Category Archives: Funny

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Root Cause Analysis

A Management lecturer was talking about “Quality”.

Lecturer: We all know Lord Ram went to spend 14 years in forest and Sita was kidnapped because of a “quality issue”.

Student: How is this anything to do with quality?

Lecturer: Tell me why did Sita go to forest with Ram ?

Student : Because she was his wife and respected his every decision.

Lecturer : OK but why did Ram go to forest ?

Student : Because his father Dasharatha told him to do so and he never disobeyed his father.

Lecturer : OK why did Dasharatha send his son to forest ?

Student : Dasharatha offered his wife (Kaikeyi) two boons , and she chose to make use of them in the future.

And she wanted her son to be king, so on the day of Rama’s crowning,

she asked Dasharatha to send Rama to forest and crown her son; reminding him of his promised boons.

Lecturer : So why did Dasharatha offer his wife two boons ?

Student : Because during a military campaign against Sambarasura, the wheel of Dasharatha’s chariot broke and kakiye inserted her finger to hold the wheel in place.

Touched by her courage and timely service, Dasharatha offered her two boons.

Lecturer: Hence Proved. The quality of Chariot’s wheel was not up to the mark .. leading to kidnapping of Sita…!!!!

So, using the “5 why” technique we see that Quality is very important and if the quality of Chariot’s wheel was good, the Ramayana wouldn’t have happened!

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Category : Funny , Quality Management


As a family we love to travel, by travelling we get chance to see new places, meet new people, experience difference culture but the most important is the travel time. We prefer to travel by car as we are better connected in the absence of technology. We initiate a discussion or problem or our dreams and by the end of the trip we come out with a solution or a plan of action.

During our recent long trip, we had a wonderful conversion on food. It all started when my wife was enquiring about the Biryani that she cooked a day before. She prepared the Biryani based on phone instructions from my mom. We discussed about the positives, opportunities for improvement and my wife asked a simple question, “I did whatever mom instructed but why the Biryani was not as expected”. I thought about the question and this gave me an opportunity to introduce them about Business Biryani Process Management.  Just like BPM is a discipline, a practice or something we do, Biryani Process Management is also a set of activities that will be carried out to cook an authentic tasteful Biryani.

Our problem statement: When the ingredients remained the same (taken from same lot), and when cooked by different people the output differs.

During our return journey we planned to conduct Biryani experiment and I designed our experiment based on Crosby Maturity Grid.

Just like Philip Crosby Maturity Grid that shows different stages of maturity of the company’s quality management against six different quality management categories our Biryani experiment was aligned with 5 stages of maturity (Uncertainty, Awakening, Enlightment, Wisdom and Certainty).

Crosby Maturity Grid

Measurement categories. Stage 1: Uncertainty. Stage 2: Awakening Stage 3: Enlightenment Stage 4: Wisdom Stage 5: Certainty
Management understanding and attitude. No comprehension of quality as a management tool. Tend to blame quality department for “quality problems” Recognising that Quality Management may be of value but not willing to provide money or time to make it all happen. While going through quality improvement programme, learning more about Quality Management; becoming supportive and helpful Participating. Understanding absolutes of quality management. Recognise their personal role in continuing emphasis. Consider Quality Management an essential part of company system
Quality organisation status Quality is hidden in manufacturing or engineering departments. Inspection is probably not part of the organisation. Emphasis on appraisal and sorting. A stronger quality leader is appointed but main emphasis is still on appraisal and getting product out of the door. Still part of manufacturing or other function. Quality department reports to top management, all appraisals is incorporated and quality manager has role in management of company. Quality manager is an officer of the company; effective status reporting and preventative action. Involved with consumer affairs and special assignments. Quality manager on board of directors. Prevention is main concern. Quality Manager is a thought leader
Problem handing Problems are fought as they occur; no resolution; inadequate definition; lots of yelling and accusations. Teams are set up to attack major problems. Long-range solutions are not solicited. Fire fighting. Corrective action communication established. Problems are faced openly and resolved in an orderly way. Problems identified early in their development. All functions are open to suggestion and improvement. Except in the most unusual cases, problems are prevented.
Cost of quality as % of sales Reported: Unknown.

