Friday, July 31, 2015

The Use and Misuse of Technical Jargon

Comments on: You want muda? Let’s talk about muda!

Essentially the terms are precise technical jargon. As with nearly all technical jargon it is very useful for experts and confusing (and, to many, off-putting) to people that are not experts.

You are exactly right, overwhelming people with jargon when trying to introduce new ideas is not usually helpful. Using a couple pieces of jargon can be helpful as it reinforces the idea that this is new stuff and can make people tie the new ideas to new terms.

When some people are learning it is easier to think of muda than "waste." They have an understanding of "waste" and it may well not include what is meant to be included in a lean context. They can rearrange in their head that in the context of lean "waste" is different - we do this all the time.

For some people using muda to think differently is helpful, for others it is not and often creates resistance.

English has many words we understand differently depending on the context (for example, "lean"). It works remarkably well but especially when people are learning it is easy to miss special "lean" meaning when using common words. Technical jargon is helpful with experts being able to quickly communicate unambiguous (well less ambiguous) specific meaning which is why jargon usually exists - to allow for communication to be more effective.

Certainly at times jargon is also used by experts to baffle or impress non-experts rather than to help communication. Reducing this use of jargon would be a good thing.

Related: Learning, Systems and Improvement - Open Source Management Terms - Getting Known Good Ideas Adopted

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Customer Service is Often More Like a Mugging Than Service

It is so frustrating to deal with most companies with monopolistic positions in the USA (which is a lot of them).

I find dealing with those companies a matter of being confronted by someone trying to pick your pocket while they both ignore and insult you and give you orders about what hoops you have to jump through if you want to stop one of the things they are doing to harm you.

Some are not that bad, I get water and garbage from the local county, they are actually the best service I get from a monopolistic provider. The electricity provider is just designed mainly to make their lives easy but they don't make it horrible to deal with them.

Getting broadband (Verizon and Comcast where I am) is horrible - dealing with them is exactly what I wrote above. Health insurance (and I don't even make any claims) is bad, and if I actually got any service I imagine it would be horrible dealing with the service providers seeking to rip you off and the paperwork being a nightmare.

I avoid dealing with the monopolistic providers as much as possible but you often are stuck. For example, I can (and have) only use sensible providers to get my mortgage, but then they are sold to service companies that are horrible and I have no say in the matter.

Much more than the costs taken by companies when they can buy politicians in order to allow the abuse of the market by dominant providers I abhor the pain of dealing with these companies as a customer and the constant vigilance required to protect yourself from them ripping you off. It is like being forced to commute in a packed subway with bought off police that allow pickpocket teams to work without interference.

Related: Worst Business Practices, Fees to Pay Your Bills - Customers Get Dissed and Tell - Incredibly Bad Customer Service from Discover Card - Don’t Let the Credit Card Companies Play You for a Fool