My blog’s third birthday

January 2014 – January 2017, my blog is now online for 3 years and counts 347 posts.

Thanks to all of you my audience is gently growing on this blog, as well as on my Youtube channel and on tweeter. All organic!

What is the most read here?

According to the stats, Constraint vs. bottleneck is the absolute winner, ahead of 3D Printing and Porter’s five forces ranking second.

Then comes a string of posts related to the Logical Thinking Process and the popular Goal Tree.

What’s on schedule for 2017?

Well I have a huge inventory of titles, topics, half-written posts on the various subjects I’d like to share: Lean Management, more about Logical Thinking Process and Theory of Constraints, my prospective survey about the future of manufacturing and much more.

I’ll try to post on a regular basis and bring some value-added content. You are welcome to give me feedback in the comments.

Hope to see you here!

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Discarded the bloody app, feel better now

It was the one which inspired me my post: “Minimum Viable Product or just crap?”, it kept upsetting me over and over while claiming to be the top app for social media management.

I got rid of it and feel much better now.

Not only can I get beyond the limitations, but I have a much more reliable app now.

Yet for one problem settled this way, how many others are still bothering out there?

How many times did you experience a change in software or a mobile app (probably called “iteration” to make it sound trendy), allegedly improving user experience and driving you crazy instead?

It seems to be the new normal in IT development to issue half-baked unstable and bugged new versions, expecting customers to “give feedback”.

I gave my definitive unspoken feedback: I quitted! My time is too precious to “help” f___g developers finish their messy job.

By the way, got my answer: it was no Minimum Viable Product but just crap.

PS: Yes I know, in the first days of the year we should be kind and express good resolutions, but it feels just soooooooooooo good to slam this virtual door on this piece of…

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First post of January 2016

Happy New Year Dear Visitors, may 2016 be prosperous and keep you healthy!

I spend the last days of 2015 and the very first of 2016 in a wellness center, and while lingering in host bubbling spas, being massaged or curing like a spring roll wrapped in sea mud, I had plenty of time to reflect on the past year and plan for the coming one.

My new year resolutions, except from taking healthy diet more seriously, are to share more value by posting more than the 90 posts in 2015 on this blog and publishing (educational) videos in English on my YouTube channel.

Should you like what you read on this Blog, now two years old, not good enough in French to read the hundreds of articles of my 18 year-old website or understand my already published videos, follow me on this blog or on twitter, subscribe my YouTube Channel to get notice for each new post.

A like or a kind comment on any media is an encouragement to keep going.


One year in retrospect and my blog’s second anniversary

In these last days of 2015, here is the year in retrospect and my blog’s second anniversary.

On December 28th, 2015, my blog counted 271 posts. There is only one reblog, so 270 posts over two years are mine. 2015 saw 90 new posts published, roughly one every four days. I thought I was more productive…

I’d like to thank all visitors passing by. 2015 attracted 21,6k visitors to accumulate 44,5k views. For more facts and figures, thanks to WordPress, click the picture below:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 41,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Minimum Viable Product or just crap?

Having started my career in the heyday of Total Quality Management (it brings us back to the early 1980s!) and being educated to worship customer satisfaction in the Lean way, I am not very at ease with the Minimum Viable Product concept.

A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers, such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information. It is a strategy targeted at avoiding building products that customers do not want, that seeks to maximize the information learned about the customer per dollar spent.

Even so I fully understand and partly support the strategy, I am experiencing cases that keep fueling my distrust.

>Lisez cet article en français

The one that got me angry and triggered writing this post is about an app designed to manage social media.

I have several accounts within this app and to my surprise, the app has different behaviors and proposed features, depending the account I log in with.

This inconsistency is quite a surprise and does not suggest very good standards nor consistency in development strategy.

Over time, I experienced several bugs and even gave detailed feedback to help the developers’ team to improve. But it seems that every time they fix one, a new one appears. The latest denied me programming posts at desired time, which is the very basic function this app is made for!

I am using the free version and this is supposed to be the showcase for the premium offer. I’ll never go premium and I will quit using this app.

What I supposed to be ongoing improvement on a minimum viable product is just steadily proposing new crap. Hence my reservations about the concept, which is likely to be used to camouflage poor capabilities to deliver.

Any thoughts?

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Two years with my Chromebook

We write June 28th of 2015. It is now two years (July 2013) since I purchased a Samsung Chromebook model 303C12. Faithful sidekick when traveling light and long battery life are required, when in couch surfing mood or for typing my blog posts, I happen to be disappointed sometimes. But as it goes with friends, it doesn’t last long before we find back together.

