We have chosen the theme –Dorian Shainin – of Jim L. Smith’s three part article – Dorian Shainin’s Influence on Quality Professionals – for our February, 2018 episode.
Before we go the Jim Smith’s article(s) in details, let us first know a little more about Dorian Shainin and his method(s).
Dorian Shainin was one of quality’s most accomplished contributors, died January 7, 2000 at the age of 85. Shainin had acquired nearly 60 years’ experience improving the professional approach to industrial problem solving.. Among the awards bestowed upon Shainin are ASQ’s Brumbaugh Award, the Edwards Medal, the Eugene L. Grant Award and the Shewhart Medal. In 2003, ASQ established a medal to recognize the development of statistical methods for solving quality problems in products or services. The medal was named for Dorian Shainin. The medal is presented at the annual ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement. More information on the Shainin Medal is available @ asq.org/about-asq/awards/shainin.html.
Shainin wrote more than 100 articles and was the author or co-author of several books, including Managing Manpower in the Industrial Environment; Tool Engineers Handbook; Quality Control Handbook; New Decision-Making Tools for Managers; Quality Control for Plastics Engineers; Manufacturing, Planning, and Estimating Handbook; and Statistics In Action.
ShaininR : The Red XR Company – Shainin’s most significant contribution was his discovery of the Red X model of systems variation. The prevailing wisdom held that variation causes could be discovered and controlled until the system reached a state of statistical equilibrium. At that point, the remaining causes were believed to be random and undiscovered. Any further improvement would require a redesign of the system. However, Shainin found that by talking to the parts, he could find variation causes within stable systems. He concluded that Juran’s Pareto principle must apply to the causes of system variation. No matter how many causes had already been identified and controlled, among the remaining causes there must be one that contributed more to the overall variation than any other – The Red X. He called this cause-effect relationship the Big Red X. To support his system Shainin created more than 20 engineering and statistical tools that aided in the search for the Red X. Shainin followed three principles for solving variation problems:
- There is always a Red X.
- The fastest route to identifying the Red X is a progressive search using a process of elimination.
- Talk to the parts with tools that are both rigorous and statistically simple.
Background on Shainin based problem solving – Jo Moore – Real-life quality problems, just like people, are simultaneously different and the same. It is impossible to get a tough problem solved by just applying a pre-defined ‘cook book recipe’. Recognizing the distinctive characteristics of a problem is critical since the devil can lie in the detail… Problem solving is very much a human activity and reasoning has a prominent role in it… Erroneous beliefs and faulty reasoning can doom problem solving to failure… Lack of structure is another hurdle that can complicate problem solving activities. The circumstances in which tough problems have to be analyzed and solved is often not clear from the start… An effective approach takes all these aspects into account!… Statistical engineers, following the discipline developed by Shainin, solve problems by finding “what is different?”
For those who would prefer a brief introduction, the video clip – Shainin based problem solving | Philips Innovation Services – is a good source.
An Overview of the Shainin System TM for Quality Improvement – Stefan H. Steiner and R. Jock MacKay – The goal of this article is to provide an overview of SS, a critical assessment, and a brief comparison with other industrial problem solving systems.
Shainin method: edge over other DOE techniques – A.K. Verma ; A. Srividya ; A.V. Mannikar ; V.A. Pankhawala ; K.J. Rathanraj – Shainin methods refer to a collection of principles, which make up the framework of a continually evolving approach to quality. After the classical design of experiments (DOE) and Taguchi DOE, the third approach is Shainin DOE, which is a collection of simple, but powerful techniques invented or perfected by Dorian Shainin of the United States. In this paper, three cases of Taguchi experiments have been taken from literature and the above method has been tried to find out whether the authors have got the positive results from their experiment. If not, authors emphasize on the importance of giving the check in the start of the experiment (screening experiment) with minimum number experiments prior to the Taguchi approach.
Another Look at Dorian Shainin’s Variable Search Technique – Tirthankar Dasgupta, Nagesh Adiga, C. F. Jeﬀ Wu – The article provides an in-depth analysis of Shanin;s variable search (VS) method.
Quality 2020 – A study by AIAG conducted in conjunction with Deloitte entitled Quality 2020 Report – This study illustrates the Automotive Industry’s View of the Current State of Quality and a Strategic Path Forward : “OEMs and Suppliers both identify Problem Solving is their #1 most critical issue.”
Dorian Shainin’s Influence on Quality Professionals ǁ Part II ǁ Part III : Shainin, like Juran who popularized “the vital few and trivial many” (also known as the Pareto Principle), came to realize that quality defects had an unequal frequency in that only a relative few accounted for most of the defects. This led to what he called the Red X, which he theorized was the primary cause of process and product problems. Shainin stressed “talking to parts” which consisted of swapping pairs of parts of functional and non-functional parts until the culprit was discovered. With the Shainin method there was a certain degree of a theoretical step, but mainly it was to determine possible causes of a problem. This was accomplished by one or more techniques designed to determine root cause or the Red X.
Why haven’t we heard much of Shainin’s methods since the Six Sigma/lean operations rage has taken hold? That’s not easy to pinpoint. One reason may be that users who are aware of his philosophies aren’t willing to accept product that’s “good enough.”
What came to be known as the Shainin System (SS) was developed for problem-solving in medium to high volume processes where data are readily available, statistical methods are widely used, intervention in the process is difficult, and ‘conformance to specification thinking’ was expected.
A hidden benefit of SS just might be that it prevents a lot of impulsive, poorly designed experiments which are wasteful and expensive. One reason why certain problems are unsolved is because people often take ineffective approaches. Their approach is usually based on a set of assumptions, tools and techniques that are less effective for solving tough, chronic quality problems.
In the current environment, the tendency is to focus on the complexity and not simplicity, The Shainin System, however, focuses on simplicity. We may be statistically more sophisticated, but is that what we really seek? I think not. As Leonardo DaVinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
We conclude our discussion with a video clip we have an interview by Dr. ReVelle , of Continuous Improvement TV, of the founder and principal of Shainin Consultants, Inc., Dorian Shainin, about “Statistical Engineering,” his simple but extremely effective full factorial design of experiments.:
Gaining World Class Quality with Statistical Engineering
We will now turn to our regular sections:
For the present episode we have picked up Josh Steimle’s article Focus On Outputs, Outcomes And Obstacles@ the column Measuring Performance (People & Enterprise) @ Management Matters Network, which discusses on the effect(s) of focusing on outputs, outcomes and obstacles as an integral part of the performance management system. .
We now watch one of the latest ASQ TV episodes:
Utilizing 5S in Everyday LIFE; ASQ member Alexander Tucker is a Chemist at Capsugel. While quality is important on the job, he has been using the 5S tool in his home life. You won’t stop smiling as he humorously recounts the ways he has organized his bathroom, planned trips to the grocery store and even trained his dog to be a quality canine.
Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems postings for January, 2018 are:
- Thoughts Influence Your Future: No matter what you truly believe, when we focus our thoughts, we unleash tremendous energy working to achieve what we think about. When we choose to respond in positive and productive ways, it is relatively easy to predict or influence a positive, productive future – a future that we can essentially predict on a day-to-day basis.
- Self-Awareness: The first thing is to realize that all meaningful and lasting change starts on the inside and works its way out! Therefore, if you want to be different than the way you are now, you must work on changing your self-awareness. You can use positive affirmations and visualizations to help, and once your self-awareness changes, you don’t have to work so hard to behave differently and success will come easier.
I look forward to your inputs / criticisms/ observations to enhance the utility of our Quality Management Blog Carnival.
Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.