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Evolving Management Fads Just as computers & terminology evolved over the past 4 decades of HIS-tory, so too have the management principals used to govern them. These intellectual fads and the prophets who create them come and go just like hardware platforms do. The “Big Four” trends followed by both hospital and IT executives in each of the past four decades are: 1970 = “MBO” or  M anagement  B y  O bjectives 1980s =  Productivity -  # of widgets per hour/day/month 1990s = TQM/CQI –  T otal  Q uality  M anagement/ C ontinuous  Q uality  I mprovement 2000s = Six Sigma -  This  one is for real…
1970’s “MBO” First made famous by Peter Drucker’s book “The Practice of Management,” published in the mid-50’s. I learned MBO first hand at SMS in the early 70s after CEO Jim Macaleer attended a Drucker seminar, then came back and instituted monthly “Status Reports,” whereby each  manger had to write a report and meet with their boss on: What we did  this  past month,  followed by Our goals for  next  month. Seemed simple, until next month, when your boss pulled out last month’s report and asked, “What about these  other  goals you listed?” or “Is that all you did  all  month?” Surprisingly effective to keep everyone’s eye on the ball!
1980’s = “Productivity” In 1980, I bolted SMS and moved to McAuto, the other giant shared system, and there met  the  productivity guru there: Bill Corum, VP of Operations (the data center) there. Bill piloted the Health Services Division’s (HSD) productivity program, which applied statistical analysis,  measuring output from a production process, per unit of input. His data center ran so efficiently, Chuck Barlow had Bill expand it to much of HSD. The airplane company was a natural home for such a scientific approach to management. Bill was easily one of smartest and nicest ( a rare combination in IT!) executives I ever worked with, and he eventually took over McAuto during Chuck’s later illness. He is retired today, living the good life in California…
1990’s = TQM/CQI I wonder if Edwards Deming would recognize  how his management philosophy swept the US   in the late 90s, after his pioneering efforts in post WWII Japan. The acronyms stand for: TQM = Total Quality Management CQI = Continuous Quality Improvement This approach to management centered on  quality , that is, error reduction through  improve design, service, and manufacturing, through rigorous testing and applied statistical methods. Ironically, HIS vendors attended TQM seminars en masse in the 90s too, and learned Deming’s concept of “partnering” with suppliers, for example, to enable the “JIT” (Just In Time) inventory approach. Of course, sales executives latched on to this word and warped it into today’s pathetic mantra: “we’re not a  vendor , we’re your  partner !”  Poor Edwards would roll over in his grave (he died in 1993)…
2000’s = Six Sigma Also known as “Sick Sigma,” this latest and greatest management fad had its origins in Motorola in the 80s. Like TQM, it  Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in business processes. It creates a special infrastructure of people within an organization ("Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc.) who are experts in reducing errors to less than 3.4 per million. So what’s new about Six Sigma versus TQM Productivity or MBO? This cartoon says it far better in pictures than than I can in words!
Evolving Management Fads So there you have it: the four great “breakthroughs” in management over the past four decades of the HIS industry: 1970 = “MBO” M anagement  B y  O bjectives 1980s =  Productivity # of widgets per hour/day/month/year 1990s = TQM/CQI Deming from post WWII Japan 2000s = Six Sigma  This  one is for real! Which one has  your  organization embraced? To quote your CEO, this new one he or she has found, one that  really  works…

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HIStory 4

  • 1. Evolving Management Fads Just as computers & terminology evolved over the past 4 decades of HIS-tory, so too have the management principals used to govern them. These intellectual fads and the prophets who create them come and go just like hardware platforms do. The “Big Four” trends followed by both hospital and IT executives in each of the past four decades are: 1970 = “MBO” or M anagement B y O bjectives 1980s = Productivity - # of widgets per hour/day/month 1990s = TQM/CQI – T otal Q uality M anagement/ C ontinuous Q uality I mprovement 2000s = Six Sigma - This one is for real…
  • 2. 1970’s “MBO” First made famous by Peter Drucker’s book “The Practice of Management,” published in the mid-50’s. I learned MBO first hand at SMS in the early 70s after CEO Jim Macaleer attended a Drucker seminar, then came back and instituted monthly “Status Reports,” whereby each manger had to write a report and meet with their boss on: What we did this past month, followed by Our goals for next month. Seemed simple, until next month, when your boss pulled out last month’s report and asked, “What about these other goals you listed?” or “Is that all you did all month?” Surprisingly effective to keep everyone’s eye on the ball!
  • 3. 1980’s = “Productivity” In 1980, I bolted SMS and moved to McAuto, the other giant shared system, and there met the productivity guru there: Bill Corum, VP of Operations (the data center) there. Bill piloted the Health Services Division’s (HSD) productivity program, which applied statistical analysis, measuring output from a production process, per unit of input. His data center ran so efficiently, Chuck Barlow had Bill expand it to much of HSD. The airplane company was a natural home for such a scientific approach to management. Bill was easily one of smartest and nicest ( a rare combination in IT!) executives I ever worked with, and he eventually took over McAuto during Chuck’s later illness. He is retired today, living the good life in California…
  • 4. 1990’s = TQM/CQI I wonder if Edwards Deming would recognize how his management philosophy swept the US in the late 90s, after his pioneering efforts in post WWII Japan. The acronyms stand for: TQM = Total Quality Management CQI = Continuous Quality Improvement This approach to management centered on quality , that is, error reduction through improve design, service, and manufacturing, through rigorous testing and applied statistical methods. Ironically, HIS vendors attended TQM seminars en masse in the 90s too, and learned Deming’s concept of “partnering” with suppliers, for example, to enable the “JIT” (Just In Time) inventory approach. Of course, sales executives latched on to this word and warped it into today’s pathetic mantra: “we’re not a vendor , we’re your partner !” Poor Edwards would roll over in his grave (he died in 1993)…
  • 5. 2000’s = Six Sigma Also known as “Sick Sigma,” this latest and greatest management fad had its origins in Motorola in the 80s. Like TQM, it Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in business processes. It creates a special infrastructure of people within an organization ("Black Belts", "Green Belts", etc.) who are experts in reducing errors to less than 3.4 per million. So what’s new about Six Sigma versus TQM Productivity or MBO? This cartoon says it far better in pictures than than I can in words!
  • 6. Evolving Management Fads So there you have it: the four great “breakthroughs” in management over the past four decades of the HIS industry: 1970 = “MBO” M anagement B y O bjectives 1980s = Productivity # of widgets per hour/day/month/year 1990s = TQM/CQI Deming from post WWII Japan 2000s = Six Sigma This one is for real! Which one has your organization embraced? To quote your CEO, this new one he or she has found, one that really works…