Monday, September 06, 2010

No Variation

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

I have worked with data my whole career. I enjoy taking a set of data and pulling a story from the data. Understanding variation fascinates me. I love to teach it and enjoy tackling it at work.

Many times I have stated that everything varies. Understanding variation involves separating common cause from special cause variation.

The verse from James is profound to me. There is no variation with God. He will always be with us. He will never foresake us. His light will always shine upon us.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Learning to See

God has blessed me with lean work lately. In conducting many lean events, I was reminded of the phrase "learning to see". As we begin to understand and apply the principles of lean, we see our workplace differently. What was once part of the workspace may now been seen as waste. Objects and practices that we walk by every shift now make us take pause to wonder. We are in tune to waste. We see the need to eliminate waste.
I equate this to our relationship with God. When you develop a real and growing relationship with God, you begin to see the world differently. In short, you begin to see life through God's eyes. Old habits seem old and are given up. Sinful practices stick out and you see the necessity of shedding them from your life. Your priorities take shape the way they should be and you want to live your life according to the right priorities. None of this is easy. In fact, it is hard. At times, you may feel some of the worst pain of your life. But remember that God never foresakes you. He is always beside you with outstretched hands ready to help and guide you. Ready to help you grow as a person and become what he wants you to be.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Making Adjustments

I was listening to a summary of last night's World Series game (Game Two) and the analyst was talking about the batting team's (Phillies) initial strategy against the opposing pitcher (AJ Burnett of the Yankees).

Burnett has a history of being inconsistent so the Phillies plan was to make him "hit the target". Well, the Yankee starter threw first pitch strikes to the first five batters he faced. By getting ahead in the count, Burnett gained the upper hand which is so important for a pitcher.

Much talk was deservedly about Burnett's performance but a fair amount was directed at the Phillies' lack of adjustment to Burnett's consistency. He was obviously hitting the target but the National League Champs never seemed to alter their strategy.

This baseball example helps me make the following work point: Never adjust unless there is ample evidence to support and guide the adjustment. If you are running an adjustable work station, never adjust based on a single measurement. Collect multiple measurements to clearly learn the behavior of the station. Adjust to the mean performance.

It is the same idea with measurement calibration. We measure a standard multiple times with a measurement instrument. We compare the mean of the measurements to the standard's value. If correction is needed, we do so from the mean to the standard, not from an individual measurement to the standard.

In life, extreme circumstances will confront us. Some will be good and others will be bad. At such times, it seems so obvious that life must be altered but it is more prudent to wait on God's will which, to me, is analogous to mean performance. God's will is the center of life. It is the mean of our existence. We should never get to high in the great times and too low in the bad times. We should trust and hope in God's will and have confidence that he will help us make the necessary adjustments (in life) to grow closer to Jesus who is our standard for living.