9-the-lengths-of-delays

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Delays create oscillations. These oscillations often are made worse by managers’ attempts to control them. The trick is to be aware that all oscillations are due to delays in feedback, then finding the delay and changing it. I once heard the CEO, Bob Galvin, of Motorola say that “Quality is Cycle-Time”. I am sure he meant something different than system dynamics teaches us but his emphatic admonition resonated. We must at a minimum avoid making things worse. We can avoid putting more force into control which amplifies the oscillation. Instead look for ways to address the delay itself. Simple rule: if you cannot change the delay, don’t push harder.