Lean Office

Kaizen of the Month for May 2007: Windows Hack *or* Chopping Away at the Six Big Losses

By Jon Miller Updated on May 29th, 2017

Improving OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) by eliminating the six big losses is the focus of TPM (Total Productive Maintenance). Just as most industrial machinery is only 13% to 40% effective prior to TPM implementation, the same is true for personal computers running Microsoft Windows.
The six big losses of TPM are, with some examples:
1) Unplanned breakdowns = overheating, crashes, electrical failures, etc.
2) Machine set up, changeover = tool changes between models
3) Idling and minor stops = jammed conveyor belts
4) Reduced speed = deterioration, or willful reduction of speed to be “safe”
5) Defects and scrap = damage
6) Start up and yield losses = “warming up” machines or getting settings just right
The first two are categorized as downtime losses, the second two as speed losses, and the third two as quality losses. These fit perfectly to the reduced OEE of personal computers.
1) Unplanned breakdowns = crashing applications
2) Machine set up = time it takes to run or switch between applications
3) Idling and minor stops = Windows Update reminder
4) Reduced speed = fragmented files
5) Defects = blue screen of death
6) Start up and yield loss = waiting while the machine boots up
Taking the example of 3 in bold, above, I lost some work on Friday thanks to Microsoft Windows’ kind reminder to restart after it had installed some updates. The reminder looks like this:
The best advice is to comply immediately, save your work and restart. I didn’t and kept putting off the reminder, finishing things up on a busy day. A question took me away from my laptop for five minutes, and I returned to find a start up screen welcoming me.
Well, no more. Life Hacker teaches how to Get rid of Windows Update restart nag.
And good riddance.
This reminds me that there was a question posted some time ago on Autonomous Maintenance for the office. We’ll get to that one soon.

  1. Karen Wilhelm

    May 31, 2007 - 7:10 am

    Jeez – you got me to spend about 30 seconds trying to “restart later” because I thought Windows was really trying to remind me!
    That’s the beauty of Linux, all the layers of crap attempting to improve on a flawed operating system at the bottom are stripped away. I’d switch to Linux but don’t have a 12-year-old in my household to do it for all the computers we use. (One is completely unusable because we tried to install a copy of Windows XP. Linux is open source and wouldn’t care.)
    Similarly, a major auto company redoing and extending its order-to-delivery system is condemning itself to continued waste in all sorts of ways. It’s layering on top of MRP, and preserving all sorts of constraints, including one that is a survival of the days of keypunched IBM cards. One new routine they’re putting in place is to be written in COBOL, one of the early higher-level layers. It will run with every order – millions – and not all that fast. My about-to-retire spouse tried to explain how the routine should be written in assembly language – he says it would be so reliable that the programmer could die and it would never need maintenance – and run a thousand times (my exaggeration probably) faster because it’s a closer layer to the bits that actually constitute the computer. But the current folks are afraid of a language that lives mostly in legend at their age. And they don’t want to find one of the few gray-haired brainy guys still around who understand it.

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