Actual: 20 %

Reported: 3%

Actual: 18%


Actual: 12%

Reported: 6.5%

Actual: 8%

Reported: 2.5%

Actual: 2.5%

Quality improvement actions No organised activities. No understanding of such activities. Trying obvious “motivational” short range efforts Implementation of the 14 Step Programme with thorough understanding and establishment of each step Continuing the 14 Step Programme and starting Make Certain Quality improvement is a normal and continued activity.
Summation of company quality posture “We don’t know why we have problems with quality. “ “Is it absolutely necessary to always have problems with quality?” “Through management commitment and quality improvements we are identifying and resolving out problems” “Defect prevention is a routine part of our operation” “We know why we do not have problems with quality.”

Quality Maturity Grid – (Source: Quality is Free by Philip Crosby)




Stage 1 – Uncertainty: Experiment 1

  • Ingredients taken from same lot.
  • Cooks: My daughter (very basic like we need to switch on the gas and light it), my wife (basic cooking knowledge with 12 years of experiments) and myself (Loves eating and passionate about food).
  • Process: We did not have any defined process to make a Biryani and it was based on individual cooking knowledge.
  • Output: My daughter was not allowed to cook as my wife did not want to waste food but based on her description it would have been Sam’s Rice but not edible. My wife’s biryani was edible but it’s more of mixed rice than a biryani. Mine was near to Biryani but not an authentic.



Stage 2 – Awakening

Based on the experience from Experiment 1, we realised the importance of a process and we individually designed one each that addressed our major problems. We browsed online and selected the best and easy one to conduct our next experiment.

Stage 3 – Elightment: Experiment 2

  • Ingredients taken from same lot.
  • Cooks: My daughter, my wife and myself.
  • Process: We defined and followed the process individually to make a Biryani.
  • Output: My daughter had a better version of Sam’s Rice but this time it was edible. My wife’s biryani was slighter better than before with few major issues fixed but still not a biryani. Mine was almost similar Biryani but with minor improvements.




Stage 4 – Wisdom

After enjoying the Biryani we identified the root cause as what went wrong in our individual processes and discussed about the positive things. We teamed up to define a single process taking the positive things and corrective actions. We watched few videos, understood the best practices in Biryani making, added more details like temperate control; most importantly we conducted research on the purpose of each ingredients. We discussed the refined process with experts; define couple of checklists for ingredients and process. We were all set to conduct our third experience with a set of process, checklist and defined roles and responsibilities.

Stage 5 – Certainty: Experiment 3

  • Ingredients as defined from our checklist.
  • Cook: My daughter managed the checklist, my wife was assistant chef and myself chief chef.
  • Process: Our refined process to make a Biryani.
  • Output: A perfect Biryani but with few minor improvements and near to authentic.













We continued our experiments, reviewed our process, worked out the best practices and attended training with friends and relatives until we cook a perfect authentic BIRYANI



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Masala Dosa And The Way Of Life!!!!

Category : Facts , Funny

There are many ways to eat a masala dosa .Whatever the way one eats; there is a very good reason for doing that. It shows some traits of the person that is you…

Case 1: People who open the masala dosa and eat it:
These are the people who are very open about their life. Everyone one the persons friends would know all about him/her. I have generally seen guys do this rather than girls. Some people think that it is a gross way of eating but in truth, these people are just portraying who they are and how their life is.

Case 2: People who start from both end and approach the masala later:
These are the people who like to wait for the exiting things to come to their life. Sadly when the times comes, they are not too interested or just do not know how to enjoy it to the fullest. These are the folks who just want life as either dry or exiting. They just do not know how to phase their life and enjoy it no matter what. There are two types of people within this group

Case 2.1: People who do not finish all the masala: These folks just do not care as much for the fun times as they are already brought down by the harsh reality of life. The dry periods in their life has left them with so much scars that they do not want to be really happy when the time is right. They just take only as much as they needed and end their life. A very sorry state indeed.

