How operating problems are hidden

We spend countless hours in many different industry sectors observing and analyzing how work gets processed. We watch employees, managers and the tools they use in order to determine how much of their day is truly productive.

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Where are all the front-line managers?

A number of years ago, we started an interesting study called the “whereabouts” study. The idea behind the study was to try to illustrate where a front-line manager spends most of his or her time during the course of the day; correlate it to what is actually happening in the business at the same time

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Productivity improvement with no benefit

One of the great heartbreaks of performance improvement is to generate legitimate gains in productivity, but then discover that they have had no material impact on an organization’s financial results.

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The importance of volume and rate

When we study processes, one of the first things we think about analytically is to break the process down into two components: volume and rate. These are the two main drivers of cost in any process.

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Variability is difficult to manage

One of the things we look for when we examine organizations is the degree of variability present. The more variability, the harder it is to manage. Variability can be both inherent in the nature of the industry and it can be self-imposed through policy or errors.

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Learning through observation

People are often curious about how we can go into such a wide variety of organizations and businesses and somehow help them improve. One advantage we have is that we tend to see similar patterns over and over across industries and even across nationalities.

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