What Systems Techniques do you personally use?

Over the years I have been exposed to the brainwashing of the Production and Inventory Control fraternity. Zero Inventories, Just in Time and all that jazz are Mother's Milk to me.

I am a proponent of the Pragmatic School (Bicheno & Woolsey)

BTW, Y2K puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "Just in Time".

I try to use the "Socratic Method".

In his cute little book "Theory of Constraints" Eli Goldratt, (The OPT man) extols the values of the Socratic Method. To paraphrase him, "If you want action, just ask the questions, don't supply the answers".

I shall ignore the fact that Socrates became so unpopular for doing this that he was tried on trumped up charges and forced to drink hemlock.

I liked Goldratts' little book so much that I made a one-page summary of it. Exactly sixty six lines. Occasionally I look at it and attempt to correct the error of my ways.

Not The Big Stick.

Another popular method, that of painting dark pictures of mammoth cost exposures, legal liabilities etc (in simple words, frightening the recipient into pliability) is what I call Beating the Donkey with a Big Stick approach.

It may work for some, but I prefer to tie a string onto the big stick, attach a carrot to the string, and dangle it in front of the victim. I feel that the Donkey instinctively prefers this.

So, where possible I try to use the Socratic method. However, in the heat of battle, and when dealing with certain deliberatly obstinate and obtuse persons, I find myself occasionally reaching for that Big Stick.

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