Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eli Goldratt on ”Management – Art or Science?”

Today's keynote presentation on ICIL 2008 was given by management guru Dr. Eli Goldratt. Dr. Goldratt addressed the problem of management. He started by analysing TQM, Toyota Production System and why many of the implementations have not improved the actual performance. He named kanban production control method as a good example - the results have been great in only environment where the required conditions are met. Kanban has beed developed for needs of Toyota and assumptions behind include:

  • manufacturing of large quantities
  • continuous basis
  • small variance
  • life-cycle of product is more than one year

Environment makes difference and for this reason managers who have implemented a procedure that was implemented for other environment successfully can fail. One exmplanation offered by Dr. Goldratt was that many management people have background originating from social sciences which differs much from hard scences such as physics. In "hard sciencies" people (such as Taichi Ohno and himself ) are used to analyse causes and effects, test assumptions, make hypotheses and actually validate models. He offered TP – " Thinking Process" as a method where scientific thinking is applied as a tool to support tackling with key challenges - reducing variability of the company and improve the flow.

Petri (Tel Aviv)

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