Business901 Book Specials from other authors on Amazon

Friday, May 28, 2010

Turning your Marketing Cycle into a Kanban

One of the first steps that I recommend in developing your Marketing Kanban is to create a Value Stream Map of your Sales or Marketing Cycle. Many people struggle with this concept and in a workshop I asked them to create their best known channel without really discussing their marketing tactics at all. I ask them just to define how many clients they need in this Value Stream to be successful. For illustration purposes I use a common internet model that is recognizable to most of us. A typical Value Stream may look something like this:

  • Google Ad
  • Website
  • Auto-responder
  • 30-day trial
  • Purchase
  • Upsell
  • Buzz it up

    Of course there are numerous ways someone may reach your website such as Referrals, Search, Social Media, PR, etc. You could include them all, but if you do not measure them individually it will be difficult to improve them as time goes on.

I am going to take just a section of the above Value stream and define an Entry and Exit point to the Kanban(see Bootstrapping the Kanban). The Entry point will be Google Ad and the exit point will be the Purchase point. This will simplify my explanation.

When we discussed the Marketing Kanban before, we discussed creating Work in Process (WIP) limits. The above diagram will demonstrate a very important beginning point for the use of a Marketing Kanban and how we go about determining the basic structure. Start developing your WIP limits by asking these questions:

  • How many prospects do you engage with?
  • How many become prospects?
  • How many are qualified prospects?
  • How many use the Free Trial?
  • How many become clients?
  • How many repeat?
  • How many are referred?

I have already confused myself, have I confused you? This is where the Kanban becomes so effective.

VSM Kanban

This simple structure is easily adjusted and can be used for just about any channel you wish to develop. How do you determine these numbers? Well first, if you don’t already know any of these numbers or just starting out, look at what will be your constraint or control point. Where are you limited?

Maybe, you can only handle 30 clients? Start with something that you know or fill in the blanks with your best guestimate. If you can only complete three of the five examples, complete the others by considering the conversion rates that you have between each. Don’t overly worry about accuracy, especially if you have not measured these before. You can even create a best and worst scenario to the Value Stream.

Are you limited by the dollars you spend on Google ads? Take a known number and plug into your Kanban and just multiply it across. Can you see what happens? Is a client worth $500? Are you Google ads effective enough? Do you need to increase conversion rates thru your free trial? 

This particular Marketing Kanban is just a starting point. You may not even use your clients as the basis, you may prefer total sales for the month. However, when you visually display it in a Kanban it does create a very easy observation point, especially for small business.

The next step is to consider the other entry points to your website, for example and/or completely different distribution paths. More than likely these other channels (paths) will have different cycle times and budgets. Do not try to fit one Kanban or Value Stream to everyone. 

Related Posts:
Bootstrapping the Kanban
Value Stream Marketing eBook Released
Marketing Kanban 102, Work in Process

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Implement your Kaizen Event Successfully

Do you have trouble implementing or sustaining the initiatives after a Kaizen Event? Mark Hamel

In this Business901 podcast episode, I spent the bulk of the podcast on this subject with author Mark Hamel. Mark’s book, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events spends a third of the book on discussing implementing and sustaining the event. The Fieldbook is actually that as you will see from our discussion.

More than an author, Mark R. Hamel is a lean six sigma implementation consultant. He has played a transformative role in lean implementations across a broad range of industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, building products, business services, chemical, durable goods, electronics, insurance, healthcare and transportation services. Mark has successfully coached lean leaders and associates at both the strategic and tactical level. He has facilitated hundreds of kaizen events and conducted numerous training sessions and workshops.

Mark’s 19 year pre-consulting career encompassed executive and senior positions within operations, strategic planning, business development and finance. His lean education and experience began in the early 1990’s when he conceptualized and helped launch what resulted in a Shingo award winning effort at the Ensign-Bickford Company. Kaizen Event Fieldbook Book Cover Web

A national Shingo Prize examiner, Mark assisted in the development of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)/Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)/Shingo Lean Certification exam questions. He is also Juran certified as a six sigma black belt and a member of SME, AME and APICS. Mark is the author of the SME published, Kaizen Event Fieldbook: Foundation, Framework, and Standard Work for Effective Events ( and blogs about lean at Gemba Tales (

Related Information: Business901 Kaizen Blog Posts

eBook on Using Introvert Tendencies as a Marketing Advantage

Joan Friedlander, owner of Lifework Business Partners was my guest on the Business901 Podcast and this is a transcription of the podcast. We had the opportunity to discuss creating realistic and executable marketing plans for self-employed service business owners and key members of a business team. One of Joan’s specialties is working with Introverts and our conversation extended into using those introvert tendencies as an advantage in today’s business climate. For a limited time, she has offered to make available the 5- Steps to effective Follow-up article.

