Management Improvement Carnival #87

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival provides links to recent articles to help managers improve the performance organization.

  • Lean in Sweden: Tools < Thinking by Mark Graban – “Tools have some value, but only in context of lean thinking and the lean management philosophy. Tools aren’t value-less, but thinking is better.”
  • Manufacturing starts to come home by Dan Markovitz – “NCR sees domestic manufacturing as key to increasing sales as well. It enables them to make higher value-added products that their customers want.”
  • Correlation or Causation? Interceptions and the Playoffs by Jeff Hajek – “this is a classic case of confusing correlation with causation. If this data truly was a cause and effect relationship, meaning interceptions caused losses, fixing the problem would be simple… If you never threw the ball, you could win nearly four out of five times.”
  • Learning from Toyota’s Stumble by Steven Spear – “But as we are now sadly seeing, the capacity for developing people can be overstretched. It was not recognizing this and succumbing to the temptation to make growth its first priority that led to Toyota’s current problems.”
  • When in doubt, timebox it by Mark Imbriaco – “If we can solve the compatibility problems in those 30 minutes, it will be a nice win and we can make use of the plugin that we want to. On the flip side, we already have a known solution to the problem.”
  • Be Proactive – Prevent your problems! by Sonja Hughes – “Monitoring process performance through statistical process control or other performance measures allows us to detect changes or trends so we can take appropriate action before problems occur.”
  • Should You Encourage Employee Side Projects? by Josh Spiro – “Companies of varying sizes ranging from Google, to Gore-Tex and from 3M to Jason Fried’s 37 Signals have experimented with different ways to catalyze their employees’ idiosyncratic interests for the benefit of the entire company and its culture.”
  • Former Toyota Quality Manager’s Thoughts on Historic Recall by Jon Miller – “if it was an American supplier and they couldn’t figure out the problem, they would have a Japanese supplier make the parts and fly them in from Japan. In fact I was flown out at 2AM on Sunday to Delphi because it was 3 months to launch and there was a quality issue.”
  • Protect People by Jurgen Appelo – “As a manager you are responsible for both promoting self-organization and protection of people”
  • Do I Need User Stories? by Angus McDonald – “I’m still not sure about how to set my user stories, I sure appreciate the discipline they grant even quick feature specifications, but I’m loathe now to simply bang them out when the reality is that I might need to use either less, or more, detail for a given feature. I’m going to keep experimenting because that’s what Agile is all about.”
  • Toyota Stops Lines, Lots of Lines by John Hunter – “This strikes is as the kind of action initiated near the top of the organization chart to remind the organization that problems must be addressed immediately. It is not ok to continue business as usually when problems have not been addressed in the Toyota Production System.”

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