Thursday, December 6, 2007


For starters, ‘workmanship’ applies to more than hand (touch) labor; we could talk, as well, about white collar or even capital management, which is supposedly the epitome of everything business. We even expect good workmanship of our medical personnel; one might use due diligence, to boot.

One source of oops does relate to the workmanship issue and the dummying down of work.

One may ask why workmanship may be necessary. NASA has a good take, though the focus is on the effects of bad workmanship on parts. One would think that an OEM, of any sorts, would worry about this; can outsourcing workmanship be guaranteed by inspection only? We’ll have to discuss that more, as evaluation of a product requires some insight into how that product happened to come about.

Dummying down may result from work outsourcing or from process pruning.

In the former case, if the one whose function was outsourced remains to oversee the outsourced work, the role becomes watching and evaluating what comes back in from the outsource. The watching is from a distance usually, unless the outsourcee goofs and needs special attention. The evaluating is of product only, as many times the process evaluation is, or is supposed to be, done by the outsourcee.

In the latter case, some process pruning may be done on stable processes that have been around awhile, when the pruning step has a more complete set of information to work with (we’ll look further at this) than is possible on the first (or even the second) pass of an entirely new process.


01/26/2009 -- Expect more effort in firming up the earned-value (and related) discussions.

12/07/2007 -- The post was partially motivated by observing up-close, on several fronts, the effect of outsourcing in the home-building trades. Coordination at even this local of a level raised issues resulting in effects not seen prior to the outsourcing craze. Then, if one extrapolates from this simple scenario to a mega-outsource as we've seen getting focus, one can begin to why we're in such bad fixes about everywhere one looks. There is a better economic basis than that laid on us by the abstractionists (securitization, as one effect).

Modified: 01/26/2009

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