Making it work might get the machine back up and running in half an hour, but if a quarter of the parts produced are then rejected, what was the point?
The paradox that our operators face daily is they often need to choose between “Make it work,”  versus “Make it right.”
Are you a “make it work” or “make it right” kind of guy?
Is yours a “make it work” or “make it right” kind of shop?
Keep your answer to yourself until you finish this short piece.
Make it workMake it Work.
How many times when you were working production and an obstacle arises, were you given this sage counsel from the boss: “We really need to get these parts out. Just make it work!” So using all of the brainpower of MacGyver, we cobble together some patch, blend of adjustments, shims, love taps with a hammer, regrinds, or other chicanery to get the process up and running- making it work.

Making it work...
Making it work…

And then the parts go to quality, where a substantial percentage of them are rejected, if not for the original issue, then for a new issue-an unanticipated but very real consequence of the “just make it work we’ve got product to ship” adjustments that you made. Bottom line, fewer parts than plan, fewer conforming parts than produced, fewer shippable parts at the end of the day, and very low earned hours of production, despite the time and materials used to “make it work.”
Can't Ship. Don't get paid.
Can’t Ship. Don’t get paid.

Make It Right
Professional machinists don’t buy the “make it work” instruction. They know that a part that won’t ship to the customer is a part that company won’t get paid for. It’s waste. A waste of the material, machine time, utilities, and their time to make a non-conforming part. Instead of trying to “make it work, professionals work on trying to understand the problem, determine its root causes, and then take effective corrective actions. Making it work might get the machine back up and running in half an hour, but if a quarter of the parts produced are then rejected, what was the point?
make it right
By taking the time to do more than just “make it work” with a cobbled together workaround, the professional eliminates the root cause and returns the process to statistical control, making it right.
Yes, maybe the machine was down an extra half hour or hour compared to the quick “make it work” fix that hopefully, but likely doesn’t, really get you back up and running good parts.
At the end of the day, I’m betting that more shippable parts will be produced by the “Make it Right” philosophy, than the “Make It Work” philosophy.  Urgent is not a synonym for Good. The tyranny of the urgent is the enemy of good.
Yes, we all know that we get paid when we ship good parts. We all know that we can only ship good parts when the machine is running. Nope- correction. We all know that we can only ship good parts when the machine is making good parts- under statistical control, using the approved process.  Make it work is at best a risky gamble – minimizing short term gain for longer term rejection. We shouldn’t be gambling in our shops.
Make it right.
Photo credit Make it work
Photo credit MacGyver
Photocredit Reject Tag
Photocredit Picard

Competers  are usually so caught up in meeting their day to day challenges that they can only worry about the future, while innovators see the present only as a stepping stone they can use to a biogger and better future.“- Daniel Burrus, Technotrends, Sept 2010,
Of course we have to do what we have to do right now. Now is where we live, Right?
I call this short term focus “the tyranny of the urgent.”
 Must get truck loaded and shipped. Must get paperwork issued, must get…

NOW! Now! Now!

When I look at companies that are growing and profitable, I find that they seem to have a different focus. They are the ones that are using a long term time focus.

Long term focus =  profitable!

What is that different focus? LONG TERM THINKING

Long term thinking takes a different view...

Everywhere you look in this country, it seems that we are suffering from the consequences of too much short term thinking. Google doesn’t have this disease.” Paul Saffo, Discern Analytics,  
The time is ripe for long term thinking, with memories still fresh of a financial meltdown- a byproduct of Wall Street’s demands for companies to deliver ever-higher profits every three months and meet earnings targets set by analysts.” AP Article
So if we were playing Barbara Walters, and we asked you  “If you were a time measuring device, what time measuring device would you be?”
Would you be a stop watch, or a calendar?
And who on your team is the the other?
After all, we will be living in Tomorrow,  in just another day…
5 Year Calendar