Can Introvert Tendencies be a Marketing Advantage

Joan was my facilitator when I became a Get Clients NOW™ Facilitator and still offers the program and has a program starting on May 11th.  She is an outstanding instructor and I have never met anyone that facilitates a tele-seminar better.

If you would prefer to listen to the podcast it can be found here. Related Podcast:

Related Posts:
Business901 Posts on Get Clients NOW™!
Achieving Expert Status
Marketing Your Black Belt

Monday, May 24, 2010

Can you Manage a Program, a Global Program?

In this Business901 Podcast I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Wagner, co-author of Global Program Management. Paula Wagner, PMP, is a senior project manager/senior business manager for CNN Broadcast Engineering System Technology at Turner Broadcasting Systems. Her insight and knowledge of this field is outstanding. We discussed not only what it takes to run a successful Global Program but also what it takes to be successful and the opportunities in this growing field. Paula teaches Project and Program Management at the DeVry/Keller Graduate School of Management. GPM Web

Paula’s book is an in depth study of today’s Global Program Management arena. Very few organizations make only local decisions. It seems in today's world no matter what size the company is that we all are somewhat global. Is your program or even project manager ready for this kind of challenge? How does a classic program and project management change as a result of this global influence? Paula did a great job of answering these questions as they applied to both small and large organizations. With the increase pressure on project managers the book provides insights on handling resources at a macro-level. During the interview, Paula appeared to be a pro (I am sure she is) at defining goals and objectives realistically no matter the multitude of environments that needed to be aligned.

Program management is growing as a discipline. So, we spent time talking about some of the decisions that had to be made as a program manager and the type of individual that makes a successful program manager. I think the book could be quite useful for someone that is considering this career path not only globally but on a local level.

Paula Wagner's Website:

Related Posts:
Iterative Process Gaining Steam – Proof it works
Lean Kanban lessons from a Software Developer

Friday, May 21, 2010

Video on Lean Startup Principles, Part 2 of 2

Great Video on the Lean startup principles from an interview by Scobleizer, April 01, 2010 (Sponsored by Rackspace, we help entrepreneurs build great Internet businesses): Eric Ries is changing how software companies form companies, build teams, and ship software that rocks customers' lives. He writes and has popularized the term "lean startups." Are you building software that anyone wants? His ideas will shake your assumptions of what software engineering is to their very core.

The Startup Lessons Learned Conference on April 23 is fast approaching. He has a new website up at and several scholarship programs up and running.

Related Posts:

Key Marketing Concepts from the Korean War

Using Agile Marketing in real life

Boyd’s Law of Iteration: Speed beats Quality

Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or a Marketing Funnel?

Value Stream MarketingDo you think it is Scrum? Do you think it is Kanban? Do you think it is a Marketing Funnel? …or is it all three? Or maybe Agile? This is an empirical view of Value Stream Marketing.

The drawing is reflective of a Scrum sprint. Scrum is an iterative, incremental framework for project management and agile software development. The sprint is typical a two to four week process with the large loop representing the overall process and the smaller (top) loop representing a twenty-four period and the daily scrum meeting. In the Value Stream Marketing Process, I use the loops to demonstrate a higher level of intimacy with a prospect. The top loop is for existing customers to nurture an even stronger relationship.

The three separate areas of the diagram will have their own Kanban board, if there are separate teams working on them, or you could visualize each as a separate swim lane. Separating these three processes apart allow you to better identify the process steps and the tools needed to facilitate the value stream flow. And, of course, using a Kanban board for this process will help you identify where the process is not working or where the bottleneck is occurring.

The Kanban board is where the actual work gets done. We want to limit unnecessary work in process to be no higher than it needs to be to match the control point or pacemaker of the process (bottleneck). We will use these boards to limit Work in Process into each stage and as a result create a smoother work flow(Heijunka) with a goal of eliminating what Lean refer to as the 3 M’s, Muda (Waste), Mura (Unevenness or Inconsistent) and Muri (unreasonable). This way we maximize your marketing efforts to the fullest extent.

