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Factory Physics for Managers: How Leaders Improve Performance in a Post-Lean Six Sigma World by Mark L. Spearman, Jeffrey H. Bell, Edward S. Pound

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CHAPTER 3

Practical Science for Leaders

All of physics is either impossible or trivial. It is impossible until you understand it and then it becomes trivial.

—Ernest Rutherford

When building an operations plan, the focus is usually on such things as profitability, cash flow, revenue growth, and customer service. We see many executives proceeding down the operations plan path by setting ambitious goals, such as “Double inventory turns” or “Cut cycle time 50 percent.”

It’s important to both the company’s performance and a manager’s personal performance to know if such goals can be achieved profitably before a manager commits to them. As discussed previously, managers naturally encounter conflicts and tradeoffs in leading organizations. This ...

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