Business Transformation Tools: Business & Process & Project Management: Lean Six Sigma: Strategy: Innovation: Career Success: Blog: Podcast » Basic Podcast Feed
Summary: Business Transformation Tools is the only show dedicated to hands-on business management and process management tools to transform your business and career success. Learn the process management and project management tools developed in countless successes (and failures). Join Mike and Jay in making process improvement, strategy and innovation routine in your business. Business management and process management tools are the hardware to transform your company and career - starting today! Overcome daily firefighting and slice through the market's confusion about strategy, innovation, project management, and lean six sigma. You may already be familiar with Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, project management, and strategy deployment. Here, you'll learn how to make these process management and business management methods ROUTINE in your business - without massive investments of time and money executives, managers, and entrepreneurs cannot afford to make.
Strategic Questions: What is the reality of your business today? When I ask that question to most of my clients and other business people, they immediately start discussing the market, the tough economy, the upturns or downturns… Basically, they talk about everything except their actual business reality. What determines your business reality is the internal constraint: There are 4 phases of the business constraint cycle. The phase you are in determines your reality. It is the most important lever for you to push on to make a breakthrough transformation. When you are able to identify the dominant constraint, you can align the business to that constraint. Every aspect of your business, from marketing and sales strategy to operations, IT, HR, and supply chain should and must align or your business cycle will experience friction that slows and debilitates your company’s strategy. Business Constraint Cycle Tool Show Notes BTT 047 – Download Member Content Enhanced Podcast BTT 047 – Download Member Content Your constraint could be customer, cash, capacity, or capability. A healthy business will go through all 4 phases and mature from one to the next. Misalignment between your strategy and your business reality will lead to failure: In today’s show, we reveal the source of several mysteries in business. The mysteries all boil down to a misalignment between the strategy and the business’ internal reality. For example, have you ever wondered why organizations so often “reorganize,” and then fail. In fact, the failure rate is around 75%, they then need to reorganize again and again. Another mystery we address is why companies often grow and succeed only to stall out. Then, when a new company comes in and meets with success, the only difference was a change in the head positions. What really happened? The answer lies in the business constraint cycle. Today, we will also introduce you to STRATEGY STORM: SIGNALS – What are the tell tale signs of what constraint you are in or what constraint your are approaching? TRAPS – What are the traps that are common to businesses in a given constraint? OPTIONS – What are some of the breakthrough strategic options available within this constraint? REACTIONS – What are the expected internal and external reactions, and how can you METRICS – What are the leading and lagging indicators to drive the strategy. This new tool, you will discover, is at the heart of improving profits for your business. We encourage you to review the 4Ps which we introduced in some of our first and most fundamental shows to the business transformation community so that you will be able to learn to focus on what will make you and your team a long-term success. Best regards, Mike and Jay
Getting Things Done: We are in the middle of a 3 part series on Getting Things Done for Project Teams. As you probably know by now, GTD is an essential tool for personal productivity. We are sharing with you, however, the lessons we’ve learned in applying GTD in a team environment. The principles and habits remain the same. What changes are the kinds of tools you use and the way you use them. If you are already a GTD fan, take the next step and get the same productivity breakthrough with teams that you are getting in your personal life. A wonderful payoff is in that project teams demand so much of our daily attention, that when you apply our methods you will receive yet another breakthrough in personal productivity, not just team productivity. GTD Template – Team Email Format GTD Template – Master Action List for Team Lead Show Notes BTT 044 – Download Member Content Enhanced Podcast BTT 044 – Download Member Content 5 STEPS of Getting Things Done for Project Teams: Today, we are going to begin covering the 5 steps of Getting Things Done for Project Teams. Just like in David Allen’s book, the steps remain the same: Capture Project Stuff Process Project Stuff Organize Project Stuff Review Project Stuff Do Project Stuff When it comes to GTD for project teams or for personal productivity, the largest failure is usually in the first step. We don’t actually do a good job of capturing the stuff in our lives or in our projects. Some items are in emails, others are in voice mails, most are in the heads of every person on the team – never officially written down or captured in a single, trustworthy location. If teams don’t have the habits and tools in place to make it easy to capture and communicate this stuff, everything else in your project will be disorganized and more challenging . Today, we will camp out on this first step so that you and your team get the right tools and tactics into practice. We will complete the series in part 3 by reviewing the final steps so that you have everything you need for a Getting Things Done system. 1st Step of 5: What to do and What Not To Do Surprises and requests come at you all day as a project leader and this means your team requires a single trusted mechanism outside of their heads to ensure everything gets done. Even more important, you need a way to prevent doing things that actually do not deserve your team’s precious time. Imagine the productivity gains that could come when you have your team relying on a single project collection bucket, committing to capturing next actions, and following standard communications. Picture how much less work time you would need to invest as the project leader if you were able to attend fewer meetings because you knew the actions and ideas were being captured in a fail proof way. Think what you could do with the extra time if your team was as committed to the GTD system as you are. This is the productivity increase that boils up when your team is following the GTD standards we will present in today’s show. If you are saying, “Not my team – I’m on top of all the details,” I would ask, “How much work is it taking?” The answer will be much more than is necessary. “The goal of GTD is to free you from things you don’t really need to be doing, so that you can do what you should be doing!” Some Actions you will learn on how to capture everything as a project team: 1. Begin teaching your team to collect everything in a single format 2. Set up an email account for this specific project – do not use email the way you are using it today 3. Train your team to use the format for communications: Summary, Action, Detail 4. Use the Parking Lot method instead of minutes during meetings 5. Maintain the master action list where all the stuff is filtered into Tell us some ways that you personalize this for your team.For [...]
