The unlikable tendencies of a consultant

Contrarians have an innate desire to be skeptical, take opposing viewpoints, and want to do things differently. Although it can be slightly irritating for others in a social setting, it’s very helpful when you are looking for opportunities in a business.

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A solution in search of a problem

A consultant spent three hours watching a production line trying to find opportunity. It was a simple quality inspection area where the product flowed in a continuous stream past a number of trained inspectors.

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Managers don’t provide a “backup” assignment

In many operations, back up assignments can be a useful means to even out daily workflow. By providing a “ready backlog” of work that can be pulled if the main task is delayed for whatever reason, a manager can help optimize the productivity of an area.

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Managers assign work unevenly

Uneven work assignment is a management problem, not a worker problem. Management’s job is to try to elevate the overall group productivity.

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Managers assign work without time parameters

We were working for a large software development company. One of the big operating concerns was the timely coordination of coding and testing. Being off-schedule can cause a serious breakdown in the

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When managers don’t assign work

A lot of productivity is lost due to how work is assigned, or in this case, when it’s not assigned. What we often see is that the manager plays the role of a work collator, someone who creates a backlog of tasks that an employee can draw from. Work is “loaded” as opposed to “assigned.”

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The surprising importance of SMART work assignments

We spend a lot of time during our diagnostic phase doing “day-in-the-life” studies. The purpose of these studies is not to watch an individual, it’s to watch the process flow and transfer points at what we call “the point of execution.”

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What are we actually trying to improve?

“Boiling the ocean” is one of those phrases that can be quite accurate but is still slightly irritating to use or hear. It refers to analyzing something to death or tackling a

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Why happy customers aren’t enough

Over the years we’ve done a number of studies to try to help our clients find out what their customers think of them. These types of studies are often packaged under the

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