Monday, April 03, 2006

Avoid Acronyms

Do you know what these acronyms stand for?
FOB
COGS
MRP
FAX
QFD
DPMO
KPOV
NOPP
COPQ
HIKE
SMED
OTED
JIT

You may know what each and everyone stands for however does everybody around you know what you are talking about?

Clear and effective communication is one of the universal "must haves" for any successful approach in business and in life. The best strategies in the world fall short when barriers to communication prevent understanding. So why do we allow barriers to sneak into our everyday life like using acronyms?

Do we want to sound more intelligent than everyone else around us? Do we want to create an exclusive membership to a selective base of knowledge ( industry, approach, field)? Or is it that other groups have their special acronyms so we want some too?

By avoiding acronyms, you will greatly improve your success rate in any approach, including lean manufacturing.

One of the ways to help break this poor communication habit is to always ask someone who is using an acronym- "Excuse me, what does that stand for? I have done this at many meetings, even when I knew what it stood for. You would be surprised at how many people came up to me after the meeting to say that they did not know what that particular acronym meant either. They just did not have the courage to ask. How many people in your company are afraid to ask?

1 comment:

Bill Waddell said...

I feel the same way about the use of Japanese terms when it comes to lean. Too often we use words like 'muda' instead of 'waste' in order to impress people with our knowledge - at the cost of degrading communications and embarrassing people wo have not mastered the lean/Japanese lingo.