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Key phrase for the day!

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Key phrase for the day!
on: February 23, 2024, 03:18:53 PM
I'm taking a course today at Algonquin College on Technologies Supporting Sustainability in Transportation and Distribution.  It's a fascinating three day course that I have been appreciating a lot.

I've been in the transport and logistics industry for almost two decades (in one form or another) and often the management of things is done based on instinct resulting from experience.  This course has been helping me learn to quantify things, which will allow me to better respond to issues. 

It was completely summed up in one short phrase that I think is going to be my mantra for the foreseeable future:

If it can't be measured, it can't be managed.

Bloody brilliant.

Def
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gb Offline SurgeUk

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #1 on: February 23, 2024, 04:47:30 PM
Excellent!  :clap:
This sums up my job (UK Civil Service) and the mantra driving everything we are encumbered guided by  :facepalm:
I'll advance you one of the old ones "What gets measured, gets done"  :doh: :bnghd:
They don't like it up 'em!


nl Offline Ron Who

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #2 on: February 23, 2024, 05:33:23 PM
We say `meten is weten´ . In English ´measuring is knowing´.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #3 on: February 23, 2024, 09:32:37 PM
Excellent!  :clap:
This sums up my job (UK Civil Service) and the mantra driving everything we are encumbered guided by  :facepalm:
I'll advance you one of the old ones "What gets measured, gets done"  :doh: :bnghd:

Definitely a good one, and reminds me of the old "Measure twice, cut once" adage, which always amuses me because of an incident you will probably doubt, but I swear is true.

I was watching someone use a 2x4 to block cargo in a container.  He wedged the 2x4 into the bottom right corner and couldn't get the left end in because it was about an inch too long.

Then he wedged the beam in the bottom left corner and found that he still couldn't get it in because the other end was still about an inch too long.

Can you see where this is going?

You are correct.

He pulled the beam out, cut two inches off it and wondered why it was now about an inch too short.   :facepalm:

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #4 on: February 23, 2024, 09:33:11 PM
We say `meten is weten´ . In English ´measuring is knowing´.

I am going to try and remember that one.

I probably won't, but I will certainly try!   :D

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline AzteCypher

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #5 on: February 23, 2024, 11:24:54 PM
All good adages to remember.

And as far as that person's cutting mistake...  :rofl:
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #6 on: February 23, 2024, 11:51:20 PM
Yeah it was something to see for sure.

If I hadn't watched it happen in front of me I wouldn't have believed it myself.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


no Offline Vidar

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #7 on: February 24, 2024, 06:13:38 AM
I'll advance you one of the old ones "What gets measured, gets done"  :doh: :bnghd:

That is often very true. And sometimes dangerous as another saying I've found to be true is:

"...not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."  (William Brice Cameron as he concluded why not everything can be nicely computed and charted - however nice that might be).

In practice I think both saying are true. And the problems start when the things that get measured doesn't actually map properly to what you actually want to measure. Then people, business and so on optimize towards the measurement itself rather than to whatever it was trying to measure and optimize. 
"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


no Offline Vidar

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #8 on: February 24, 2024, 06:15:10 AM
I can't press the right buttons it seems.  :facepalm:
"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


no Offline Vidar

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #9 on: February 24, 2024, 06:22:50 AM
Since I double posted here anyway an example of the above comes to mind. Some years ago an airport put out a new contract on luggage handling. The company who won the contract would have to adhere to some measurements which defined the quality and speed of their work according to the contract. The airports definition of luggage delivery speed for arriving passengers was the time for "First bag on the baggage conveyor belt".

Luggage delivery was silly slow. But us poor uninformed onlookers found it weirdly amusing that some guy would come running with a single bag and put it on the conveyor long before all the other luggage... I'm sure they delivered sterling results according to the contract!  ::)
"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


au Offline gregozedobe

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #10 on: February 24, 2024, 01:48:19 PM
That is often very true. And sometimes dangerous as another saying I've found to be true is:

"...not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."  (William Brice Cameron as he concluded why not everything can be nicely computed and charted - however nice that might be).

In practice I think both saying are true. And the problems start when the things that get measured doesn't actually map properly to what you actually want to measure. Then people, business and so on optimize towards the measurement itself rather than to whatever it was trying to measure and optimize.