Case 2.2: People who finish all the masala with the little dosa they have:
These are the folks who just are the extremes. They just go all out in life. No matter it is dark or bright. They may not enjoy life to the fullest but they sure make sure that they get every single good and bad thing out of life. Sometimes these folks are really hard to get along with. They are either your best friends or your worst enemies. They do not have a middle path at all.

Case 3: People who start from the middle and proceed to both ends:
These are the people who like to get right to what they think is their best part of life. Usually these guys finish of the good portions in a hurry and get stuck with nothing but worst parts of their life. The thing to note among these people is that the tendency to burn out very early in their life. Like the above case, there are two kinds of people in this group too.

Case 3.1: People who do not finish the dosa:
These folks are really the saddest of people. They are the ones who tend to end their life as soon as it hits the bad patch. For them, they only need and want the best things in life and nothing more. Typically, they are not prepared or tuned to life as a whole. They just want to enjoy from first till last.
Sadly, no one in the world can live without even an ounce of sadness in life. Not even the richest of the richest. But to self-destruct at the mere sign of distress is very bad. That is what these guys tend to do.
Some learn to live life but most of them do not.

Case 3.1: People who do finish the dosa:
These folks are the typical human beings. We all enjoy the greatest of times in life and push the sad parts thinking about the great times in life. Typically the plate is clean and nothing is left for fate or in life. Happiness and sadness are part of life and these guys know that and are kind of prepared for it.
Life is not always happy but there are moments of happiness here and there.

Case 4: People who eat the dosa making sure that the masala lasts for the whole dosa:
These people are very rare. These are the people who like to attain balance in their life. It is hard to displease these people and it is hard to make them really happy. They like their balance and are very protective of it. Sadly these are the people who tend to be lonely as anyone else may upset the balance of their system.
Perfectionist to the core and are very careful. These guys do not make the best company but are needed in any group to make the group from going hay wire.

Case 5: People who do not share and eat the dosa as if it is precious:
These folks are very protective about their life. They do not want anyone to come and interfere in their life. They like to hide their true nature and intentions for their benefit. Beware of such people as they are in every group for their own need and nothing else.

Case 6: People who offer their first bite to others:
These guys are overly friendly. They do anything to be part of a group and make everyone feel like the group is important than the individuals. They are the glue that holds any group together. They are very friendly and bring the best of all the others in the group. They go out of their way to help other friends. Most groups should have a person like this and they are the ones who plan the group outings and other group activities. Once this person is out of the group, typically the group slowly falls apart.

Case 7: People who take one or two bites and then offer the dosa to others:
These guys care about friends and friendship but they take their time to get into the group. They take their time in making friends and they typically are very committed once into the friendship. These guys like to always be in the side lines and typically do not jump into anything in life. They always take their time to analyze the situation and then make a decision. These guys take the better safe than sorry approach.

Case 8: People who wait for others to make the offer first:
Typical people I must say. They are unsure about everything. Even if they wanted to offer, they will wait till the other person offers the food first. If the other person is silent, so are these people. They are the followers.
They do terrific idea, they will pitch it to someone else and get their advice before proceeding. Sadly, most of the elderly world like these types of people.

Case 9: People who offer dosa only when they cannot finish it on their own:
You all may be familiar with these kinds of people. People who are very generous only when all their needs are fulfilled. These folks are selfish but at the same time not misers or greedy. They just want to satisfy themselves before they give it to the world. They typically do not stuff themselves nor do they tend to starve. They are very good people who would give you the best of advices in life. They would make sure that you are not sad following their advice.

Case 10: People who offer the whole dosa and eat from others plates:
These folks are other extreme. They know what they want, they get what they want but they cannot enjoy what they want. Instead they tend to settle for other things in life which satisfies the needs but does not satisfy the person completely. These guys are termed as born losers cause even when they have the thing they wanted, they can’t stop others from stealing it from them.

