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60 The PCB Magazine • November 2014 It's one thing to be a consultant where you don't have to really do anything, but quite an- other to be accountable to solve a truly difficult DAM problem. Anybody who has been on the firing line of a tough problem knows the feel- ing of vulnerability that results. Will I fail? And if I do fail, will I survive or be crushed? When I feel that way, I reach for the quotation that my cross-country coach posted on my dorm room door at St. Olaf College. "The man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort with- out error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusi- asms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while dar- ing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." —Theodore Roosevelt There is something called DMAIC: design, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It doesn't really work on solving truly difficult DAM prob- lems. Now many of you may criticize me on this point, but I offer a counterpoint. There are only a few shops in the United States today that have figured out how to thrive with the onslaught of foreign competition and the resultant relentless price pressure. If DMAIC worked, then I sub- mit most of us would have solved this problem. DMAIC may work for a certain class of problems, but for truly complex problems, where an answer has to be creatively generated out of the thin rari- fied air of true human ingenuity and innovation, DMAIC isn't enough. Solving a truly difficult DAM problem re- quires, believe it or not, understanding human- ity, and the quote by Theodore Roosevelt con- by Gray McQuarrie hei inC. Solving a True DAM Problem C o l u m n solviNg dam Problems

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