Scratching your head a bit? We will develop our Kanban Boards in later posts which will clarify things a bit. Don’t get hung up on process. All you really need to do is break down your present marketing systems onto a Kanban board and start.

Related Posts:
Pull: The Pull in Lean Marketing
Value Stream = Involve-Influence-Interaction- Intimacy-Commit: Value Stream Marketing and the Indirect Marketing Concept
Marketing Kanban: Marketing Kanban

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mario is the King of the Lean Startup

I have found the key to the Lean Startup craze we have been talking about the last few months. I think that  the reason that it is taking off is that the supporters grew up with Mario as their Icon. You remember Mario don’t you?  Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto in his attempts to produce a best-selling video game for Nintendo. Shigeru originally wanted to use existing characters such as Popeye.  Mario

Think about a Lean Startup plan outline by Eric Reis and the Customer Development stage explained by Steve Blank. Not that they copied Super Mario but maybe that is why it interest so many of the new entrepreneurs.  Who did you grow up with? Mario! If you don’t believe me take a look at the Customer Development Plan depicted in Super Mario 64. I am telling you it is second nature for this generation. You don’t even need Venture Capitalist with this model. Doing it the old way with Popeye, you always had the spinach can, seed money per say to carry out his plan, right? Doing it the new way is to Fail Early and Fail Often, sounds a lot like Mario to me!

Customer Discovery:  In Super Mario 64. Princess Peach sends Mario a letter inviting him to come to her castle for a cake she has baked for him; however, when he arrives, Mario discovers that Bowser has invaded the castle and imprisoned the princess and her servants within it using the power of the castle's 120 Power Stars. Many of the castle's paintings are portals to other worlds, in which Bowser's minions keep watch over the stars

Customer Validation: Mario searches the castle for these portals to enter the worlds and recover the stars.

Customer Creation: He gains access to more rooms as he recovers more stars and traverses three obstacle courses leading to a battle with Bowser.

Scale Company: Defeating Bowser the first two times earns Mario a key for opening another level of the castle, while the final battle releases Peach, who rewards Mario by baking the cake that she had promised him.

If you don’t believe it is true, answer these 2 questions:
Are you still playing video games?
Do you eat spinach(other than on pizza)?

Description of Super Mario came from Wikipedia.

Related Posts:
Using Agile Marketing in real life
Boyd’s Law of Iteration: Speed beats Quality

create space; create agility; and create the future

In Engineering Live I read an interesting article titled, “How manufacturers can prepare for post-recession profitability.” David Hatrick, a technology and innovation consultant with PA Consulting Group in Cambridge, UK, recommends that manufacturing companies adopt a three-pronged strategy in order that they can emerge from the downturn as winners. His strategy is: create space; create agility; and create the future.

Create Space: Hatrick says that creating space can yield savings in two ways: "In our experience with clients across a number of sectors, optimising the product cost through a combination of improved design and focusing on the supply chain can deliver savings of between 10 and 20 per cent. Secondly, reducing complexity across the product range, with reductions in SKUs and raw materials/components, can have a significant impact on direct costs as well as making savings in support functions such as procurement and R&D." It is relatively straightforward to identify potential savings, but the reality of implementation means that typically two-thirds of this forecast saving will achieved.

Create Agility: Agility needs to be created both in the supply chain and in the way the manufacturer innovates. "Companies with CDS (customer-driven supply) at the heart of their supply chain strategy design their supply chain to win the customer at the point of use or the point of sale; the upstream supply chain is designed back from that point," explains Hatrick

Create the Future: In order to create a profitable future, manufacturing businesses need to focus on identifying and developing strategic growth platforms, and boosting the productivity of their innovation activities. To develop future growth platforms, it is vital to understand the new realities for customers and consumers.

t4_image The article goes into much greater detail and is written from an English perspective but is well worth the read. It brings to mind a book that I just recently finished  The Deciding Factor: The Power of Analytics to Make Every Decision a Winner.In this book, it talks about the need to effectively use the analytics available but more importantly how it is used to make decisions.  A quote from the review by Dave Kinnear "the Rational Taoist" sums it up:

The authors use several high-profile companies to put together case studies demonstrating the value of analytics or how the absence of analytics caused poor decisions to be made. They point out that there are several societal trends which require us to change our business models.

