Beat the bloat of software subscriptions

With another season of budget planning now in the books to execute anew, it’s time to self-reflect on your budgeting process to find learnings for next year. For technology spend, an area of opportunity to reduce costs is to find redundant and underutilized software subscriptions. Not only does consolidation and Read More …

Learning this changed my career

The year was 2001. I was in a room presenting a 1.0 version of an internal browser-based utility that enabled our billing department to generate a current customer price card without running a program and print job from the mainframe. It was a leap forward with technology use, but more Read More …

Making Respect Part of the Culture

The word respect is so common in company core values that I wonder if it’s become ubiquitous.  How do we define respect? Is it treating people kindly, helping those in need, and recognizing the contributions of others? Most certainly. But the challenge is, these are surface level behaviors and don’t Read More …

Creating culture with remote teams

“What are ways you are building a ‘lean culture’ with remote team members?” I posted this question on Twitter and a LinkedIn group because during the 25 years of my professional career, I’ve seen working from home (telecommuting as we used to call it) go from a special once-per-week privilege Read More …

Root Cause Analysis Playbook

One of the staples of our Lean journey is a monthly root cause analysis (RCA) effort. The results of the team standard have surpassed my expectations, and I anticipate more potential positive results as we mature our approach. Our playbook is simple to execute, but requires disciplined execution and adherence Read More …

Getting rid of the compliance mindset

To follow, or not to follow the rules. Have you noticed following established rules is a paradox of behavior? In some situations, we admonish employees when they don’t follow procedures and rules. We create manuals of standard procedures for consistent experiences and output. But when someone doesn’t follow the standard Read More …

Lean Visual Management Board – What I’ve learned so far

Last year we started using a visual management board to get a better understanding of the flow of work in our IT department. The board, now in version 2 and completely electronic, has become the staple of our weekly team leader meetings. With continued attention and more maturity in lean Read More …

Turning employee survey results inside out

Making sense of employee survey results. This week I reviewed the 2018 employee survey results with my department. I’ll be honest; deciphering survey results is a challenge for a variety of reasons. Questions are interpreted differently. Similar questions with slight nuances yield measurably different answers. Survey results are influenced highly Read More …

Scribble Scrabble

Scribble Scrabble? Two thoughts collided during my self-reflection this week. It started with an article from David Pierce at the Wall Street Journal about handwriting. Pierce explores the effects of the digital world on our penmanship scribble scrabble. He provides a well-framed set of options for getting the written word Read More …

Root cause analysis for team building

Early in my career we used a process that loosely resembled a root cause analysis after a severity 1 production outage. The intent of the process was to determine why the severity outage occurred and then fix the problem so it didn’t happen again. No one liked process and the Read More …

More or Less?

Truth. There will always be more work to do than is possible to accomplish by my team. Think more. Whine less. Earlier this year I penned some thoughts about thinking through resource contention, Do more with what you have!, because I was looking for better ways to address resource contention Read More …

JIT Action Items for the Office Worker

Just in time. Picture this. You are reviewing a list of tasks that was assigned to colleagues in your business. You remind one of the task owners their action item is due tomorrow and they respond, “I have it on my list, but I’m operating just-in-time.” This happened to me Read More …

Revisiting – What are you known for?

Deja Vu I recorded a few rambling thoughts one day after work this week. That’s how many of my blog posts originate. Things happen through the course of a day that stick with me into the evening. When I jot down my thoughts, I see interactions with people, process observations, Read More …