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Industrial Engineers should run the .gov

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by 88_gurgel, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. 88_gurgel

    88_gurgel

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    We need some industrial engineers in the .gov.

    If we followed root cause analysis and the 5 why examples of continuous improvement, we wouldn't have all the stupidity in the government. The following are some examples and explanations of the process.


    For those that havn't heard of it, the meaning and the process from wiki

    Root cause analysis (RCA) is a class of problem solving methods aimed at identifying the root causes of problems or events. The practice of RCA is predicated on the belief that problems are best solved by attempting to correct or eliminate root causes, as opposed to merely addressing the immediately obvious symptoms. By directing corrective measures at root causes, it is hoped that the likelihood of problem recurrence will be minimized. However, it is recognized that complete prevention of recurrence by a single intervention is not always possible. Thus, RCA is often considered to be an iterative process, and is frequently viewed as a tool of continuous improvement.

    Notice that RCA (in steps 3, 4 and 5) forms the most critical part of successful corrective action, because it directs the corrective action at the root of the problem. That is to say, it is effective solutions we seek, not root causes. Root causes are secondary to the goal of prevention, and are only revealed after we decide which solutions to implement.

    1. Define the problem.
    2. Gather data/evidence.
    3. Ask why and identify the causal relationships associated with the defined problem.
    4. Identify which causes if removed or changed will prevent recurrence.
    5. Identify effective solutions that prevent recurrence, are within your control, meet your goals and objectives and do not cause other problems.
    6. Implement the recommendations.
    7. Observe the recommended solutions to ensure effectiveness.
    8. Variability Reduction methodology for problem solving and problem avoidance.



    5 Why analysis could be used as well

    The following example demonstrates the basic process:

    * My car will not start. (the problem)

    1. Why? - The battery is dead. (first why)
    2. Why? - The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
    3. Why? - The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
    4. Why? - The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and has never been replaced. (fourth why)
    5. Why? - I have not been maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)

    The questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or even greater level. This would be legitimate, as the "five" in 5 Whys is not gospel; rather, it is postulated that five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause. The real key is to encourage the troubleshooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead to trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem.


    This would never work because it actually uses common sense as a base, but it would be a far better method of policy making. It would also require the .gov to cut the fat in their organization for once. We should apply lean manufacturing principles everywhere in government.
     
  2. Isaiah1412

    Isaiah1412

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    It was attempted, remember McNamara as Secretary of Defense? His mindset was that if it worked for Ford it would work for the Army. Much of the Kennedy administration worked this way. Science and logic would always be able to win out.

    On some levels it worked, but on many others they were not successful for a simple reason: governments are about people. People are not fixed quantities which can be measured and evaluated through logic and equations. There is always a human factor which can only be judged and addressed by another human. Place too much emphasis on the cold logic of how to do something and you lose touch with WHY you need to do it.
     

  3. mhambi

    mhambi κολασμένος

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    Eliyahu Goldratt for prez!!!


    :rofl:
     
  4. oceanwarrior

    oceanwarrior

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    Been done before.

    His name was Albert Speer.
     
  5. 280Z

    280Z

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    I am an industrial engineer.

    This approach would be hard to implement because "waste" in the government is making some people very well off. There is little incentive to change that. I think the current gov is way to large and there are kick-backs and the like running in the good ol boys club.

    I have seen that just because some problems are caused by the same root cause doesn't mean there is a one size fits all solution.

    People are the biggest variable in a production equation. One day we can produce 6 medium quality units, the next 4 high quality ones. Since the government IS people, the variation is very very large.

    I could go on but this post would start to look like a thesis........ or maybe some incoherent ramblings. :whistling:
     
  6. 88_gurgel

    88_gurgel

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    I am a manufacturing engineer... or at least I was when I was working. I can see this approach to lawmaking working very well. Get to the root cause and then make laws regarding that. Look at the gun laws, the guns are not causing the problem, the people are. There are also layers upon layers of laws over laws. Just because you do more to cover something up doesn't mean it will work.
     
  7. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    Brilliant.

    Logic can run the mechanisms of Government well, but it can not rule the people very well.

