Sunday, January 30, 2005

From 1st to Home on a Single: More on
Survivals from Joe Ely & Lean Manufacturing  

I my last entry I discussed "Survivals", behaviors and practices that are practiced long after they have any use. Ironically, the most stubborn are the ones that were most functional when instituted.

Coincidentally, smart & effective manager Joe Ely posted the same time about a related issue. Joe's background is most useful to us because he works with key elements of 1st Base and Home Plate in the MBB Model: Operational management and Change. Even better, he's a practioner, not merely a theorist. Even best, he works in manufacturing. And he's a baseball fan.

Manufacturing is the crucible for testing and implementing operational ideas because there's almost total accountabilty. No one can come along as they might in finance or marketing or resource extraction or your usual-suspect services organizations and claim quality where it doesn't exist. Things are measurable, people are accountable, outputs are fungible (even Repoz remembers that great Tommy James and Shondells "B"-side hit "Outputs Are Fungible Now, Baby").

Anyway, I mentioned I would write about a tool I use to "flag" survivals. Joe Ely kindly agreed to do the same on his blog, so I'll be pointing to it when he does.

In the meantime, take a look at his weblog for a range of insights from a curious intellect who also works in the trenches. Most likely your management doesn't happen in manufacturing, but most of his insights, with a little parallel thinking, have energy you can put to your own challenges.

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