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EA & Systems Thinking. This slide deck is derived directly from a 1994 presentation given by Dr Russ Ackoff . (http:// youtu.be /OqEeIG8aPPk). Quality Improvement Failures.

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ea systems thinking

EA & Systems Thinking

This slide deck is derived directly from a 1994 presentation given by Dr Russ Ackoff. (http://youtu.be/OqEeIG8aPPk)

quality improvement failures
Quality Improvement Failures
  • 2/3 of managers that authorise quality improvement programs consider them as failures. Definition of Quality: “Meeting or exceeding the expectations of the customer or consumer.”
  • The customer is the one who authorised the introduction of the quality program.
  • If customer expectations are not met, it is a failure.
  • The reason for failures is because quality improvement programs haven’t been embedded in Systems Thinking.
what is a system
What is a System?
  • A system is a whole, that consists of parts, each of which can affect its behaviour or its properties. (e.g. human body)
  • Each part of the system, when it affects the system, is dependent for its effect on some other part. In other words the parts are interdependent. No part of the system or collection of parts has an independent effect on it.
  • A system is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts.
implications of being a system
Implications of being a system
  • The essential or defining properties of a system are properties of the whole which none of its parts have.
    • E.g. a car can “carry you from A to B”. None of the parts can do that on its own
    • E.g. a human body “has life”. None of your parts live, YOU have life.
  • When a system is taken apart it loses its essential properties.
    • E.g. when a car is taken apart it loses it’s essential properties, it is no longer a car
implications of being a system1
Implications of being a system
  • The system is not the sum of the behaviour of its parts it it the product of their interactions.
  • If you have a system of improvement that is directed at improving the parts taken separately you can be absolutely sure that the performance of the whole will NOT be improved.
  • But most applications of improvement programs are directed at improving parts taken separately.
    • Example: Take the best part from each car to make the ultimate car. You don’t even get a car because the parts don’t fit.
architecture example
Architecture Example
  • The Architect:
    • Takes a set of properties that the client wants.
    • Then produces an overall designs of the house
    • Then produces designs for rooms to fit into the design of the house
    • Discovers in the process that he can modify the the house in such a way as to improve the quality of the rooms
    • But he will never modify the house to improve the quality of the room unless the quality of the house is simultaneously improved
continuous improvement
Continuous Improvement
  • An improvement program must be directed at what you want. Not at what you don’t want.
  • When you get rid of something you DON’T want, you don’t necessarily get what you DO want.
  • If you don’t know what you would do if you could do anything you wanted to, how can you know what you would do under constraints.
dis continuous improvement
DIS-Continuous improvement
  • Continuous improvement isn’t nearly as important as DIS-continuous improvement.
  • Creativity is a discontinuity. A creative act breaks with the chain that has come before it.
  • One never becomes a leader by imitating and improving slightly (This leads to Porter’s productivity frontier).
  • You only become a leader by leapfrogging those who are ahead of you; and that comes about through creativity.
things right vs right things
Things Right Vs. Right Things
  • Peter Drucker made a distinction between doing things right & doing the right thing.
  • Doing the wrong thing right is not nearly as good as doing the right thing wrong.
  • Lean is good at doing things right but Lean produced cars are still polluting.
  • Quality ought to contain a notion of value, not just efficiency. This is the difference between efficiency & effectiveness
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