A quick post about flow and the challenge of bringing this idea into organizations - it challenges deeply-held beliefs.

[Knowledge Jolt] 5 new entries

The truth about ... flow


A lot of the continuous improvement literature makes reference to flow and similar ideas. In talking about projects and Critical Chain lately, I have been using the image of a boat floating downstream: anything that slows the boat or blocks it from moving slows it from getting to the goal. It seems so obvious: of course, you don't want your project to get stuck partway through. Similarly, in production, or the supply chain or the sales process. But the thing is, many organizations let their...

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Stretch: working with your constraints, instead of beyond them

Stretch book cover

I finished Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less - and Achieve Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein a few weeks ago, and have had the ideas rolling around in my head since then. I really like the overall premise of the book - and I found that it nicely connects to the ideas of Theory of Constraints and process improvement in general.

The basic concept is that there are 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those don't. ...

Sorry... I...

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Drawing your way to understanding

A client sent a link to Tom Wujec's TED Scotland 2013 talk, Got a Wicked Problem? First, tell me how you make toast. It's a discussion of why drawing out your system can be so valuable. Wujec uses the framework of making toast to expand into systems thinking in general. He even shares the ideas on DrawToast.com to encourage others to use the concept.

Wujec describes the overall process as helping to create clarity, engagement and alignment by making your processes visual, tangible and...

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Physics behind new product development

I read Factory Physics (the Managers' Guide version) a year or so ago, and I haven't blogged about it - partially because writing about it might require repeating everything they describe in the book. And then it would be the same as telling you to go read it yourself.

I came across a Guest Blog: Finding Science and Success with Lean Principles in R&D by Norbert Majerus of Goodyear on the Factory Physics website, and it describes the Factory Physics ideas as applied in new product...

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More five whys - Cult of root cause


Following my connections on Twitter is always interesting during conferences. Today, Cat Swetel is at DevOps Days Atlanta and mentioned an old post from Donald Reinertsen on The Cult of the Root Cause that talks about the abuse of the concept behind the Five Whys. He's specifically concerned when people apply the tool without bringing their brain to the game. Is it valuable to find the root cause? Is it more expedient to fix a symptom or intermediate cause? Does it depend on the time...

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