Quality Systems

2008 Management Improvement Carnival: The Year in Review

I’m privileged to be partnering with John Hunter and friends to produce the Year-End Management Improvement Carnival. Our goal is to review the best management improvement blogs out there, and find out what gems were posted during 2008 – then take you on a guided tour of the past year’s most intriguing management insights.

PART 1 of 4 – The first three favorites on my list come from David Anderson’s http://www.agilemanagement.net, a blog that focuses on effective and productive implementation of agile methods in software development and management.

Providing Value with Lean (3/31/2008) – One of the most important considerations while implementing a quality program or process improvement initiative is that you focus on the right aspects of the problem at the right times. This is much easier said than done, especially since the problem solving environment is socio-technical – and as a result, complex. But David makes the excellent point that “doing lean” means more than just eliminating waste. You have to take a systems perspective, and first consider how value is to be added, then analyze the process for flow, and then work on eliminating waste. Sometimes, to get a better process, you have to add waste before the improvements can be realized in a sustainable fashion.

Recipe for Success (9/5/2008) – David says: “This is the mechanism I use to achieve sustainable pace and to implement a pull system which provides a nice mechanism for simple prioritization. Prioritizing becomes easier when you have demand balanced against throughput of work items.” In addition to the two variants on the recipe he presents, another reason I like this post is that it reminds me of how the concept of “stackless” programming languages can inform efficient workflow.

Personal Hedgehog (11/2/2008) – What are you uniquely good at? What are you passionate about? What motivates you economically? The most productive people are in roles that fit them well, and the Personal Hedgehog concept can help you find your niche. (Might also be good for managers who want to help their team members find a good fit.)

(I’m also intrigued by David’s concept of an unconference.)

Go to Part 2 of 4 –>

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