Showing posts from January, 2008

Remake: How Organizations Change, Part One

I wasn't happy with the first version of this webcast, so I reshot it. It is the same material as before, but presented a lot better. (No more 3 A.M webcasts for me.) Two more webcasts in the same series are on the way. Feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Jack Vinson Reviews Reaching for the Goal

Jack Vinson has a review of John Rickets book Reaching for the Goal , about TOC in the service industry. I commented and wrote a bit about project constraints. (A little bit off-center, though not entirely off-topic.) Ski added a comment. Pop over to Knowledge Jolt if you are interested.

More Favorite Books

I posted a list of books that have had a strong influence on me a couple of days ago. Here are links to some other articles by people who have done the same thing: Daniel Bloom posted his favorites in the CriticalChain group at Yahoo Tobias Fors posted a list at his blog. Andres Taylor of Blueplane had already made up his list , but not yet published it when he read my article. Making up lists like this and posting links to and fro serves a couple of purposes: It is a way of getting to know other people. You can tell a lot about a person by looking in his/her book shelf. And reading the same books gives you something to discuss. It is a neat way to get tips about what to read next. It is a way of increasing the readership of all bloggers that participate.

Killing Queue Time

I had an excellent opportunity to practice eliminating muda , waste, from a process recently. My son, who is two years old, was watching a movie on my laptop. Unfortunately, I left him alone for a little too long. He got tired of the movie and decided he wanted to view another one, so he pushed another DVD into the DVD player. Unfortunately he did not know he was supposed to take the DVD already in the player out first... Of course, both DVDs got stuck. I checked with MacForum, and found that fixing the problem would take 10 days. Obviously, most of that would be queue time, so I suggested that I should get a place in the queue immediately, but not leave my computer in the repair shop until the day there were someone available to fix the problem. That was ten days ago. This morning I left my computer at the shop. I picked it, and two DVDs, up about four hours later. I even got a new keyboard out of the deal. There was a small crack in the old one, and the shop replaced it free of char

The Best Business Books Ever

Clarke Ching kicked off a discussion about the best business books ever in the cmsig and CriticalChain mailing lists at Yahoo. 800ceoread has a poll to find the 100 best business books of all time. As I write this, The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt is ranked number one. This got me thinking about which business books that have influenced me the most. Not necessarily the best written business books I've read, but the ones which have had a strong influence of my life. Here they are: Slack , by Tom DeMarco. The first really good business book I read. Made me realize that management, when it is done right, is both sensible and fun. eXtreme Programming Explained , by Kent Beck. Software development is business, so I think this book qualifies. (Anyway, this is my list, so I'll add whichever book I want.) This is the book that got me interested in agile software development. Lean Software Development , by Tom and Mary Poppendieck. This book sparked my interest in Lean. Agile Management

New Goldratt Webcasts

Eliyahu Goldratt is kicking off a new series of webcasts. The introduction is here .

Increase Customer satisfaction with Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score is a quick and easy way to measure customer satisfaction. Originally, the method was based on asking a single question. In this article I'll show how the original method works, and how it can be enhanced by adding two more questions. I'll also discuss some of the claims and counter claims about how useful the method really is. The original method is easy to use: Ask your customers a single question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to a colleague or friend?" Count the number of 0-6 answers. These are your detractors . Count the number of 7-8 answers. These are your passives. Count the number of 9-10 answers. These are your promoters . Calculate the percentage of promoters and detractors. Subtract your detractors from your promoters to get your Net Promoter Score. The power comes from asking people how likely they are to make a recommendation . In other words, how likely is the customer to bet some of her own reputation in ord

The Knowing-Doing Gap

I just finished The Knowing-Doing Gap by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton . Excellent book. I do not have time to write a full review right now, but I plan to to discuss the book in a series of articles about change management. The book is certainly worth reading.

A Brief Visit to the Six Sigma Camp

Larry Leach has an interesting article about the effects of combining the Theory Of Constraints with Lean and Six Sigma. The article is based on a study published in APICS Magazine May 2006. I intended to do a writeup of the study of my own, but I plumb forgot, until Jack Vinson reminded me with his article . In his article, Jack links to an interesting article by Tom Davenport, Why Six Sigma is On the Downslope by Tom Davenport, but you will have to visit Jack's site to get the link . Oh, there is one thing. While you are reading the article, consider this: what evidence does Tom Davenport present that Six Sigma is on the downslope ? What assumptions about Six sigma popularity are readers likely to make after reading the article? Do these assumptions have a basis in fact? As for Jack's comments on Davenport's article, I agree with them.

Cost Cutting Nightmare

Frank Patrick, who writes the Focused Performance Blog , published a link to an Associated Press article about how Circuit City Stores, Inc. is killing itself with a cost cutting scheme. The article is worth reading, and so is Frank's blog.

How Organizations Change, Part 1, step 1: Setting Goals

This article provides background and more detail on how to change organizations. It is a supplement to the webcast How Organizations Change. I suggest you watch the webcast first, then read this article. Obviously, the first thing you need in order to change an organization, is a problem. Luckily, there is no shortage there. Let's begin by perking ourselves up a bit: substitute challenge for problem. So much more satisfying, isn't it? Everyone needs a challenge now and then. So, there is something in your organization that limits its ability to achieve its goals. The challenge is to neutralize the obstacle. The best thing is to remove it entirely, but that is not always possible. To achieve our goal of changing the organization, we first need to paint a picture of what the organization should be like. The best way I know to do that is with an Intermediate Objective map (IO map). IO maps are part of The Logical Thinking Process tool set (TLTP). TLTP is a revised version of

New webcast - How To Change an Organization

This webcast describes how to effect change in an organization. The change model is based on John P. Kotter's 8 step model, adapted to make use of the Theory Of Constraint's Logical Thinking Process. I'll write more on change management. For now, I hope you enjoy the webcast.

Elevating the Time Constraint

In a comment to a previous posting Tobias Fors suggested that I should do something about the time constraint that keeps me from blogging and making webcasts. As you can see, I am working on elevating the constraint. It is a long term project...

More than 2000 webcast downloads

I checked my Theory Of Constraints webcast on Youtube. 2010 downloads, and a five star rating. I had decided to celebrate when I reached 2000, so I'm taking my son to Universeum today. I am working on two more, and have plans for several more. The constraint is of course my time. The past three months have been extremely busy, but it looks as if I'll be able to do a bit of blogging and web cast work the next couple of weeks. I have an article backlog you would not believe. (I take notes whenever I get an idea, and store it for future use.) I'll be back.