Treat your parts like your children

There’s lots of charged debate these days on the strengths and weakness of in-sourcing and outsourcing. That’s good. But what’s a company to do?

I’d like to propose a new framework to think through the situation. I call it the Parental Framework. (I get to name it since I just invented it.) There’s only one tenet – think of your parts like your children.

When they’re young you take care of their every need. They cry and you jump. If not, they make you pay with sleepless nights.

As they grow you still take care of them. But now it’s about control. They gain independence and try to go where they want. You continually bring them back to center. Their independence scares you, and it should. You cringe when you think of what can happen to them. Take your eye off them for a minute and all hell could break loose.

When they go to school you become deeply concerned with the systems and processes that control the quality of their education.

Before you dare go out for a nice evening with your spouse (I heard that happens now and again), you do background checks on potential babysitters because the consequences of a bad one are severe. The slightest question of the sitter’s capability fills you with anxiety. No chance of connecting with your spouse. It’s all about the little ones.

The Parental Framework may be a bridge too far, but I find it helpful. I like thinking about my parts as my children. It works for me.

2 Responses to “Treat your parts like your children”

  • Jonas Holmlund:

    I have had similar thoughts. But not about parts but regarding safety and visuality. I do not place any claims:)
    Whenever planning, reviewing or auditing a working area, machine or shop floor I always try to mentally place my 1,5 and 4 year olds into the area. Where would they be able to hurt themselves and how.
    Visual signs are important. They tell a message much faster than a written text. They are also multilangual. Kids can also understand them. Therefore I also try to imagine how my 4 year old would describe a picture. Does he tell me the same as the sign is supposed to?


  • Mike:

    An excellent use of thinking like a child. I’m sure you see things differently when you visualize your children walking through the work areas. Also, it sounds like a logical way to evaluate visual signs.

    Thanks for the great tip and thanks for reading.


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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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