“We all need a daily checkup from the neck up to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes.”

― Zig Ziglar

I went to school at NYU and cut my teeth in IT at Bellcore, which was the successor of Bell Telephone Laboratories.  You may have heard of Bell Telephone Laboratories, they were credited with inventing the transistor, created UNIX and C – components that are “mission critical”* in the operation of the internet today.  Bellcore was the first of the large companies to use onshore outsourcing in an effective manner.  The employees controlled the budgets and the technical authorities, such as myself, were given discrete projects to complete with clearly defined functions and interfaces.  The processes and concepts I learned at Bellcore have been invaluable to every implementation performed for my clients for decades.  I returned to NYU, as an adjunct associate professor of information systems to teach business-people and students how to apply disruptive technologies to improve competitiveness and reduce costs.

Recurring ‘themes’ and processes that I learned at Bellcore and at NYU came from William Demming, “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycles, and the notion “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” along with 14 Points for Management.

“Dr. W. Edwards Deming taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, rework, staff attrition and litigation while increasing customer loyalty). The key is to practice continual improvement and think of manufacturing as a system, not as bits and pieces.”

In the 1970s, Deming’s philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following ‘a’-versus-‘b’ comparison:

  • (a)    When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, defined by the following ratio, quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.


  • (b) However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs costs tend to rise and quality declines over time.

The following posts on this blog will be organized into chapters that will present actionable steps that you can take to achieve the goal of utilizing high quality outsourcing to achieve high quality IT systems in a cost effective manner to provide reliable operations that improve competitiveness.  Please feel free to comment on the blogs, or call to comment or clarify.

Continue to Chapter 1 ->

Continue to Chapters 2 & 3 ->

*mission critical– a system that if it stopped working would make a person or a business cease to function.  Once a mission critical system ceases to function there is a time window where if it is not restarted a business will die.  This time window is measured in “downtime”.  If a human brain is deprived of oxygen for 3 minutes the human is dead.  How long can a business lose a “mission critical” system before it is dead?  This is the fundamental question one needs to answer for budget and design of mission critical systems.

– Dan Scolnick
IT Computer Support of New York
President and Chief Technical Officer