So next time you sit with a person eating a masala dosa, look closely and see if he falls into one of the above categories. You may be surprised as how much it reveals about the person.



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Most valuable metrics for a software project:

The Pizza Metric
How: Count the number of pizza boxes in the lab.

What: Measures the amount of schedule under-estimation.  If people are spending enough after-hours time working on the project that they need to have meals delivered to the office, then there has obviously been a mis-estimation somewhere.

The Aspirin Metric
How: Maintain a centrally-located aspirin bottle for use by the team. At the beginning and end of each month, count the number of aspirin remaining aspirin in the bottle.
What: Measures stress suffered by the team during the project. This most likely indicates poor project design in the early phases, which causes over-expenditure of effort later on. In the early phases, high aspirin-usage probably indicates that the product’s goals or other parameters were poorly defined.

The Beer Metric
How: Invite the team to a beer bash each Friday. Record the total bar bill.
What: Closely related to the Aspirin Metric, the Beer Metric measures the frustration level of the team. Among other things, this may indicate that the technical challenge is more difficult than anticipated.

The Creeping Feature Metric
How: Count the number of features added to the project after the design has been signed off, but that were not requested by any requirements definition.
What: This measures schedule slack. If the team has time to add features that are not necessary, then there was too much time allocated to a schedule task.

The “Duck!” Metric
How: This one is tricky, but a likely metric would be to count the number of engineers that leave the room when a marketing person enters. This is only valid after a requirements document has been finalized.
What: Measures the completeness of the initial requirements. If too many requirements changes are made after the product has been designed, then the engineering team will be wary of marketing, for fear of receiving yet another change to a design which met all initial specifications.

The Status Report Metric
How: Count the total number of words dedicated to the project in each engineer’s status report.
What: This is a simple way to estimate the smoothness with which the project is running.

If things are going well, an item will likely read, “I talked to Fred; the widgets are on schedule.”

If things are not going as well, it will say, “I finally got in touch with Fred after talking to his phone mail for nine days straight. It appears that the widgets will be delayed due to snow in the Ozarks, which will cause the whoozits schedule to be put on hold until widgets arrive. If the whoozits schedule slips by three weeks, then the entire project is in danger of missing the July deadline.”


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Pencil that has an eraser on both ends

Category : Facts , Funny , Quality Management

In an effort to get registered, an organisation had written, rewritten and written again many of it’s manuals, procedures, process descriptions and control documentation causing one of the staff to ask “what’s the difference between a regular pencil and an ISO 9001 certified pencil? ”

Answer: The ISO 9001 pencil has an eraser on both ends.

We certainly hope you don’t have this much difficulty meeting the requirements of the standard, and also recognize that the standard applies to organizations, not to products.



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Innovation: Bottom-Up Approach

Category : Funny , Quality Management

A toothpaste factory had a problem: they sometimes shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside. This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time.

Small variations in the environment which can’t be controlled in a cost-effective fashion mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don’t get pissed off and buy another product instead.


Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.

The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months and $8 million later they had a fantastic solution – on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time. They solved the problem by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out of it, pressing another button when done to re-start the line.

A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at the ROI of the project: Amazing results! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. Very few customer complaints, and they were gaining market share.

“That’s some money well spent!” he says, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report. It turns out, the number of defects picked up by the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use. It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report.

He filed a bug against it, and after some investigation, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct. The scales really weren’t picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.

Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory, and walks up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. A few feet before the scale, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing the empty boxes off of the belt and into a bin.

“Oh, that,” says one of the workers, “One of the guys put it there ’cause he was tired of walking over there every time the bell rang.”

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ISO 9001: 2008 – 5.5.1 Clause

Category : Funny , Quality Management

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!

Paragraph 5.5.1 Responsibility and authority of ISO 9001:2008 requires “Top management shall ensure that responsibilities and authorities are defined and communicated within the organization” – to prevent this from ever happening again.