Have failure prevention measures been implemented?

Last month I started an Executive MBA in Management degree.  I am still working full-time, and am now enrolled as a part-time student for the next two years.  I used to spend my evenings knitting.  I now spend my evenings studying business management.  How does a knitter read a business management text?

Tonight, I am studying process and operations management.  I am reading the textbook Operations and Process Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic Management by Nigel Slack et al (2013), Third Edition, Pearson.  Chapter 14 is about risk and resilience.  This is what I read:

Have failure prevention methods been implemented?

Failure prevention is based on the assumption that it is generally better to avoid failures than to suffer their consequences.  The main approaches to failure prevention involve designing out the possibility of failure at key points in a process, providing extra but redundant resources that can provide back-up in case of failure, installing fail-safe mechanisms that prevent the mistakes which can cause failure, and maintaining processes so as to reduce the likelihood of failure.

Hmm.  This is what I think:

  • designing out the possibility of failure at key points in a process – take really good measurements, make a proper gauge swatch and block it
  • providing extra but redundant resources that can provide back-up in case of failure – buy enough yarn before you start, check dye lots, have a tape measure handy, an extra needle in the right size wouldn’t hurt
  • installing fail-safe mechanisms that prevent the mistakes which can cause failure – count your stitiches (frequently), read the pattern, use a lifeline on your lace
  • maintaining processes so as to reduce the likelihood of failure – put the wine away!

It’s going to be a long night……

4 thoughts on “Have failure prevention measures been implemented?

  1. Thank goodness for knitting! It got me through my business degree (while working full time and raising two kids as a single mother) by providing moments of sanity. And I remember having those same types of thoughts while studying Six Sigma.

    • Wow, I am so impressed. I waited to have kids until I finished my PhD, and then waited to start the MBA until after my youngest left home. I have so much respect for anyone who can do this while raising children (much less being a single mother). And I agree absolutely – thank goodness for knitting!

  2. Oh management principles, I love thee so! Yup, it can all be filtered down to knitting, all of it!

    It IS going to be a long night. If making knitting analogies helps you remember process and ops management, more power to you!

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