April 24, 2014

So long, Ray Lewis, and a tale of two retirements

Ray_Lewis_by_youngandreckless
Share via email

If any of you watched the Ravens – Colts football game this past weekend, you were treated to the final home game played by one of the NFL’s all-time greats. Ray Lewis, an iconic figure for over a decade in the NFL, has announced he will retire at the end of this season.

I knew someone who, after spending over 30 years with a company, decided to retire. After a long but unspectacular career, it was time to leave the rat race as just about every single one of us who is not a legendary NFL icon will do. Unfortunately, also unlike those legendary NFL icons, leaving the job with an iota of respect wasn’t in the cards. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Do you ever just get tired of it all?

burned out
Share via email

Article upon article, book upon book, for somewhere around 30 years or more, telling us how to make the workplace……better. Still, the consultants and gurus keep pumping out information, more and more effort comes around to create change in the hearts and minds of business leaders, and still we’re stuck in the quagmire.

Yes, I realize that I am one of those who keep pumping out thoughts on how to change things in my own little corner of the blogosphere. Which is why I have to ask – of anyone who has ever endeavored to change anything – do you ever just plain feel like you’re banging your head against the wall? [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Just say NO to manually adjusting data and reports – 4 reasons why

Share via email

We have all heard the phrase; “you can’t manage it, if you can’t measure it”. I also believe that “you can’t manage, it if you are always adjusting it”.

When you work in a culture that is very numbers driven or reliant, there will always be pressure to adjust your data or reporting to account for outliers, one-offs, process errors etc. This is a very slippery slope. You can not eat a single potato chip and you can not make only one adjustment.

When data and reports are “clean”, i.e. with no manual adjustments, the data is objective and we treat all parties/divisions consistently and fairly. When we add in manual adjustments, we immediately convert objective data into “suspect, subjective data with inconsistencies. I am very uncomfortable making critical business decisions using inconsistent, manually manipulated data (and you be should too).

Here are 4 reasons why you should not create an adjustment culture in your organization: [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Ownership is easy when you’re not fighting for survival

Fight In Wolf Pack
Share via email

TweetRight on the heels of my recent post advocating the development of a “Shop Owner Mentality” in order to create pride and dedication within organizations, an article by Nacie Carson was published on FastCompany.com entitled “Think Like An Entrepreneur, Act Like An Employee.” In my article, I wrote: People who are proud of their shop always [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wiggle room – The no-panic guide to staff development

tight spot
Share via email

If you do know what can hurt and what can’t, then you know you can give your people interesting projects that will help to benefit the business, but not destroy it as they struggle.

It’s as simple as having extra capacity on a bottle neck or schedule slack in your project – you have wiggle room…always. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Project Management & Measurement gamed

Measurement
Share via email

Project management tends to be all about outcome metrics. Tracking costs vs. plan, Earned Value, Cost and Schedule Performance Indices, consumed slack – all are about what happened. Granted, there’s an effort inherent to those practices that says the future can be predicted by understanding the past, however, that approach also seems to indicate that errors are acceptable. Especially if we read a bunch of charts and graphs and variance analyses to tell us that we had a problem some number of days, or weeks, ago.

Somehow, that doesn’t seem good enough. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

You are at the mercy of your analysts (and you don’t even know it)

Analysis
Share via email

Anyone who has worked for any amount of time doing staff-level analytic work invariably knows that, when reports are presented, people will glance over the numbers looking for anomalies but never bother to understand the computation leading to what is in that report. Any attempt to explain the methodology results in blank stares, glassy eyes and, in many cases, utter disdain for wasting time explaining the math.

Unfortunately, what matters more than the number is the methodology. Information can be excluded and massaged. It can be changed to put a positive spin on the situation. As such, acting on information you don’t fully understand can lead to a disaster. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ROWE: An attempt at achieving the Lean Ideal?

Share via email

In the past few months that I’ve been blogging about ROWE, I have been poking at how the two concepts might help to reinforce each other, with the premise that ROWE-thinking could help to enable Lean-thinking by overcoming the tools-based focus that is so prevalent in Lean implementations and, instead, returning the focus to the culture where I believe it belongs. fter stirring the pot and looking for the common ground between the two, I am now wondering if my original theory – that ROWE could enable Lean – was a bit backwards. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Hamel dives deeper into ROWE and Shingo; plus thoughts on the person vs. the organization

Share via email

In the second half of the discussion or ROWE in the Shingo context taking place on Tim McMahon’s A Lean Journey blog, Mark Hamel, author of The Kaisen Event Fieldbook and a Shingo examiner, points out some of his concerns with ROWE.

Mark pointedly demonstrates where ROWE has strengths, but might not fully align with the Shingo model, as well as raising questions on a few of the underlying assumptions of ROWE.
[Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Guest post on A Lean Journey, and the weekly rewind

Share via email

Today, I have a guest post appearing on Tim McMahon’s A Lean Journey Site. The Topic: ROWE in the context of the Shingo model. When Tim asked if I’d like to do a guest post on his site, I jumped at the chance. I also reached out to Mark Hamel, a blogger, an award-winning author for his book: The Kaizen Even Fieldbook, and a Shingo Prize examiner, for input. Mark wrote a complete post of his own which will appear on Tim’s site tomorrow. Mark dives even deeper into how ROWE aligns with the Shingo, and how it does not. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner