Business901 Book Specials from other authors on Amazon

Monday, August 30, 2010

Has Technology Killed Time?

Some of the most popular books and even a few of my most popular blog post are all centered around words like:








Has Technology killed time?

Whatever happen to the words, I need to sleep on it or let me think about it? Can you imagine your kids saying that or even accepting that answer? I still remember when a quick answer seemed imprudent, even impulsive. Maybe, I am just showing my age?

BTW: I think has a great looking video. 

Related Posts:
Fail Early and Fail Often
A Kaizen Event is one of the most popular ways to rapidly improve a process and make the gains stick. Or is it?
Kaizen Search on Business901 Blogsite
Do you wanna turn your office into an idea factory?
Removing Uncertainy in your Decision Making
Problem Solving

Friday, August 27, 2010

wanna turn your office into an idea factory?

Most continuous improvement efforts and most notably Lean are influenced heavily by the power of visualization. In fact, the post-it-note and a roll of butcher paper may be the two most important tools that you can have. Even computers are trying to jump into the fray like the iPad. ;)

Graphics, Sticky notes, Mapping and napkins are becoming back in vogue, just review the recent editions of a few of the most recent management books:

The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures
Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

…and there are quite a bit more.

Visual thinking has always been a big part of my thinking from Mindmaps, Value Stream Maps, Kanban, User Stories, etc. One of the older techniques that I ran across in discussion with Bill Dettmer,  an upcoming podcast guest was  Brainpower Networking Using the Crawford Slip Method. Pioneered by C. C. Crawford, the Crawford Slip method is a structured approach used to collect a large number of ideas from a group. A facilitator first displays a problem statement or issue, then participants generate ideas and write them on a provided slip of paper or 3 x 5 index card. Since this is an anonymous process, more candid and creative ideas result.

Invented in the 1920s by Dr. C.C. Crawford, Professor of Education at the University of Southern California, the method simply involves collating input from people on slips of paper, nowadays we often use Post-It Notes® or butcher paper for idea generation or  mapping projects. I have huge bulleting boards and white boards in my office to facilitate idea generation. Not only does this help you generate a wide variety of solutions, it also helps people get involved and feel that their contributions are valued.

I ran across this video today on twitter,thanks to @igniter  that I have not realized existed.

Do you wanna turn your office into an idea factory?

P.S. As Dr. Galsworth once told me…”If your not Visual, your not Lean!”

Related Posts:
Lean Six Sigma Storyboard
Value Stream Mapping Workshop
Marketing Kanban:
Be Productive, Be Visual
Be Productive, Be Visual, Part 2
Start your Visual Thinking Process with Mind Mapping
Power of Visual Thinking in your Visual Workplace

BTW: I have no affiliation with IdeaPaint, I just thought it was a cool product. Click on the link to see their website it is FUN!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lean Healthcare Interview

John Toussaint, M.D., CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value was my Podcast guest this week. From 2000 to 2008, Dr. Toussaint served as president and chief executive officer of ThedaCare, Inc., a community-owned, four-hospital health system including twenty-one physician clinics, as well as home health capabilities, senior care facilities, hospice care, and behavioral health. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with nearly 5,400 employees, serving an eight-county region.

toussaint During his tenure as president and CEO of ThedaCare, Dr. Toussaint introduced the ThedaCare Improvement System (TIS), which is derived from the Toyota Production System. This model of continuous improvement helped save millions of dollars in healthcare costs by reducing patient errors, improving outcomes and delivering better quality care at a higher value.

Dr. Toussaint’s new book, On the Mend: Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, co-authored with Roger A. Gerard, PhD. describes the triumphs and stumbles of a seven-year journey to lean healthcare, an effort that continues today. In the podcast, we discussed the “How to” of these achievements. I believe that any Continuous Improvement participant can benefit from reading this book. I have read it twice! 

About Healthcare Value Leaders:  The partnership between the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (TCHV) brings together two of the world's leaders in "lean thinking," with a combined 20 years of experience in lean implementation and education. Working in partnership allows LEI and the TCHV to leverage their unique perspectives and not-for-profit missions to accomplish a shared goal of fundamentally improving healthcare delivery through lean thinking.

