Monday, July 11, 2011

So, about those TPS reports

I often like to take a look at some element of design in these posts, since design is a process near and dear to my heart. This is often to the detriment of taking a look at the elements of production, which is possibly simply a result of the fact that talking about design makes for prettier (or more exciting) copy.

Perhaps in an effort to remedy that, I'll take this time to reflect on production and its importance, as always, vis a vis an article somebody more knowledgeable than I wrote.

Data mining almost always yields interesting results - not necessarily exciting, but usually interesting. More the "meat and potatoes"-type article versus the "Maine lobster"-type article you see with other types of writing. In this case, there is a lot of digression off of some sets of data that all demonstrate the same thing: production is kind've a big deal.

Based on the data culled from several postmortems, the author of the article points out a major trend: in areas of both "what went right" and "what went wrong," the majority of issues were production-related (and in fact in the "what went wrong" category, there was a true majority - 56% - of issues related to production). What this speaks to is obviously a collective cry for competent organization and management, which is nothing necessarily new or ground-breaking, but a nice reinforcement nevertheless.

The article is more than just a dissertation on the value of production, of course. There are other common elements that pop up in this kind of mass-retrospective. It's most interesting and notable (and germane, in my case), though, to take a look at how often production shows up as a source of a surfeit of both problems and successes.

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