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Major Improvements through Minor Adjustments

by David DeFord

I began my computer career in 1973 operating a huge machine that read and graded standardized tests. With 80-90 sensors the reader detected which circles the students had filled in with their number two pencils.

The first thing every morning I ran a test sheet through the machine. From the results of that test I could identify which sensors needed adjusting.

Using a tiny screwdriver I tweaked the little screws on the misaligned sensors. Then I reran the test.

I repeated this process—testing the system and tweaking the sensors—until each one was finely tuned.

Every two hours I would stop processing the forms and recalibrate. By retesting and making minor adjustments I could insure the quality of the grading process—the scanner never varied very far from its best work.

Like the automated test grader, we can compare ourselves against the test sheet of our goals. Once we identify our misaligned areas, we can make minor adjustments to: our plans, our actions, and our attitudes.

By regularly evaluating our progress and making little tweaks we can insure that we perform at our best and we can reach our goals.

The more frequently we calibrate the better our overall performance.

Even if we feel too busy to pause, assess, and tweak ourselves, if we do we can greatly improve the quality of our lives.

Major improvements follow minor adjustments.

We can all do a little bit better.


Related Quotes

Change will happen because you make it happen. Dr. Phil McGraw

Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves. David B. Haight

You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That's the mark of a true professional. Joe Paterno

The man who does not take pride in his own performance performs nothing in which to take pride. Thomas J. Watson

Major improvements follow minor adjustments. David DeFord


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