Manufacturing’s Last “KISS”

13 Oct 2022


If you’ve been in the business world for a while, especially in manufacturing or engineering, you’ve probably encountered the concept of “KISS” solutions. As a young employee who just joined the production floor for Lockheed Martin back in the early 1980s, I had no idea what a program manager was asking for, when he told me, “I just want the KISS solution” for a production problem.

The gentleman, a retired attack submarine commander, had a divine organizational chart on his wall showing God above Christ and the Holy Spirit, with Fast-Attack Submarine Commander drawn in as an intervening authority between the Creator and the rest of the Holy Trinity. He was clearly a Theory-X manager in today’s vernacular, but we all loved him regardless. The Vietnam era guys wore their emotions on their sleeves, but no one ever had your back more than an ex-military program manager. However, any correlation between him and “KISS,” other than as part of the occasional expletive phrase, seemed utterly non-cohesive.

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