Management Improvement Carnival #114

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, October 30th 2010, Washington DC. Photo by John Hunter.

The Curious Cat management blog carnival selects recent management blog posts 3 times each month. Since 2006 the carnival has focused on finding posts to help managers innovate and improve (Deming, lean manufacturing, agile software development, data based decision making, systems thinking…).

  • If Jon Stewart can do it, so can you by Dan Markovitz – “Get it? It’s a process. Even for something as creative as writing jokes, there’s a structure to follow. And by establishing that structure, they can unleash their comedy.” [Process Improvement and Innovation – John Hunter]
  • How I (try to) add value as an investor by Gabriel Weinberg – “I’ve been doing this startup stuff for a while now, pretty much all by myself or with one other person. So I’ve done most startup things, i.e. from incorporation papers all the way to an exit and everything in between. Moreover, I want to be closely involved. For most of the companies I’m involved with, we try to have frequent Skype chats (weekly to every few weeks) to discuss whatever is in front of them.”
  • Inspired by Shingo Again by Mike Wroblewski – “Mr Shingo suggested that every management person should go to gemba at least once everyday, and stay in one spot for at least 30 minutes to observe. This is every person in management, not just the plant production leaders.”
  • 5 Ways to Influence a Culture of Engagement by Trish McFarlane – “2. Provide challenging work assignments… 4. Connect employees to the organization’s mission 5. Be intentional, honest, and interact with integrity”
  • You might think with all the good books and blogs on management, pretty soon there really isn’t anything more managers need to help them. But what organizations keep doing, provides evidence there is going to be work to do for a long time. Beyond Crazy by James Kwak – “The ‘star’ example is Texas A&M, which created a report showing a profit-and-loss summary for each professor or lecturer, where revenues are defined as external grants plus a share of tuition professor P&L.” Taiichi Ohno knew about the failures of cost accounting.
  • Back to Basics with Kanban – “This list of 5 core practices used in organizations with successful Kanban implementations gives us a definition for how to implement the Kanban Method. These practices represent the seed conditions in any organization that may enable a successful Kanban-based change initiative.”
  • Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure by Orrin Woodward – “Let’s go through each step of the PDCA process starting with the Plan step. What is the Plan and how do I use it to improve? The Plan is a way to test ones hypothesis or models of life.”
  • Deming’s long forgotten chain reaction by Gede Manggala – “Too much focus on cost saving will alienate your customers and make your employees unmotivated. This is why, companies which too much rely on cost saving will fall into the ‘doom loop'”
  • Prevent mistakes with better sorting by Kathleen Fasanell – “The hardware supplied with the kit was sorted according to each step in the instructions and laminated to a piece of cardboard. All the parts for step one in their own section, ditto for step two et cetera. This sure beats opening a plastic bag of parts, sorting them by size and function based on instructions that are poorly or incompletely illustrated and then wondering what you’re missing.”
  • INVEST in user stories by Giorgio Sironni – “The more stories are near to start the development phase, the more they should be kept small, even by breaking up them in independent pieces. The ‘Small’ trait is related to the Estimable one: smaller stories are easy to manage, estimate and compose.”
  • “I disagree…” should be celebrated, not stricken by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “When you disagree, say so. Then explain why. When others disagree, react with curiosity, not scorn. Invite exploration into disagreement.”
  • How to hire a programmer when you’re not a programmer – “All this stuff can help, but the absolute best way to hire a programmer is to know at least a little bit about programming. Hiring for a job you’ve never done before is really hard. So is managing that person after they’re hired.”
  • Averages Do Not Describe Individual Experience by Pete Abilla – “Most organizations use the average or the mean for their metrics. This is common, convenient, and easy. But, the average doesn’t describe the experience of the individual customer.”
  • Practical Pokayoke: Preventing Phone Charger Loss by Jon Miller – “The key to effective and practical pokayokes is to make it physically impossible to perform a process incorrectly, forget a step or otherwise err. Following lean principles of “creativity over capital”, a low cost or no-cost method is preferred.”
  • Set Clear and Reasonable Expectations by Wally Bock – “tell them what you expect from them. Do this publicly, in meetings, to make sure everyone from your team is on the same page. Do it one-on-one, too, to make sure that each member of your team understands his or her own unique role.”
  • A Theory of a System for Educators and Managers – “Dr. Ackoff: ‘The performance of the whole is never the sum of the performance of the parts taken separately: but it’s the product of their interactions. Therefore, the basic managerial idea introduced by systems thinking is that to manage a system effectively you must focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately.'”

See more photos or the Rally

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