement capability analysis" said the chap to GM. "Gauges which we use for tools are analogous to your salesman. And what we call P/T is what you call Judgment Factor." However simplistic it may sound to statistics experts,the explanation served it's purpose in gaining "Management Commitment".

GM seem to understand and smiled. Nevetheless, he got an urgent phone call before the test was to be given and left.

Pro from Taipei

True about many Pro Managers. They are observing many things while listening to answer and getting many answers about the presenter. Style, demeanor, how person handles tough questions, turns defensive or stays calm, rowdy audience, so called constructive confrontation etc etc..

Tek Takahashi

Good Story. Many wonder why I did not get promo and the other guy did. I am more technical. I have more degree. The other guy not so good like me. Answer in the story.


That is a great story… love it!

So much is about the relationships….

When I started (as a young statistician) my boss arranged for me to meet with a very senior (I believe he was the 1st) statistician at our company(my poor memory is preventing me from recalling his name)… he gave me some very, very practical advice about SPC.

Step back, and explain to people that SPC has 3 main goals, in this sequence:

1) Understand your process
2) Control your process
3) Reduce the variation in your process

He stated it like he was telling me what to say to the engineers I was to teach SPC to, but I later realized, he was trying to gently tell the RCG statistician (me) what SPC was really about high level. As such a senior person, he “had no reason” to be so gentle in his advice to me, but he treated me with kindness and respect... and the message about SPC, as well as how to teach “junior employees,” has never been forgotten.


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