  • An increasingly Cashless Economy enables Tracking of More Customer Data
  • Multiple Companies Sharing Data About Customers they have in Common
  • New Technologies being developed to Enable the Use of Unstructured Data
  • Obtaining Data from Social Networking sites
  • Companies from emerging Markets Competing for their Share of Consumer spending

Both the book and the article goes into detail that these customer metrics are becoming ever more important as we move to the the world of what I call Marketing Singularity. Without automation and good analytics and even more important the understanding of the sea of data we may severely hinder are organization’s future.

After reviewing these articles, I realized I have drifted away from my Six Sigma Marketing thoughts in my blogging and what better tools are there to help us understand all the data and analytics available to us. 
I still use Voice of Customer, Voice of Market, SIPOC and a host of other tools not only help us understand data but help us distinguish what data is important to us.

Summing it all up…Creating our future may be all about how effectively we use and interpret the data available to us. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kanban Scheduling for Marketing

Kanban scheduling can be simply stated as demand scheduling. In Kanban, the products are produced based on actual usage rather than a forecasted usage. Therefore, a Kanban scheduling process to be considered a true Kanban the production process it controls must:

  • Only produce product to replace the product consumed by its customer
  • Only produce product based on signals sent its customers

The Kanban schedule replaces the traditional weekly or daily production schedule most of us have become familiar with in manufacturing operations. This schedule is replaced with visual signals and predetermined decision rules that allow the production operators to schedule the line. Think of Kanban scheduling as an execution tool rather than a planning tool. Kanban replaces the daily scheduling activities necessary to operate the process and the need for supervisors to continuously monitor scheduled status to determine the next item needed. This is done all through visual signals within the Kanban. out of gas

Why would you want to implement Kanban?
Kanban is a tool that controls your work in process. In marketing that would be your number of prospects within your Value Stream. Most organizations fail to recognize the hidden costs in overhead, effort, lost prospects that were never prospects, support material, and other service related activities. Work in process reductions together with these factors can make Kanban a competitive edge in today's business environment. The benefits of Kanban can become a driver for creating a culture of continuous process improvement when the improvements are translated directly into work in process.

Just reducing the work in process forces you to better understand your marketing value Stream. It forces you to recognize how that marketing value stream relates target customer and how they need to be segmented for more focused efforts. When you are forced to constrict the numbers of organizations or individuals that you are dealing with, you will be reminded of the comfort levels and informal walls that allowed these levels to be build up over time. An added plus is that you will start using much more realistic data to formulate these decisions. It is not easy to say that you will stop marketing to a certain segment or group.

In many marketing processes it is more about growing the sales funnel with leads, which in lean terms is overproduction. The very nature of Kanban scheduling process sets up maximum and minimum work in process levels. These levels should be controlled by setting up control points, setting up for better sales channels (segmentation) provide directions for moving the process forward. The Kanban also gives individuals much better guidance on what is needed and just in its nature will allow better utilization of your human resources. It will also readily identify the constraints and bottlenecks within your process.

These levels can also signal for when and when not to accelerate marketing actions. You avoid the issue of should you or shouldn't you increase targeted efforts in very various stages of your marketing process.

As a result of this, it will improve the flow of the entire sales and marketing process needed and who it needs to be directed at. Controlling these levels should also create shorter flow cycles that will prevent you from working on activities or creating material that is becomes dated or obsolete.

How do you start?
One of the best ways to learn and start implementing Kanban if it does indeed have all these fantastic benefits is to do it on a personal level first. My guest tomorrow on the Business901 Podcasts is Jim Benson, the founder of Personal Kanban. I blogged about it last week and he has some great suggestions. In addition, this week's blogging will talk about implementing a Marketing Kanban.

Therefore, a Marketing Kanban scheduling process to be considered a true Kanban the marketing process it controls must:

  • Only produce material/services to add value to the customer decision making process on a established need.
  • Only produce material/services based on signals sent its customers

Related Posts:

Wasteful even in Sales and Marketing

Kanban, A Great Organizational Idea

Why you should use Kanban in Marketing?

Background for this post came from the book Kanban Made Simple

Lean Rock Stars assembled for Indy Management Workshop

I have first hand knowledge of several of these instructors and the ones that I do not are well renowned in the Lean field. I can hardly think of a better cast that could be put together. I wonder if Lean Enterprise will put together a film clip like this for these Rock Stars? I think they should.

