Sunday, October 02, 2005

Daimler-Chrysler’s CEO aim’s to improve --> Quality?

On 9/27/05 The Detroit Free Press Business Writer Guy Collier had a question & answer session CEO AIM (article) with Dieter Zetsche recently named “new” Chairman of the Daimler-Chrylser Auto Company starting in January 2006.

I was intrigued with one of the questions and answers:

QUESTION: What needs to be done to address quality and profitability concerns at Mercedes?

ANSWER: What you need in the first place is to improve your process. You need standardization. You need clear definition of your process and a very rigid execution across those. It's basically about doing it right the first time.

qualityg says … Great answer until the "last sentence.” Sometime in the last 10 – 15 years someone in the Quality arena stated a quote about “Doing it Right the First Time.” It took off as a mantra in many organizations, some adding words like Do it Faster the first time and then Do it Faster and Cheaper the First Time. Sure does sound like a good quote to use, it has prevention and quality assurance written all over it - NOT!!

Mr. Zetsche has it half correct – It should simply say, “ Do the RIGHT thing.” How many times do we think we are doing the right thing the first time (i.e., all new projects) and then later find out it was incorrect? Continuing to do what you thought was right thing wrong only makes it more incorrect. Now, if we make a mistake doing the RIGHT thing, and we correct it, we have increased our learning. It’s better to correct a Right thing than it is to doing a wrong thing correctly, especially the first time.

Example – I was once foolish enough to believe that institutions of higher learning's aim was to educate our children – NOT! The aim/purpose of the college or university is for certain members of the faculty and administration who want steady raises and security of employment.

I read last week that the University of Michigan & Michigan State University rank as two of the major institutions in the United States where their most powerful and highest educational faculty do not teach, the grad student does this job. This is wrong, wrong and wronger. They should be teaching, and sharing knowledge, it’s OK for a grad to student to “sub” but not to teach full time.

I have 30 years in my field of study and currently working on my 4th degree. I cannot get a teaching job at the University of Michigan or Michigan State University because I do not have a PHD (my choice). I have trained (Telecom) and instructed (CMU) over 8000 employees and students. Who would you rather teach your children, a grad student or me?

Universities, you are doing what you think is the right thing, wrong!! Application and Theory is the basis for knowledge, not helping some professor do research and following a lesson plan.

Start doing the Right Thing. At least create a sense of balance.

No comments: