Category: High Reliability Management

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To KISS or Not?

According to legend, the term KISS or ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ was coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works and noted by the US Navy as early as 1960.  Subsequent phrases such as ‘Less is More’ followed. At first glance, it makes sense not to overly complicate a product, process or

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Safety Santa: Another Case of Operational Excellence Success

A year ago, it was the pleasure of this blogger to report that Santa Clause completed yet another successful global fulfillment process AND importantly, the process was in compliance with the US Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) regulations.  A great deal of progress since the advent of one red light on the nose of the lead

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Running Across an Open Field: Strategy for Disruptive Technology?

Several weeks ago, as an amateur history buff, I was watching a documentary about World War I.  During one segment the commentator discussed the apparent fact that if soldiers refused to charge out of their trenches across an open field into the teeth of waiting machine guns they would be shot. The brutality of such

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Chain of Custody: Is Your Management System Ready?

“This eliminates the possibility for human error.”  This is an actual quote taken from one of the many blockchain ‘credible’ websites readily available—citation withheld to protect the guilty.    And, the Titanic was unsinkable! From another credible sources, “Is blockchain secure for my business?  Simply put, it can be.  But, not by just turning the key.

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Operational Complexity: Risk Model Insufficiency

Most readers will be familiar with the above linear Risk Matrix Model.  This graphical representation of risk exposure is useful but strict adherence to it can lead to a false sense of security. Systemic Risk Management The real world is very complex with many moving parts.  The potential interaction of processes, events and other challenges

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Decision Making in the Digitalization Age: Who Decides?

“Ergonomics (or Human Factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.” According to Gartner, “Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a

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Fleeting Success: In Pursuit of Sustainability

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  The late Prime Minister nailed it; once again! Our journey through life, including our career is a marathon not a sprint.  While we celebrate success, often at happy hour or a party, we

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Mission Accomplished: Santa Completes Another Worldwide Transit—Incident Free!

Every December 24th, this jolly ole elf embarks on one more global initiative.  We know this to be true because each year since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD and its predecessor the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado have tracked his operation–www.noradsanta.org. We are happy to report

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Millennials Take On Our Increasingly Complex World

Originally published in 2013. On January 1st at 0348 hours a young engineer employed by a service company is trying to address a problem she has encountered with a compressor on a drilling rig in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico.  She graduated from college three years ago and went to work for a large energy

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Command and Control: Is this the Way to Run the modern Railroad?

The managerial model, Command and Control (C&C) dates back to the dawn of humanity when tribal chieftains dictated the behavior of the group.  It survives to this day in many forms.  Typically, one thinks of military operations as the current manifestation of C&C in the western world. According to Wikipedia, by one definition found in

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