Predictions You Can Count On --Dickeson
Now it's all gone with the wind. Never really was. The thoughtful ones sensed that BHRs and standards were foolish and began to abandon them while still paying lip service to the old ways to avoid controversy. Besides, what else was there but gut-feel and luck?
We'd spent thousands of dollars on Management Information Systems that were premised on job costs—flawed linear assumptions. Who's ready to admit that it's all outmoded? There were, and are, those who still believe BHRs and standards are true despite all the evidence to the contrary. Do you?
In that old linear world we believed that jobs caused costs. That was the implicit assumption. Increase efficiencies—cut job costs—and enhanced profits follow. Not true. Actual expenses don't change. Job "costs" may change, but all you did was move some expenses to marketing and sales to cover with increased revenues. But that's another story.
Now we live in Sigma World, a non-linear world—a fractal world—the world where chaos prevails. Sigma is a calculation of one standard deviation from the average. We now believe that within three Sigmas on either side of the average, 99+ percent of all normal variation will occur. That's a stable range we can live with for predicting, for managing our business. If incidents occur outside those limits they're attributed to "special" causes that must be explained and eliminated to establish predictable stability and continuously improved performance.
In a nutshell, that's my understanding of the current non-linear reality. Small changes in conditions cause profound changes in output. That's normal, non-linear, variation. It's a given for any system. We predict what will happen within that range and we live with it. If it's within range we shut up. If we don't like the range of prediction, then we must make substantial changes in the system of Five Feuding Families of Printing.