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RE: Question about P2 Program Effectiveness and the "80-20 rule"



Scott
The anecdotal experience I gotten from people I've worked with is that
individual assessments, especially when performed by outside groups,
provide little benefit if not institutionalized into a long term program and
internalized into the corporate way of doing business.  The longer a program
is in place the greater the annual payoff.  Initial assessments identify
"low hanging fruit" which payoff quickly at little or no capital
expenditure.  It is only after people see the benefits of harvesting the low
hanging fruit that they "buy in" sufficiently to make capital intensive
changes.   For example company with a painting problem might initially
invest in new spray guns based on an assessment but seldom do they change
from a solvent borne system to powder coating without an institutionalized
process.  This requires a continuing process of change and a formal process
such as ISO 14001 or a comparable EMS process.  Those that never fully buy
in and treat it as a one time effort or a short term project don't realize
much benefit.  Also, the market does not remain static and as products
change and new technology develops new opportunities arise. Since it isn't a
discrete project but rather a different way of doing business, it's tough to
assign an annual ROI to the P2 program.  As a parallel, I'd suggest looking
at the quality literature for ISO 9001 or the quality experience of Japanese
auto manufacturers.
John Calcagni
  

-----Original Message-----
From: Butner, R Scott [mailto:scott.butner@pnl.gov]
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 1:05 PM
To: P2TECH (E-mail); NPPR (E-mail)
Subject: Question about P2 Program Effectiveness and the "80-20 rule"


P2TECHIES -- 

Apologies for the cross-post.  

Hope you had a bang-up 4th of July.  I returned to work today to find an
inquiry from a co-worker, who was wondering if I was aware of any
publications which document (or refute) the concept of diminishing returns
on P2 program effectiveness.  Specifically, what impact does repetition of a
training or assessment process have on its efficacy?  Does a training
workshop add as much value the 3rd or 4th time it's been repeated, as it has
on it's first instance?  Does a second P2 opportunity assessment typically
return as much insight or value to the firm as the first one did?

Intuition tells us that there is in fact a fall-off in value as these sorts
of activities are repeated.  But I wonder if intuition might be wrong in
this case?  

I would be appreciative of any pointers to publications documenting
quantitative research on this or related topics, which I could pass along to
my co-worker.  Your help in making me appear smarter and better read than I
really am will certainly accrue to your karmic account.  Given the current
market situation, it may be a rare opportunity to for account balances to
grow over the short term!  

cheers,

Scott Butner (scott.butner@pnl.gov) 
Senior Research Scientist, Data & Knowledge Engineering Group
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
MSIN K7-28
PO Box 999, Richland, WA  99352
(509)-372-4946 voice/(509)-375-2443 fax
ChemAlliance: http://www.chemalliance.org/
Environmental Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse:
http://www.epa.gov/clearinghouse/



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