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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Why it’s hard to eliminate backlogs

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.

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The power of momentum

Change-management projects can be affected by shifts in positive and negative momentum. It’s the reason that most change efforts stress the need to demonstrate some “quick wins” early in the engagement.

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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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The office can learn from the shop floor

The basic principles of management don’t change from industry to industry, or one environment to another. In many ways, the shop floor has been a leader in management practices.

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