My Chromy is a convenient, silent and always ready sidekick at home, when I couch-surf or need quick access to the Web, but also as a travel companion on holidays. The highlights for me:

  • lightweight, slim, compact
  • long battery life
  • silent, barely warming

You may read >my testing here<

In December 2014, after one and half year, I got more and more frustrated and wrote a rather angry post stating the honeymoon ends. After a while, my Chromebook found a way to get my favor back.

One thing that is really unmatched with it is the comfort of its Chiclets-keyboard. As writing posts is one of my principal uses of my Chromebook, I appreciate.

So, finally the second anniversary of me and my Chromebook is only a few days ahead.

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March 2015 review of February


Chris HOHMANN – Author

February is the shortest month of the year. It’s a poor excuse for my few February postings I know, but lack of time is nevertheless the primary cause of this historical low number of posts on my blog. Not that February wasn’t rich of experiences and inspiration, but turn ideas into written lines requires some time and the state of mind you may call inspiration.
Among things I heard or saw in this short month:

  • the fallacy of what they call Six Sigma
  • 3D printing, the unknown threat
  • a kick in the a*s as energizer (?)

The fallacy of what they call Six Sigma

How many organization pretend to go the Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma way and in reality are not?

I came across one more displaying explanatory posters and having Six Sigma terms in their jargon, yet the most buoyant promoter did not understand my question about standard deviation and was suddenly uneasy when I asked him about his mastery of basics of statistics.

In fact, as so many times, what is called Six Sigma is just about using DMAIC as a structuring framework. In this plant, local managers admitted that the Measurement phase, which could make good use of some true Six Sigma tools, is the least mastered.

Another company with a Lean-Sigma dedicated bureaucracy uses ‘IPO’ instead of SIPOC, obviously not feeling necessary to care about Suppliers nor Customers.

Indeed, this bureaucracy does not seem to care much about its internal customers and focuses mainly on its own occupation, consistently with its focus on ‘IPO’; Input, Process and Output.

I have seen numerous others using Six Sigma lingo but in reality going for lean tools, generally nothing more than some partial 5S to clean up the initial mess and a fashionable VSM as wall ornament.

3D printing, the unknown threat

Visiting an aerospace equipment maker, it was a real pleasure to see the manufacturing of high-tech art pieces. It takes a great deal of top-notch machinery and machining time to go from the raw chunks of metal to the finished parts. As usually in this industry I try to guess the weight of the parts knowing there is no correlation between their size and volume and keep being amazed by the geometric complexity of the designs.

I asked the proud line manager if additive manufacturing (‘3D printing’) was on its way into his workshops. He did not understand my question, obviously not knowing what I was talking about.

The new techniques threatening his beloved business of cutting away metal with costly machines are unknown to him. He worries about training a new generation of turners, unaware that he’d better look for young techs at ease with CAD-CAM and programming.

A kick in the a*s as energizer

I am no promoter of old fashioned “management” methods consisting of bullying or even physically abusing people, but from time to time a (virtual) kick in the a*s is indeed an energizer.

Alas, the energizing effect is not long lasting. One team member laughed about sore bottoms and all resumed as usual.

Considering the resilient properties of the human bottom regarding kicking (all this being figurative), I let top management keep kicking and chose to go for rational demonstration of the necessity to improve faster, selecting the proper metrics as KPIs, the first improvement step.


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Some thoughts for 2015

In the early days of 2015 I am not thinking about resolutions I won’t stick to, I am thinking about practices I’ve witnessed and evolutions I presume will happen.

These ideas are seeds of the future posts on this blog.

Among the posts to come, the Lean pendulum. It could be thought that after long emphasis about methods and tools, Lean would go for more Lean management, swinging the Lean pendulum from disconnected local usage of tools to a consistent holistic thinking and acting in a Lean philosophy way.

Indeed, some companies stress more Lean management, but looking closer what looks like embracing Lean Management is nothing more than selecting other tools out of the Lean nicely stuffed toolbox, with less results though.

Another post to come (Published!) is about poor problem management, disregarding C customers. Instead of solving problems and preventing them, companies select which customers they’ll satisfy at the expenses of the others.

I also plan a series of posts about 3D printing and business owners unaware of the potential disruptions they’ll face. Maybe these threats will renew interest for strategic analysis?

All new posts will be announced on twitter, so follow me…