Work expands because there is no additional work available.” If people are aware that no work awaits them after they complete their current tasks, they will naturally start slowing the rate of completion to avoid running out of work. This is very common in project-based work environments.
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
Properly integrated management systems are the most important tool that a CEO has for aligning an organization and creating a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Management systems help all management levels plan, execute, report and improve their area of responsibility in accordance with the CEO’s strategic direction.
When we studied organizations and how management reacted to off-schedule conditions or variances from their plan, we noticed that results that came relatively close to an objective were generally considered “good enough.”
When we bring new consultants on board, they usually don’t see opportunity when we ask them to observe a functional process. We have to teach them what to look for — and then train them how to watch the process objectively.
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.
Financial managers are often skeptical when they hear people claim that their projects have generated, or will generate, substantial financial benefit. There is often a long legacy of projects or investments that were based on some type of ROI.