29 May 2008

Predicting Performance – How Shewhart Intended

Dr. Mark Wilcox

The theories and practices that Walter Shewhart developed at the Bell telephone company in the 1920s and 30s have continued to be invaluable to those concerned with predicting performance in many different settings not just those responsible for manufactured product, who were the first to understand, apply and benefit from them economically.

In this session, Dr. Mark Wilcox started by giving use some background to Shewhart’s work and in particular the people who influenced him, such as the author of Mind and the World Order, C.I. Lewis. He also showed how Shewhart’s ideas can be applied throughout an organisation, particularly with reference to upper-level, financial and operational performance measures. For this he drew on a research project from his time at the Cranfield School of Management. With reference to the research project and by engaging us in a few exercises, Mark illustrated that rather than being an interesting bit of  ‘ancient history’ there’s still a lot to gain from the simple-to-use methods that Shewhart developed.

About the speaker

Mark is a Member of the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), sitting on its Editorial Panel and involved in the CQI’s Deming Special Interest Group. Since retiring from Cranfield in 2006, where he was part of the Centre for Business Performance, Mark has had more time to devote to his hobby of cycling with the Holme Valley Wheelers and as a coach with the Association of British Cycling.


You can view the slides from Mark’s session.


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