Lean Enterprise Institute recently announced 6 Lean Management Workshops for Indianapolis. The training sessions will help Lean Thinkers launch and sustain lean transformations in manufacturing and nonmanufacturing processes. The nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute will run workshops June 22-24, 2010, in Indianapolis on how to implement and sustain lean management methods in manufacturing, service, and office processes. The sessions, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, address how to apply basic and more advanced lean concepts. The lean management workshops and the instructors are listed below:

  • Key Concepts of Lean - Understanding the Toyota Production System - Instructor(s): David Meier

  • Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process - Instructor(s): John Y. Shook, David Verble, Marek Piatkowski, Tracey Richardson

  • Value-Stream Mapping for the Office and Service - Instructor(s): Jim Luckman

  • Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders - Instructor(s): David Verble

  • Lean Problem Solving Instructor(s): Tracey Richardson

  • Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes - Instructor(s): Drew Locher

    Related Posts:
    LEI Workshops
    6 Lean Management Workshops for Indianapolis
    Who is your Lean Rock star?

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    18 minutes with an agile mind: Clifford Stoll on TED

    Clifford Stoll could talk about the atmosphere of Jupiter. Or hunting KGB hackers. Or Klein bottles, computers in classrooms, the future. But he's not going to. Which is fine, because it would be criminal to confine a man with interests as multifarious as Stoll's to give a talk on any one topic. Instead, he simply captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides -- and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he's a scientist: "Once I do something, I want to do something else." (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, California. Duration: 17:50.)

    This is a very insightful video. AND a great lesson on how to give a presentation.

    Related Posts:
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    I am reading this before my next webinar, are you?
    Six Tips for Remote Presenting – Nancy Duarte
    The Disney Way

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Small Business Lean

    My guest on the Business901 Podcast was Ankit Patel, the founder of The Lean Way Consulting. We discussed applying Lean principles to Small Business. Ankit is a Lean Practitioner that has taken his expertise to the front-line of many small business. Little theory was discussed in this conversation. There was little if any should “do’s” but more what we did and what was learned from this. I call it practical and implementable items, not ideas.Ankit

    In the past, Ankit has been a Lean consultant for Dell Inc. overseeing Dell’s Manufacturing, and Re-Manufacturing production processes in Lebanon TN.  Ankit helped guide the multibillion dollar plant in strategic planning, coaching executives at the plant, facilitating Kaizen events, and training Lean leaders at all levels of the organization.  Ankit is no stranger to the board room or the shop floor and has run several strategic initiatives as well as 100’s of Kaizen events

    Ankit has also had several years of small business ownership.  He has owned a Liberty Tax Service, started his own online computer education company My Computer Buddies and has been a partner in a sandwich shop and a motel.  Ankit has guided a variety of small and medium size businesses ranging in services from veterinary clinics to tattoo parlors.

    His experience to change and grow companies ranges from small businesses to multinational fortune 50 companies. Ankit has an Industrial Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech and lives in the Nashville TN area.  You can follow Ankit on the blog


    Related Posts:

    Indiana Lean Management Workshops

    Lean Enterprise Institute Announces 6 Lean Management Workshops for Indianapolis The training sessions will help Lean Thinkers launch and sustain lean transformations in manufacturing and nonmanufacturing processes.Lean Enterprise

    The nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute will run workshops June 22-24, 2010, in Indianapolis on how to implement and sustain lean management methods in manufacturing, service, and office processes. The sessions, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, address how to apply basic and more advanced lean concepts. I am actually torn on which one(s) to attend, I wish I could attend all of them!!

    The schedule of lean management workshops is:

    Key Concepts of Lean - Understanding the Toyota Production System (2 days): Individuals and teams will gain a better understanding of the components and underlying philosophy of lean, based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), and how the elements and philosophy work together to create a Lean Enterprise.

    Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process (2 days): Using lessons from the popular Managing to Learn book, you’ll learn how to write A3s and respond as a mentor to the A3s of others. You’ll examine the different types and formats of A3 stories, the role of A3s in gaining alignment with stakeholders, and how A3s function as tools for change management, general management, people development, and knowledge sharing. (Bring an A3 or a real problem from work to tackle during exercises.)

