Does experience help?

Common sense would seem to dictate that people with experience – those who have worked with a process – will get better results than those who are new to the job.

The old adage “practice makes perfect” reflects this and concepts such as on the job training are built on it. But is it correct? Deming’s answer to the question was a blunt “no” …before he qualified it with: “not if we are doing the wrong things”.

The common sense nature of his reply is such that some may discount it as being of little value. However, the challenge is in realizing when you are doing the wrong things – and Deming was challenging people to think.

Since at least the 1800s, people had jumped the high jump using variations of a forward jump. Then in the 60s an American, Dick Fosbury, decided to throw himself headfirst and backwards over the bar!

high-jump

The media thought it was a “lazy jump” but he won an Olympic Gold in the 1968 Olympics. Soon every high jumper realised they were doing the wrong thing and copied his innovation.

What periodic process review do you have in your organization to check if your processes are the right ones?