Many decades ago I used to work in a govt area doing statistical analysis on health services, and I was instructed to produce a certain set of reports on a monthly basis and send them to certain recipients.  Producing them took a significant amount of work, and I was pretty busy.  After a while I got the distinct impression no one actually looked at these reports (because I never got any questions or requests for any changes/tweaks like I did for my other regular reports). 

I decided to see if anyone would notice if I stopped sending them out. I kept producing them every month (just in case they were actually useful), just not sending them out.  After 6 months no one had asked for them, so then I asked the recipients what they actually used them for.  The answers from everyone was "No, we don't use them at all",  so I just stopped working on them, which helped me work on other reports that were actually useful.
babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."


us Offline nate j

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #11 on: February 24, 2024, 03:55:43 PM
Many decades ago I used to work in a govt area doing statistical analysis on health services, and I was instructed to produce a certain set of reports on a monthly basis and send them to certain recipients.  Producing them took a significant amount of work, and I was pretty busy.  After a while I got the distinct impression no one actually looked at these reports (because I never got any questions or requests for any changes/tweaks like I did for my other regular reports). 

I decided to see if anyone would notice if I stopped sending them out. I kept producing them every month (just in case they were actually useful), just not sending them out.  After 6 months no one had asked for them, so then I asked the recipients what they actually used them for.  The answers from everyone was "No, we don't use them at all",  so I just stopped working on them, which helped me work on other reports that were actually useful.
Yep.  As long as they aren’t used to meet regulatory requirements, “stop doing it and see who squeals” is a valid strategy.


us Offline AzteCypher

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #12 on: February 25, 2024, 03:16:48 AM
Reminds me of the "scream tests" we do in IT.

Don't know who owns an old server?  Turn it off and see who screams.

When we decommission an old piece of equipment, it goes through a scream test for about a week.  That's exactly what it's called in our documents now.   :rofl:
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no Offline Vidar

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #13 on: February 25, 2024, 06:54:43 AM
Reminds me of the "scream tests" we do in IT.

Don't know who owns an old server?  Turn it off and see who screams.

When we decommission an old piece of equipment, it goes through a scream test for about a week.  That's exactly what it's called in our documents now.   :rofl:

Borderline genius! (Borderline as there might be cases where keeping it running is critical I suppose). I'll adopt that!

Another analog of the same theme: A company made some product that got filled into some fancy plastic bottle design. One day a production person said they had an unknown problem with the production line. Over the years the readily filled bottles had very slowly and gradually gotten lighter. Maybe some filling measurement sensor was slowly failing or sliding and filling a little bit less each year? So investigation ensued, and they quickly discovered they used the same amount of raw materials and the bottles contained the same amount of product as before. It was the bottle walls that had become ever so slightly thinner, and the bottom coming ever so slightly up to compensate and keep the volume constant.

Turned out they outsourced the bottle manufacture to an enterprising third-party. Said third-party reduced the thickness of the wall ever so slightly each year - figuring that as long as nobody complained it was fine. :D (And saved them lots of plastic and money over big volumes. Even friendly to the environment one might argue). I guess that is like a very slow moving scream test. 
"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


us Offline AzteCypher

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #14 on: February 26, 2024, 06:20:47 AM
That's a pretty creative way of saving resources.  It seems that they weren't counting on their customers being observant.  They were wrong.  :D
May the best of your past, be the worst of your future.

Click here for cool free stuff from the Surpise Box GAW!

🏆 🚂 Train Fixer Award
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no Offline Vidar

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Re: Key phrase for the day!
Reply #15 on: February 26, 2024, 06:39:11 AM
I think it is an interesting one. On one side the bottle manufacturers clearly broke the contract as they changed the agreed design (and kept all the extra profits themselves). On the other side the bottles clearly still worked even after several iterations of thinning thus saving resources and reducing waste while still keeping it functional.

I have no doubt the company's motivation was extra profit, but it also seems like a win-win change for a design which was overengineered to start with. If they had only informed and talked to the customer and shared the extra profits it would have been a happy win-win-win I assume.
"Simple is hard"
"Hard is hard too"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).


 

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