My birthday was a few days ago. My ex-wife and good friend, Barbara, “surprised” me with a book (she always sends a book). Barbara is one of only a few people who know my interests well enough to select a book which will capture my attention. First Principles by Thomas E. Ricks is a story … Continue reading Strategy and Structure
Well, 2020 has certainly been an interesting year for solving problems, technical and otherwise! I recently called a few folks I have worked with over the years solving tough product performance, reliability, and quality problems. Many are working from home and go to the plant or office once in a while. A few have suffered … Continue reading Strategy for Tough Problems 2020
His office had moved up and down the hall and across the building a few times over forty years. Mike was anxious the first time the company was sold but found that not much more than the name on the building had really changed. He didn’t pay much attention after that, other than to greet … Continue reading The Analytic Logic Map: Symptomatic and Topographic Problem Solving
“We have a scrap problem we are not happy with, and a backlog of orders we cannot ship. We just formed a task force and I would like your opinion.” I would rather he ask for my help than my opinion. He told me the cost of scrap and the value of backlog. Add them … Continue reading Grounds for Success
This case study gives us a chance to review the fundamentals of functional decomposition, and why it made this project, which had lingered like so many, a quick one. Like many projects, the starting point, dictated by those other than the technical group, led to a poor starting point. Often, hefty sums are paid to … Continue reading Case of the Run-Out Rotors
“We have been working on this for years and not been able to figure it out. Why do you think this guy from The New Science of Fixing Things can do it?” The plant manager had faith in his managers, one of whom we had worked for in the past, thus allowed him to engage … Continue reading Fast Work
“The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy. It is now time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things.” -Robert Hooke, Micrographia Root Cause or Root Curse? “We have failed systems found … Continue reading Root Cause or Causal Explanation?
Clues to great mysteries often lie in history. At The New Science of Fixing Things, we enjoy the study of history and science, learning lessons from those who have gone before us. We try to emulate their behavior to do science, fix things, learn, teach, and help clients improve product performance, reliability and quality. History … Continue reading Felix, Qui Potuit Rerum Cognoscere Causas