In This Episode: Today, we conclude this miniseries by looking under the hood at the final steps of ROUTINE: Test, Iterate, Normalize, and Equip. ROUTINE is the backbone tool for process transformation. It is an intrinsic method of improvement that is part of the nature of organizations. Our goal is to make improvement just as much a ROUTINE as payroll and operations. Build the ROUTINE into each of the 4Ps: People, Product, Process, and People, and you will see returns for your business and career that seemed impossible to achieve in all of the daily firefighting. Show Notes BTT 007 – Download Member Content Enhanced Podcast BTT 007 – Download Member Content We hope you are seeing that the tools and tactics in our shows are not overly-complex. In business, the more complex a mess looks, the more simple the solution needs to be. Consider Lean Manufacturing, it is radically simple in its control mechanisms and algorithms when compared to MRP systems and push schedules. Likewise, the complexity of our organizations are best improved with a straightforward tool, ROUTINE, to build improvement into our processes. This will create the healthy processes you need to deliver healthy profits. TESTING: As a chemist working in an aerospace many years ago, I learned the value of testing assumptions. This tradition was not adopted in business. Even in Lean Six Sigma, what we call testing is more like a statistical exercise. Testing in a lab takes a small sample and mixes vial A with vial B to ensure our predictions are correct. In business, we may believe we have identified the root causes, but only after going through a hands-on test can you be certain you have the right root causes, and you understand the per cent contribution of each root cause. Failing to test derails many otherwise excellent projects. We believe our team identified the root causes, we used Fishbones and C&E Matrices, we brainstormed and we even went to the Gemba to go see the work. We are “probably” right. At this point, we need to conduct a test. Six Sigma specialists are trained in Designed Experiments and we are fans of this method because it is the best way to turn knobs and twist dials and see all the interactions, complexities, unexpected outcomes, and outputs. DOE scares many people because the way it is taught is deeply statistical. It is a bit like trying to learn programming before you use Microsoft Outlook. In a future show, we will walk you through what we call simple-DOE, which takes the best fractional designs and Taguch principles, but makes them plug and play. We will provide the templates you need. Yet there is an even more basic tool that we should always use in the testing phase: Piloting. For people I have trained all over the world I show them one of the 10 commandments of a Lean Six Sigma project, “Thou Shalt Do a Pilot!” My most expensive failures occurred because I allowed my teams to simply skip the pilot. We were smart. We were ambitious. We thought we were right. We were dead wrong! The outcome of the testing phase is that we turn assumptions into proofs. ITERATING: This is something that was lost by most businesses who adopted it as a method 50 years ago, when Deming began teaching Plan/Do/Check/Act. Even in Lean Six Sigma projects, when we are working a problem, we have a mistaken belief that we are after “the one solution.” What we actually want is a set of countermeasures that will have various weights in a final solution. This is very different from looking for “a solution.” We use a set of countermeasures to optimize the outcomes we are monitoring. Software and IT solutions are often guilty of this poor belief. We are always looking for that next software solution that will solve our problems. We often end up cementing poor process behavior because it is now hard wired into the programs. A much better approach is to use ROUTINE to install Lean Six Sigma and Theo[...]