Kaizen As Charity

A few weeks ago we posted a video of how Toyota engineers helped a New York City food bank optimize how it packs boxes of food to be distributed to families still displaced from Hurricane Sandy. Now the New York Times has a more detailed story of how Toyota Production System Support Center has worked with various parts of The Food Bank for New York City (In Lieu of Money, Toyota Donates Efficiency to New York Charity, Jul 26). It turns out that packing boxes is only one project out of many.

One of the more interesting projects is speeding up how quickly clients can be seated for dinner at a Harlem soup kitchen.

Outside-In Perspective on Organizational Culture

Make the customer everyone’s business. The Customer is the very reason for an organization to exist. There is no need for Lean process management without customers, because there would not be any processes to manage, right? So, make customer everyone’s business, because if their wage is paid by the customer, they should think how what they do contributes to successful customer outcomes that organization should be producing. Getting rid of useless processes is more effective than tweaking them.

Process Glue – Explaining the Benefits of a BPMS

I like to think of a BPMS as process glue. Organisations will always have manual processes and disparate systems. These are the areas where work slips through the cracks, where time is lost, where customers are forgotten. A BPMS helps glue the process together. It provides process visibility, it stops the errors, it speeds the process up, it kills manual work, it provides meaningful data, it gives the customers what they need…(if the process is optimised first!)

Metrics: Too Many Different Ways of Keeping Score

You’ve likely played an organized sport at some time in your life - How many different ways were there to keep score? How many different ways were there to determine the winner? Just one – right? It was goals, or runs, or points, or something, but never goals and/or assists, or some weird combination of runs, hits, errors, average, ERA, RBI’s and on-base percentage.

Now, ask the same question about your business – how many ways do you have of keeping score, of determining if you’ve “won” (i.e. met your key strategic objective)?

Golf Course Bottlenecks

How long should it take to play a round of golf?

There are two ways of thinking about that question. The first is to think of playing when you have the course to yourself. Then the time to play is just a question of how good or bad your own game is. If all your drives are true, you can finish your round quickly. If you are king of the three (or possibly four) putt, you’re going to be longer on the course.

Just Finish the Sentence

I’ve finally reached my personal threshold of hearing the half-sentence: “We outsourced because we couldn’t find enough qualified candidates to fill our open positions…” The rest of that sentence being: “… at the price we wanted to pay”. And that last part always seems to get left off. It’s much easier to blame the educational systems, youth, parents, government, and society in general than admit to our own ineffective management.

Let me suggest a few alternate explanations for why any given organization might experience trouble finding qualified candidates

10 Ways to Tighten Your Ship and Ready it For Voyage

In my years of shared services advisement I have rarely seen what I would call a tight ship. Few seem to realize the price of inadequate documentation and standardization. Yet that lack can increase handle time, training time, support costs and transition costs significantly. Yes, it all takes time and effort to implement — and discipline to maintain. But you are paying for the lack of documentation and standardization already. Should you pursue outsourcing as well, you will pay to have it created under a “best-practice” transition as performed by any top tier provider.

Why ‘Pay For Performance’ Is a Sham

When Peter Drucker published his first major book, The End of Economic Man, in 1939, the median compensation for chief executives of the biggest companies in America stood at about $1 million a year (in today’s dollars).

The median pay was still at roughly $1 million, in inflation-adjusted terms, when Drucker’s 1954 landmark, The Practice of Management, came out. Executive compensation was at the same level when his Managing for Resultsappeared in 1964. Ditto when Drucker’s Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices was released in 1973.

Then things exploded.