ASQ - Statistics Division

Pedal Faster – They’re Gaining on Us – 1994 Youden Address

Abstract: This address discussed a variety of issues that cause a spiral downward trend in many organizations where management by the budget prevails. The consequences of the short term decisions motivated by this kind of managerial behavior can be seen in the downsizing of organizations and the loss of competitive advantage. Ways in which this trend can be reversed include synthesis – a synonym for process thinking - and team work. Team work is enhanced by the seven tools for management: affinity diagrams, interrelationship digraph, tree diagram, prioritization matrix, matrix diagram, process decision program chart, and activity network diagram. In addition, ruggedness can be added to organizations by implementing scenario planning, a technique in which one writes down several extreme scenarios (positive and negative) that might affect an organization and develops a plan accordingly to each scenario. Finally, since statisticians have the potential to be a key factor in implementing these solutions, they can themselves apply some of these techniques to their lives and attain a balance in their personal lives, careers, community involvement, family, and spirituality.

Keywords: Synthesis - affinity diagrams - interrelationship digraph - Tree Diagram - prioritization matrix - matrix diagram - process decision program chart - activity network diagram.

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