    Value-Stream Mapping for the Office and Service (1 day): Learn how to apply value-stream mapping to administrative, professional, and transactional activities. Through instruction, hands-on exercises, and case studies, you’ll learn how to document and analyze a current-state map of nonproduction value streams, then design and implement a future-state map.

    Change Agent Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders (2 days): Learn how the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle serves as the basis for an effective change management process for implementing an integrated lean operating system. You'll discover techniques for proposing lean initiatives and building commitment by using influence, negotiation, teaching, and the A3 report (or storyboard) as a way to present a logical business case for lean changes.

    Lean Problem Solving (1 day): Harness the DNA of successful, sustainable lean implementations by learning to apply the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) problem solving method. PDCA problem solving can solve the vast majority of your problems. It also teaches clear thinking, reinforces lean concepts, and engages team members at all levels. You will also learn how to link problem solving to core management systems to create a learning culture.

    Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes: Take the next step after the “Value-Stream Mapping for Office and Service” workshop. Through a simulated office kaizen event, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of how key lean concepts of standard work, visual management, flow, and pull apply to information-intensive processes. You’ll identify improvement opportunities, implement them, then measure the impact.

    For complete details about content, instructors, discounts, and to register, go to, call 617- 871-2900, or email .

    The instructor list is outstanding. Drew Locher will be heading up the segment on Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Process and was a guest early this year on the Business901 Podcast.

    Blog/Podcast/Ebook with Drew Locher:
    Future State Map 7 Basic Questions
    Using Value Stream Mapping
    Using Value Stream Mapping in Lean

    Can Introvert Tendencies be a Marketing Advantage? Find out from an Expert Get Clients NOW™ Facilitator

    Joan Friedlander, owner of Lifework Business Partners was my guest on the Business901 Podcast and we had the opportunity to discuss creating realistic and executable marketing plans for self-employed service business owners and key members of a business team. One of Joan’s specialties is working with Introverts and our conversation extended into using those introvert tendencies as an advantage in today’s business climate. Joan Friedlander

    Joan was my facilitator when I became a Get Clients NOW™ Facilitator and still offers the program and has a program starting on May 11th. She is an outstanding instructor and I have never met anyone that facilitates a teleseminar better. As a bonus, she had offered my listeners this download: 5- Steps to effective Follow-up. 

    Lifework business Partners works with solo-entrepreneurs and small business teams that are stretched to their limits. She works with them to improve effectiveness through a 3-pronged “workstyle approach:” focusing on high-priority outcomes, tapping into the key talents of each member of the team, and working in harmony with an individual’s unique “energy signature.”

    Joan is a lifelong student of human potential and behavior. She enjoys playing in the game of business and, as she'll readily tell you, finds that's it's an excellent playground for personal growth, self-expression and learning. At the heart of her work is a purpose that she first articulated in her teen years, that all human beings have a right to pursue and engage in work that they enjoy, is satisfying & fun.

    Before graduating with a degree in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, Joan started studying alternative models for understanding and maximizing one's full potential. She brings her diverse business background - she held 21 jobs before launching her coaching business in late 2000 - and various studies to her work with her clients. Joan focuses on personal productivity and work-life balance issues.

    Related Posts:
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    Achieving Expert Status
    Marketing Your Black Belt

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    What happens when the factory goes away?

    The other day Seth Godin had a post titled , The factory in the center. He said: Old time factories had a linear layout, because there was just one steam engine driving one drive shaft. Every machine in the shop had to line up under the shaft (connected by a pulley) in order to get power. I really enjoyed the chocolate factory video of Lucy and Ethel that he included with the post. Markeitng Hourglass

    I liken that to the Marketing Funnel or Hourglass concept used by so many Info Marketers. When you look at that concept you will see people placing marketing products next to the different stages of the funnel. Each one depicting the opportunities that they have or the marketing action they use in that particular stage. An example is included in a previous post of mine. It is the way I was taught. The marketing funnel concept is just a step by step progression through the marketing process. When you review that concept, does it not seem dated? Is that not just another way of pushing products?

    Reviewing many of my own writings from yesteryear (I have always liked that word), I notice the lack of customer pull that I think is required for successful marketing. The products were based on continuing funneling a person through stages to get to the ultimate buying stage. After that, referrals and up-sells are initiated. Though the concept makes it easier to explain, it really serves little purpose in defining what works in today’s marketing and is in fact downright misleading. I use an hourglass as a way of demonstrating a constraint but as an extension of the marketing funnel, I find it misleading as referral strategies should be introduced much earlier and often in the typical marketing cycle. Think about it, how many of your referrals come from customers? Most come from people that you associate with that may never be a customer.