    I know it is hard for people to believe, but to a point, besides the gross pork, that is how the government works. . People dont get reeleceted when no one likes them, so you have a smilling head out there, shaking hands, answering questions, reassuring people, acting like he is doing something and from time to time doing something....all the while, the machine of governement grinds on in a cold manner. The Police still write tickets, the mail is on time, the water system is clean......(you get the idea)
     
  8. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

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    Hoover was something of an industrial engineer. He was also a "progressive" disciple of Woodrow Wilson. It didn't work out well as his blunders set the tone for FDR's blunders.

    Darn it, the guy who turned Japan around after WW2. Mental block.
     
  9. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    This reminds me of the Simpson's episode where the brainiacs (including Lisa) get to run Springfield. :rofl:
     
  10. mhambi

    mhambi κολασμένος

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    Geez, how many gazebos do you shemales need?!
     
  11. aplcr0331

    aplcr0331

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    Read: The Black Swan
     
  12. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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    Since everyone drives the fastest under yellow lights, they got rid of green and only had yellow and red.
     
  13. trifecta

    trifecta

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    1. Define the problem. That supports my political agenda.
    2. Gather data/evidence. That confirms the problem and my preconceived solution
    3. Ask why and identify the causal relationships associated with the defined problem. Then hide or explain away any that don't fit my agenda.
    4. Identify which causes if removed or changed will prevent recurrence.
    5. Identify effective solutions that prevent recurrence, are within your control, meet your goals and objectives and do not cause other problems.
    6. Implement the recommendations. Sell your soul to get everyone to support your agenda-or give Nebraska free healthcare.
    7. Observe the recommended solutions to ensure effectiveness. Find excuses or assign blame for any lack of results.
    8. Variability Reduction methodology for problem solving and problem avoidance.

    The model is pretty good. Sort of like the NEXTEL commercials-one of them was "What if firefighters ran things?" It was amusing. Problem with any model of critical thinking is the people involved-and that includes both ends of the political spectrum. Yesterday an engineer, today a politician.
     
  14. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

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    "The Goal" is a great book.
     
  15. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

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    W Edwards Deming
     
  16. Crazy KD

    Crazy KD

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    We called IEs....Imaginary Engineers...Sorry couldn't resist, but overall the logic of an engineer would definitely help run the government. Can't say I've heard of many in elected office though...

    I r an engineer!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  17. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    They already ran the government and that's why nothing ever gotten done, costs keep going up and productivity go down the toilet.:upeyes:
     
  18. jpa

    jpa CLM

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    I agree with this 1000%. I went from working for UPS (not a day went by that I didn't talk to an industrial engineer or help with a RCA of a technical problem) to working for the government. I went from having to carry a stopwatch to time my breaks to the minute, syncing my car clock and wrist watch to the office clock and finding the most efficient solution to a problem to wandering into work 1, 2, 3 minutes late...watching people spend 3/4 of their work shift on the balcony smoking, watching processes get repeated over and over because nobody thought to streamline them....and listening to people whine about how overworked they are.

    There are a lot of people who would be on welfare and food stamps if not for government inefficiencies. If you doubt this, visit your local DMV or social service agency for confirmation. That's not to say there are intelligent people there, but they dumb themselves down to keep from being picked on by those who they stand to make look bad.

    Exactly...and then you bring in the outside influence of political favors, repaying campaign contributions, trying to stay popular enough to get reelected, all while still making it appear that you're doing your job in an impartial fashion.
     
  19. Captain America

    Captain America

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    The last thing you want is efficient government. As long as they're chasing their tails they aren't imprisoning you.
     
  20. johnd

    johnd

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    We are past the point of no return already.
    What we need to do is to fire 50% of the government....every other employee walking in the door gets dismissed.
    Over the years they have become bloated and complacent and now only exist to self maintain.
    I was in Vietnam under the MacNamara deal and everything was statistics even though we were basically just killing people, the killing was second seat behind the "stats" so Im not so confident an engineer or anyone could really do anything about it right now.
    Todays government has proven over and over and over again that they cant handle it, they cant even do the basics of Maslows Hierarchy of need which is why they are there in the first place.