Archives for January 2012

10 Ways to Improve Customer Service Without Investing in IT

1.  Agree with your customers what they want from you and when they want it. Clarify all the issues as you work through the discussion, ironing out any misunderstandings and highlighting things that are easy to resolve. Then write down a specification. It is amazing what you will find out. 2.  Define what your “purpose” […]

Information Technology: Are you Just Hiding the Problem?

A tale of two officesThe first  is a shambles, clearly the owner has no idea what is going on, he should be taken outside, sacked, hung, shot and generally persecuted for good measure. The second is a model of organisation, it is paper free, the work has been, productionised, computerised, systematised and digitised.  It is […]

Customer Complaints: Does Your Bank Act Like a 3 Year Old?

Part 1:  How children behave There was a little girl Who had a little curl Right in the middle of her forehead When she was good she was very very good And when she was bad she was horrid    I didn’t really understand that nursery rhyme until I had daughters.  Now I have a […]

Problem Solving: 4 Simple Steps to Success

I was once told that success in life is as simple as getting your arms around a problem and knocking it off.  If you agree with the principle, (and there is not really a lot to disagree with), then by definition, problem solving leads to success.  Solving problems isn’t that difficult, it is just four […]

Surge Planning: I Hate the Snow

It was cold this morning Freezing It is going to snow, maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon Snow is a mixed blessing, great for sledging but for some of us, it’s a work disaster Pipes freeze People fall Cars won’t start Boilers fail If you happen to be in the game of mending pipes […]

That’s Not my Name

My name is James Lawther.  I have been called James by my mother from the day I was born. The name on my birth certificate is Kenneth James Lawther.  This makes me a bit odd, I use my middle name as my first name (so to speak). Most databases are structured: First Name Middle Initial […]

Presentation Tips: Why are You Talking to Me?

Monday is not going to be a good day. On Monday morning I have to sit through a four hour presentation.  There are things in life I enjoy doing, I enjoy riding my bike, I enjoy taking my children to the beach, I enjoy reading thrillers.  But I do not enjoy sitting through four hour presentations. […]

Fish Bone Diagrams – Helpful or Not?

I was late for work.  I am always late for work (ask my boss, he will confirm this) One of the guys I work with told me I need to work out why I am late all the time and fix it before I get the sack.  He suggested I do some Fish-bone analysis and a […]

How to Estimate, and Why you Really Should Know

Speed will gain you competitive advantage Speed in business is gained by making decisions quickly Decisions are delayed because we need information to inform those decisions So anything that can give us numbers quickly is a source of competitive advantage Being able to do a quick estimate is a very valuable thing So how do […]