Archive for March, 2013

Consider a rather large project that like so many projects had some difficulties. The project team had a major component (subsystem) delivered from a supplier. The supplier has one set of processes and the customer organization another. This supplier delivers multiple versions of this major subsystem. The customer integrates this subsystem into the larger system […]

We have seen the word “layoff” used during a reduction in force. A reduction in force is a mass firing, often engendered by management ineptitude but sometimes driven by market forces. A layoff occurs when we temporarily dismiss an employee, but we provide preferential treatment for them when the market bounces back. Even with the […]

Teams must grow; teams cannot be simply appointed and anointed. We may have a designated group that evolves into a team, but this emergent phenomenon takes time. It takes time to discover the strengths and weakness if each member of the group, understanding that ultimately transforms into trust, the backbone value/concept for any successful team. […]

We have never seen a meaningful employee evaluation system. The abominations are generally designed as a tool to assess the performance of the employee with respect to corporate goals. When they present the illusion of quantification, the values are really qualitative and they will inflate over time as people are ‘soft’ about providing ‘real’ assessment. […]

Ideally, the human resources function or department represents the employee to management and management to the employee. Sadly, in our experience, most human resources people are inclined to support the individuals who sign their paycheck and the employees are left swinging in the breeze. It is no wonder that employees will gravitate towards collective bargaining […]

Many raindrops make an ocean. We have seen a divisional vice-president sneer at a small cost reduction and tell us it was not Six Sigma material. We didn’t care, because permitting small cost reductions makes the practice part of the culture while still adding benefits to the firm. We have already shown in another blog […]

People in education often like to implement “programs.” In fact, we call this syndrome “program-itis” because it leads to inflammation of the budget. As with many corporation, we see people who want to improve a situation decide to follow “best practices” without verifying that these are, in fact, best practices. They can only be best […]