“Tending to Trending” (February 2020, pp. 22–29) is an important and effective article for most quality practitioners. The author provides theory, but quite helpfully walks us through applying that theory to a real-world example. This is actionable information.
Paul Meixner, Mullica Hill, NJ
ALL ABOUT CONTEXT
In response to “All Roads Lead to Rome” (February 2020, pp. 14–20): This insightful article underscores the value and importance of context in all aspects of our quest to understand and improve processes. More subtly, it also offers a path to more fruitful collaboration between quality and nonquality professionals.
Larry Diener, Apex, NC
“My Quality Story: Emotionally Invested” (January 2020, pp. 14–15) is a great article about how one simple attitude can make a huge difference.
Mynor Aguirre, Downey, CA
LISTEN TO THE DATA
In response to “A Better Picture” (January 2020, pp. 40–49): I see value in the process classification matrix depicted in Table 3 and Figure 5, especially as newer practitioners learn how the calculations can point them toward areas that require further investigation. No single metric can answer all questions (especially when real-world data rarely meet all the statistical criteria), but I like how this concept can help folks make sense of what their processes are telling them through the data.
David Hicks, Trinity, AL
The Reaction Gauge
This month’s question
It’s no secret the manufacturing industry—among others—is facing a significant skills gap. To help ease the pain, many companies are upskilling their current workforces. By one estimate, the companies are expected to spend $26.2 billion this year on training initiatives. What is your organization doing to train its workers? What else can be done to attract younger generations to manufacturing jobs?
Last month’s question
Open, flexible offices used to be all the rage. They promised to increase collaboration and communication, and make people more accessible. But many employees found it hard to concentrate in the noisy, distracting surroundings created by these environments. Now, studies show that open offices are producing the opposite effect of what was intended—employees are actually less likely to interact, whether it’s because they ignore digital messages, increasingly work away from their desks or tune out the world around them with headphones, for example. What kind of environment do you work in, and what kind of environment do you work best in and why?
Melissa Charles, Baltimore, says:
I have mixed feelings about the open workspace. Working in an open environment can be distracting. It does increase collaboration, but maybe too much. Often, I go to a quiet room just to get work done. Putting headphones on doesn’t work because people still see you as available to participate in discussions or ask questions. You must physically remove yourself from the open workspace to not be interrupted.
Mark Robinson, Manhattan, KS, writes:
For me, it would be difficult to work in a noisy open-plan office. But I’m also not sure I want to work by myself in a single room; we all need a little human interaction. Another problem that I believe we are having is being forced to multitask. Many of us, myself included, would rather work on one task at a time without being distracted by emails and so on. Do one thing at a time and do it well.