Archives for April 2010

Earth Quake

The cause of the recent eruption in Iceland was scantily dressed women. According to Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi a senior Iranian cleric (but not an operations analyst) “Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes”. Yesterday (Monday 26th April) an […]


If you want to be good at something you need to focus, that is obvious.  But how much of a difference does it make?  Take the Aravind eye hospital in India. It was founded in 1976 by Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy.  He had one aim, “to eradicate needless blindness”. In 2009 it treated 2.75 million patients […]

You Clever Rat

Have a good look at the picture below, can you see the pattern?  What is going to happen next?  Red or Green?  Left or Right?  Write down the answer (no cheating). An experiment was carried out in the USA (See the link).  A rat was put at the foot of a T shaped maze and […]

Looking for Junk

Here is a contentious statement for you. “Manufacturing operations are better run than Service operations”. Why do I think that? Is it because the manufacturing guys are cleverer? Is it because operations are more important in manufacturing? Is it because service operations are harder to run? I doubt any of those are true.  I think […]

Jargon du Jour

I love management jargon.  I found this today and believe me, you need one: “an oobeya room” An oobeya room is a large room specifically set up to run a project from.  As you enter the room it contains: 1.  The objective 2.  A representation of the expected output (a graphic or model so everybody […]

Savoir Faire

I watched a fascinating article about skiing. It showed how Olympians prepare their skis.  Before each race they: 1.  Strip the bottom of each ski to remove damage. 2.  Etch on a special grooved pattern to allow water to dissipate. 3.  Wax the ski, the type of wax is dependent upon the snow conditions. 4.  […]

To Offshore or not Offshore? has carried out a survey of consumer perceptions of UK versus Offshore call centres.  The chart shows the results.  Clearly the UK consumer prefers UK call centres (hardly a surprise), but they are so much more expensive.  So should you go offshore, it is an emotive question, who should decide? There are two issues: […]


It’s a big decision, should you or shouldn’t you? The world is changing at a remarkable pace, yesterday alone I: 1.  Had Kenyan green beans and asparagus from Peru delivered to my door. 2.  Held a text conversation with a friend who is stuck in Austria (inconsiderate things volcanoes). 3.  Sent my camera to be […]

Quality Checking

Happens to late. Is very expensive. And we aren’t good at it. The brain sees what it wants to see, not what is there. If you don’t believe me watch the video.

The Perfect Storm

Imagine you run a hospital.  One of your responsibilities is staffing, making sure there are enough nurses and doctors. Then the country is hit by a flu epidemic, you are inundated by sick people, demand soars through the roof.  It gets worse, your staff get sick as well, they take time off. Not only do […]