Related Posts:
Story of Going Lean in Healthcare: On the Mend
Lean Enterprise and Thedacare team together to hold Strategy Deployment Virtual Event
Mark Graban of the Lean Blog discusses Lean Healthcare

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Selling in a Recession

Neil Rackham author of SPIN Selling, (what I consider one of the top books ever written on selling) discussed recession selling strategies in this video. Whether we are coming out of this recession or not, I believe this recession will have a long tail and has changed the landscape on how we sell. This video points out some key points for now and in the future that your sales team will have to address.

Related Posts:
Rethinking your Sales Cycle
Rethinking the Sales Cycle: How Superior Sellers Embrace the Buying Cycle to Achieve a Sustainable and Competitive Advantage

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Marketing Waste should appear, not be found

Many people believe that to apply Lean Techniques to marketing it is about removing waste. Eliminating waste is one of the Guiding Principles of Value Stream Marketing but you must make some fundamental improvements in your marketing cycle before a pull marketing system will work.

Related Posts:
A Little Law applied in Lean Marketing
Most Marketing Systems are Out of Control.
If you control it well, it flows well!
Value Stream Mapping for Marketing

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lean Thinking in Services

Drew Locher was my guest on the Business901 podcast and our conversation centered on applying Lean to the Office and Service sectors. Drew has been working to implement business strategies since 1986 and I am amazed at his ability to distinguish between novel ideas and ones that are just a horse of a different color. His recent workshop, Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes in Indianapolis hosted by the Lean Enterprise was filled to capacity and registration was closed weeks before the event.Drew Locher

Drew is currently Managing Director for Change Management Associates, Shingo Prize winning author and the first Business901 Podcast returning guest.  CMA is a consortium of individuals who share a similar business management and improvement vision. They are committed to seeing innovative strategies implemented in all business environments. The CMA approach is practical and application oriented - a 'learn as you're doing and succeeding' approach.

Related Books:
The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes
Value Stream Mapping for Lean Development: A How-To Guide for Streamlining Time to Market
Extending Lean Thinking to Office and Services

Related Posts:
Lean Rock Stars assembled for Indy Management Workshop
Future State Map 7 Basic Questions
Using Value Stream Mapping eBook
Using Value Stream Mapping in Lean

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Providing Clarity to your Marketing Process

One purpose of Value Stream Marketing is to provide clarity to an individual or organizations marketing process. This gives you the ability to walk a prospect through the process, understanding where they are at in the process. Typically, I have a customer add the activities or in lean terms map the process he uses to gain a customer. It should mimic the path a customer makes in his decision process.  However, don’t look at this as just a simple exercise for a small organization. I use this in larger organizations by just repeating this process for each sales channel they may have. The secret to this is that it really forces you to layout your marketing process and is really the beginning of development of transferring your marketing into a process.

The purpose in creating your Value Stream is to achieve better cooperation of the multiple phases. Each interlinking phase depends upon the other links. In each of them, you will have different capabilities, normal variation and a changing workload making it practically impossible to balance. (You will often find that the Value stream is dependent upon the cooperation of all phases and as a result it highlights the strength of your handoffs. I have often found that in many organizations the individual steps or phases of the value stream are quite good but the quality of the handoffs is where the problems occur).  

Many organizations do not look at their sales and marketing process in aPicture1 linear fashion, let alone segmenting it. When organizations first map out the process, they look at connections where people come from being all over the map such as the diagram to the right. They look at a simple linear process as an oversimplification of reality.

Not everybody goes through each step of the cycle. Some will skip from step one to step three. Someone may enter the cycle in step three. These interconnections are not trivial, it is what makes your process work and it also may be stopping it from working. So what is the purpose? The purpose of creating your Value Stream is very simple: Which is harder to manage, the above diagram or the next one?Marketing Kanban (The Post-it notes represent a tactic such as a webinar, newsletter, financing, sales calls, etc.)

