I recently created one RSS feed for all the Curious Cat Network blogs (which also includes other blogs I author) [that feed is no longer available]. Of course, you can also subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog by itself: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog RSS feed. RSS readers are by far the best way to read blogs; if you want some more information here is a post on RSS feed readers and how to use them.
I have a new book in progress: Management Matters. It is now available in “pre-release format” via leanpub. The idea I am experimenting with (supported by leanpub) is pre-publishing the book online. The ebook is available for purchase now, and comes with free access to the updates.
My plan is to continue working on the book for the next few months and have it “release ready” by October, 2012. One of the advantages of this method is that I can incorporate ideas based on feedback from the early readers of the book.
There are several other interesting aspects to publishing in this way. Leanpub allows a suggested retail price, and a minimum price. So I can set a suggested price and a minimum price and the purchaser gets to decide what price to pay (they can even pay over suggested retail price – which does happen). The leanpub model provides nearly all the revenue to the author (unlike traditional models) – the author gets 90% of the price paid, less 50 cents per book (so $8.50 of a $10 purchase).
They provide the book in pdf, mobi (Kindle) and epub (iPad, Nook, etc.) formats. And the books do not have any Digital Rights Management (DRM) entanglements.
Management Matters covers topics familiar to those who have been reading this blog for years. It is an attempt to put in one place the overall management system that is most valuable (which as you know, based on the blog, is largely based upon Dr. Deming’s ideas – which means lean manufacturing are widely covered too).
I hope the book is now in a state where those who are interested would find it useful, but it is in what I consider draft format. I still have much editing to do and content to add.
Leanpub also provides a sample book (where a portion of the content can be downloaded to decide if you want to buy). If you are interested please give it a try and let me know your thoughts.
An Introduction to Deming’s Management Teaching and Philosophy by Peter Scholtes – webcast from the Annual W. Edwards Deming Institute conference in Madison, Wisconsin, November 9th, 2008. My previous post on this speech: 6 Leadership Competencies.
Next month, the Annual Deming Institute conference will be held at Purdue on Oct 10th, 2009.
Since long before I started this blog I have maintained the Curious Cat Management Improvement web site. In fact, that web site has been online since 1996; the blog started in 2004. I feel the web site has tremendous resources for managers looking to improve the performance of their organization (or course I am a bit biased).
- The Curious Cat Management Improvement library includes hundreds articles, reports, training guides, blog posts… that I have selected. It is a great resource, that is underused in my opinion. Examples of what is available: recent additions, six sigma articles, health care improvement articles and management library search.
- This site includes portals on management topics, including: lean manufacturing, statistics and the public sector
- In Deming on Management I explore Dr. Deming’s management ideas. Many quotes and thoughts are attributed to him. Sometimes these represent his ideas accurately, and sometimes they do not. In this section, I attempt to clearly indicate what he actual said and include some of my thoughts on what he meant.
- The site started as a directory and now includes directories of management web sites by topics including: design of experiments, lean thinking and community quality organizations. In addition the site includes a management blog directory, calendar of events and management job listings
- From the beginning the site had a section on management books including: essential management books, Where to Start, George Box and search for books
- I added a management improvement glossary a few years back which I keep adding to (I include links to resources on each page), examples include: A3 Report, confirmation bias, evolutionary operations, jidoka, mistake proofing, PDSA Cycle, voice of the customer
- The site also includes biographies and links to articles and books by management leaders: Russell Ackoff, Clayton Christensen, Roger Hoerl, Douglas McGregor, Taiichi Ohno, Walter Shewhart, James Womack
I am happy to say our blog has been included in the Top 100 Blogs for Development Managers. The list of blogs is quite impressive, including blogs referenced here previously: Joel on Software (ranked 1st), Coding Horror (2nd), Seth Godin’s Blog (3rd), Paul Graham’s essays (4), Signal vs. Noise (40), Agile Management Blog (43) and Lean Software Engineering (68). The Curious Cat Blog is ranked 41st.
You can read our software development category to get our posts specifically related to that topic. Some specific software development related posts that might give you a flavor for the blog: Software Supporting Processes Not the Other Way Around – Future Directions for Agile Management – Metrics and Software Development – The Defect Black Market. And hopefully many of our other posts will also help software development managers.
These, and similar, rankings don’t mean much, other than according to the criteria used this is now they ranked. Still it is nice to see the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog was nominated and according to the criteria used did so well.
Photo of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC by John Hunter. The museum is the newest addition to the collection of Smithsonian museums on the Mall. The second photo is of a Mayan calendar. Photos can be used with attribution.
Reddit is a web site that ranks web pages by user votes. If you login and vote yourself they will develop a pattern of what you like and can show you a list of the pages you are likely to enjoy. I believe this is done by matching your likes and dislikes with others. When showing you a list of recommended links it gives some importance to up votes by anyone and more priority to up votes by those that have shown a tendency to like what you do.
I have recently setup a management sub-reddit (a distinct topic-focused-area on the management improvement topics covered in this blog). If you sign up you can not only vote on the links displayed but add new links (that then will be voted on by others). I think Reddit does a very good job of using social aspects of the internet to provide recommendations that are worthwhile (I have used the site for years). The success of this management subreddit depends on reaching a critical mass of users. So I encourage you to give it a try and vote on links you enjoy and add new articles, web sites, blog posts… The benefit of this subreddit will grow as we grow the number of participants.
See more photos from my visit to Parfrey’s Glen Natural Area in Wisconsin, about an hour outside of Madison. It really was amazingly beautiful – the pictures do not do it justice. The Parfrey’s Glen trail is under a mile but well worth visiting. If you want to hike more try the Ice Age National Scenic Trail or nearby Devil’s Lake State Park. The top photo is of me (John Hunter) at nearby Durwood’s Glen. The yellow flower is from Parfrey’s Glen.
Related: Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia – Metropolitan Museum of Art – South Carolina travel photos – The Importance of Management Improvement – Hoh Rain Forest and Ruby Beach – North Cascades National Park
Guest post by David Kerridge (originally posted to the Deming Electronic Network):
This is part of a series in which I recall striking or thought-provoking things that W. Edwards Deming said, but did not put into his books.
I remember taking a manager to his first Deming 4-day seminar. Afterwards my friend said to me “I was very impressed with that man. He said ‘I don’t know.'”
Something in our culture makes us ashamed to admit ignorance. We expect quick, slick answers, whether from politicians, managers, or consultants.
Deming said “I don’t know” more often than anyone I have ever known. Sometimes you heard the answer about two years later, in his seminar.
I also remember him saying “I have learned more in the last six months than in the previous ten years.”
Maybe one quotation explains the other.