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Can Your iPhone Bring Down a Plant?

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Rob Spiegel   8/29/2013 8:09:04 AM
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Yes Ann, there seems to be a shift away from hierarchy a bit. Whether that would affect the potential success of TQM, I'm not sure.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Ann R. Thryft   8/27/2013 4:36:48 PM
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I think those are good questions, Rob. I don't think younger employees are less territorial, at least not in my experience. It's also true that in the plant in those days they certainly weren't in charge of departments, since that was before the great downsizing that eliminated the middle management layer. But I think one big factor that's changed is that there's more emphasis today on teams than on hierarchy--not that hierarchy doesn't exist but it seems to have moved up the pyramid a ways.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Rob Spiegel   8/27/2013 3:56:08 PM
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I wonder if there is a generational aspect to that Ann. I wonder if you ng employees would be less territorial? I wonder if they would see more value in TQM.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Ann R. Thryft   8/26/2013 1:15:44 PM
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You're right, Rob. I wrote extensively about implementing TQM for awhile for CMP, including in-depth interviews with several companies that had tried and failed (as well as a few that tried and succeeded). But back then, those resistant "populations" were usually well over 50% of the company's employees.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Rob Spiegel   8/22/2013 3:45:44 PM
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I believe TQM ran into problems with populations that were not convinced that changes would be improvements. The attitude seemed to be, "What on earth do you know about what we have to do? If it could be more efficient, we'd make it more efficient."

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2013 7:26:53 PM
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That makes a lot of sense: the narrower goal. TQM required everybody in the whole plant to do everything entirely differently in all areas. It was pretty overwhelming. I can sure see how sacrificing uptime would be a no-op.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2013 6:23:01 PM
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It could be these groups are working because they have such a limited agenda -- network security. The only dispute -- and it can be a big one -- is that control doesn't want to sacrifice uptime.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Ann R. Thryft   8/16/2013 1:04:26 PM
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Wow, that's a very big change from the days of attempts at setting up TQM systems: it was very hard to implement TQM here in the US, and in fact there many failed attempts at many companies. So either that statement is a lot of wishful thinking, or something really is different. If so, I wonder what?



Rob Spiegel
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Rob Spiegel   8/12/2013 8:46:01 PM
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If I remember these stories right, vendors like Rockwell and Siemens were involved in promoting these groups. I remember a Rockwell source shrugging it off, saying, "It's not that hard when you get everyone together."

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: 3 levels to the plant
Ann R. Thryft   8/12/2013 6:31:33 PM
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Rob, that's an amazing change and a long time coming. Hard to believe it's actually happened. I can believe that there's a goal like "taking the side of the company and not the side of control or IT." That reminds me a bit of TQM efforts years ago: it requires a huge change in corporate culture and is not easily done. Any idea how the actual change was implemented, not in the technology, but in people's behavior and minds?

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