Let’s Try It and See

Test and learn I love hanging around musicians.  I love their energy and perspectives that are different from mine. That’s why I was hanging out in a music studio on a fine summer day a few years ago while a recording session was underway. The band had been going for an hour or so when […]

Estimates and Anchors

Sometimes you will be asked a question and you won’t know the answer… How many customers will call? How many products will you sell? How much will the project cost? Sometimes you have to start with an estimate. How do we estimate? Let me explain with a question: how many people live in my home […]

Can You Make the Right Decisions?

Decision-making is hard. So hard that we pay people handsomely to be professional decision makers: Doctors Underwriters Bank Managers Tax Inspectors All of them make their living by taking complex ill-defined situations and making decisions. Unfortunately they don’t always decide the same way If you put two professional decision makers in a room at the […]

Can You Have Too Much Information?

We live in a world of big data.  We are all collecting information, compiling it and then trying to work out how to use it to our best advantage. So of course we want to see all the information available and then some, before a decision is made.  The more information we have the happier […]

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 […]

Measure Anything the Sesame Street Way

There are a lot of intangible things in life, things that affect the service that you are delivering and the business that you are running.   Things that you would love to know, but are frankly just impossible to find out.  How about these for a couple of examples: How effective are your managers? How […]

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  […]

Decide, please decide, decide now

What do you do when faced with a decision? Do you do everything you can to get it right?  Do you analyse the options, get opinions from trusted advisers, work through all the angles to make the correct choice.  Do you take the time and effort to make sure?  Do you do the right thing? […]

The Problem with Analytics

We have become obsessed by analytics or “the application of computer technology, operational research, and statistics to solve problems in business and industry”. Analytics uses databases and algorithms in an attempt to resolve problems.  Analytics uses infographics to present data. This is not the same as analysis or “the process of breaking a complex topic […]