Meeting Experience 1

Scenario Description: Sara, schedule a meeting with all staff in 15 minutes – urgent and mandatory.  This is a showstopper.

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Boss:Sara, schedule a meeting with all staff in 15 minutes – urgent and mandatory.  This is a showstopper.
Sara:Yes, sir.  What can I say is the topic if people ask what it’s about?
Boss:You can tell them it’s about an urgent customer situation that has just landed in our laps.
Sara:Yes, sir.  (gets on the phone and starts informing all the staff to meet in the meeting room in 15 minutes)
Pete:What’s the meeting about, Sara?
Sara:An urgent customer situation has just come up.
Narrator:Fifteen minutes later in the meeting room.
Boss:Thanks for coming on such short notice, everyone.  We’ve just received a call from one of our top customers.  They have a crisis and they need our engineering expertise to advise them.  One of their major cooling water pumps is exhibiting a high vibration.  It’s vital to the operation of their most productive factory.  If it has to be shut down, it will cost them about a million dollars a day in lost revenues.  They want us to help them analyze the vibration data and see if the pump can be operated safely for another two days, until the weekend when it can be shut down for corrective maintenance.
Pete:How will we get the data?
Boss:They have an engineer on site, and he has been able to hook up a local vibration monitor for more accurate readings.  He will send us periodic data files so we can analyze the frequency, amplitude, and relative shaft location of the peak vibration.
Narrator:The first data file arrives and is graphed and projected up on a whiteboard in the meeting room.
Paula:That data is showing a slowly increasing trend.  I’d say we have about 10% margin before it has to be tripped.
Pete:I agree with Paula.  I’d feel better though if we tripped it with a 15% margin, just to be sure.
Boss:That’s a good suggestion for safety purposes, but it’s not going to happen.  The customer is going to want to leave that pump running until the last possible minute.  What if it should happen to level out at 2% margin and stabilize there?  No, we’ll monitor it and won’t recommend tripping the pump until 0% safety margin is reached.  I think we’ll still be okay.  Engineers are always conservative in their design parameters.
Pete:Let’s hope so.
Narrator:Second, third, and fourth data files arrive.  Latest data is projected up on the whiteboard.
Boss:This data set shows the vibration leveling off at 1% safety margin.  Pete, Paula, what do you think?  Can we let it operate at this point for two more days?
Paula:Pete and I have discussed this in a side conversation, and we have weighed the pros and cons.  We feel uncomfortable running with such a narrow safety margin, and it’s against our better judgment to run the pump this way, but considering the customer’s profitability concerns and our desire to accommodate his business needs as much as possible, Pete and I feel that continued operation is marginally acceptable.
Narrator:Others around the conference table nod in unison.
Boss:Pete, can you write up an official justification for continued operation (JCO) for me?
Pete:Can do, boss.  I’m on it.  (Pete leaves the room.)
Boss:That’s all, folks.  Thanks for stopping your work to help us analyze this data and reach an informed consensus on this problem.  Everyone’s earned a free pizza lunch tomorrow.  Wives and significant others are invited.  Great job!  Meeting adjourned.
Jehan A

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