Minggu, 01 Januari 2012

Reaction Paper: Statistical thinking and its role for industrial engineers and managers in the 21st century

Article entitled ‘Statistical thinking and its role for industrial engineers and managers in the 21st century’ written by Miltiadis Makrymichalos as a managerial audit journal is a very relevant article to the present situation. Nowadays, most of the managers do not use a statistical way of thinking in making decisions. Despite that many managers use six sigma to improve their business processes, they did not think statistically. I think the statistic is not just a tool, but it was also a basic principle about how to think logically and systematically.

The managers only use statistics as a tool when they encounter a problem which is related to data. In my opinion, the managers did not use the statistical thinking because of the difficulty in understanding the statistics principles. Furthermore, they have variety in educational backgrounds. Once they have found an issue or a problem, they will solve it according to their past experience and their knowledge. But when they did meet a problem that generates lot of numerical data, they used the statistics method.

According to the article, make decisions with statistical thinking means that the managers have to think the problem as a system as it is explained in the article that ‘All work is a system of interconnected processes'. The managers have to be able to see the variety of any situations and outcomes in any system. Therefore they will be able to analyze or even predict the upcoming situations and outcome of a problem.

For example, if we use six sigma we can solve the problem systematically. In the real situation, the managers only use six sigma or other tools as a means to repair. But they did not understand the basic principle or the essence of the six sigma method. In a research and development of the manufacturing, most of managers and engineers are focus on clients more than their own organization. Furthermore, the managers are also use the practical data to solve the problem. This way of thinking will led to an ineffective decision. The statistical thinking will first lead the managers to see the symptoms and any variation on a business process problem first. Statistical Thinking and its principles are not difficult and does not actually need to be profound. But it must be known by the managers. Therefore, when they using tools such as QFD, DOE, Six Sigma, and Pareto charts they will be able to predict where the outcome has risen.

In conclusion, I feel devastated because of many managers and engineers are ignoring the statistical thinking. But luckily, this paper summarizes the circumstances that existed at the moment. Not just as a warning, this topic can be a wakeup call to many managers that statistics is not just a daunting and meticulous method, but can be a useful way of thinking to the business in any industry.

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