    I really prefer looking at marketing in a much more cyclic fashion and somewhat more of an iterative process. Spending time defining your customer needs and how your organization reacts to those needs is the essence of marketing today. This approach can make your marketing more effective and reliable by reducing your marketing variability. Marketing is simply becoming more about problem solving and addressing customer needs, not what I call the caveman approach; “You need to buy this!” Instead I like to use the term Value Stream Marketing!

    Back to Seth Godin’s Post: Now it doesn't matter where you sit. Now it doesn't matter whether or not you're adding to the efficiency or productivity of the machine. Now you don't market to sell what you made, you make to satisfy the market. Now, the market and the consumer and idea trump the system.

    Suddenly, the power is in a different place, and the organization must change or else the donut collapses.

    Is your Marketing Funnel or Hourglass working?

    Related Category::

    Value Stream Marketing and the Indirect Marketing Concept

    Marketing Funnel

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Value Stream Marketing eBook Released

    Joe Dager of Business901 just released a 27-page eBook which provides an overview of the Value Stream Marketing Process. The book is an overview of applying Lean principles to the marketing process. It also serves as an introduction to the Business901 Marketing Kanban and the Value Stream Marketing 28 day program. Value stream Marketing

    Short Excerpt:

    Value Stream Marketing is not about developing a repeatable process. Repeatability means doing the same thing in the same way to produce the same results. Though repetition will allow you to convert your inputs to outputs with little variation, it also implies that no new information can be generated and used. Repeatable processes are not effective because precise results are rarely predictable in the marketing process. Reliable processes focus on outputs, not inputs. Using a reliable process, you can consistently achieve a given goal even though the inputs vary dramatically. Reliability is results driven.

    Marketing cycles are not completely stable. They are subject to variations caused by new knowledge. They are constantly being improved. The emphasis of activities changes during projects from more emphasis on understanding the customer at the beginning to more constructing and testing marketing functions at the end. We are trying to eliminate variation caused by new knowledge. A marketing process that does exactly the same thing every time is useless, but we are trying to eliminate variation that we cause for no good reason. 

    The eBook is available through my Ezine registration or part of the participation in the VSM 28 day program.  These can be found on the Business901 website.   

    Related Posts:
    Value Stream Marketing Registration
    Marketing Kanban 101

    Picture was Adapted from a Lean Product Development Diagram by Eric Ries of

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    Implementing Lean

    Lonnie Wilson, the owner and principal of Quality Consultants is an expert in Lean Manufacturing techniques and applications. He not only instructs management professionals in the applications of these lean techniques; he is an on-the-floor-implementation professional. His new book, How To Implement Lean Manufacturing, was released by McGraw Hill, August 2009. Lean Manufacturing

    He is well versed in problem solving skills. He is an expert in statistical problem solving as well as logical techniques such as Kepner-Tregoe methodology. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt and he not only utilizes the Six Sigma tools but he is an active Six Sigma trainer. He is very comfortable in the classroom and even more so on the factory floor. He is equally adept at working with top management as well as the line worker. He is an aggressive problem solver and with his 39 years in industry, Mr. Wilson has developed the ability to reduce complex problems to simple workable solutions.

    In addition to his work in Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, Mr. Wilson has developed and taught classes in a wide variety of topics including many statistical tools such as DOE, SPC MSA, QFD and human relations skills such as Advanced Facilitation, Hoshin-Kanri Policy Deployment and Team Based Problem Solving, to name a few.

    This is actually part 2 of 2 of the podcast I had with Lonnie. I found his description of Standard Work, Audits, Quality and Leaderships of such value that I wanted to publish this episode first. So, don’t be surprised that I jump right into the conversation on Standard Work after the introduction.

    Related Posts:

    I found it very interesting how some of Lonnie’s thoughts so closely reminded me of my podcast with Michael Balle
    Developing a Kaizen Spirit

    Developing a Kaizen Conscious with Shingo Prize winner Michael Balle

    How much Planning is enough – Use Lean and Standardize

    It takes guts, to start with lean training in a turnaround!