Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Why Benghazi matters

Let's start with a fact of life in any manufacturing environment; if you want to really, really irritate any decent quality engineer or manager, respond to a quality problem in the way Hillary Clinton responded to the Congressional inquisition about the Benghazi debacle.  Imply that since the water is under the bridge, and therefore it really doesn't matter.

The response from any decent QE to such a statement (and managers entranced by accounting statements do it often) is to gently--or otherwise--remind the offender that "Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you're getting.".

Now, I'm pretty sure that Hillary Clinton would respond to Deming the same way that Ford and GM did back in the 1960s (by brushing him off), but those who understand that "Survival Isn't Mandatory" would like to take a look at what systems, attitudes, personnel, and procedures led to the debacle in order to prevent its repetition on a larger scale.

This is, of course, why it matters, and for those who think Brian Johnson's riposte and media silence settles the matter, this quote of Deming bears repetition:

You don't need to change.  Your survival is not mandatory.

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