Scientific Thinking and Manufacturing Improvement

“Scientific thinking” appears more and more in discussions of Lean, Kaizen, or TPS. What is it? Well, it’s the way scientists think.  In reality, however, talk to actual scientists about PDCA, DMAIC, the 8D, A3 thinking, Why-Why analysis, TRIZ, or even statistical design of experiments,  and their eyes glaze over. Most will have no idea what these methods are. This is true for physicists, chemists, biologists, or even economists. If you elaborate, they will dismiss these tools as trivial or devoid of any connection with their work.

Improving how things are made does make the world a better place but it’s not science. By growing a body of knowledge that is our greatest asset as a species, scientists make another contribution, that we should recognize as different. 

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