Archives for July 2011

Clean Cold Running Water

Depending on who you listen to we want a number of things.  Maslow will tell you they can be categorised, starting with physiological needs and ending with self actualisation. I’m lucky, by most peoples standards I am a way up that particular triangle, but it is easy to forget what you have and assume everybody […]

What can a Lilo Teach you about Cost Control?

We all want to take cost out of our organisations.  Invariably the way we do it is by jumping up and down on the issue that is causing us most pain at the time, we jump on spending to reduce expenditure.  Jump on the finance budget, jump on the IT budget, jump on the postage […]

Fat Fingers and Process Bottlenecks

All processes have a bottleneck, a rate limiting step, something that stops them from going further faster.   It is really important to know what the bottle neck is, because unless you open the bottleneck you will never get any better. Let’s take the mobile computer as an example.  I am sitting on a train writing […]

Poo in the Pool

Imagine the scene, you won Euro Millions, you are a multi multi millionaire. To celebrate you bought a house high above Los Angeles in the Hollywood Hills.  It has fabulous views out over the city and a beautiful aqua marine pool.  You have been there a month and are holding a house warming party, all […]

The Perfect Employee

One of the biggest growth sectors for computer games is 30 to 40 year old women.  This surprised me a little; I always thought it was spotty teenagers.  Then somebody pointed me at Farmville.  It all fell into place. This fact has huge ramifications for the gaming industry.  If you are female, in your mid […]

Management Reports, Horses and Camels

Design and big groups just don’t work.  There’s the old joke about a camel being a horse that was designed by a committee.  It’s no accident that the most successful aesthetic designs of even the most expensive and complex products normally come down to a handful of people at most. It’s the same with the […]

Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Google have been playing around with their data. They have found out that they can predict the likelihood of a flu outbreak in a particular geographical area. They do this by counting how many times people search for “flu” in that location.  It seems that if a friend or relative goes down with a bad […]

The Dilemma

I run lots of process improvement sessions. After a while you see the same issues raising their ugly head, over and over again. One of the biggest issues is being too flexible.  We allow customers to change their mind half way through.  We try to please by starting without all the information we need.  We  […]

RIP Internal Phone Book

I used to work in R and D for Unilever, a very large FMCG manufacturer.  Whenever we had a problem, couldn’t make something, didn’t know what to do next, my boss would say to me: “We should know what Unilever knows.  Who do you know?” At which point I used groan and pick up the […]