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.
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
A basic objective of many improvement programs is to figure out how to improve planning. The idea is that if you can plan better, you won’t end up scrambling as much when it comes to actually executing the plan.
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.
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.