Your flow system, your Value Stream will allow an organization to operate at maximum efficiency. The secret in creating such a linear flow is segmentation. Without it, you will continue to operate in less than an optimum manner.  Keep segmenting your list, till you gain a linear flow. Yes, there may be a few exceptions.

This is a simplified version of how a Value Stream would look. As you can see the natural progression of the flow (Involve, Interaction, Influence… flow to the right), the enablers or information to move the process forward is provided above each step. Taking a group of current customers, you can identify this in your current process. If this seems difficult, make a certain group that you can segment and document the process. Many companies will find huge gaps in their processes, which are supported by other departments such as sales or service or maybe by repetitive marketing.

Creating a horizontal segment/swim lane for each of your marketing channels will allow you to not only create your value stream but also serve as a basis for your Marketing Kanban and execution of your marketing process.

Related Posts:
Marketing Kanban Category
Don’t Market Without Your Kanban
Value Stream Marketing Category

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Uncertainy in your Decision Making

I had great pleasure having Eli Schragenheim on the Business901 Podcast. Eli has been part of the Theory of Constraints movement practically from the beginning. He started working with Dr. Goldratt as a programmer to program a game for adults that would teach them how to think over 25 years ago. During the podcast we dove into the subject of Uncertainy! A great discussion, that affects our everyday life and how it relates to forecasting and even our intuition.Eli Schragenheim

From the Podcast: We cannot really predict the future. We can predict some reasonable range of the future needed to make a decision. This is hard for forecasting. Forecasting is an unbelievably important tool for managers, but again they need to understand what does it mean and what does it contain and how wrong could it be.

In the past 25 years, Eli Schragenheim has taught, spoken at conferences, and consulted in more than 15 countries, including the United States, Canada, India, China, and Japan. He has also developed software simulation tools especially designed to experience the thinking of TOC, and consultant with several application software companies to develop the right TOC functionality in their own packages. Mr. Schragenheim was a partner in the A. Y. Goldratt Institute and is now a Director of Goldratt schools.

He is the author of Management Dilemmas: The Theory of Constraints Approach to Problem Identification and Solutions.  He recently collaborated with William Detmer and Wayne Patterson on the book Supply Chain Management at Warp Speed: Integrating the System from End to End. The new book contains much of the new development of TOC and operations.

You can contact Eli Schrangenheim through his e-mail @

Business901 Related Information:
Theory of Constraints Roundup
Holistic approach to the Theory of Constraints.
Theory of Constraints Handbook

Agile Development at Relevance

The Unique Development Processes of Relevance video was submitted by Eric Hagan on the Agile Zone dzone page. I was impressed with the clarity of Justin’s explanations of the Agile process. He made it sound almost to easy.  

Relevance does agile consulting with their own unique process which mixes and matches many agile methodologies.  Their standard workflow involves 2-week iterations, daily stand-ups, and they pair on everything as much as possible (QA, programming, management, etc).  They also build in a small amount of time to experiment for every iteration, but each experiment must have metrics to see if it was beneficial.  Relevance also has "open source Fridays" where they take some time to work on open source or non-profit software.

Related Posts:
Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or is it just a Marketing Funnel?
The Pull in Lean Marketing
Value Stream Marketing and the Indirect Marketing Concept
Marketing Kanban:
Marketing Kanban
Value Stream Mapping

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lean in the Office and Service Sector

Drew Locher was my guest on the Business901 podcast and this is a transcription of our conversation that centered on applying Lean to the Office and Service sectors. Drew is currently Managing Director for Change Management Associates, a Shingo Prize winning author and the first Business901 Podcast returning guest.

Related Podcast:
Lean Thinking in the Office and Services

Related Books:
The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Administrative and Office Processes
Value Stream Mapping for Lean Development: A How-To Guide for Streamlining Time to Market
Extending Lean Thinking to Office and Services

Related Posts:
Future State Map 7 Basic Questions
Using Value Stream Mapping eBook
Using Value Stream Mapping in Lean

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Insight on Performance

This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

Great insight on motivation and well worth the 10 minutes.

Dan Pink’s book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Related Posts:
Can you be talented enough on your own?
How effective does your Sales and Marketing team work together?
Does your customer know why you do it?