Quality Progress - August 2016 - (Page 64)

BACK TO BASICS BY MATTHEW BARSALOU Getting the Whole Picture Effective presentations explain recommendations to managers THE CONCEPT OF completed staff Completed staff work is ideally suited If the subordinate chose to recom- work has existed since World War II for the modern, presentation-filled busi- mend product A, but did not provide and is intended to provide a method for ness environment, as shown in Figure 1. additional details, unfortunately for the subordinates to quickly present leaders The executive or manager gives the as- subordinate who does not provide ad- with an analysis of a situation as well as signment to the subordinate-hopefully ditional details, the opposite conclusion possible alternatives. It originated in the using specific, measurable, attainable, also could have been wrong. military industry, but can be applied to resources and time oriented goals-and quality and business as a whole. It is all too easy to imagine the hypo- the subordinate returns with the key thetical manager storming into the subor- A manager making a decision based points in management-friendly bullet dinate's cubicle demanding, "Why did you on a subordinate's report must be able points. This report is supported by a recommend Product A? The production to assess the quality of the conclusions. backup or appendix that contains evi- manager blindsided me when she told me When critical information needed to dence supporting the recommendation, that it has a higher failure rate!" assess the conclusion is missing, the as well as an explanation on how the manager is simply carrying out the decision was reached. With such details, the recommendation was made if all subordinate's suggestions. In such cases, it is would be possible for the manager assumptions and decision criteria were it would be better to skip the middleman. to assess the validity of underlying as- available. Why employ managers who are only sumptions. there to read off other people's bullet points? Completed staff work presentation / FIGURE 1 Slide 1: Recommendations In such a scenario, the manager The manager would have known why Busy managers and executives need short summaries so they don't get bogged would tell the employee exactly what down in details, but this does not mean is needed and when. For example, a they don't have an obligation to make manager may say, "I need to know if informed decisions. For that, they must product A or product B will better meet know why their subordinate made a customer X's needs. I need a one-slide recommendation. Using completed staff summary by noon on Thursday." A sub- work can provide the necessary informa- ordinate may reply, "product B better tion to make the correct decision. meets the customer's needs," and the Otherwise, managers are not a filter, * Recommendation 1 manager can happily report that to his evaluating the subordinate's recommen- * Recommendation 2 or her executive. dation. They are a parrot with the ability * Recommendation 3 But what does that mean? What if * Recommendation 4 product B is better because it has an Slide 2: Backup * Data used * Data sources * Conclusions * Reasoning behind conclusions Slide 3: Backup * Alternative interpretation estimated failure rate of seven parts per million (ppm) and product A has an estimated failure rate of nine ppm? Fewer failures are better than more failures, but what if the entire production run will consist of only 10 units, and product B costs five times as much as product A? If a backup or appendix with the * Reason alternative was rejected assumptions made had been provided, * Additional details 1 the manager could realize that the sub- * Additional details 2 ordinate may have reached the wrong conclusion. 64 QP * www.qualityprogress.com to read a presentation slide. QP MATTHEW BARSALOU is a statistical problem resolution Master Black Belt (MBB) at BorgWarner Turbo Systems Engineering GmbH in Kirchheimbolanden, Germany. He has a master's degree in business administration and engineering from Wilhem B├╝chner Hoschschule in Darmstadt, Germany, and a master's degree in international business and global political economy from Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS. An ASQ senior member, Barsalou is an ASQ-certified quality technician and engineer, Six Sigma Black Belt, and manager of quality/organizational excellence. He is a Smarter Solutions-certified lean Six Sigma MBB, a technical reviewer for QP, editor of the Statistics Division's Statistics Digest and the ASQ country counselor for Germany. http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - August 2016

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Chain Challenges
Sample Simplification
Recognize, Rate and Resolve
Exploiting Bottlenecks
Station to Station
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

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