Problem solving: what was the last change?

This post could be a sequel of “Yeah, problem solving” in which I used Peter Senge’s quote: “Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions”. Quite often people we consultants meet are puzzled by a problem they can’t understand: a reliable process or machine suddenly seems out of control, steady performance dropped unexpectedly and with no apparent … Continue reading Problem solving: what was the last change?

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Yeah, problem solving

Most people love to solve problems and feel the satisfaction of getting rid of some nasty tricky problem. It’s an outdated but still lasting belief that management is about problem solving. Problem solving turned in some cases into the managers’ and engineers’ holly mission and in some minds, the more problems the manager/engineer solves, the … Continue reading Yeah, problem solving

The benefits of failing fast

In a recent conversation with a friend of mine, CEO of a small Consulting firm, he explained me how he energized his small company using Lean Startup principles and tools. Especially when it comes to answer calls for tender or a request for a proposal, Frederic (his name) has gotten pickier. “My test, he said, … Continue reading The benefits of failing fast

The Executive Guide to Breakthrough Project Management – Book Review

The Executive Guide to Breakthrough Project Management is about combining Critical Chain Project Management and "alliancing" or collaborative contracting for a win-win efficient way to manage huge (or small) construction projects. Soon when reading the guide, it becomes obvious that what the authors describe as efficient in construction and capex projects can be used in … Continue reading The Executive Guide to Breakthrough Project Management – Book Review

When enough is… enough

This is a behavior I’ve noticed quite often in food industry, in chemical or pharmaceutical plants: cleaning and sanitation processes (mainly their duration) are extended beyond the standard procedures at the expense of costs and production capacity. Fear of harming In the regulatory-constraint industries like food, chemical or pharma, people on shopfloor are trained and … Continue reading When enough is… enough

The man-machine system performance

When looking for performance improvement of a man-machine system, too often management puts emphasis onto machine or technology at large, ignoring the fact that humans associated with equipment, machines or technology form an interrelated system and consequently humans are the discriminating factor. The fallacy of trusting the latest technology There is a strong belief, backed … Continue reading The man-machine system performance

What data for changeover monitoring and improvement?

Maximizing the exploitation of critical Capacity Constraint Resources (CCRs), so called bottlenecks, is crucial for maximizing revenue. Changeovers usually have a significant impact on productive capacity, reducing it with every new change made on those resources that already have too few of it. Yet changeovers are a necessary evil, and the trend is going for … Continue reading What data for changeover monitoring and improvement?

Why No One Talks About TPM Anymore?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) was a big thing in the late 1980s, got lot of attention, tried to go from “maintenance” to “management” and finally faded out into oblivion. This analysis is my own, you may respond in comments. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) originated in Japan with Nippondenso in the 1960s and is an evolution … Continue reading Why No One Talks About TPM Anymore?

Critical Chain Project Management alone is not enough

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) alone is not enough to drastically reduce a project’s duration and improve the development process efficiency. CCPM is a proven Project Management approach to ensure a project, any project, will meet its finishing date without compromising quality nor any of the requirements, and even though CCPM can lead to terminate … Continue reading Critical Chain Project Management alone is not enough

Performance improvement: simple things can earn big results

Silly things can cost a lot in terms of productivity and output.  In this video interview, Philip Marris  asks me about lessons learnt while helping a pharmaceutical plant to improve productivity and deliver drugs to patients faster. It is about how simple actions solve those silly small problems and bring big results at literally no cost.