A German with extensive experience living and working in the U.S. made this comment:

“I more observed that you make easier commitments in some cultures, and somewhere it takes more time. Then, in some cultures you can adjust when the boundary conditions dramatically change, and in others you stick to you word whatever happens. I guess that probably is the concept of Nibelungentreue, which has both positive and negative implications.”

About Nibelungentreue see what Wikipedia has to say here.

Roommate Agreement

On The Big Bang Theory, an American television show about a group of physicists and the girl next door, two of the main characters share an apartment together. In order to ensure that things run smoothly from the beginning one of the roommates drafts a roommate agreement that outlines all of the rules by which the two characters will abide.

Additionally, anytime there is a change in the characters’ status (for example, if one of them starts dating), this roommate will write a modified version of the agreement to accommodate the new arrangement.

However, the second roommate hates having a fixed list of rules, and rather than being a way to solve disputes, the roommate agreement actually becomes the source of many arguments.

Reconstructing Memories

“The uncritical acceptance of eyewitness accounts may stem from a popular misconception of how memory works. Many people believe that human memory works like a video recorder: the mind records events and then, on cue, plays back an exact replica of them. 

On the contrary, psychologists have found that memories are reconstructed rather than played back each time we recall them. The act of remembering, says eminent memory researcher and psychologist Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, is “more akin to putting puzzle pieces together than retrieving a video recording.” 

Even questioning by a lawyer can alter the witness’s testimony because fragments of the memory may unknowingly be combined with information provided by the questioner, leading to inaccurate recall.”

From: “Why Science Tells Us Not to Rely on Eyewitness Accounts”, Hal Arkowitz and Scott Lilienfeld. Scientific American magazine, January 8, 2009.

Rules of Mediation

The first rule is that the conflict resolution process is not the equivalent of a court case. The goal is not to judge either of the conflict parties, but to jointly find a solution to the problem.

Goodwill. It is expected of all parties involved that they act in good faith and are willing to compromise. The mediator should do no more than guide the discussion and help the conflict parties to recognize common ground. The conflict parties are asked to find a solution together. Only when that cannot be achieved, is the moderator expected to make concrete suggestions.

The mediator. Germans expect the moderator to be neutral, to listen patiently to both sides of the conflict, and to support the resolution process in a way which does not damage either party. Neither blame nor guilt should be attributed to either of the conflict parties. Instead, the mediator focuses on reconstructing events and describing the problem.

Heiner Geissler, a former high-ranking member of the Christian Democratic Party, is the most prominent of German mediator. Geißler has been brought in numerous times since 1997 to help resolve conflicts between companies and unions. He was in the national spotlight over the last few years in his attempt to help resolve a major political conflict in the state of Baden-Württemberg concerning a the reconstruction of the Stuttgart main train station.

“Neither snow nor rain”

On July 26, 1775, the Second American Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General to organize and run the Post Office Department – the predecessor of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The USPS has a reputation for always completing deliveries on time. Its unofficial motto comes from an inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City, which reads: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

In fact, postmaster was considered to be such an honorable title that two postmasters went on to become President of the United States: Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman.

Turnaround Time

The amount of time taken to fulfill a request.

In computing, turnaround time is the total time taken between the submission of a task for execution and the return of the complete output to the customer/user.

If bringing in an item for repair, be sure to find out the turnaround time so you will know how long it will be before the item is ready for you to pick up after being repaired.

The total time consumed in the round trip of a ship, aircraft, vehicle, etc.

Aviation. the elapsed time between an aircraft’s arrival at an airfield terminal and its departure.

The process of completing or the time needed to complete a task, especially one involving receiving something, processing it, and sending it out again:

Program Updates

The earliest practical form of programming is generally considered to have been done by Joseph Jaquard in France in 1804. Jaquard designed a loom that would perform certain tasks when the appropriate punched cards were fed through a reading device.

Since 1804, programming has become much more commonplace, and new computer programs are produced every day. In order to keep up with the competition, most software companies will begin selling programs long before they’re perfect, only to release updates and newer versions as the programmers correct flaws and add new features.

Anyone who waits until their program is perfect to market it will find that their program is obsolete when it finally goes on sale.

Lean and Time

Lean manufacturing or lean production – known simply as lean – is a systematic approach to the elimination of waste within manufacturing processes. KaufmanGlobal’s glossary of terms offers the following definitions:

Lead Time – The total time a customer must wait to receive a product after placing an order. When a scheduling and production system is running at or below capacity, lead time and throughput time are the same. When demand exceeds the capacity of a system, there is additional waiting time before the start of scheduling and production, and lead time exceeds throughput time.

Takt Time – The available time over the customer demand. The term Takt is German and refers to cadence, rhythm or tempo. For example, if customers demand 240 widgets and the factory operates 480 minutes per day, takt time is two minutes. If customers want two new products designed per month, takt time is two weeks. Determining takt time serves to set the pace of production to match the rate of customer demand and is at the basis of all subsequent production design calculations becoming the heartbeat of any Lean system.

Throughput Time – The elapsed time required for a product to go through a defined process, from beginning to end, including both processing time and queue time / lead time. Throughput time for a process is synonymous with average lead time and is calculated by dividing the number of items within the process (i.e., work-in-process inventory) by the throughput.

What is a deliverable?

In his What Is a Deliverable in Project Management?, Kermit Burley, of Demand Media, writes: „In project management, a deliverable is a product or service that is given to your client. A deliverable usually has a due date and is tangible, measurable and specific.

A deliverable can be given to either an external or internal customer and satisfies a milestone or due date that is created and produced in the project plan. A deliverable can be a software product, a design document, a training program or other asset that is required by the project plan.“

Laboratory Turnaround Time

A report of the National Insitute of Health from November 2007 states:

Quality can be defined as the ability of a product or service to satisfy the needs and expectations of the customer. Laboratories have traditionally restricted discussion of quality to technical or analytical quality, focusing on imprecision and inaccuracy goals.

Clinicians, however, are interested in service quality, which encompasses total test error (imprecision and inaccuracy), availability, cost, relevance and timeliness. Clinicians desire a rapid, reliable and efficient service delivered at low cost.

Of these characteristics, timeliness is perhaps the most important to the clinician, who may be prepared to sacrifice analytical quality for faster turnaround time. This preference drives much of the proliferation of point-of-care testing seen today.