Archives for September 2011

The Five “Whys?”

I have an eight year old daughter, she is verging on perfect (well I am her Dad).  Unfortunately there are a number of bits where she is not so verging on perfect.  One of those is her constant questions, why why why why why?.  As the saying goes “It does my head in”. This is […]

Swim Lanes

From time to time, people ask me what is the best way to draw a process map.  (Maybe they, or I, should get out more.) A better question is why are you drawing a process map? So that you can agree what the process is So you can communicate a process So you can spot […]

Continental Management Reviews

I hate driving on the continent. It’s hard work.  It isn’t just the fact that foreigners will insist on driving on the wrong side of the road (though that doesn’t help), the real problem is that I am constantly bombarded with information that I don’t quite understand: road signs, billboards, lane markings, traffic lights… and […]

Why E-mail is Like Oil

Let’s be brutal here: you’re probably buried in e-mail.  And like crude oil, e-mail can be a sticky, annoying substance that’s practically impossible to clean.  We need e-mail to get things done, but it seems like an endless, yucky mess. The funny thing about oil is that while spilling a little bit is a problem […]

Road Rage and Team Building

I was late, I am permanently late, I was born late and I am still trying to catch up. I was driving to a call centre in Halifax.  If you have ever visited Halifax you will know that the last 5 miles into town from the motorway are along the most tedious stretch of “no […]

The Seven Deadly KPI Sins

Ignorance ~ Not knowing why you are measuring something Greed ~ Too many measures Stupidity ~ Having measures and targets that drive destructive behaviours Inexperience ~ Not understanding “noise” in data and running off to fix things that aren’t really broken. Vanity ~ Dressing up and displaying data in an incomprehensible way Wastefulness ~ Burying the message in unnecessary […]

Customer Service Surveys, What a Waste of Time

The company I work for runs a management health screening scheme.  Once a year they pay for me to go to see a doctor who looks at me with disdain.  I was screened last week.  After an hour or so of checks and analysis (and not inconsiderable expense) the doctor told me: I drink too […]

Six Questions about Six Sigma

Question 1:  What exactly is a sigma, (let alone six of them)? It is a measure of how good a process is at delivering something that a customer wants. Just because a customer wants it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the process is capable of delivering it.  I might have wanted a son, think of […]

Does the Janitor Own your Processes?

Who owns your processes? It’s a simple question but a complex answer.  (Unless, of course, you’re a one-person business where you do everything, in which case I’m fairly sure you are the process owner) In the real world where companies are larger than a  single individual – and multinationals can have hundreds of thousands of […]