My heroes and examples (1)

Production systems and their founding fathers


To write a blog, or rather, planning to do it,  is not always easy. You make good intentions but several times these are overruled by other cases. Sometimes it’s even laziness, what I prefer to call  “no need to” for the moment. Besides, there is a need for a meaningful title and theme. Usually it is not a problem at all. You will think of while you’re not writing yet. Now I am wondering whether my heroes and examples have had troubles with the previous mentioned thresholds as well?  If “yes”, I am not doing it too badly. However, if the answer is “no”, I should starting worrying. Although, after reading and following up the book Getting Things Done of Dave Allen, one has a significant edge to those heroes in the past: time remaining  to write… In the mean time I hear you thinking: “But who are your heroes or  examples?” Well, these gurus  are clearly related to my own job. In the field of industrial engineering, work study, productivity, work and process systems.

I find the most remarkable is Frank Bunker Gilbreth (1868 – 1924). A really chaotic person, who’s investigations and occurrence were miraculous. Also with and within his family. Also his “predecessor” Fredirick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1915) has to be in the list. Although labelled as negative by colleagues, he has absolutely contributed in a positive way to the Industrial Engineering profession. Elton Mayo (1880-1949) went for the benefit of research in work factors and productivity. He got  the opportunity to do so in the works of the Western Electric. William Edwards Deming (1900 – 1993) has become well known as quality guru. The main reason is that he put his stamp upon the Japanese production and industry. I would like to add Taiichi Ohno (1912 – 1990) as more recent completion. He collected the experiences of the people listed before and  arranged it to the current customer wishes and therefore production methods.

The relationship I have to them is that they all have a link to production, process and productivity improvement. Because all four made interesting contributions, it is well worth to write more reports about them. That is why 4 following blogs are planned. Frederick Taylor will be the first one who will be described in the second report.